January, festival month in the Philippines
STO. NIÑO FESTIVAL
(mentioned dates might not be correct)
The month of January in the Philippines is Santo Niño Festival Month. It is the period when many of our provinces, towns, and cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao pay homage to the Holy Child Jesus. They prepare months ahead in anticipation of the large volume of local and foreign tourists who will flock to their areas to watch and take part in the festivals.
Among the colorful festivals frequented by tourists are the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, and Sinulog Festival in Cebu City (3rd Sunday);
the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City (4th weekend);
the Binanog Festival in Lambonao, Iloilo, and Sinulog (Kabangkalan) Festival in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental (2nd Sunday);
the Makato Sto. Niño Festival in Poblacion Makato, Aklan (January 15);
the Kahimunan Festival in Libertad, Butuan City, and Batan Ati-Ati Malakara Festival in Poblacion Batan, Aklan (January 16);
the Bansudani Festival in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro (January 17);
the Altavas Sto. Niño Festival in Poblacion Altavas, Aklan (January 21-22);
the Ibajay Ati-Ati Municipal and Devotional Fiesta in Ibajay, Aklan (January 22-23);
the Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental (January 24-30);
the Hinirugyaw Festival in Calinog, Iloilo (January 30-February 6);
and the Sto. Niño Festival in Malolos, Bulacan (last Sunday of January).
The Tondo Fiesta that coincides with the Feast of the Santo Niño (3rd Sunday) is by far the biggest fiesta in Manila, not only because Tondo is the most populous district of the city but also because many tourists are attracted by the myriad of stories about Tondo’s miraculous image of the Child Jesus. The nationwide celebrations usually feature nine-day novena/masses in honor of the Holy Child; grand processions of folk, antique, and new images of the Holy Child in various manifestations – as a shepherd boy, as the keeper of the world, or as a sleeping child, among others; tribal-modern dance competitions where participants in colorful costumes perform street dancing to the beat of drums and lyre; beauty pageants; photo exhibits; a showcase of local plants, products, and crafts; and fireworks.
In Kalibo, Aklan, a re-enactment of the barter trade from which the Ati-Atihan is believed to have originated is performed.
Picture source: etravel Philipinas
BAILES DE LUCES
January 5, La Castellana, Negros Occidental
Bailes de Luces is a street dancing competition held every 5th of January to celebrate the charter anniversary of the town. The participants are clad in colorful costumes using light emitting materials as props and moving to the fast Latin beat . This is followed by fireworks display and night-long merrymaking and dancing. La Castellana is a rural town situated at the base of Kanlaon Volcano. It is named after the famous “Paseo de La Castellana” in Madrid Spain. It is famous for its natural springs, water falls and scenic spots. It is an agricultural town engaged in sugarcane,rice and banana farming. It is home of many festivals namely Bailes de Luces, Banana Festival and Senior San Vicente Ferrer Feast Day where devotees far and near attend to for healing. Picture from: Byahilo dot com
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila Bulaklak literally means flower in Tagalog. Annual procession, parade of flowers and costumes.
FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
January 09 / Quiapo, Manila
The feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 is considered one of the most spectacular religious events that take place in the Philippine history. Every year thousands of devotees from all walks of life come to the district of Quiapo to take part in the procession as a way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their “panata” (vow) to Lord. The Black Nazarene is the patron saint of Quiapo, a small but well-known part of Manila, a hub of trade and commerce because of the Quiapo market and the many stores located there. The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows a “black” Jesus Christ carrying a cross. The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787. The image of the Black Nazarene is brought out in procession on its feast day and Good Friday. Note: every year several people are getting wounded or even die in this massive procession which takes a whole day. Personally I would advise all foreigners to stay out of the Quiapo area this day. Picture: thanks to patas . co
LINGAYEN GULF LANDING ANNIVERSARY
January 09 / Lingayen, Pangasinan Commemoration of the liberation of Lingayen from the Japanese forces by Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur of the US Pacific Command
January / Romblon One of the Philippines’ colorful festivals is the Biniray Festival which is annually held in the town of Romblon, Romblon. The town’s fiesta is observed in conjunction with the festival’s celebration which consists of several days. The festival is held in honor of Señor Santo Niño. Biniray Festival is one unique festival with an atmosphere filled with music, dancing and festive activities which feature the rich culture of the Filipino people and that of the Romblon citizens’ strong Christian faith. One of the highlights of the festival is the flotilla of vessels which commemorate the Spanish galleons’ attempts to take away the Santo Niño, the patron saint of the town, during the Spanish occupation. Waves and strong winds prevented the invaders from accomplishing their purpose. Believers said that this happened according to God’s will. The fluvial procession circles Romblon Bay seven times in a reenactment of the Spaniards attempts. The image of Santo Niño is then carried around town in a carriage filled with beautiful flowers and is accompanied by the people in different costumes with paints on their faces and bodies.
