A Photo Journey by Arlene Donaire
The Filipinos surely know how to celebrate no matter what the adversities are! Throughout history, Pinoys have demonstrated a unique sense of unity through their shared optimism and love for life, an admirable trait that is depicted in all the festivals and fiestas that are celebrated across the country year-round. The diversity that divides the Philippines into its many geo-political, ethnic, and religious communities is the same thread that unites the Filipinos in their shared yearning to celebrate. There is always a reason or basis to celebrate.
Philippine festivals and fiestas, as numerous as they are, offer a unique source of pride and joy, for the folks in each locality where they are held. They are a welcome respite from the humdrum of daily life but more importantly a collective mark of a nation whose communal psyche is boosted by its strong faith, resilience, and aspiration to rise from the adversities that beset the country year in, year out. The festivities can range from simple to grandiose, solemn to frenzied, and sometimes even elevated to an official holiday category, depending on whether it coincides with a government proclamation like the “chartering” or creation of a city or honoring a person who figured significantly in the country’s history. Festivals are made more attractive in that they naturally set off a chain of benefits for the locales where they occur as they trigger the local economies into action, even months ahead of the actual event, spurring commercial investments, engendering government support for public infrastructure, and enhancing tourism.
For the year 2014, as in past years, the Filipinos continue to enliven the country with a celebration of long-held traditional festivals that are religious and ethno-cultural in nature and those that have been promoted in recent years in keeping with the country’s tourism and economic programs. For the many Filipinos who live and work abroad and foreign tourists that plan to visit the country this year, here is just a sampling of the more popular festivals with their tentative dates and venues. There usually is a dedicated website for these events, so make sure to check online for final details.
It’s more fun in the Philippines; celebrate at least one Fili-festival this year!
· Feast of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo, Manila; 9th)
· Sinulog Festival (Cebu City; 13th to 19th)
· Ati-Atihan Festival (Kalibo, Aklan; 19th to 26th)
· Dinagyang Festival (Iloilo, 26th)
· Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival (Clark; 13th to 16th)
· Panagbenga Festival (Baguio City; 26th)
Paraw Regatta (Iloilo; 2nd)
Sandugo Festival (Tagbilaran, Bohol; 15th)
Moriones Festival (Marinduque; 14th)
Pahiyas Festival (Lucban; 15th)
Mudpack Festival (Murcia, Negro Occ; 14th)
Parada ng Lechon (Balayan, Batangas; 29th)
Pintado/Kasadyaan Festival (Tacloban City; 29th)
Bocaue River Festival (Bocaue, Bulacan; 1st Sunday)
Kadayawan Festival (Davao City; 23rd to 24th)
Penafrancia Viva La Virgen (Naga City; 20th)
Talulot Festival (St Therese of Cjild Jesus Parish, Pasay City; Oct 6th)
Lanzones Festival (Camiguin; 18th)
Masskara Festival (Bacolod City; 18th to 19th)
Higantes Festival (Angono, Rizal; 23rd)
Grand Cordillera Festival (Baguio City; 23rd)
Immaculate Conception (Intramuros, Manila; 8th)
Giant Lantern Festival (San Fernando, Pampanga; 20th)
(Originally published in FilJap Magazine January 2014. Visit Arlene’s Facebook page Foto Zubuano for more of her photos.)