The Feast of The Black Nazarene is an annual feast on the 9th of January. The procession is one of the largest in the country, estimating about half a million of participants in the event. It was said that in early centuries, the image of Jesus Christ was brought from Mexico to Manila; meanwhile, the boat, which carried the image, was caught on fire, making it the Black Nazarene.
The Coconut Festival, also known as the Coco Fest, started in 1996, in honour of the patron Saint Paul the Hermit. It is a week-long celebration in San Pablo, Laguna, on the 15th of January, which starts with a parade of the statue of the patron Saint Paul in the streets, followed by competitions such as street dancing, floats, and the choosing of Mutya and Lakan, during the program. Important people are usually present during the celebration of the festival.
The Ati-Atihan Festival is celebrated during the 17th of January, in honour of the Santo Nino, the patron saint of Kalibo, Aklan. When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they made a deal with the nativs, Atis, that in the future their celebration would be dedicated to the Santo Nino, and there would be people with paintings of different colors on their bodies, beautiful churches, colorful costumes, and the locals and tourists are present to celebrate the annual festival.
The Sinulog Festival is held annually on the third Sunday of January, in Cebu City, Philippines. Even before the Cebuanos were baptized, the Sinulog was already danced in honour of their wooden statues. When the Catholic was entrenched in Cebu, the dance became a tradition to be celebrated yearly, in honor of the patron Santo Nino. Different dances, and grand costumes were displayed. The highlight of the feast is the shouts of the people, “Pit Señor! Señor Santo Niño, Manoy Kiloy”; this is necessary to ensure that the patron Santo Nino will hear them.
The Dinagyang Festival is celebrated annually on the fourth week of January in Ilo-Ilo City, to give respect to the Holy Child, Jesus Christ. Dinagyang comes from the root word dagyang, an Illonggo word, which means merry-making. Aside from the usual tradition of parades and drums, the people paint their body with black colors to resemble the natives of Panay, and the warriors wear expressive costumes of Aeta. The Ilonggo tribe members usually shout, and dance to the raging beat of “HalaBira” in honor of Santo Nino, and their culture.
The first day of February is the “season of blooming”; the Panagbenga Festival is celebrated for over a month, and a peak period in the weekend. It showcases abounding colorful flowers, native dances, parades, float competitions, as well as bazaars along the streets. The event takes place yearly in Baguio City, Philippines, and celebrated together by locals and tourists in the area.
The Spring Festuval is also celebrated starting the 8th of February in Baguio City, to mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year in the Philippines. The highlight of the event is the dragon parade, which reminds of the spirited culture and tradition of China. Traditions like maintaining the houses clean, preparing fruits on the table, and putting money in the envelopes, will invite peace, good luck, and good fortune for the welcoming New Year.
The Tinagba Festival is a yearly celebration to show gratitude and thanksgiving for the prosperity of the land. The local people re-enact the rituals and traditions of the ancient people, which shows the strong beliefs of Filipino in religious practices and to its own culture. Tinagba Festival is held on the 11th of February in Iriga City, Bicol, Philippines.
Aside from Valentine’s Day, on the 14th of February, a musical extravaganza is yearly celebrated and held in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philipines. The Serenata Festival captivates the music lovers to join them with musically memorable moments, together with the group of people who play in the their different instruments.
BAMBOO ORGAN FESTIVAL
The Bamboo Organ Festival is celebrated annually on the 18th of February. It is a classical music festival, and one of the unique festivals in the Philippines as it showcases variety of organ pipes made from bamboo. This is held at St. Joseph Church in Las Pinas City, Philippines. Music enthusiast locally and visitors in the country come together to celebrate the festival.