September in the Philippines

Table of Contents

© Constantine Agustin

September marks the early start of the Christmas season in the Philippines. Really early, yes, but it is true. The Philippines celebrates what might be the longest Christmas in the world. Called the first “ber” month because of the last syllable of its name, September is considered by many as the start of a bountiful and happy season for the Filipinos. This early, Filipinos start shopping for gifts, decorations, and firecrackers. Mall-wide sales also start to become more frequent and it’s no surprise that a cheery “Merry Christmas” will come your way every now and then.

While the streets begin to blossom in twinkling lights, faux snowmen, and Santa Claus statues, a lot of other events and festivals are being held all over the Philippines. Just like any other month in the country, there is something exciting going on somewhere. Baguio City, General Santos City, Siquijor, and Bislig City celebrate their charters during the month and there are at least other 10 festivals expected to happen. There are also several big sporting events in many places in the country.

September in the Philippines is still wet, with tropical storms and strong winds brought about by the southwest monsoon or habagat. While storms do not come every day, expect to have lesser days of sunshine. This means beach time, even in Visayas and Mindanao, may be interrupted by rain showers. Weather aside, the Philippines is still an exciting place to explore in September. Just don’t forget to bring an umbrella and take your daily dose of vitamin C.

Here are some of what’s in store for everyone in the month of September:

Baguio Charter Day

Baguio City

September 1

The City of Baguio, considered the Summer Capital of the Philippines celebrates its 112th founding anniversary this year. The highly-urbanized city in the Cordilleras is known to many as an excellent tourist/vacation spot in the country. This year’s celebration will be simple and virtual.

Sarakiki Festival

Calbayog City, Western Samar

September 1-8

Witness locals of Samar dance to lively beats along its main streets while dressed as roosters.

Hin-ay Festival

Irosin, Sorsogon

September 1-29

The victory of good over evil is featured in the semi-religious festival. The event features trade fairs, cultural shows, and street dancing depicting the triumph of the archangel over the fallen.

Bicol Food Festival

Naga City

September 1-30

The Bicol region is known for its spicy cuisine. The Bicol Food Festival is the best time to test your tolerance for spice through traditional Bicolano delicacies. Have your fill of cocido, pecadillo, inolokan, Bicol express, laing, pinangat and so much more!

Sarakiki Festival

Calbayog City, Western Samar

September 1-8

Witness locals of Samar dance to lively beats along its main streets while dressed as roosters.

Busig-on Festival

Labo, Camarines Sur

September 7-9

This festival is based on the Bicolano epic Busig-on. It features local heroism and values through talent showcases in key points of the town of Labo.

World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day

Vigan City

September 8

History buffs will certainly appreciate the activities during World Heritage Cities Solidarity Day. Being the most well-preserved heritage town in the Philippines, Vigan hosts the annual event along with other places all over the world with heritage sites. Highlights of this special day are Repazzo de Vigan, Historia Oral, Putajes de Ayer and Fotografias de Recuerdos. Repazzo de Vigan is a parade wherein participants depict the life of the townsfolk during the Spanish Era until World War II. Following the parade is Historia Oral, storytelling of the city’s history and culture from the mouth of its oldest residents. Putajes de Ayer is a food festival where one can get a taste of Vigan’s greatest culinary offerings. Fotografias de Recuerdos is an exhibit of paintings and photographs showcasing the heritage city.

Translacion/Peñafrancia Festival

Naga City

September 13

Bicolanos consider Our Lady of Peñafrancia as their parton. During the translacion, the image of INA is transported by male devotees from the Basilica to the Naga Cathedral. The festival also marks the beginning of the 9-day novena for the town patron leading up to the feast on September 21. The feast day features a fluvial parade along the Naga River.

Dalit Festival

Tangub City

September 21

Dalit is a cultural festival centered on thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The city of Tangub celebrates their harvest through street dancing, fashion shows, and beauty pageants.

Megayon Festival

Pagadian City

September 27-30

The Megayon Festival is the best time to experience the best of Zamboanga del Sur. The provincial government holds trade and travel expos, cultural shows, and competitions, not to mention wonderful Chavacano food.

Araw Ng Siguijor


September 17-22

An island blanketed by mystery and horror stories, a typical Filipino grows up thinking that Siquijor is home to witches and sorcerers who do nothing but curse people who do them harm. Wrong. Siquijor is a beautiful province with old-world architecture, stunning beaches, and natural wonders. The province celebrates its charter through a week-long event that culminates on the Araw ng Siquijor (Day of Siquijor). The festivities will highlight the province’s many offerings of attractions, culture, history, and culinary delights.

Siargao National Surfing Cup

Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

September 15-18

The island of Siargao is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, with waves that can easily compete with those of Australia, Indonesia and Hawaii. September sees an influx of surfing enthusiasts as well as spectators in Siargao for the National Surfing Cup. Local surfers compete against each other and winners will then represent the country in the upcoming International Surfing Cup. Surfing is not the only highlight of this event; there are lots of beach parties and other activities centered on the bohemian beach vibe Siargao is famous for.

Siargao International Surfing Cup

Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

September 23-29

After the national finals is the bigger and grander Siargao International Surfing Cup participated by some of the best surfers in the world. Now in its 19th year, the international competition also aims to promote the region as an exciting destination not only for surfers but to eco-adventure seekers as well. The event will be sponsored by famous brand Quicksilver and the Philippine’s Department of Tourism. Cash prizes for this surfing competition amount to US$11,000. The event rides on the central theme of the tourism department “It’s MORE fun in the Philippines”.

2022 UPDATE: Siargao has deferred holding the surfing cups while the island is still recovering from the damage brought about by Typhoon Odette.

Philippines Travel Resources

Find a place to stay in the Philippines