Colorful Photography: Top 4 Fiestas You Shouldn’t Miss

By Ana Margarita Olar, |

The word fiesta is the Spanish term for Festival or party and is one of the well-practiced traditions in the Philippines. These festivals are celebrated every year to mirror custom, reminisce past triumphs and acknowledge religion. In most part of the country, fiestas are marked with colourful designs, foods, street dancing, parades, processions, and breathtaking fireworks.

Here are the top 4 Festivals that you should not miss:

sinulog festival

1. Sinulog Festival – Cebu City

Start your year by visiting Cebu City. Your camera will surely enjoy this colorful event which is held every third Sunday of January. “Sinulog” is a Cebuano term which simply means “graceful dance.”
The image of the “Child Jesus” is a gift from the Spaniards to the wife of Cebu’s Chieftain which symbolized how the Filipinos embraced Christianity. Local and foreign tourists visit Cebu to join the fun street dance in honor of the Senior Sto. Nino.


2. Panagbenga Festival- Baguio City

Panagbenga or flower festival is a month-long celebration in Baguio City. The local government of the City started the festival to help the people to forget the earthquake that devastated the city in year 1990.
Because of its cold weather, Baguio, also dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The City is one of the largest producer and suppliers of flowers for decoration and other purposes.
Hence, the term “Panagbenga” means “a season of blooming.” You will surely enjoy capturing large floral floats with native street dances. The dancers also wear flower-inspired costumes. Aside from the street dance, you will also have fun watching beauty pageants and band exhibitions.

pinatdos kasadyaan

3. Pintados Kasadyaan Festival-Leyte

The Pintados Kasadyaan Festival is held every June to pay homage to Señor Santo Niño de Tacloban. It portrays how their ancestors came to accept Christianity.

The Pintados Festival was held in memory of the first inhabitants of Visayas. These people are called “pintados”. The first Visayan men had tattooed body from the neck up to the ankles. The braver men have tattoos even up to their face, cheeks and forehead.

Kasadyaan in the Visayan dialect means merriment. It brings together the colorful celebrations of Samar, Biliran, and other provinces.

In 1996, the Leyte government fused the Pintados and Kasadyaan festivals to make it a single grand celebration.


4. Ati-Atihan Festival- Kalibo, Aklan

Ati-atihan means “to be like Itas” who were the first inhabitants of Panay Islands where Aklan is situated. The festival is celebrated with tribal street dance. The dancers wear indigenous costumes and weapons in street parades. The celebration inspired many other festivals like Sinulog and Dinagyang. Hence; it is called the mother of all festival.