Mark Your Calendars: Schedule of Philippine Festivals in 2023

Aside from its pristine beaches and gorgeous natural wonders, the Philippines boasts lively and colorful festivals throughout the year. These festivals also celebrate historical events, commemorate national heroes, and preserve our traditions and customs. In addition, these fiestas attract local and foreign travelers who want to be part of this event. As we ease into the new normal, we can look forward to being part of these events in person. 

Because of their cultural and historical significance, most of these festivals are declared national holidays. That said, mark your calendars so you can prepare your leaves ready for these upcoming festivals that await you in 2023.

(Take note that dates below may be subject to change without notice.)

Date Philippine Festival Location
January 15, 2023 Ati-Atihan Festival Aklan, Panay Island
January 15, 2023 Sinulog Festival Cebu City
January 22, 2023 Dinagyang Festival Iloilo City
Starting on February 1, 2023 Panagbenga Festival Baguio City
February 12-18, 2023 (tentative) Hamaka Festival Taytay, Rizal
February 19, 2023 Paraw Regatta Festival Iloilo City
March 22, 2023 Alimango Festival Lala, Lanao del Norte
April 2-8, 2023 Moriones Festival Marinduque
May 1-30, 2023 Flores De Mayo Various locations
May 15, 2023 Pahiyas Festival Lucban, Quezon
May 17-19, 2023 Obando Festival Obando, Bulacan
June 24, 2023 Hibok-Hibok Festival Camiguin Island
June 24-25, 2023 (tentative) Pinyasan Festival Daet, Camarines Norte
June 29, 2023 Lami-Lamihan Festival Lamitan, Basilan
July 1, 2023 Sandugo Festival Tagbilaran, Bohol
July 2, 2023 Pagoda Festival Bocaue, Bulacan
August 14-20, 2023 (tentative) Kadayawan Festival Davao City, Philippines
August 19, 2023 Gigantes Festival Lucban, Quezon
September 1-30, 2023 Bicol Food Festival Naga, Camarines Sur
September 7-9, 2023 (tentative) Busig-On Festival Labo, Camarines Norte
September 17, 2023 Peñafrancia Festival Naga, Camarines Sur
October 1-30, 2023 MassKara Festival Bacolod City
October 15-16, 2023 (tentative) Kamgbegu Festival Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur
November 1-7, 2023 Pintaflores Festival San Carlos, Nagros Occidental
December 2, 2023 Kahumayan Festival Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte
December 16, 2023 – January 1, 2024 (tentative) Giant Lantern Festival San Fernando City, Pampanga

January

Ati-Atihan Festival (January 15, 2023)

The Ati-Atihan is an annual celebration in Aklan held in honor of the Santo Niño or Infant Jesus, the town’s patron. Ati-Atihan translates as “acting like Atis” or “pretending to be like the aboriginal natives who once inhabited Aklan.” This entails smearing soot on one’s skin to darken it and dressing up in tribal finery. Drums and whistles signal the start of the procession, punctuated by shouts of “Hala Bira!” to energize the crowd.

Sinulog Festival (January 15, 2023)

Sinulog is a cultural festival celebrated annually in Cebu every third week of January, the same as the Ati-Atihan Festival. Moreover, it is known as the “First Queen of Festivals” and is the epicenter of the Philippines’ Santo Niño Catholic Festivals. Sinulog is a graceful dance depicting Filipino people’s pagan past and acceptance of Christianity. This is also one of the popular Philippine festivals and attracts numerous locals and tourists.

Dinagyang Festival (January 22, 2023)

Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon word for “Merrymaking.” It is an annual religious and cultural festival in Iloilo every fourth Sunday of January. Similarly to Ati-Atihan and Sinulog, it celebrates to honor of the Infant Jesus. It also has colorful street dances, parades, and loud festive music, with various food stalls offering traditional foods from the province. With its jovial atmosphere and fun events, the Dinagyang Festival is hailed as the “Queen of All Philippine Festivals.”

