You’ve probably already heard that the Philippines is a great place to visit. Famous travelers like Becoming Filipino and Bisayang Hilaw have sung the country’s praises on social media. The Philippine islands offer more than just beaches, it has all the fixins of a great adventure. So what are the exciting things to do in the Philippines?
There’s always a festival happening somewhere in the Philippines. Not only are these festivals over-the-top with street dancing, float parades and pageants, there’s also excellent food all around! If you think about the festivals, there will be endless things to do in the Philippines!
Popular Festivals in the Philippines
Popular Philippine Christmas Festivals
Chinese New Year in the Philippines
Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, Philippines
Davao Festivals: Colorful Cultural Events
Filipinos start the year off with religious festivals. They celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Ati-Atihan and Sinulog. Other festivals like Bailes de Luces (Dance of the Lights) and Dinagyang Festival are also in the line-up in January.
February is huge for the Filipino-Chinese as they begin preparations Chinese New Year. Manila’s Chinatown is the biggest Chinatown outside of China and the festivities here are grand. Filipinos also celebrate Panagbenga in Baguio, the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Subic and the People Power Anniversary all over the country.
The beginning of summer is marked by more fun-filled celebrations. Davao City celebrates its founding anniversary during Araw ng Dabaw. Nearby Samal Island also has its fiesta during the first week of March. In Benguet, the Ifugaos celebrate a bountiful harvest during the Strawberry Festival.
Being a Catholic country, the Philippines observes Holy Week usually during the first or second week of April. Boracay Island holds its annual International Dragon Boat Festival during this month while Palawan holds its Seafood Festival.
May is known as the month of fiestas in the Philippines. All over the country, parades called Santacruzan are held to commemorate Reyna Elena (Helena) and her son Constantine. Helena was the Roman Empress who found the the cross Jesus Christ was crucified on. Town fiestas are perfect venues for socializing with the locals.
The rainy season typically begins in June while the country celebrates its Independence Day. Batangas also celebrates its culinary delights during the Parada ng Lechon. Down south, Mati City celebrates the Pujada Bay Festival. Mati City is famous for Dahican Beach.
Boholanos commemorate the Treaty of Friendship by Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi during the Sandugo Festival. In South Cotabato, festivities in July revolve around the treasured local fabric called T’nalak during the T’nalak Festival.
Mindanao comes alive in August as Davao City celebrates the King of Festivals — Kadayawan! Cagayan de Oro celebrates the Kagay-anon Festival and Samal Island holds the Madayaw Hugyaw Samal Fest. Fresh local fruits are abundant during this period so dig in!
Christmas carols start playing in the airwaves at the start of September. Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world! Sidewalks begin to teem with lanterns and malls begin to hold retail sales. General Santos City also celebrates the Tuna Festival during this month. Going east, surfers flock to Siargao to attend the national and international surfing cups.
Oktoberfest is also celebrated in the Philippines! Roxas City gears up for Halloween by celebrating the Aswang Festival with monsters and seafood. Zamboanga City shows off their iconic vintas during the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.
Filipinos pay tribute to their dead during Undas (November 2nd) by flocking to cemeteries to gather with family and friends. It’s an occasion not of mourning but of remembrance of the dearly departed. Negros Island in the Visayas celebrates Pintaflores and Sandurot.
By December the entire country is already bedecked in festive decor. The Philippines is in full-blown Christmas mode and malls begin to get more crowded. Batangas shows off their Kape Barako during the Coffee Festival while Pampanga welcomes spectators to the San Fernando Giant Lantern Festival.