CLARIFICATION OF CAB ORDER DATED 2 FEBRUARY 2020 IMPLEMENTING THE TRAVEL BAN DIRECTIVE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SAME DATE

CAB Order dated 2 February 2020, relating to the travel ban as contained in the Presidential directive of 2 February 2020, includes Taiwan.

Airlines are therefore directed to adopt proper measures and put in place appropriate systems to fully implement the temporary travel ban restricting the entry into the Philippines of the following persons coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

This Order applies to the following:

  • Temporary ban on entry into the Philippines of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visas issued by the Philippine Government directly coming from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan;
  • Temporary ban on entry into the Philippines of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visas issued by the Philippine Government, who within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan;
  • Temporary ban on Filipinos from travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Airlines directly operating between these territories and the Philippines, as well as those connecting to the Philippines via these territories are hereby reminded to strictly comply with the requirement to file with the Board any changes, revisions, cancellations of their flight schedule and to regularly update the Board on the status of these flights.

For strict compliance.
Done this 10th of February 2020.

CARMELO L. ARCILLA
Executive Director

15 Must-Try Extreme Adventure Activities in the Philippines

Featured Content by Guide to the Philippines

Adventure-junkies listen up! Check out the must-try extreme adventures in the Philippines. Is the Philippines good for adventure travel? What kind of outdoor activities can be done around the country? Are there any water activities you can try aside from the usual inland activities? Read this article to find out more about it.

For a true adventure junkie, the Philippines is a good destination. From caving to snorkeling and scuba diving, the Philippines has it all. The country’s diverse natural wonders make it a sought-after destination among adrenaline junkies. 

So whether you like outdoor adventures in the air, land, or water, you’ll find that there’s a lot of things to do in the Philippines.

15. Freediving with Sardines in Cebu

One of the most exciting, unique, and spectacular things to do in the Philippines is seeing the sardine run in Moalboal. It doesn’t have the billions of sardines, in southern Africa, the best-known sardine run in the world, but it does happen year-round. Just rent a snorkel set from the many tour operators along Panagsama Beach, jump into the water, and you’ll find them there. 

14. Multi-Day Caving Adventure in Samar

When it comes to multi-day caving tours, nothing beats caving in Samar. Called the Cave Capital of the Philippines, with the largest cave system to be found there (Langun-Gobingob Caves in Calbiga), Samar has hundreds of caves that have been explored, a small portion of the total known caves.

Caving tours in Samar range from 1-day “discovery” tours, to multi-day caving tours where you get to spend a night or two inside the caves.

13. Hiking Mt. Pulag 

The Philippines is not only famous for its beach tours but also for its hiking tours. Mt. Pulag in the Northern Philippines, the third highest peak in the country, is a popular trek for local mountaineers due to its famous sea of clouds.

The Mt. Pulag National Park has one of the richest biodiversity in the country, having vast forests full of pines, moss, and grass. It is a mountain worth climbing, both for its challenging trails and its natural beauty.

Hiking Mt. Pulag can last between 1-4 days, depending on the trail. Beginning climbers take the Ambangeg trail which is possible on a day trip, while the Akiki trail is a challenging, multi-day hike requiring physical fitness and training prior to the climb.

12. Wakeboarding in Camarines Sur

Wakeboarding tours are also popular as it involves riding a wakeboard on the water surface. The wakeboard is normally towed by a motorboat or by closed-course cable systems like in CamSur Wakeboarding Complex, a world-class water sports complex that is the first in the Philippines and in Asia. Aside from wakeboarding, visitors can also try water skiing, kneeboarding, and wake skiing.

11. Surfing in Siargao

Surfing tours are exciting, and the Philippines doesn’t lack for surfing destinations all over the country. There’s San Juan in La Union and Baler in Aurora, best to visit from October to April and from December to February, respectively.

The most popular, however, is Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte because of several surfing spots that can be found on the island. Its Cloud 9 reef break has even been called one of the best waves in the world. The best time to catch swells there would be from July to December.

While Siargao is the surfing capital of the country, it does not only offer good surfing breaks, but also some of the best tourist spots in the Philippines, from lagoons, caves, and the best beaches in the country.

10. Whitewater rafting in Kalinga and Cagayan de Oro

River tours are popular for both local and international travelers as it often includes whitewater rafting, a recreational outdoor activity that uses an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on different degrees of rapids. Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork is often a part of the whitewater rafting experience.

In the Philippines, there are several places where you can go whitewater rafting. Near Manila, you can do it in Magdalena, Laguna, where you will navigate over 20 rapids in a couple of hours. The two most popular whitewater rafting destinations, however, are up north in Kalinga and down south in Cagayan de Oro.

In Kalinga, you’ll have the best time navigating the 175-kilometer-long stretch of the Chico River. You can even bundle it up with other activities in Kalinga, like getting a tattoo in Apo Whang-Od’s village of Buscalan.

Cagayan de Oro, on the other hand, is known as the Adventure Capital of the Philippines and the Cagayan River is best known for whitewater rafting. It offers rapids with varying grades that suit everyone, from beginners to whitewater rafting junkies. There are direct flights to Cagayan de Oro daily, while you can get to Kalinga by flying to Tuguegarao and then taking a 2-hour land trip.

9. Ultralight Flying in Pampanga

Ultralights are small 1- or 2-seat fixed-wing aircraft. For people who love flying and want to experience flying and being in a small aircraft, ultralight or microlight flying is a good recreational activity. You will also experience flying with the wind on your face as the ultralight has an open-air cockpit.

The Philippines is a good place to try the ultralight as the country has a good flying condition, especially during the summer season. It’s not dirt cheap, but there is no cheaper way to fly than with ultralight planes. It’s one of the top outdoor activities in the Philippines.

8. Canyoneering in Cebu ​

Canyoneering tours are popular because it involves hiking, bouldering, climbing, rappelling, jumping, and swimming while exploring canyons. It’s a more fun activity than just ordinary hiking. One of the best places to do so is in  Cebu, where you will start in Alegria and end up in Badian.

canyoneering day tour takes 4-5 hours and the fee covers all the gears (life vest and helmet) and a bottle of water. It will challenge you to conquer your fear of heights, and even non-swimmers can join, too. For those who want adrenaline-pumping activity while exploring canyons and falls, canyoneering in Kawasan Falls is a must.

