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Festivals Travel & Tours

THE LENTEN SEASON

The Philippines is a nation of festivals.

Each month, not too few celebrations are held in various parts of the country.

This March is known as the Lenten Season.

Lent is a penitential period, involving the dual disciplines of abstinence and fasting.

Check out the events, dates, venues, and brief descriptions below.

 

Island Garden City of Samal Festival

(First Week of March, Island Garden City of Samal)

This is a week-long celebration of Samal’s founding anniversary held every first week of March.

For the top hotels and resorts in nearby Davao City, check out the top 10 places to stay when in Davao City.

 

Anibina Bulawanun Festival

(March 1 to 8, Compostela Valley)

This is an eight-day multi-themed annual festival that culminates on the province’s foundation day, March 8. It is a colorful and joyful celebration of the province’s rich agricultural harvests, abundant mineral resources, governance’s feats, trade and tourism fair, and a showcasing of the people’s culture and traditions. The Al-law ng Kalomonan (Tribal Day) falls on the 7th day of Anibina.

For the top hotels and resorts in nearby Davao City, check out the top 10 places to stay when in Davao City.

 

Malasimbo Festival

(March 10 to 12, Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental)

Malasimbo Festival has four pillars: music, arts, indigenous people, and environment. The festival is well known for bringing some of the most versatile musicians. In the event, the Malasimbo grounds is decorated with world-class artwork by various talented Filipino and visual artists, also showcasing indigenous peoples’ work.

 

UNESCO-ITI World Theatre Week

(March 21 to 27)

World Theatre Week is an occasion for theatre artists of varied disciplines in performance and media arts to celebrate the power of Theatre to bring people together and an opportunity to share with audiences the wealth of each country’s heritage, history, habitat, theatrical traditions and expertise modeling cultural caregiving for marginalized sectors and disadvantaged youth exemplified in the Philippine program of the Earthsavers Dreams Ensemble honored as UNESCO Artists for Peace.

 

Holy Week

(March 25 to April 1)

This is a week-long event honoring Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross. The Palm Sunday is held on the fifth Sunday of Lent where churchgoers bring palm leaves to re-enact the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Holy Thursday is held with a Visita Iglesia where Catholics visit at least 7 churches. A “Pasyon” or narration of Christ’s life through singing is held. On Good Friday, believers re-enact the sufferings and death of Christ on the Cross. Easter Sunday is highlighted by “salubong” or dawn processions held in various parts of the country.

 

Moriones Festival

(March 25 to April 1 – Holy Week, Marinduque)

This is a week-long celebration participated in by male penitents in costumes who parade around town. On Good Friday, they re-enact the story of Longinus, a centurion, blind in one eye, who speared Jesus’ side. Christ’s blood fell on his blind eye, miraculously restoring it, leading to his conversion.

 

Centurion Festival

(March 25 to April 1 – Holy Week, General Luna, Quezon)

This is believed to be the origin of Marinduque’s Moriones Festival and is as colorful.

 

Witches Festival

(March 25 to April 1 – Holy Week, Siquijor)

Siquijor is popularly known throughout the country for “witchcraft”. A “Witches Festival” is held at Crocodile Hill overlooking the Bay of Lazi and the Mindanao Sea. When the moon is full, the sorcerers, called magbabarang, gather herbs, roots, and live insects, throw these into a giant cauldron filled with boiling water, then sit in a circle around it while mumbling incantations. This is followed by dancing and ends in an exclusive ritual in a secluded cave at dawn.

 

Ang Pagtaltal

(March 30 – Good Friday, Jordan, Guimaras)

This is a procession of flagellants and devotees in biblical attire that ends in the Balaan Bukid Shrine.

For the best places to stay when in nearby Iloilo City, check out the top 10 hotels in Iloilo City.

 

Pangalap Ritual

(March 30 – Good Friday, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)

This is a ritual where believers crawl through the Catilaran cave chanting prayers in the hope of gaining supernatural powers to ward off evil spirits.

For the best places to stay when in nearby Iloilo City, check out the top 10 hotels in Iloilo City.

 

Come celebrate with us!

For more details, visit the website of the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines.

 

Editor’s Note: Xander Sigua is the President of TEAM Philippines (Tourism Educators And Movers of the Philippines), an organization of individuals and groups committed to promote the tourism industry in the Philippines.

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