February

Panagbenga Festival (starting on February 1, 2023)

Not only is Baguio famous for being a family-friendly location, but it also hosts one of the most colorful festivals in the country. The Panagbenga Festival celebrates the history, tradition, culture, and values of Baguio and the Cordilleras. It also highlights the Filipino trait of resilience and its ability to rise from adversity. At the festival, find large floats decorated with fragrant flowers and street dancers parading around the city. 

Hamaka Festival (February 12-18, 2023 tentative)

The Hamaka Festival is a week-long annual festival celebration in Taytay, Rizal, showcasing an appreciation for the craftsmanship and artistry of the locals. Furthermore, it honors the three significant industries in Taytay, such as Hamba (woodwork), Makina (sewing machines), and Kasuotan (garments). The festival has various activities or events, such as concerts, parades, dance competitions, beauty pageants, and more. 

Paraw Regatta Festival (February 19, 2023)

Held every third Sunday of February, Iloilo’s Paraw Regatta Festival is one of the must-attend festivals in the Philippines. The festival is the oldest traditional craft event in Asia and the largest sailing event nationwide. The main highlight of the festival is the sailboat race featuring the paraw, a Visayan double-outrigger sailboat. The race travels 30 kilometers from Panay’s coasts to Villa Beach.

March

Alimango Festival (March 22, 2023)

The Alimango Festival highlights the abundance of crabs in the Municipality of Lala, Lanao del Norte. There will be many activities during the festival, including a crab-themed street dancing parade, crab races, a crab contest, and an agri-trade fair.

April

Moriones Festival (April 2-8, 2023)

The Moriones Festival is an annual celebration in Marinduque held every Holy Week, beginning on Holy Monday and ending on Easter Sunday. Locals play the role of the Moriones and wear costumes and masks similar to biblical Imperial Roman soldiers. The parade retells the story of the Roman soldiers searching for Saint Longinus.

May

Pahiyas Festival (May 15, 2023)

Pahiyas means “to decorate,” which is why the Pahiyas Festival is the most colorful harvest festival in Lucban, Quezon. Held every 15th of May, it is one of the most crowd-drawing festivals in the Philippines. The annual celebration honors San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of laborers, peasants, and farmers. At the Pahiyas Festival, houses have colorful decorations made of fruits, grains, vegetables, and colorful kiping, a leaf-shaped wafer made of glutinous rice.

Obando Festival (May 17-19, 2023)

Obando Festival is a popular cultural celebration for women who wish to get pregnant. The festival is held every 17th to 19th of May to honor St. Paschal Baylon, St. Clare of Assi, and Our Lady of Salambaw. The fertility rites initially started out as a dance ritual eventually becoming a Catholic festival. 

Flores de Mayo (May 1-30, 2023)

Flores de Mayo is a month-long cultural festival in the Philippines that celebrates devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The main event is called Santacruzan, which has colorful flowers, parades, and beauty pageants. It is celebrated everywhere in the Philippines, where each barangay has parades, competitions, and feasts. That said, you don’t have to travel far to experience a lively Flores de Mayo celebration.

June

Hibok-Hibok Festival (June 24, 2023)

The annual Hibok-Hibok Festival honors St. John Baptist with a fluvial procession, parade, and water sports. After attending the celebratory mass, people pay their respects to the saint by heading to the beach to swim and bathe. In some instances, people splash each other with water on the streets.

Pinyasan Festival (June 24-25, 2023 tentative)

Pinyasan Festival or the Pineapple Festival is an annual celebration of Daet, Camarines Norte. It highlights the province’s main agricultural product, Formosa, the sweetest pineapple. Ther festival includes a float exhibition, a street dancing performance, an agro-industrial fair, a competition, and many other exciting activities.

Lami-Lamihan Festival (June 29, 2023)

Lami-Lamihan is an annual festival when locals celebrate and honor St. Peter in Lamitan, Basilan, held every June 29. The festival also combines Catholic and Yakan traditions and people dress up in bright costumes and attend street dances and horse races.