7. Swimming with Whale Sharks

You can swim with whale sharks in some parts of the Philippines. These whale sharks grow at 32-40 feet on average, but despite their size, they are known to be docile, earning them the “gentle giant” nickname.

There are two locations in the Philippines where you can swim with whale sharks: Donsol and Oslob. Whale shark season in Donsol is from December to May, with the best time from February to April. While whale shark sighting is not assured, since these are wild creatures, you will likely see at least 5 during peak season and as many as over 40. 

There have been controversies with the whale shark tours in Oslob, with the primary argument being the lack of sustainability practices in place. The Oslob local government unit, however, has taken steps to limit the number of tourists to the area to reduce the stress tourism brings to these gentle creatures. 

6. Sandboarding in Ilocos Norte   

Sandboarding is a recreational extreme sport similar to snowboarding but instead of snow, you ride a sandboard down or across the sand dune. It can also be done while standing up or lying on your belly. It is a popular sport in desert or coastal areas with sand dunes.

Sandboarding in the Philippines is quite a new sport and you can only do this at the sand dunes in Ilocos Norte. This sand dune is getting more and more popular not only for sandboarding but also for ATV and 4×4 riding.

5. Paragliding in Sarangani

If you want to experience flying but find skydiving too extreme, paragliding is your next best choice. It uses a lightweight and free-flying glider aircraft and requires a licensed pilot to operate it.

There are few paragliding sites across the Philippines but Sarangani in the Soccsksargen Region in Mindanao offers the best view with its rolling hills and the Sarangani Bay in the background. You can also find paragliding tours in Carmona, Cavite and Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. A paragliding trip takes only around 20 minutes, but it’s more than enough to satiate your thirst form adventure. You can try other Sarangani tours after your paragliding trip.

4. Tandem Skydiving in Cebu

Skydiving is one of the most extreme adventure sports in the world. It was developed for military use but is now one of the most popular recreational activities for adrenaline junkies. It is also one of the most expensive, given the gears and the expertise involved in doing sports.

If you can get over your fear of heights, and want a very unique perspective of seeing the Philippines from above, head to Cebu to go skydiving. While it is indeed pricey to undertake this activity, the view of the numerous beautiful beaches in Cebu surrounding the province is priceless indeed.

3. Canyon Swing in Bohol     

Bungee jumping is not in the Philippines yet. However, a very good alternative to the different outdoor adventures is the canyon swing called The Plunge in Danao Adventure Park in Bohol. Unlike bungee jumping where you jump off a platform, you’ll hang by your feet in Danao and be dropped over 200 meters above the river. You’ll get around 4 seconds of free fall before swinging around 100 meters wide around the canyon.

An alternative to hanging by your feet is being dropped in a sitting down position, where you can see the ground rushing forward to meet you as you drop. Just state your preference!

If you want to tick off “bungee jumping” from your bucket list but find the 200-meter The Plunge too much, head to the Tree Top Adventure in Subic. There is a range of fun activities there, including zipline rides, but one activity similar to The Plunge is the Tree Drop. You climb up to a 60-foot high platform and experience free fall for around a second, which means that before you can scream, the free fall is over.

2. Spelunking in Sagada

Sagada, a small town in the northern part of the Philippines, is best known for its hanging coffins. However, it’s also known for adventure travel in the Philippines due to its beautiful limestone caves.  

The province of Sagada has more than 60 stunning caves with spectacular rock formations, the biggest of which is Sumaguing Cave. It is an expansive cave network known for its gorgeous stalagmites, stalactites, giant rock formations, and steep descents. It is also considered as the deepest cave in the country and has a big role in the culture of the people in Sagada.

A DIY tour of the Sagada caves is not possible; a guide from the Sagada tourism office is required. While you can decide to explore Sumaguing alone, it is best to check for Sagada tours that bundle up Sumaguing with another large cave, Lumiang.

1. Coron Diving Experience  

As one of the biggest archipelagos in the world, it’s not surprising that the Philippines is one of the top diving destinations worldwide. It is part of the Coral Triangle, an area in the western Pacific Ocean that’s incredibly rich in marine life. It comprises six countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands, and of course, the Philippines.

You’ll find in the Coral Triangle hundreds of species of reef-building corals, six out of the world’s seven marine turtle species, and thousands of reef fish species. 

 

  

25 Best Beaches in the Philippines

Featured Content by Guide to the Philippines

Lounge in the best beaches of the Philippines! If you’re looking for the most pristine beaches with unspoiled stretches of white sand, crystal clear waters, and postcard-worthy views, the Philippines has a ton of them! With so many beaches to choose from, where do you start? Find out the top beaches in the Philippines below.

It’s not surprising that choosing the best beach tours in the Philippines is one of the hardest things to do when planning your vacation to this Southeast Asian country.

After all, the Philippines is an archipelago with over 7000 islands and has the 5th largest coastline in the world. This means there are literally hundreds of tropical beaches to choose from!

We’ve come up with this list to help you find the best beaches in the Philippines. In general, the best time to plan your trip to these beaches is during the dry and summer months in the Philippines, from late November to May.

From popular beaches to secluded unspoiled ones, here are 25 of the best beaches in the Philippines that you should add to your travel itinerary.

25. Bakhaw Beach, Camotes Islands, Cebu

One of the most underrated places in Camotes Islands, located in Cebu province, is Bakhaw Beach. Even though it’s a public beach, it rarely gets crowded. This unspoiled beach has a picturesque stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters, making it the perfect place to go swimming and sunbathing.

It’s emerging as a must-visit tourist spot in the province and is also one of the top beaches in Cebu. Don’t forget to take photos of the sunset as it’s a breathtaking sight to see. Since you’ll be riding a boat to get here, avoid planning trips around the rainy/typhoon season usually from June to October. 

24. Antonia Beach, Gigantes Islands, Iloilo​

No wonder why Islas de Gigantes or Gigantes Island tours in Iloilo, Visayas have been gaining popularity — the crystal clear waters and powdery white sand of Antonia Beach is a sight to behold! It’s one of those remote beaches where you can laze around and swim all day without the big crowd. 

