The Philippines is known for its numerous festivals and apparently, some towns even ‘created’ a Festival just to somehow draw in tourists to their place. Most of these popular festivities, which are usually posh, glamorous and heavily choreographed are in honor of the Sto Nino. But up in the highlands, there is another festival that is somehow underrated, yet after seeing it I think should also be one of the top festivals along the likes of Sinulog, Dinagyang or the Maskara Festival. The Imbayah Festival in Banaue, which happens every 3 years is a grand festivity highlighting the rich and colorful culture of the Ifugao and it’s 10th year was recently held last April 26-29, 2011.
Along with the puto bumbong, bibingka, and the traditional Simbang Gabi, the Parol (Christmas Lantern) is one of the Filipino symbols of Christmas. I remember having seen parols in Cambodia which they also display during their new year but I think the Christmas Lanterns are more associated with Filipinos. The tradition of Parol making has evolved through the years from simple bamboo and paper to a more complicated use of materials and circuitry. And every year, we see the height of Christmas Lantern reach gigantic levels in the province of Pampanga as they celebrate the Annual Ligligan Parol or Giant Lantern Festival.
The day before was packed with a visit to Petronas Skybridge, Aquaria, Istana Negara, Tugu Negara, and Sunway lagoon. It’s a good thing that this day we were allowed an option to sleep over a little and regain some needed zest for this day. While it’s pretty packed as well considering the main event this afternoon it’s a lot relaxed. Our day started with the chocolate factory at Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom, Malaysia’s best chocolate brand.
The Aliwan Festival is an annual event held in Manila, Philippines. It’s where the best of the best festival winners from around the Philippines gather together to showcase what the Philippine Festival is known for – cheerful revelers wearing vibrant costumes with awesome performances. This year, I wanted to see this event since for the past years since it started, I’m away from Manila.
Last October 25, I was assigned to cover the 10th Iraya Kaaldawan Festival in Puerto Galera, Mindoro. The festival is held every year to give honor to the island’s indeginuos people – the Mangyans. I’m sharing here b-side images that didn’t make it to the publication which will come out (hopefully) sometime soon this month and is ok to share.
Eagles in flight
I think the Philippines is the Festival Capital of the world on the first quarter of the calendar year. There’s the Sinulog, Ati-atihan, and Dinagyang to name a few which happens at the same time if not one after another. But to those in the metro who’s not able to fly to those places where these festivals are held, there’s one closer to home. Makati’s Caracol Festival, now on its second year was held on the 20th of January, third week of the month at the same time with Kalibo’s Ati-atihan. It might not be as wild and crazy as the latter, but it does add a color of revelry to the streets of Makati.
Soot up for Sr Sto Niño Festival in Boracay
When I heard the night before that there’s gonna be an Ati-atihan Festival on our last day of stay on the island, I got excited and really hoped that the weather would clear up tomorrow. I never really got to shoot that much festivals so I was looking forward to this. And it’s not often I get to witness a festival by the beach. That morning, as if the Gods and the Saints were listening to the people, we finally got clear blue skies and sunny weather. Amen to that!