Tourism

Philippine Festivals You Should Not Miss

The Philippines is known as a country that is rich in culture and heritage so it is no longer surprising that various colorful and unique festivals are being held in different parts of the country all year round.

The tradition of fiesta came from the many Spanish religious practices that is why most Filipino festivals are celebrated in honor of it’s patron saints or any major events in the life of Jesus Christ and His Mother Mary.

So when planning your next travel in the Philippines, book a flight or schedule a road trip to your province of choice during its festival so you will be able to be hit two birds in one stone. To give you a taste of the diverse culture ad traditions in the Philippines when celebrating fiestas, I suggest you start first with the following Philippine festivals that should top your list to see and experience.

 

Moriones Festival
Image Source: Liz Reyes

1. Moriones Festival. Moriones Festival is being celebrated in the “Lent Capital of the Philippines“, Marinduque, every lent season. This whole week celebration starts on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday.

Morions are men or women in costumes and masks replicating the biblical Roman soldiers during Christ’s time. They can be seen roaming around the streets of Marinduque for a week like normal people. Dressed in colorful tunics, scary faced masks and helmets, the mere sight of a morion is already enough to send kids scrambling back to their homes.

But don’t be deceived, morions may look snotty in the outside but they are not. In fact, these centurions are very much willing to join you for a picture taking. They also love engaging in antics or surprises to draw attention of tourists. So don’t be scared or surprised if you are walking in the town proper and see a morion coming near and trying to scare you.

Aside from them being a pleasant sight to see in the streets of Marinduque’s town capital Boac, the morions, as part of the Moriones Festival, also plays a crucial part in the Senakulo during Holy Week.

The Senakulo, a lenten play that depicts the life, suffering, and death of Christ, starts staging on the evening of Holy Wednesday and ends late evening of Black Saturday. Aside from Jesus Christ, one of the main characters in the senakulo is the Roman soldier Longinus, who also happens to be a centurion. When in Marinduque during Holy Week, be sure to specifically, look for Longinus. He’s easy to spot–he’s blind on one eye and is the most famous morion off all.

Aside from the afternoon lent processions, senakulo, Battle of the Morions and “pugutan” (reenactment of the beheading of Longinus), the main highlight of the Moriones Festival is actually the Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross which starts as early as 8:00AM of Good Friday. You have the option to go along with Christ, the other penitents, and morions or simply watch–though it is highly suggested that you go with the Way of the Cross since it is actually a one of a kind experience seeing every step of Christ’s suffering. Better be ready to endure the heat of the sun though and just consider it as another form of penitence. The Via Crucis ends with a “crucifixion” before lunch.

 

sinulogfestival
Image Source: Sinulog Website

2. Sinulog Festival. The Sinulog Festival is probably one of the grandest, popular and colorful festival in the Philippines. Sinulog’s main festival is held every year on the third Sunday of January in the province of Cebu to honor the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu.

Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb “sulog” which is “like water current movement,” as this is the best term to describe the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance.

The nine day celebration of Sinulog features participants in bright-colored and garbed costumes while dancing to the rhythm of drums and native gongs. Aside from the famous street dance, fluvial parades and SME trade fair which features Cebu export quality products are also some of the activities to watch out for.

Every year, Cebu is flocked with thousands of tourists from around the world just to witness this one of a kind celebration. In fact, getting a hotel to stay in Cebu City is actually a feat since most accommodations are fully booked already. Thus, if you are planning to street dance with the Cebuanos during the Sinulog Festival, be sure to book your flight and hotel a year before.