Just off the shoreline on the northern part of the beach you’ll find colorful fish, corals, seagrass, and other types of marine life that can be clearly seen even without snorkeling gear, although if you want a closer look you can always rent one out for a small fee. 

It’s usually rainy in Iloilo from June to August so best avoid those months since you need to ride a boat during your island hopping trip to Antonia Beach.

23. Lambug Beach, Badian, Cebu​​

Badian, Cebu got its reputation for being a popular canyoneering experience destination, but did you know there’s a hidden gem within the area called Lambug Beach? This public beach is a great place to spend a lazy day relaxing and enjoying the sun.

It’s a peaceful beach destination perfect for relaxing and just listening to the waves crashing into the shore. This attraction is relatively uncrowded but if you want to stay overnight, there are some rooms or cottages surrounding the beach area that you can stay in.

22. Morong Beach, Batanes​

Aside from its rolling hills, lighthouses, and stone houses, the small archipelagic province of Batanes in the northernmost part of the Philippines is also home to Morong Beach. Also called Nakabuang Beach, its most prominent feature is the massive rocky arch called Nakabuang Arch, making it one of the most photographed spots in Batanes.

The glass-like water in Morong Beach is calmer and friendlier despite the usual rough weather. The best way to enjoy Morong Beach is by joining a Sabtang Island day tour. You can even tour the island in a more rugged experience by joining a tricycle excursion of Sabtang Island.

21. Alegria Beach, Siargao

Siargao is often dubbed as the surfing capital of the Philippines. But did you know there are more things to do in Siargao aside from surfing? Make sure to visit the unspoiled Alegria Beach, a 5-kilometer long white sand beach that’s famous for its breathtaking views. 

There are no commercial hotels and establishments within the area, only a few picnic huts and cottages. It’s ideal for swimming, snorkeling, or simply sunbathing. Make sure to add this destination to the Siargao experiences you’ll be trying out while on the island.

20. Anguib Beach, Santa Ana, Cagayan Valley​

Anguib Beach is one of the best beaches in Santa, Ana Cagayan Valley. Located at the northeastern tip of Luzon and the Philippines, this beach with powdery fine sand and crystal blue waters is one of the main highlights of Cagayan Valley adventures such as the popular island-hopping day trip in Cagayan where you visit other major attractions in nearby Palaui Island such as Cape Engaño Lighthouse.

day trip to Palaui Island is a highly recommended side trip as you get to visit Anguib Beach, a majestic lighthouse, scenic terrains, and other white sandy beaches. Palaui Island attractions are best explored by boats so avoid the months of June to November since the currents can be rough because of the rain or typhoons.

19. Subic Beach, Sorsogon​

Another Philippine beach with pinkish-white sand, Subic Beach in Matnog, Sorsogon of Bicol region is a must-add to your beach itinerary in the country. Its crystal blue waters and the unspoiled white sand beach offers a peaceful getaway for travelers.

The beach is divided into two, Subic Laki (Big Beach) where most accommodations are located, and Subic Liit (Small Beach) which is uninhibited but is perfect for taking a dip or a quiet stroll under the rows of trees.​

It’s a great destination to unwind and relax if you want to escape from the city and follow the sun. You will need to board a boat to go here so it’s best to avoid the rainy/typhoon months of July to December. 

18. Pink Beach, Zamboanga​​

If you’re looking for a unique beach to visit, travel to the Pink Beach in Zamboanga’s Sta. Cruz Island. The beach has a sandy pink color because of the white sand mixed with the pulverized red organ pipe corals. It might not be visible at first, until you take a closer look at the sand, or view it from a drone video or photo.​

Joining a Zamboanga Pink Beach escapade is worth it, not only because it was dubbed as one of the best beaches by National Geographic, you can also visit the mangrove forest on the island where you can ride a colorful vinta and encounter non-stinging jellyfish. You will need to board a boat going here from Zamboanga City so it’s best to avoid the rainy/typhoon months of May to October. 

17. Gumasa Beach, Sarangani​

Situated on the stunning shoreline of Sarangani in Mindanao and is often compared to Boracay’s White Beach, Gumasa Beach deserves its gaining popularity. It’s been called the “Boracay of the South” and “Small Boracay of Mindanao”. It offers 6-kilometers of white sand beach, sparkling aquamarine waters, and a scenic view worthy of a photoshoot.​

What sets this beach apart is it’s less crowded, but offers the same experience like other more popular beaches in the country. You can go swimming, kayaking, jet-skiing, snorkeling, and many more. You can join a Sarangani beach tour that includes Gumasa Beach during your trip to this part of the Philippines.

16. Bitaog Beach, Dinagat Islands​​

Bitaog Beach is one of the best places to visit in Dinagat Islands, a group of islands in the northern tip of Mindanao. It’s a sight to behold with its white sandy shores, crystal clear waters, and rows of coconut trees. With its pristine beauty, it’s no wonder why Bitaog Beach is emerging as a top destination in Mindanao.​

Bitaog Beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. There is also an abundant number of rock formations and calcareous peaks that serve as the backdrop of its white sandy shores and are reminiscent of other paradise-like destinations in Palawan.

You’ll have to ride a boat to get to the beach, so it’s better to refrain from visiting during its rainy months, which is from November to June.

15. Malamawi Beach, Basilan

Malamawi Beach is an unspoiled white sand beach in Isabela City of Basilan, Mindanao. This off-the-beaten-path tourist spot is worth checking out because of its turquoise waters, stunning white sand, and uninhibited beauty.

Go for a walk, swim, snorkel, have a picnic, watch the sunset and more. There are beachfront cottages and small stalls selling food and other kinds of souvenirs. You can even rent kayaks if you want to try that water sport activity while in the area.​

14. Puka Beach, Boracay​

Another gorgeous beach found on the island of Boracay is Puka Beach. It is one of those quieter beach spots in Boracay compared to White Beach, which makes it ideal for those who are looking for a more peaceful tropical getaway.

