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Friday, May 5, 2017


Fiesta or Festivals in the Philippines are already part of the culture and traditions of the Filipinos rooted from the Spanish colonization. The feast normally signifies the commemoration or to honor patron saints of specific place or province. 

May is at hand and people are getting ready with the "Flores de Mayo" (flower of May) perhaps one of the most awaited feast around the country especially to young lad and lass. This festival is happening nationwide with the following schedule May 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 which showcases a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through a prayer of the Rosary, offer flowers to Mother Mary, and share homemade delicacies and sumptuous culinary. Aside from featuring the colorful and bloomed flowers of May, the event highlight the so-called Santacruzan, a Spanish term for "sacred cross" where selected maidens participate in the colorful pageant parade. 
Parade of the maidens in Santacruzan. Photo courtesy of Jaque Punzalan

Parade of the maidens in Santacruzan. Photo courtesy of Jaque Punzalan

Listed below are all other festivities within May which you may want to visit and experience.

May 1, Pista'y Dayat Festival (Seafood Festival), is the grandest and the mother of all festivity in the province of Pangasinan. It is a thanksgiving feast which celebrates the bountiful harvest of seafood, particularly fishes. The highlight of the event is a traditional mass offering on beautiful beaches and a fluvial grand parade. 

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

May 14 to 16 marked the celebration of Carabao Festival in Angono Rizal, San Isidro Nueva Ecija, and Pulilan Bulacan. This festival is celebrated on the feast day of San Isidro Labrador, the farmer's patron saint. Historically, San Isidro was a farmer laborer who amazed his landlord as he is capable of finishing his task despite coming late for work. The reason why he was always late is that he used to drop by the church to attend a mass and contemplate. The curious landlord investigated and saw that the person plowing the field (while San Isidro is in the church) and sometimes plowing alongside San Isidro was an angel. The feast has been associated and eventually evolved into Carabao Festival since the carabaos are important helpers of the farmer in the farm. The event features hundreds of carabaos on a parade in the streets with floats and trucks decorated with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. A mass is also celebrated with the blessing of carabao for the good health and vitality for the next farming. 

Paper mache of carabao in Carabao Festival in Angono Rizal.
Photo courtesy of

Paper mache of carabao in Carabao Festival in Angono Rizal.
Photo courtesy of

May 15 is the schedule of another one of the most awaited and renown international festivals of the Philippines called Pahiyas or Lucban San Isidro Pahiyas Festival. The feast if celebrated as thanksgiving and also to honor the San Isidro Labrador, the farmer's patron saints. This Pahiyas Festival is originally known as Feast of San Isidro. This is perhaps the most colorful festival of the country, which showcases houses decorated with colorful "kiping," farm ornaments such as rice, fruits, plants, and vegetables as a way of thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. The event is lined up with various activities, trade fairs, civic parades, procession and other activities. Don't forget to try their Pancit Habhab a must eat and signature food of Lucban Quezon. 

One of the maidens in the grand parade of Pahiyas. Photo courtesy of Donna Visperas

House decorated by native ornaments during the Pahiyas Festival. Photo courtesy of Donna Visperas

House decorated by native ornaments during the Pahiyas Festival. Photo courtesy of Donna Visperas

Obando Fertility Rites, is a prominent fiesta which celebrated every May 17 to 19 in Obando Bulacan. This three (3) day festival celebration starts with a mass then followed by the street dance in honor of three (3) saints: if you want a wife, you dance to San Pascual Baylon; if you want a husband appeal to Santa Clara de Assisi; and if your petition is to have a child/children, you dance to the Virgen de Salambao. This ritual dancing has been part of the early tradition and culture of the Filipinos. In fact, the Rite was mentioned in Dr. Rizal's book, Noli Me Tangere in Chapter 6 (title Captain Tiago). The fiesta is not only to those who have petitions but also a thanksgiving of the people (mostly farmer and fishermen) in Obando Bulacan, for the good harvest. 

Tapusan sa Kawit Fiesta is a festival in Kawit Cavite held every May 30 where its name "Tapusan" literally means "end of the month" derived. The event features a procession of brightly decorated floats decked with flowers of May time to honor the Blessed Mother Mary. The participants of the town's parade are beautiful young ladies symbolizes the purity and innocence of the Blessed Mother Mary. 

Antipolo Pilgrimage is a solemn month-long festival to honor and venerate the "Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage" which is enshrined in Antipolo Church in Antipolo City, Rizal. Devotees throng during the month of May from the different parts of the country on the hills of Antipolo to make a pilgrimage devotion. The Pilgrimage season lasted for 63 days, starting May 1 where the image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage carried in a procession going to Pinagmisahan Hill. A story being told that an epidemic in Antipolo was stopped when the blessed image was placed on one of the highest spots of the hill overlooking the town of Antipolo. It was then that the people of Antipolo regarded this event as miraculous.  
Antipolo Pilgrimage Festival. Photo courtesy of
Procession during the Antipolo Pilgrimage. Photo courtesy of


Watch out for the most popular festivals in the Philippines
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