By Kimberly Marie Gayeta
Almost everyone looks forward to a major event being celebrated and for most Filipinos, it is a known fact that they all love fiestas and grand parties, the catering in Manila is more than proof of that! It’s one way to show appreciation on our own local culture and ethnic background as well as immersing ourselves with the oldest of old traditions set by our ancestors.
The fact that there are a lot of fiestas being celebrated at least a month all year round; one shouldn’t miss the chance of experiencing these festivals with your kids.
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Taking your family to any of these festivals where you can surely make unforgettable memories with your children, but remember to keep these things in mind:
When you travel, keep your kids close to you at all times: it can really get crowded during these festivals.
Familiarize yourselves (all family members) to the location you will be visiting.
Before you set out to the festivals, have them bring some water and some snacks in their backpacks so they can stay hydrated and munch on something when they get hungry.
To avoid getting separated at these events, have your kids wear bright-colored clothes and give them a cellphone so that you do get separated it would be easier to contact them.
Advice them to go to the nearest secure area with landmarks (or the place that is familiar to both of you, review the locations with the whole family beforehand) somewhere safe like a church or a store with doors so you both can easily hear each other amidst the noise with people present.
So without further ado, here is your travel guide to Philippines’ most awesome festivals!
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The Sinulog Festival is always held on the month of January during the 3rd Sunday of the said month in Cebu City. This festival is celebrated with a dance ritual dedicated to the miraculous image of the Santo Niño., the feast for the Child Jesus. The Sinulog Festival is considered to be the biggest festival and the most attended in the Philippines. Which is not surprising to say the least, and you can literally that it is a great way to start the year!
In Kalibo, Aklaan, you will be sure to visit when the Ati-Atihan Festival is near. It is also celebrated during the Feast Day of Santo Niño, the same with Sinulog it is held at the 3rd Sunday of January. This festival is considered as the mother of all the Santo Nino Festivals including the Sinulog of Cebu. Ati-Atihan Festival is a very participative festival where you can choose to dance with the performers.
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The Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City is held during the 4th weekend of January which is a cultural festival also paying tribute in the honor of the Santo Niño as well as the arrival of Malay settlers on Panay. You’ll be sure to watch the street dancing all day during the Saturday because they are deemed to be the best of the street dance festivals.
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In Baler, Aurora, not only do you get to experience the beach and surfing the best waves, you also get the chance to taste all the amazing suman (also called sticky rice cake)! It is a festival which symbolizes prosperity where locals offer numerous bundles of suman wrapped in banana leaves and then tied in a bamboo stick to be thrown as San Isidro passes by.
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The Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon is always held on the 15th of May and is a form of fiesta that is known to be as a harvest thanksgiving festival for the Patron Saint of Farmers – San Isidro Labrador. It is mostly a festival celebrated for expressing gratitude for an abundant and good year of harvest.
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Be sure to attend the Lechon festival in Balayan, Batangas because let’s be real who doesn’t love lechon, right? The celebration is always held on June 24 during the feast day of Saint john the Baptist. Considering that lechon (roasted pig) is one of Batangas’ delicacy, this is the main dish that is best to start a parade with.
These are just some of the best festivals that are well-known in the Philippines so be sure to be on the lookout for them when you are planning to go on a vacation with your family and kids. Plan ahead and mark those calendars and get those travel bags ready!
Thoroughly fascinated about travelling, leisure, and living the good life!