It got its name from the abundance of crushed “puka” shells mixed with the fine white sand. The beach is roughly 800 meters long and doesn’t have hotels, resorts, and clubs like White Beach. Puka Beach is usually included in a sightseeing trip in Boracay.

13. Bonbon Beach, Romblon

Bonbon Beach is an idyllic beach paradise located in the archipelagic province of Romblon, found in between Luzon and Visayas. It is well-known for its long stretch of white sandbar extending up to 2 kilometers and connects to another island, Bang-og. The sandbar is visible during low tide and you can walk to Bang-og Island too!​

If you want to have a great time at this beach and enjoy its crystal clear waters and stretch of white sand to its full extent, make sure to visit either early in the morning or in the late afternoon. It’s best to avoid going there from June to October because of the rain/typhoon season.

12. Banol Beach, Coron, Palawan

Banol Beach, also called Banul Beach, is a sight to behold with its powdery white sand, aquamarine waters, and a towering wall of karst cliffs. Aside from swimming, you can also ride a kayak or chill by the nipa huts that line the beach.

Joining an island-hopping tour in Coron that includes Banol Beach is a must-try. You can also do an overnight Coron camping excursion that includes this beach.​

​​Don’t forget to bring your camera as it’s one of the most photogenic tourist spots in Coron! You will need to board a boat for the island hopping tour so avoid the rainy/typhoon season, usually in July to September. 

11. Paliton Beach, Siquijor

Paliton Beach is the most popular beach on the western side of Siquijor, a small island province in Central Visayas. Dubbed as the province’s “Mini Boracay”, this beach is famous for its immaculate turquoise waters, white sand, and vast coconut trees. Visiting this beach is worth it, even during peak season.​

Join a Siquijor island adventure to visit Paliton Beach aside from top attractions in the province. The stunning sunset is a must-see in Paliton Beach! The most convenient way to go to Paliton Beach is by riding a scooter or a tricycle. Although the beach rarely gets crowded, it’s best to avoid the wet season, from January to May.

10. Saud Beach, Pagudpud

Pagudpud, a coastal town in Ilocos region and a popular holiday destination in North Luzon, is famous for its windmills and lighthouses. But it’s also a popular destination for travelers because of Saud Beach.

Known for its calm waters and stunning sunset views, this idyllic beach has 2-kilometers of powdery white sand. Take photos as you wade around its waters with the scenic view of Pagudpud as the backdrop!

Make sure to visit this beautiful beach during your sightseeing trip in Pagudpud. Avoid the rainy/typhoon season usually around late May to October since waves are quite rough.

9. Long Beach, San Vicente, Palawan​​

True to its name, Long Beach is the longest beach in the Philippines with 14.7 kilometers of powdery white sand. Located in San Vicente, Palawan, it is composed of four towns namely San Isidro, New Agutaya, Alimanguan, and Poblacion. It’s one of the top tourist spots in San Vicente.​

This beach is ideal for those who seek peace and tranquility as it’s unspoiled and uncrowded. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing in this piece of tropical paradise. If you’re still craving for more adventure in San Vicente, make sure to join Port Barton tours as well which is just a boat ride away.

8. Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental

Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental is not like your typical white sand beach, it’s also a skimboarding and surfing spot. It has a 7-kilometer stretch of white sand perfect for lounging for non-surfers and non-skimboarders. The stretch of white sand beach is also a sanctuary for sea turtles.

This underrated beach in Mati is one of the best in Davao Oriental and worth the 4-hour land trip from Davao City. Make sure to stop by at this piece of paradise aside from top Davao trips and experiences.​

7. Mahabang Buhangin Beach, Calaguas

If you ever wanted to visit an unspoiled beach with gorgeous views and turquoise waters, Mahabang Buhangin Beach in Tinaga Island of Calaguas Group of Islands, Camarines Norte is a must-visit. It’s a famous destination for campers and beach lovers due to its remarkable 2.5 kilometer stretch of white sand.​

You can spend a weekend here or join a Calaguas Island escapade. One of the best ways to enjoy this beach is to rent a cottage or pitch a tent and rediscover the meaning of tropical paradise by wading around its turquoise waters.

Going to Calaguas will require you to board a boat so it’s highly advisable to avoid planning a trip here during the rainy/typhoon season usually from June to October. 

6. Hidden Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Hidden Beach in El Nido, Palawan is best known for its white sand, azure waters, and towering karst formations that conceals its, thus the name. From your boat, you can swim or ride a kayak to get to the beach. It’s one of the major highlights in El Nido island hopping tour C package.

Although it’s far from the other popular islands and beaches, most travelers prefer to unwind at Hidden Beach since it’s not crowded. This means you have more opportunities to take great photos (or selfies!) with the scenic view as the backdrop.

Hidden Beach is one of the best attractions in the list of El Nido island-hopping experiences that you have to visit during your trip to the Philippines. Since you’ll be boarding a boat for the tour, avoid planning trips here during the rainy/typhoon season in El Nido, Palawan, usually around July to September. 

5. Malcapuya Beach, Coron​​, Palawan

Coron, Palawan is a popular Philippine destination because of its beautiful islands and beaches. One of the must-visit tourist spots in Coron island hopping tours is Malcapuya Beach, that you can go to by joining an excursion at Culion Island. It has 1.5-kilometer stretch of pristine white sand that could rival Boracay’s White Beach. ​

Aside from being a great swimming spot, it’s one of the best places to snorkel and dive. It’s teeming with marine life and colorful corals. Drink straight from a coconut as you stroll around the beach lined with palm trees.

Make sure to take photos as well as it’s one of those picturesque beaches that deserve a spot on your photo album. Island hopping tours will require you to board a boat so avoid going here during the rainy/typhoon season, usually in July to September. 

4. Kota Beach, Bantayan Island​​, Cebu

Kota Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in Bantayan Island, Cebu and features crystal clear waters, powdery white sand, and a sandbar that appears during low tide. Bantayan Island is located on the Northwest Coast of Cebu and boasts fine white sand beaches without the big resorts and commercial establishments like Boracay’s White Beach. ​

Bantayan Island is a perfect destination among travelers who want a laid back atmosphere and are looking for new experiences in Cebu. Avoid the months of June to September, the wettest months in Bantayan Island, since you need to board a ferry to get here from the main island of Cebu. 

