5 Must See Fiestas in the Philippines

philippines fiesta
Enjoy this guest post from writer, Ashlee.
The Philippines are known for their fiestas and for years, tourists have been flocking to the islands to experience the culture of the Philippines up close and center. The mardi gras atmosphere that each festival tries to project has made the festivals merrier and more festive. If you are one of the uninitiated about festivals in these 7,100 islands, read on. You will soon find out why it is more fun in the Philippines.


Dinagyang is the centerpiece festival of Iloilo province. It is a festival done in honor of the Infant Jesus. This festival is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January. This festival recreates the history of how the natives of Iloilo became part of the Roman Catholic Church. It is famous for its choreography which depicts the richness of the culture of the Ilonggos. Participants  cover their bodies with soot to imitate the natives of Panay, the Agtas.


Considered the king of Philippine festivals, the Ati-atihan is the celebration of the arrival of Bornean datus to settle in the island of Panay. The festival features a faithful recreation of the pre-Hispanic costumes and the cultures that were present in the Philippines before the three-century colonial rule of the Spaniards.


Sinulog Festival has emerged as the most famous fiesta in the Philippines with both local and foreign tourists flocking to join in the merrymaking. The Sinulog starts with a nine-day prayer called a novena that culminates in a solemn procession a day before the third Sunday of January. Contingents from all over the southern and central Philippines converge in Cebu City and compete to be chosen as the best festival dancers for the $40,000 grandprize and bragging rights.


Baguio is known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. It’s also known for the Panagbenga Festival. Panagbenga is the local term for bloom. It celebrates the blooming of the flowers in the Benguet province where Baguio is located. During this festival locals wear flower-inspired costumes and decorate floats with flowers.


The Pahiyas Festival of Lucban in Quezon province is celebrated in honor of St. Isidore the Worker, the patron saint of farmers. The Pahiyas is actually thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. Locals decorate their houses and the entire town with various decorations, some of which are made out of rice. The Pahiyas is an opportunity for local industries to showcase their various food products to visitors both local and foreign.

Filipinos love festivals because it is a great time for families and friends to renew ties and have a great time. What’s your favorite festival?

Ashlee Harsh is from the website How Much Are Things?  Here, you can browse through more than 2,200 cost helping guides.  If you want to find out what things cost, you can do it here.  Also feel free to follow her on Twitter @howmuchforit.