A Philippine Holiday is not complete without taking part in the radiant festivals, or carnivals, that rampage across the country all through the year. Cheerful town carnivals are mostly remnants of the Spanish period, blending in components of Catholism with celebrations, banquets and native drama. Festivals are normally observed on the feast days of the sponsored saints, as fixed by the Catholic timetable.
This extravagant fiesta is the countries largest and leading Mardi gras; it goes back to the days of Borneo colonists. Represented by its advocates as a blend of ‘Catholic rite, community pursuit, native drama and tourist appeal,’ it’s a one week long party storming from dawn to dusk, culminating on the third Sunday of January.
Marinduque’s Moriones Festival originated in 1807 when Padre Dionsio Santiago, a Mogpog church pastor, arranged a play established on the tale of Longinus, or Longino, one of the Roman captains appointed to kill Christ. All through the carnival week Moriones takes to the roads and runs rampage, taking part in sword fights, dances and also sly jokes on onlookers, with Longinus concealed behind viewers prior to encountering a fake beheading and his ‘lifeless’ form being marched around town.
If you tour ‘the Wild East’, visit during the second week of April, when Masbate presents a four day rodeo spectacle and cowboys and cowgirls from around the isle engage in bull-riding competitions, barrel racing (horse and rider slalom) and steer-dogging (jumping from the back of a horse and fighting steers to the ground by their horns).
The prime festival of Cebu sees merrymakers involved in a distinctive Sinulog dance, an eccentric two-steps to the front, one step to the back shuffle which means to copy the pattern of the river.
The country’s most strange and arguable festival is the recreation of the crucifixion that happens in various towns, most popularly in San Fernando (Pampanga), north of Manila, where followers are literally put on the cross. A more serious event is Ang Pagtaltal Sa Guimaras in Jordan on Guimaras; this normally highlights a Christ roped other than nailed to his cross, and he’s frequently aided by onlookers with a couple of drinks.
Black Nazarene Procession.
The Black Nazarene, a life-like and extremely respected sculpture of Christ in Quiapo Church, is marched all through the roads in huge parades on 9th January and again within the week prior to Easter (Holy Week). Thousands of frantic followers swarm the roads bearing the image, trusted to be magical, on their shoulders.
In Bacolod on Negros, this jolly ‘many faces fiesta’ presents mask-wearing partakers (mascara is Spanish for mask) and dancing in the roads.
Lenten Festival of Herbal Preparation.
In barangay San Antonio on the ‘eerie’ isle of Siquijor, customary physicians parade their material to large groups. Plenty of healers and medicine men congregate around a large vessel, reciting and arranging a medicinal mixture that citizens say works.
Pahiyas sa Lucban.
One of the most popular festivals in the country happens in the town of Lucban in Quezon district, where homes are decorated with kiping, a leaf formed rice wafers, ornaments, which are later on eaten.
This ‘coloured carnival’ in Tacloban on Leyte commemorates pre-Spanish customary tattooing applications, although utilising water-constructed paints for the carnivals body decorations.
Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival.
Way more than a basic harvest festival, this fiesta is held during the third week of August displaying ethnic lifestyles, farming and skills with road fairs, shows and extravagant exhibits of flowers and fruits.