3. Alona Beach, Bohol

Along with its world-class diving sites, Panglao Island tours in Bohol are also famous for white-sand beaches. Alona Beach, which is named after a famous actress during the ‘70’s, is a 1.5 kilometer stretch of white sand is one of the most well-known tourist spots in Bohol aside from the Chocolate Hills.

Aside from lounging on the beach, you can try fun Alona Beach activities like the banana boat ride, UFO ride, parasailing activity, and join island-hopping tours to nearby islets and islands. Like Boracay’s White Beach, Alona Beach can get crowded during the summer season since it’s a popular destination. Go here during the lean months of January to March and June to July to avoid the crowd. 

2. Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Nacpan Beach is a 4-kilometer stretch of white sand in El NidoPalawan, about 45 minutes’ drive from the town center. It’s also part of the Twin Beaches along with Calitang Beach, adjacent to Nacpan Beach. Nacpan Beach is considered by many as the real hidden gem of El Nido due to being uncrowded and untouched by mass tourism. 

You can spend a lazy day here just swimming, sunbathing, or hiking to the hill where you can see the view of the Twin Beaches. This is why Nacpan beach tours are massively popular among local and international travelers. You must try a Nacpan Beach inland excursion in El Nido aside from island-hopping experiences. ​

There are also plenty of other beaches in El Nido worth exploring if you have more time. Going here during the rainy season in El Nido, usually June to November, can be tricky because of the muddy roads that you have to pass through to get to Nacpan Beach.

1. White Beach, Boracay

White Beach offers a 4-kilometer long stretch of powdery white sand and is the most popular beach and the main attraction in the famous island of Boracay. White Beach and other beaches in Boracay are not only considered as one of the best in the Philippines but are also hailed as the best in the world by several international travel publications.

The best way to experience the beach to the fullest is by trying out White Beach activities like the banana boat ride, parasailing tour, paraw sailing tour, paddleboarding tour, helmet diving tour, jet ski experience, wakeboarding activity, and speedboat riding. You can also just lounge by the white sand and watch the famous Boracay sunset or join a sunset yacht cruise tour.

You can join Boracay island-hopping tours to explore the islets and snorkeling spots around the island. If you want to avoid the crowds, go here during the lean season from January to March and June to July. Typhoons usually fall on August to October.

11 Best Festivals To Join in the Philippines

Featured Content by Guide to the Philippines

Experience the colorful culture of the Philippines by joining the vibrant festivals around the country. What and where are the top festivals that are worth traveling to? When should you schedule your trip to experience these festivals? What are the highlights of these festivals? Read on to find out about these fun festivals in the Philippines. 

Filipinos are known around the world not only for its attractions included in top tours but for their love to get together and celebrate. A proof of this is the long list of festivals in the country.

There are a number of holidays, long weekends and top festivals in the Philippines happening throughout the year. These vibrant festivals are characterized by the history, artistry, creativity, and passion of the people. While some of them take place for just a day, a lot of them are celebrating for a week and even for an entire month.

Travelers are attracted by these celebrations, along with the energetic, colorful, and fun environment they create. In fact, some of the celebrations are some of Asia’s most popular festivals.

Here is a list of the best and must-see festivals in the Philippines:

11. Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

When: Every Second Week of February

Where: Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga

Unlike most of the traditional festivals in the country, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an extraordinary one and is often hailed as one of the top tourist spots in Pampanga.

This 4-day festivity surprises and delights the attendees with things and activities that include flying, skydiving, formation flying, paragliding, aerobatic displays, and hot air balloons. People all over the country and across the world gather during February to experience Asia’s longest-running sports event and to celebrate the heart’s day with their loved ones.

10. Giant Lantern Festival

When: Every Weekend Before Christmas Eve

Where: San Fernando City, Pampanga

Anyone will feel the holiday vibes during the Giant Lantern Festival in Pampanga. San Fernando City or the Christmas Capital of the Philippines organizes the competition of giant lanterns during the weekend before Christmas Eve.

Participants create gigantic and bright lanterns made from locally sourced materials and parade them to each barrio in Pampanga before the midnight mass of Christmas. Add some Pampanga activities to make your Christmas excursion more special.

9. MassKara Festival

When: Every 19th of October

Where: Bacolod City

The MassKara Festival in Bacolod is a giant masquerade party hailing from the country’s City of Smiles. Thousands of young people wear colorful masks decorated with flowers, feathers, beads, and paints.

Aside from joining Bacolod trips, make sure to participate in the MassKara festival to get a full picture of Bacolod. It’s filled with people wearing festive costumes and masks while dancing with the beat of the loud music and spreading the friendly, welcoming, and happy atmosphere.

8. Pintados Festival 

When: Every 29th of June

Where: Tacloban City

A religious festival celebrated in the name of Santo Nino, the locals of Tacloban City parade around the city with their bodies and faces painted with vibrant colors of green and blue, which symbolizes Leyte’s ancestral people.

Locals fill the street and perform traditional dances in honor of Santo Nino. Some dancers also use designs that look like arbors to depict warriors who lived in Leyte decades ago. Join a Tacloban day tour to fully experience the province to the fullest.

7. Aliwan Festival

When: Every Last Weekend of April

Where: Pasay City

Although relatively new, the Aliwan Festival in Manila, particularly in Pasay, is by far one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines. Due to its popularity for Filipinos and foreigners, it is called the “Mother of all Festivals.”

This festivity, which started in early 2003, is known as more of a competition than a festival. It aims to promote the diversity in the country, with thousands of participants showcasing their cultures, and the winner bringing home a million pesos as the cash prize. 

6. Kadayawan Festival

When: Every Third Week of August

Where: Davao City

Davao City brings its locals and residents in the biggest celebration of Kadayawan.

Kadayawan Festival takes place during the third week of August. You can try Davao tours or watch the flourish with street dancing, beauty pageants, floral floats, and fireworks displays. Locals also showcase flowers, fruits, and other products from the city.

