Thursday, January 20, 2011

Philippine Festivals & Events 2011

This is obviously off topic for this blog but I want to do my small share in promoting tourism in the country. I saw this list of yearlong cultural and religious festivities in the newspaper last Sunday and found myself longing to experience it for myself. Our country is not only rich in natural resources but also in history and traditions that are totally unique to us, and our rich cultural heritage defines who we are as a people. It's a shame but some of the events here don't ring a bell in my mind. I must have missed it in my history class! And so as the oft repeated tourism slogan goes, 'Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan.'

JANUARY (Sto. Nino Fiesta)

The New Year kicks off with colorful street dancing parades to showcase the Filipino's deep veneration for the Sto. Nino (Child Jesus). Sto. Nino festivities are held in Manila and many other places in the country.

* Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila
* Sinulog Festival in Cebu City
* Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City
* Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan

FEBRUARY (Culture and Adventure Fiesta)

Enjoy the cool climes of the Cordilleras, hitch a ride on a hot air balloon or witness the flight of countless migratory birds. Whatever your pleasure, there's no where else to go but up!

* Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio City
* International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark Airfield, Pampanga
* Ibon-Ebon Festival in Candaba, Pampanga
* 2nd Phil Int'l Pyromusical Competition, SM MOA Complex

MARCH (Ecotourism Festival)

Feast your senses with mother nature's beauty. Go nature tripping, dive our seas or explore our caves and forests. Every voyage of discovery results in fascination and amazement. Only in the Philippines!

* Whale Shark Interaction in Donsol, Sorsogon
* Puerto Princesa Underground River and the Tabon Caves in Palawan
* The Chocolate Hills and the Loboc River Firefly Watching Tour in Bohol
* Mt. Apo Trek in Davao del Sur

APRIL (Summer Caravan)

Join the summer caravans to be organized by various motor associations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Take part in pilgrimages to Pangasinan, Ilocos, and other religious sites. Observe Lenten rituals in Marinduque and other centers of Holy Week traditions.

* Moriones Festival in Marinduque
* Cutud Lenten Rites in Pampanga
* Magayon Festival in Albay
* Nationwide Easter Celebrations

MAY (Fiesta Extravaganza)

As summer comes to a close, the countryside springs to life as harvest fiestas are celebrated. See houses festooned with flowers, vegetables and horticultural varieties. Be mesmerized by carabaos kneeling in front of the church after a procession of floats. Keep in step with "fertility dance rites" for couples wishing to become parents.

* Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon
* Pulilan Carabao Festival and the Obando Fertility Rites in Bulacan
* Pasasalamat Festival in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental
* Kaogma Festival, Camarines Sur

JUNE (Historical Fiesta)

Commemorate the country's independence. Visit our historical sites and learn from our past. Know how our national heroes sacrificed their lives for the country. Travel the Road of Philippine Freedom.

* Philippine Independence Day Celebrations Worldwide
* Re-enactment of the Declaration of Independence in Kawit, Cavite
* 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal in Calamba, Laguna.
* Pintados Kasadyaan Festival in Tacloban City, Leyte

JULY (Food Fiesta)

The Filipino's rich culinary tradition is demonstrated in the numerous recipes that are a mixture of Spanish and Oriental flavours. Try mouth-watering Filipino specialties that will satisfy your discriminating tastes. Join various culinary tours and enjoy the delightful flavours of our regional cuisine.

* Pampanga Culinary Tours
* Ilocos Culinary Tours
* Bicol Culinary Tours

(Special promotions and offers to be arranged in hotels, resorts, and restaurants nationwide.)

AUGUST (Mindanao Fiesta)

Fascinating, spellbinding and worth exploring - Exotic Mindanao! Be mesmerized by its rich natural resources and colourful, ethnic traditions. Witness the gathering of tribal groups in Mindanao. Partake in the celebration of bountiful harvests.

* Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival in Davao City
* Durian Festival in Tagum City
* Higa-onon Festival in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
* Kalibongan Festival in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato

SEPTEMBER (Philippine Tourism Fiesta)

Tourism takes centerstage with the hosting of the Philippine Travel Mart and the Philippine Travel Exchange. All Filipinos are reminded to make their meaningful contributions to promote tourism as a means to generate greater economic results especially in the countryside.

* Philippine Travel Exchange/Philippine Travel Mart in Metro Manila
* Iloilo City Tourism Month
* Baguio City Tourism Month
* Penafrancia Festival in Naga City, Camarines Sur

OCTOBER (Health and Wellness Fiesta)

Feel great. Stay healthy. Go natural. Enjoy life. Indulge yourself in diverse spa offerings and physical fitness programs. Treat yourself to the country's healing hands and caring hearts. Be pampered with our traditional massage - Hilot.

* Zamboanga Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur
* Lanzones Festival in Camiguin
* Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

(Special promotions, offers, or tours to be arranged with health facilities and spa resorts nationwide)

NOVEMBER (Arts and Music Fiesta)

Be enamoured by our rich culture and colourful heritage. Know more about our diverse traditions as exhibited in visual art and dance forms. Be enthralled by the inborn musicality of the Filipino.

* Feast of San Clemente/Higantes Festival in Angono, Rizal
* Helobong Festival in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
* Kalinawa Art Exhibit in Tagum City, Davao del Norte
* Northern Mindanao Art Exhibit in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

DECEMBER (Christmas Fiesta)

As lanterns light up and spread Christmas cheer, attend the Misa de Gallo (early morning mass) and give glory and thanks for the birth of Christ the Saviour. The season is for children, so shopping for the little ones is a must!

* Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando City, Pampanga
* Pasko sa Policarpio in Mandaluyong City
* Paskuhan sa Imus in Imus, Cavite
* Christmas Celebrations Nationwide

For more information please contact:

The Philippine Tourism Promotions Board Tel Nos: (02) 525-1255 and 525-9318 locals 244/271.

Event schedules posted are as submitted by organizers to the Department of Tourism. Schedules may change without prior notice.

Tara na, Biyahe na!

(Source: Manila Bulletin, 01/09/11)

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