It’s More Festivals in the Philippines! – Z Hostel
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It’s More Festivals in the Philippines!

The world’s best islands. The most hospitable people in the world. A volcano that is a perfect cone. The sweetest mangoes. And a festival for every day of the year? If you find yourself in the Philippines right now, consider yourself lucky. If not, better get those tickets booked and your dancing shoes ready. Because in this side of the world, everyday is a party!

It’s no doubt most people, locals and travelers alike, agree to the country’s most recent tourism campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” as it truly captures one of the best assets this country has to offer: our infectious love of celebration and merrymaking. Don’t be surprised if one day, while riding the bus in a little town in Cebu or just walking down the city streets of Manila, you will be stopped because a parade of dancing children in colorful costumes is passing by. But don’t fret, it is one of the best cultural experiences you will ever have being in the Philippines.

Most festivals, or “fiestas” as they are called locally, are highly religious and cultural in nature, honoring the patron saint of a city or town or celebrating a ritual or tradition kept alive for generations. But the rest can be as diverse and bizarre as it can get. Talk about a rice festival, flower festival, a hot air balloon festival. Then you have a mango festival, milkfish festival, and even a parade of lechon (yes, the crispy and juicy roasted pig!) completely dressed in different characters!

A year may not be enough to experience all these grand celebrations of culture, religion, and abundance but you can definitely plan out trips to catch these three major festivals in the country:

Ati-Atihan Festival

3rd weekend of January | Kalibo, Aklan

     

Hailed as the “Mother of all Festivals” in the Philippines, Ati-atihan has become more than just an attraction. Painted faces, vibrant indigenous costumes, and loud drumbeats fill the streets of Kalibo as the locals honor Sr. Sto Niño. Locals and tourists are encouraged to paint their faces and dance with the performers rather than just staying in the side. The heavy dancing starts from day until night, with a lot of eating and drinking in between. Ready to Mardi Gras, Filipino style?

Sinulog Festival

3rd weekend of January | Cebu City

  

  

Perhaps the most celebrated and most attended of all festivals, Sinulog has been drawing up millions of people each year. It is a religious and cultural festival in Cebu honoring Sr. Sto Niño with the street dance ritual performance as the main highlight. There will be a lot of “Pit Señor” shouting all throughout the weekend and expect to come home with a shirt splattered with paint and a body soaked beer. Yes, it does become a wild fiesta over the weekend!

MassKara Festival
Weekend of Oct 19 | Bacolod City

  

What better way to experience a festival but to be all smiles right? Then MassKara Festival hits it right on the spot. Rightfully celebrated in the country’s “City of Smiles”, the festival is a weekend bonanza of street dancing by performers wearing colorful smiling masks. MassKara comes from the words “mass” meaning “crowd” and “kara” meaning “face”. So if you find yourself in the streets of Bacolod on those dates, you are in for an overload of happiness and merrymaking only this country can offer!

So the question is, are you ready to partayyy?

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