5. Dinagyang Festival

When: Every Fourth Weekend of January

Where: Iloilo City

The people of Iloilo takes street dancing into a whole new level during the Dinagyang Festival. 

The whole city of Iloilo transforms into a huge street party complete with bands in every corner and street performers. Mouthwatering and overflowing local delicacies and drinks are served while watching the performances. To cap everything off, barangays and schools compete against each other on a street dancing contest. 

4. Pahiyas Festival

When: Every 15th of May

Where: Lucban, Quezon

During the month of May, Lucban showcases a unique harvest festival also known as the Pahiyas Festival.

Locals decorate their homes in lively and vibrant colors. Farm produce like handicrafts, fruits, vegetables, and kiping (rice wafers) are hanging around the houses as decorations. People also bring in their own baskets and pick the fresh produce – free of charge!

3. Moriones Festival

When: Every Holy Week

Where: Province of Marinduque

During the Holy Week in the country, people flock to Marinduque to experience the weeklong celebration of St. Longinus: the Moriones Festival.

Combining the Catholic pageantry with folk mysticism, people wear helmets and don in centurion costumes to reenact the beautiful and theatrical play where one of the locals play the role of St. Longinus and hide among the houses while the others search for him. It’s a great way to spend meaningful time in the province aside from joining Marinduque excursions.

2. Panagbenga Festival

When: Every February

Where: Baguio City

Panagbenga or the Season of Blooming is one of the longest Philippine festivals, observed during the entire month of February in Baguio.

This festival highlights the bountiful blooming of the flowers and to pay tribute to the rising up of the city from the 1990 Luzon earthquake.

During the festival, expect beautiful parades of floats made from different flowers, parading throughout the city, followed by children and adults adorned as flora and fauna.

1. Ati-Atihan Festival

When: Every Third Week of January

Where: Kalibo, Aklan

The Ati-Atihan Festival is known as the granddaddy of the festivals in the Philippines, the celebration that started many festivals in the country. This festival in Aklan is also one of the oldest and is known as the best and the biggest Mardi Gras in the Philippines.

This grand festival lasts for the whole week, often starting its peak during the third Sunday of the month of January. With activities set from sunrise to sunset, people are parading on the streets with colorful paints on their faces and wearing indigenous costumes.

The highlights of Ati-Atihan Festival are the tribal dances, the booming drum beats, the loud chants, and the Catholic rituals, which will surely make any visitor dance their heart out.

TPB Annual Calendar Of Philippine Festivals and Monthly Themes

Looking for how to experience the Philippines as a local? Experience how Filipinos throw a real celebration with vibrant colors, extravagant costumes, and many entertaining festivities!

