Higantes Festival is one of the Philippines’ most awaited events because of how unique the locals of Angono celebrate this festival. During this time, higantes or giants made of papier-mache parade the whole town. These giants vary in sizes and are dressed in colorful Higantes Festival costumes so beautifully that they always take the media and tourists’ attention.

It is held every November 23 in the town of Angono in Rizal province known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines.” In this blog, we will talk about the Higantes Festival history, costume, and why many people from across the world are hooked to this event.

When is Higantes Festival Celebrated

This joyous event is celebrated every 4th week of November, where paper maché or “higantes” are paraded on the streets of this historic town.

Where is Higantes Festival Celebrated

This festivity is held every November 23 in Angono, Rizal in honor of the town’s patron saint, San Clemente.

Higantes Festival History

higantes festival

Based on the Angono folklore, the “Higantes” or papier-mache giants were done by locals as a form of protest during the Spanish colonization. 

According to the study of James Owen Saguinsin, a professor at the Far Eastern University, the giants do not exist and what the townsmen actually refer to with the higantes is a tall caretaker of the hacienda named Karias Tangkad whom the residents took revenge on.

Saguinsin also theorized that the giant papier-mache only started after World War II when National Artist Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco asked the first higante maker, Artemio Tajan, to add an element of festivity and joy to the post-war ambience of Angono’s fiesta celebration.

As the years have passed, the Higantes Festival tagalog is continuously evolving with amazing works of art as seen with the cool sets of higantes each year, the colorful Higantes Festival costume, the games, and more.

In fact, the Angono craftsmen are creating higantes inspired by the images of local and national officials, Angono’s myths and legends, the vegetables outlined in the Filipino folk song ‘Bahay Kubo,’ and even small giants called higantitos.

Higantes Festival Meaning

The Municipality of Angono considers the higantes meaning as the symbol of the people’s aspiration to be great in their respective field and contribute to the development and pride of this town which is home to two National Artists namely Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco (Painting) and Maestro Lucio San Pedro (Music).

Schedule of Higantes Festival Activities

As of writing, there are no updates yet if the festival will be celebrated the way it used to be as there is still a pandemic. Make sure to bookmark this page to always be updated on the events.

Main Highlights

  • Higantes Grand Parade
  • Water Splashing Activity
  • Music Fest
  • Street Dance Competition

How to Get to Angono, Rizal

From EDSA-Starmall in Crossing or Cubao, ride a van or jeepney bound for Angono. It will bring you directly to Angono Town Proper. Upon arrival at the terminal, ride a tricycle or jeepney going to your point of destination.

Where to Stay in Rizal

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Address: 102 Plaza Condominium, Marcos Highway, Antipolo City, Rizal 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Higantes Festival

How to go to Angono from Manila?

From EDSA-Starmall in Crossing or Cubao, ride a van or jeepney bound for Angono. It will bring you directly to Angono Town Proper. Upon arrival at the terminal, ride a tricycle or jeepney going to your point of destination.

Is Higantes Festival religious?

Yes, Higantes Festival tagalog is religious as it is celebrated in honor of Angono’s patron saint San Clemente.

What is the costume of the Higantes Festival made of? 

The iconic towering puppets are made of paper mache, dressed in vibrant camisa chino and kimono outfits. 

What is the meaning of the Higantes Festival? 

Higantes Festival is a secular celebration initiated by the local government of Angono to express gratitude to its patron Saint Clement. 

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