January, several days around 15th / San Pablo City, Laguna
A grand mardi-gras celebration which pays homage to Laguna Province’s most ubiquitous crop. There are street parades, cooking festival, miss elections, music and trade fair. Coconut is one of the main products of the city. To make the most of the “Tree of Life”, and to show the world the talents and ingenuity of the local townsfolk, the Coconut Festival came into existence. The coco fest is held during the celebration of the city’s patron saint, St. Paul the First Hermit, which falls every 15th of January. The picture I found on: my lovely life
3rd Sunday of January / Cebu City
Revelers garbed in distinctively colorful costumes with bare bodies painted in black soot take to the streets to the riotous and frenzied beats of drums celebrating the feast of El Señor Sto. Niño. Website: Sinulog Festival The Sinulog celebration lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog Grand Parade. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession is held at dawn with a statue of the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City, decked with hundreds of flowers and candles. Picture from: filipino journal
PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN MILITARY RETIREES ASSOCIATION REUNION (PAMRA)
January / Manila and other cities Grand reunion and military ball of Fil-American military retirees based in the United States. Website: Pamra website
3rd or 4th Sunday of January / Glorietta 4 Park, Makati City, Metro Manila
“Caracol” is Spanish for “snail” and Makati City invites revelers and party goers to come out of their shells for the city’s annual festival, a colorful and exciting parade complete with parties and merrymaking. Hundreds of students from different public and private schools of Makati partake in Caracol Festival held along Makati Avenue during the third week of January. The Caracol Festival is making its way to popularity in its primary aim of protecting and preserving the environment. Although quite small in assembly, Caracol Festival still shimmers through the commitment and enthusiasm of the people behind the celebration. Since the festival is yet to earn its name and not much participants populate the streets of Makati and only a few people gets to witness the participant’s routine, it is ideal for photographers since plenty of room is provided.
4th weekend of January / Iloilo City
Spectacle characterized by frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing and chanting all day and night. Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is a thanksgiving for and a celebration in honor of Sr. Santo Nino. But it prides itself as a festival of excellent folk choreography, a showcase of Ilonggo heritage and culture. It is as grand as Iloilo’s old churches and mansions. Highlights of the Festival The religious highlight is the fluvial procession along Iloilo River. The cultural highlights are the Kasadyahan and the Ati-atihan parades and competitions. The fluvial procession is on a Friday of the Dinagyang week. Devotees carrying assorted images of the Child Jesus ride in motorized bancas from the mouth of the river towards the pier area where the foot parade would start and then back to the church. Held on a Saturday, Kasadyahan is a cultural parade. The presentation is theatrical and in local color. The Ati-atihan contest on a Sunday, is a big event. Participated in by at least twenty groups or tribe, the warriors wipe brown body paint all over their body and dance to the drumbeats. I found this picture on: Farmville FCU
FIESTA TSINOY / CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
Various date every year / Chinese Garden, Rizal Park, Manila A grand celebration to welcome the new Chinese Lunar Year that will feature a Chinese Lauriat with complete show of Chinese performers to be capped by fireworks/pyrotechnic display.
Other months full with fiestas?
• March • April •
• Holy Week •
• May • June • July •
• August • September •
• October • November •
• December •