For more information on Sinulog Festival, please visit www.sinulog.ph

 

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5 ways to enjoy cool Manila “staycations”

With several more long weekends coming up in 2012, you might be asking yourself, “What else is there to do if I want to have a different kind of weekend but don’t want to travel and deal with airport lines, traffic jams, and all the hassle of moving in and out of the metro?” The answer is simple and could be just as enjoyable: have a staycation! Read more

A look back on “Untouched, Unspoiled Batanes”

This post by Filomeno St. Ana III on Vicky Abad Kerblat’s book, Jawid sawen nu Vatan!, brings me back to one of my best Philippine holidays ever, in the practically untouched yet progressive province called Batanes. Allow me to share with you this retro post, published exactly a year ago, about the group of islands that I believe every Filipino should visit at least once in their lifetime. Read more

10 Reasons to Go (or Go Back) to Bohol (Part 1 of 2)

I had been to Bohol twice—both times within the context of work, and each time bound to an itinerary that just offered bite-sized portions of Bohol’s many charms without actually letting us savor the full portions of its delectable fare. But I am a creative soul in frequent need of inspiration, and I find that, of the places in the Philippines that I’ve been to so far, Bohol is one of those locations where I’d like to be a frequent flyer.

Here’s a rundown of the things I’ve enjoyed, the things I’d like to go back for, and the things I’d like to try (in no particular order): Read more

Kenneth Cobonpue reimagines NAIA terminal 1

On Kenneth Cobonpue’s Facebook page, he published a video on how NAIA terminal one could be made over. The proposal is pro bono from Budji Layug, Royal Pineda and Kenneth Cobonpue in cooperation with the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines.

Cobonpue writes, “Its time someone did something about the worst airport in the world. So we made this design because we believe that no matter how beautiful our country is, our airports give the first and last impressions. This plan is relatively inexpensive and simple to adapt. The plan also involves renovating the interiors to allow faster flow of travelers between security, immigration and departure”. The first step has been done. Lets hope our government moves on this proposal quickly.”

Let’s label the entire Philippines!

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PPUR text promo to give away more than P30million in cash prizes

Puerto Princesa Underground River

To quote what the Departmet of Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez Jr. said, “Believe in the beauty of (the Philippines). Sell it at every turn. Sell it on Facebook. Sell it on Twitter. Sell it on Multiply. Talk about (the Philippines). We deserve a visit from the world.”

And putting our very own Puerto Princesa Underground River to the New Seven Wonders of Nature global competition is actually a big leap in our tourism sector.

The Philippines has been regarded as the texting capital of the world so there is no reason why we can’t bag the most coveted title for our very own country, right?

As of this writing, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is in the tenth spot so a little more texting and convincing of friends would definitely do wonders. And guess what, voting for the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park  via text can also give you a chance to win a million bucks.  Text PPUR to 2861 for more info. P2.50/text

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One lucky texter stands to win the biggest prize money in text messaging with the launching of the “Pera sa Kweba” text raffle promo for the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) in Palawan.

The promo, which runs for 90 days from September 30 to December 28 of this year, will give away more than P30million worth of cash prizes, with the grand prize set at P25million and five consolation prizes of one million pesos each to be drawn on December 30, 2011.

Texters can also win P10,000 in daily draws, P100,000 in bi-weekly draws, and P250,000 in monthly draws throughout the promo period. All winning numbers will be drawn electronically.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that the promo is an initiative of the private sector to promote Puerto Princesa City as an important ecotourism destination, particularly the PPUR which is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

He added that the promo would educate the public more on the PPUR and “show everyone why it is a deserving finalist in the New Seven Wonders of Nature global competition.”

The text raffle promo is open to all postpaid and prepaid subscribers of Globe, TM, Sun, Smart or Talk N’ Text at P2.50 per SMS. There is no need for registration.

Raffle entries are automatically earned each time a subscriber votes for the PPUR as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature by texting PPUR, or when downloading trivia by texting PPUR ON also to 2861. Winners will be notified via text, call or registered mail.

Each trivia downloaded or text sent will earn two raffle entries from October 1, 2010 to November 10, 2011, and one raffle entry for the period November 11-December 28, 2011.

The “Pera sa Kweba” promo is retroactive for all those who were able to register in the SMS voting for the PPUR since last year.

“Among others, this text promo will generate excitement and pride among Filipinos here and abroad in recognizing the PPUR as a true wonder of nature as proven by La Venta,” said Paje, referring to Italian geographical association La Venta Esplorazioni Gegrafiche, whose members had earlier unearthed mineral and fossil findings in the PPUR cave.

 

 

Photo Source:  Puerto Princesa Underground River website