A Hitch-Hikers Guide to Perky Festivals of Manila

by Sara Smith I am a Traveller

Manila is a charismatic city that snuggles the entire world into one tiny place, combining diverse customs, traditions from a vivid and vibrant past. Manila has a culture that has taken the world by storm.

Being a sprawling capital of the Philippines, even its history is quite staggering. Right from the roots of Catholicism and the domination of Spanish, American and British communities to the rambling attractions in the city and several treasures in the city make Manila highly unique, vivid and pulsating inviting several flights to Manila.


Dinagyang Festival

Usually, making the meaning clear as being 'merry making', the Dinagyang Festival is basically a festival that honours Santo Nino and it is one of the best festivals in Philippines. Make sure you do not miss the Ati-Atihan Dance Competition and Group Street dancing.


Feast of the Black Nazarene

Ever wondered what exactly is the Black Nazarene? To numerous Catholics, the Black Nazarene is actually a statue that is believed to be miraculous that was erected by an unknown sculptor in the 1700s.

Legend says that the statue was transported by a ship that caught fire and thus, the statue became black. Presently, the statue sits in Quiapo Church and makes several processions through the lanes of Manila.


International Bamboo Organ Festival

If you haven't seen a Bamboo organ, or wish to see one in the entire wide world, you need to be in the Las Pinas City, not very far from Manila. Enjoy the celebration of music where this bamboo is placed. Every year the organ is accompanied by local choirs, orchestras and more. There are pieces performed as old as the 1500s.


Aliwan Fiesta

The Aliwan Fiesta bears everything from beauty pageant, competitions and dance parades. No doubt, this festival is famed as 'the Mother of all Festivals'. The Aliwan Festival celebrates the Filipino culture and heritage, showcasing variety of arts, culture, music and food from all over Philippines. The word 'Aliwan' usually means 'entertainment' or 'amusement' in the Tagalog language.

During this festival, each district takes part in various competitions and dances. There are also street games, fireworks, photography contests and many other contests to engage the enthusiasts and the talented. Make sure you book your air tickets to Manila much in advance to avoid last minute hassels.


Kalesa Festival

During the Spanish rule in the 18th century, a carriage was used for transportation by the affluent class, which was called kalesa. Until the damage that came upon the city during WWII, the streets of Manila were flooded with kalesa.

Today, these horse-driven carts are rarely seen, except in one corner of the city. Because of its lavish use that made it a city icon, Filipinos still celebrate those memories when the carriage was widely loved and used. Hence, every year the Kalesa Festival is organised with songs, dance and traditional music.

From January right upto December, the spirit of the locals are lifted up through countless celebrations and festivals. If you are planning a trip to Manila, may these festivals help you to plan your itinerary to explore and experience the sound, taste, sights and the feel of the Philippines.


Filipino Heritage Festival

All eyes on the Philippine capital city of Manila every May as the locals celebrate Filipino Heritage. The fest is regarded as one of the most distinguished of all festivals as it gets announced right from the office of the President.

Right from the initial times of the city, there are displays that are extremely mind-boggling. Beginning from the tribal artefacts and tools, visitors get to see everything from the ancient times to the modern times.


The Feast Day of San Juan

Come June, the city gets into an amazing time celebrating the feast day of St. John the Baptist. Even Manila flights from UK get pricey. Book them 3 months prior to your departure. Being highly famous, the city itself gets named after this festival. It may not be celebrated with such posh and pomp as the other festivals, but people love to celebrate it by getting water buckets and garden hoses. The fire department takes part in it very jovially. It's truly a wild and wacky event.

Though it's a major festival, it is not considered as a holiday. The funny and bone-tickling part is, if you happen to drive through San Juan, make sure you keep your windows down, or enjoy the splashes of water.


La Loma Lechon Festival

During the month of May, the people residing between Manila and Quezon City celebrate some unique with their sumptuous hunt by decorating up lechon and parading it down the main city streets. The parade is accompanied with traditional dancing and multi-coloured costumes. It's a sight to behold.


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About Sara Smith Innovator   I am a Traveller

19 connections, 1 recommendations, 72 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 8th, 2017, From london, United Kingdom.

Created on Oct 7th 2017 09:54. Viewed 369 times.


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