July

Sandugo Festival (July 1, 2023)

The Sandugo Festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship signed in 1565 by Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. The festival will also take place in Tagbilaran, Bohol, beginning on July 1. The main event is the reenactment of Datu Sikatuna and Lopez de Legazpi’s “one blood” ritual. Additionally, it has competitions and beauty pageants to entertain the locals and guests. 

Pagoda Festival (July 2, 2023)

Pagoda Festival is an annual celebration commemorating the anniversary of the founding of the miraculous cross floating on the Bocaue River, held every first Sunday of July in Bocaue, Bulacan. One of the festival highlights is the river procession for the Catholic relic, the Holy Cross of Wawa.

August

Kadayawan Festival (August 14-20, 2023 tentative)

Held on the third week of August, Davao’s kadayawan Festival celebrates life and serves as a thanksgiving for nature’s bounty. The name “Kadayawan” is derived from the Dabawenyo word “Madayaw,” which means good, valuable, or beautiful. At the Kadayawan Festival, watch street dancing performances from different communities in Mindanao that highlight their heritage.

Gigantes Festival (August 19, 2023)

The Gigantes Festival in Lucban is one of the country’s most anticipated festivals, held every August 19. The festival is also celebrated with giant papier-mâché puppets parading around the streets of Lucban. 

September

Bicol Food Festival (September 1-30, 2023)

Savor various cuisines from Bicol during the month-long Bicol Food Festival in Naga. Some of the delicacies you can try during the festival include lainginolokan or tilmakpecadillococido, and the famous Bicol Express. 

Busig-on Festival (September 7-9, 2023 tentative)

The Busig-on festival is an annual celebration in Labo, Camarines Norte, based on the traditional epic of the town. At the festival, feel the heroism and other Bicolano values as you watch talent shows and skill competitions. 

Peñafrancia Festival (September 17, 2023)

The Peñafrancia Festival in Naga is one of the biggest Marian gatherings in Asia, celebrated every third Sunday of September. It also honors the patron saint of the Bicol region, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. In addition, festival highlights include the fluvial parade along the Naga River and the transfer of the Virgin’s image from Naga Cathedral’s shrine, followed by a novena.

October

MassKara Festival (October 1-30, 2023)

Not only is Bacolod famous for its beaches and cuisine, but it also hosts one of the best Philippine festivals, the MassKara Festival. The festival was initially held to lift the local’s spirits after experiencing a tragic event. It also celebrates the mask-making industry of Bacolod City. The MassKara Festival events include concerts, fashion shows, fun runs, talent nights, and street dances, the most awaited performance of the MassKara Festival. 

Kamgbegu Festival (October 15-16, 2023 tentative)

Kamgbegu Festival is an annual celebration in Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur. The harvest season brings the Subanen together as one to celebrate the harvest but to share bountiful blessings. They celebrate through singing, dancing, merrymaking, and enjoying homemade delicacies.

November

Pintaflores Festival (November 1-7, 2023)

The Pintaflores Festival combines the beauty of tattoos (pinta) and flowers (flores), creating a memorable festival for everyone to enjoy. This event is held during the first week of November, and features street dancers in bright costumes donning colorful face paint and tattoos on their bodies. 

December

Kahumayan Festival (December 2, 2023)

The Kahumayan Festival pays tribute to the hardworking and industrious rice farmers who contributed to the municipality’s development and prosperity. The locals believe that “rice is life” because it shapes our culture, diet, and economy with the help of our hardworking farmers. Celebrated in the Kapatagan area in Lanao del Norte, you can expect colorful street dances in the area featuring rice crops. 

Giant Lantern Festival (December 16, 2023 tentative)

Ring in the holiday season and attend the Giant Lantern Festival events. This is an annual competition in San Fernando, Pampanga, every mid-December. The festival also showcases the biggest, brightest, and most colorful lanterns in the area, which is why San Fernando is hailed as the Christmas capital of the Philippines.

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