Festivals in the Philippines offer people a chance to exhibit their rich culture and pay homage to the history and patron saints. They are vibrant, big, and celebrated with a lot of pomp and show. No wonder, each province has its own Filipino Fiesta that they are very proud of.
Tourists from all over the world visit the Philippines not just to see its beautiful beaches and breathtaking sights, but also to experience the country’s grand festivals that, without a doubt, makes it more fun in the Philippines.
Plot your calendars now and plan that vacation for the Philippine Festivals 2020!
1. SINULOG FESTIVAL – CEBU
Date: January 10 – 20, 2020
Head down south to the Queen City and experience this fiesta in the Philippines that celebrates Cebu’s patron saint— Santo Niño. This is a week-long event that is done with processions, parties, concerts, colorful and lively street dancing, irresistible drum beats and parades.
The word “sinulog” means “like the water current,” and is actually the name of the step that the dancers perform.
Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño (January 18, 6am)
Sinulog Grand Parade (January 19, 9am)
Where to stay in Cebu
Rates start at P700/night
2. ATI-ATIHAN FESTIVAL – AKLAN
Date: January 10 – 19, 2020
If you plan to visit Boracay in January, you might as well watch the locals masquerading as Negritos in colorful costumes, dancing and chanting “Hala Bira!” in Aklan for their Ati-Atihan Festival.
Similar to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, this event is celebrated to honor Santo Niño. Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan is considered to be one of the best festivals in the Philippines. This religious festivity is also one of the oldest Philippine celebrations.
Parade of Tribes and Floats (January 13, 1pm)
Ati-Atihan Street Dancing (January 17, 8am)
Religious Procession and torch Street Dancing (January 19, 2pm)
Where to stay in Aklan
(Rates start at P2,400/night)
3. DINAGYANG FESTIVAL – ILOILO CITY
Date: January 18 – 26, 2020
Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon word that means “merrymaking.” Just like the Sinulog and Ati-Atihan Festivals, Dinagyang is one of the religious festivals in the Philippines that celebrates the feast of the Santo Niño and the pact between the Datus and locals.
Every 4th Sunday of January, the festival transforms the Iloilo City into a massive street party with overflowing drinks and food. The most exciting part is that the city hosts a highly competitive street dancing contest that features tribes, represented by the locals.
Floats Parade of Lights (January 24, 6pm)
Festive Parade Sponsors Mardi Gras (January 25, 2pm)
Dinagyang 360° Tribe Competition (January 26, 8am)
Where to stay in Iloilo
(Rate starts at P600/night)
4. PAHIYAS FESTIVAL – LUCBAN, QUEZON
Date: May 15, 2020
Every famous festival in the Philippines is always colorful, and Pahiyas Festival, without a doubt, is one of the most colorful and vibrant festivals in the Philippines.
This is an annual celebration to pay homage to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, for a bountiful harvest in town. Houses are decorated with the town’s best agricultural products, mostly colorful Kipings— a traditional Filipino leaf-shaped wafer made from glutinous rice.
What’s more exciting about Pahiyas festival is that FREE and grab-all-you-can fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere for the visitors to taste and enjoy.
Early Morning Procession in honor of San Isidro Labrador
Free food for everyone and the colorful houses decorated with Kiping
5. PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL – BAGUIO CITY
Date: February 1 – March 8, 2020
Panagbenga is a local Kankana-ey term in Cordillera, which means “a season for blossoming.” Panagbenga Festival is a month-long festival in Baguio. Tourists flock the city during this time to watch the Grand Float Parade which features giant floats in different characters made of flowers. Many celebrities also perform here. Because of these, Panagbenga has become a famous festival in the Philippines.
Grand Street Dance Parade (February 29)
Grand Float Parade (March 1)
Where to stay in Baguio
(Rates start at P2,000/night)
6. LECHON FESTIVAL – BATANGAS
Date: June 24, 2020
Parada ng Lechon is held every 24th of June in honor of St. John the Baptist.
Lechon (roasted pig) is always present in special Filipino occasions, especially on fiestas. During this festival, lechons are paraded dressed in fun characters, while the whole town is participating in a water splashing tradition. After the whole activity, everyone can already feast on the lechons in the festival.
Parades of Lechon
Water Splashing Activity
Where to stay in Batangas
(Rates start at P2,000/night)
7. KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL – DAVAO CITY
Date: August 2020
Kadayawan is a native expression in the Dabawnon tongue. It’s derived from the word “madayaw” which means good, valuable and superior. Dabaweños celebrate the annual Kadayawan as a thanksgiving festival and a tribute to its indigenous people. This is usually held every 3rd week of August.
Indak Indak sa Kadalanan Street Dancing
Kadayawan Floral Parade
Parada sa Dagat
Where to stay in Davao
(Rate starts at P1,000/night)
8. MASSKARA FESTIVAL – BACOLOD
Date: October 2020
MassKara is derived from the words “mass” meaning “many” and “kara” meaning “faces,” thus, calling it the Festival of Many Faces. Many tourists visit Bacolod in October to witness this grand Filipino cultural festival. Being known as the City of Smiles, Bacolod parades many smiling masks worn by the locals during this festival in the Philippines.
Electric MassKara (Bacolod’s biggest street party)
MassKara Street Dance and Arena Competition
Where to stay in Bacolod
(Rates start at P500/night)
9. TUNA FESTIVAL – GENERAL SANTOS CITY
Date: September 2020
Aside from being the hometown of the world boxing champion, a.k.a. Pambansang Kamao, Manny Pacquiao, General Santos City is also the premier fish producer of the Philippines. It houses the country’s 7 tuna canning plants, thus, making it the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.
During the Tuna Festival, locals showcase the province’s bountiful catch with colorful, ocean-themed floats. Another activity that everyone’s looking forward to is the Sugbahan sa Dalan where a long line of grills is set up on the street and hundreds of kilos of tuna are grilled on the spot. And the best thing about this is, everything’s FREE.
Tuna Float Parade
Sugbahan sa Dalan
10. HIGANTES FESTIVAL – ANGONO, RIZAL
Date: November 23 – 23, 2020
Angono, Rizal is known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines.” Aside from this, the town is also famous for its Higantes Festival.
Based on the Angono folklore, the “Higantes” or paper-mache giants were done by locals as a form of protest during the Spanish colonization. Now, these paper-mache giants now play the part of one of the most unique festivals in the Philippines.
Higantes Festival is celebrated every 4th week of November in Angono, Rizal to honor San Clemente, the town’s patron saint.
Water Splashing Activity