NAME OF EVENTDATE/LOCATIONBRIEF DESCRIPTION
                                                                                     JANUARY
Feast of the Black NazareneJanuary 9Quiapo, ManilaCelebrated at the heart of Manila- Quiapo, devotees come from all over the metropolis to participate in this annual event honoring the hundred-year-old statue of the Black Nazarene.
Sinulog FestivalJanuary 15 or second SundayCebu CityAn annual festival held in Cebu, which commences nine days before the third Sunday of January.
Ati – Atihan Festival 3rd SundayKalibo, Aklan A celebration in honor of the Infant Jesus, the town’s patron. Ati-Atihan, observed in honor of the Child Jesus. Ati-atihan means ‘making like Atis,’ that is, pretending to be like the aboriginal natives that once inhabited Aklan. This involves smearing oneself with soot to darken the skin and dressing up in tribal finery. The start of the procession is signaled by drums and whistles, and later punctuated by shouts of “Hala Bira!”
The Dinagyang Festival4th SundayIloiloDinagyang is a Hiligaynon word extrapolated from dagyang meaning “merrymaking” It celebrates the feast of the Infant Jesus and the pact between the Datus and the locals.
                                                                                     FEBRUARY
Paraw RegattaThird SundayStrait between Iloilo City and Guimaras IslandThis festivity features racing events between local outriggers in the strait between Iloilo City and Guimaras Island.
Taytay Hamaka FestivalFebruary 10 to 16Taytay, RizalThis is a seven-day event showcasing the artistry, craftsmanship and various talents of the people of Taytay.
The Tinagba FestivalFebruary 11Iriga City, Camarines SurThis is a harvest-offering affair for Our Lady of Lourdes. Farmers parade in carabao-drawn carts filled with the best of local produce while Agtas come down from the mountain to dance.
International Bamboo Organ FestivalLas PiñasThis is a ten-day series of cultural events with a focus on the unique bamboo-made organ, made by Fray Diego de la Cera, and found only in Las Piñas.
Panagbenga(Baguio Flower Festival)Baguio City Month-long celebration of flowers in the country’s summer capital. Similar to the Rose Bowl Parade of the U.S., this festival is highlighted by a parade of floats made entirely of fresh blossoms from local horticulturists. The highlight is in the 4th week of February.
Ollalion FestivalFebruary 14Tabuk, KalingaThe festival celebrates the Kalinga culture through its sports, crafts, and indigenous food.
Babaylanes FestivalFebruary 19Bago City, Negros OccidentalThis highlights the culture of the first settlers of Bago City before the Spanish colonizers arrived. As defined by Negros historians, the babaylan is a doctor, herbalist, artist, adviser, herbalist, seer, diviner and agriculturist.
Kalilangan Festival February 20 to 27General Santos City, South CotabatoThis features cultural shows, a civic/military, agro-industrial fair, sports competition, and a beauty pageant.
Kaamulan Festival 2nd week of February up to March 10Malaybalay, BukidnonA three-day gathering of Bukidnon’s various ethnolinguistic groups in Pines View Park. It includes a performance of traditional rituals. 
                                                                                      MARCH
Malasimbo Festival March 10-12Puerto Galera Malasimbo Festival has four pillars: music, arts, indigenous people, and environment. The festival is well known for bringing some of the most versatile musicians. In the event, the Malasimbo grounds is decorated with world-class artwork by various talented Filipino and visual artists, also showcasing indigenous peoples’ work.
UNESCO-ITI World Theater Week March 21 – 27 World Theatre Week is an occasion for theatre artists of varied disciplines in performance and media arts to celebrate the power of Theatre to bring people together and an opportunity to share with audiences the wealth of each country’s heritage, history, habitat, theatrical traditions and expertise modeling cultural caregiving for marginalized sectors and disadvantaged youth exemplified in the Philippine program of the Earthsavers Dreams Ensemble honored as UNESCO Artists for Peace;
Island Garden City of Samal Festival1st WeekA week-long celebration of Samal’s founding anniversary held every first week of March.
Anibina Bulawanun FestivalMarch 8Compostela Valley Province An eight-day multi-themed annual festival that culminates on the province’s foundation day, March 8. It is a colorful and joyful celebration of the province’s rich agricultural harvests, abundant mineral resources, governance’s feats, trade and tourism fair, and a showcasing of the people’s culture and traditions. The Al-law Ng Kalomonan (Tribal Day) falls on the 7th day of Anibina.
Holy Week March-April A week-long event honoring Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross; The Palm Sunday is held on the fifth Sunday of Lent where churchgoers bring palm and leaves to re-enact the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem; Holy Thursday is held with a Visitaa Iglesia where Catholics visit at least 7 churches. A “Pasyon” or narration of Christ’s life through singing is held; On Good Friday, believers re-enact the sufferings and death of Christ on the Cross. Easter Sunday is highlighted by “Salubong” or dawn processions held in various parts of the country.
Moriones Festival Holy WeekMarinduque A week-long celebration participated in by male penitents in costumes who parade around town. On Good Friday, they reenact the story of Longinus, a centurion, blind in one eye, who speared Jesus’ side. Christ’s blood fell on his blind eye, miraculously restoring it, leading to his conversion.
Centurion FestivalHoly WeekGeneral Luna, QuezonThis is believed to be the origin of Marinduque’s Moriones Festival and is as colorful.
Ang PagtaltalGood FridayJordan, GuimarasThis is a procession of flagellants and devotees in biblical attire that ends in the Balaan Bukid Shrine.
Pangalap RitualGood FridayNueva ValenciaThis is a ritual where believers crawl through the Catilaran cave chanting prayers in the hope of gaining supernatural powers to ward off evil spirits.
Witches FestivalHoly WeekSiquijorSiquijor is popularly known throughout the country for “witchcraft”. A “Witches Festival” is held at Crocodile Hill overlooking the Bay of Lazi and the Mindanao Sea. When the moon is full, the sorcerers, called magbabarang gather herbs, roots and live insects, throw these into a giant cauldron filled with boiling water, then sit in a circle around it while mumbling incantations. This is followed by dancing and ends in an exclusive ritual in a secluded cave at dawn.
                                                                                      APRIL
TurumbaPakil, LagunaA seven-day feast in honor of our lady of sorrows highlighted by a procession and a dance (to the beat of a turumba song).
Lami-Lamihan FestivalApril 14 to 16BasilanBegan in 1983 by former mayor Wilfrido Furigay, the festival showcases the rich Yakan traditions. This is highlighted by a parade and a horse race.
Kadaugan sa MactanApril 27CebuThis is mainly the re-enactment of the Battle of Mactan along the islands’ beach.
                                                                                      MAY
Flores de MayoWhole MonthCatholic-wide eventLiterally translated, it means “Flowers of May” and highlights a procession honoring Virgin Mary. Coinciding with it is the Santacruzan, re-enacting the search of Queen Elena for the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. The town or city’s loveliest ladies grace the occasion.
Pasalamat FestivalMay 1La Carlota, Negros OccidentalA labor and thanksgiving festival marked by street dancing and a parade of farm products.
Magayon FestivalMay 1Albay ProvinceA showcase of Albay’s culture and arts marked by exhibits, parades, shows, and sports.
Pista y Dayat FestivalMay 1PangasinanA seaside festival and a thanksgiving day by local fishermen for a bountiful year.
Boa-BoahanMay 2Nabua, Camarines SurA re-enactment of the 13th-century rite of offering chains of coconut embryos called boa to deities. They believe that doing so would mean a prosperous year.
Carabao-Carozza Race FestivalMay 3Pavia, IloiloAn event where carabaos (water buffaloes) pull decorated bamboo carts in a 400-meter course race.
Lanahan RitualMay 1-3Balabag, Digos, Davao del SurA ritual performed by the Bagobos involving the making of medicinal oil (lana) after their pilgrimage to Mount Apo.
Balanghai FestivalButuanThis commemorates the coming of the early migrants from Borneo and Celebes. It is said that they came to Agusan in balanghai or wooden boats.
Tapusan FestivalAlitagtag, BatangasA month-long celebration honoring the Holy Cross.
Barangay Boat FestivalMay 11Aparri, CagayanA fluvial festival held annually in honor of Saint Peter Thelmo, the town’s patron saint.
Carabao FestivalMay 15Pulilan, BulacanAn event honoring. San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. Carabaos are paraded and blessed by the town priest.
Pahiyas FestivalLucban and Sariaya, QuezonA thanksgiving festival to San Isidro Labrador for the past year’s bountiful harvest. The event is popular for the elaborate edible decorations that cover entire houses like fruits and vegetables, most prominent of which are the brightly colored rice wafers known as; The image of the patron saint is also paraded around town assuring the farmers of a bountiful harvest in the years to come.
Obando FestivalMay 17 to 19Obando, BulacanThis festival involves the different dance rituals held for three consecutive days honoring three patron saints: May 17 for St. Paschal (for couples who want a male child), May 18 for St. Claire (for couples who want a female child) and May 19 for the Our Lady of Salambaw (patroness of fishermen).
Pahoy-Pahoy FestivalMay 19 to 25Calbiga, SamarEvery May, the quaint little town of Calbiga abounds with giant pahoy-pahoy (scarecrows) made of indigenous materials dancing about its streets. Musical instruments made up of bamboos, cans and stones create the sounds that scare the local maya birds.
                                                                                     JUNE
Naligayan Festival2nd weekAgusan del SurThis is a province-wide festivity which coincides with Agusan del Sur’s  Foundation Anniversary in June 17. Incepted in 1993 during the incumbency of the late Gov. Democrito O. Plaza, the festival is a recognition of the Manobo people’s loyalty to their tribal leader, Datu Lipus Makapandong.Literally meaning “the chosen one” the weeklong celebration showcases the indigenous people’s culture through music and dance, native products, ethnic games, and a host of sporting tournaments and special events.The festival depicts the Agusanon culture and heritage. Natives from far-flung places of the province usually come down and display skills through tribal dances and rituals. A trade fair displaying the province’s cottage industries also takes place in Naliyagan Cultural Center Grounds at the Gov. D. O. Plaza Government Center, Prosperidad.
Pagdayao FestivalJune 11 -12Tacloban, Leyte, MasbateA two-day affair, which serves as a thanksgiving feast in honor of the Lord.
Araw ng CotabatoJune 12 – 20CotabatoThe city of Cotabato in Mindanao celebrates its founding with special events as the layang-layang or giant kite festival, fluvial parades, banca race and sports competition.
Parada ng mga Lechon (Parade of Roast Pigs)June 24Balayan, BatangasCrisp, golden-brown roast pigs are paraded through the streets. As soon as the best decorated roasted pig is announced, the eating commences.
Hibok-Hibok FestivalJune 24Camiguin IslandThe event is held in honor of St. John the Baptist and is marked with fluvial processions, parades and water sports.
Daet Pineapple Festival3rd WeekDaet, Camarines NorteA festival showcasing the famous and sweetest of all pineapples- the Formosa variety- abundantly growing in Daet. The week-long celebration features sports events, talent and skills competition, an investment forum, cultural shows and concerts, a food fair, an agro-industrial and trade fair, search for Bicolandia Queen, and street dancing contests.
Tacloban FestivalLast WeekTacloban, LeyteThe festival consists of three major activities: (1) Subiran Regatta – a sailboat race held at the eastern entrance of San Juanico Strait, (2) Balyuan – a pageant reenacting the historic exchange of images between Basey, Samar and Tacloban City, and (3) Pintados Festival where participants paint their bodies and dance to the rhythm of bamboo sticks.
Piat Sambali FestivalLast WeekPiat, CagayanIn Piat, Cagayan, the colorful celebration is highlighted by street dancing, cultural shows and a beauty pageant. This festival commemorates the Christianization of the Ytawes region of Cagayan.
                                                                                     JULY
Sagayan Festival Tubod1st weekLanao del NorteA festival with a Maranao war dance as a main event. The dance is performed during the Araw ng Lanao del Norte and is participated by all the municipalities in the province. The war dance is complemented by a fan dance performed by Maranao maidens wearing colorful dresses.
Pagoda FestivalJuly 4 – 7Bocaue, BulacanIn Bocaue, Bulacan, a feast is held in honor of the Holy Cross of Wawa found in the Bocaue River. The main attraction of the affair is the fluvial parade of the pagoda or decorated barge and colorful small boats.
Sublian sa BatangasJuly 23Batangas CityThis coincides with the Foundation Day of Batangas City. It revives the tradition of dancing the subli, which is indigenous to the province.
Sinulog and Kinabayo FestivalJuly 24 – 25Dapitan, Zamboanga del NorteThe event honors Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte’s patron saint St. James.
Sinulog de Tanjay FestivalLast weekTanjay, Negros OrientalThe celebration of the residents of Tanjay, Negros Oriental of this 10-day fiesta features the origin of the old sinulog culture. A parade is held showcasing the clothes locals wear, while the horsefighting presentation re-enacts the battle between the Spaniards and the Muslims.
Kahimoan Abayan FestivalLast weekButuan City, Agusan del NorteIn Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, the feast is held in honor of Santa Ana (St. Anne), known to protect the residents along the Agusan River from man-eating crocodiles. The celebration includes the holding of a prayer on boats for safe passage and prosperity.
Sandugo FestivalLast weekBoholCelebrated in Bohol, this festival commemorates the blood compact between Spaniard Legaspi and Filipino Sikatuna. It includes an agro-industrial exhibit, a trade fair, a beauty contest, street dancing and a re-enactment of the blood compact.
                                                                                      AUGUST
Pangapog FestivalAugust 1 – 7Samal Island, DavaoA thanksgiving festival for a bountiful harvest highlighting the culture of the Sama, the indigenous people of Samal, as shown in the indigenous sports, and other culture-based competitions.
Pangasinan Bamboo FestivalAugust 14Calasiao and Sta. Barbara, PangasinanPangasinan Bamboo Festival August 12 This is a festival showcasing bamboo products and includes bamboo planting and film exhibitions. Venue: Calasiao and Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan
Mercedes FISHtivalAugust 6-11Mercedes, Camarines NorteA thanksgiving festival by local fisherfolk for blessings received during seafaring, and fish-farming.
Marang FestivaAugust 5Basco, BatanesLocals celebrate the bountiful harvest of the fruit Marang.
Palu-Palo FestivalAugust 4-5Basco, BatanesThis is highlighted by a cultural presentation showing the life and times of the Ivatans.
Pasaka FestivalAugust 14Tanuan, Leyte“Pasaka,” the native word for Assumption, is a street spectacle in honor of Our Lady of Assumption.
Lubi-Lubi FestivalAugust 15Calubian, LeyteA dance festival extolling the many uses of the coconut in homage to Our Lady of Fatima and St. Roque.
Kalibongan FestivalAugust 17 – 18Kidapawan, CotabatoA gathering of Mindanao ethnolinguistic groups like the Bagobos and Manobos. This is highlighted by a horse fight and a Manobo wedding.
Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival3rd weekDavao CityDabaweños celebrate the annual Kadayawan – a colorful occassion that lasts for five days – as a thanksgiving festival and a tribute to its indigenous peoples. Kadayawan is a native expression in Dabawnon tongue, which means “anything excellent that brings great fortune” from “dayaw” (good), describing a thing that is valuable and superior.
GigantesAugust 19Lucban, QuezonOn August 19, in the town of Lucban, Quezon, townsfolk trot out their beloved gigantes or giants. Measuring about 14 feet tall, the giants come in pairs, the mag-asawa or couple, a giant man dressed in the peasant’s camisa chino or undershirt, and his wife clad in the native patadyong and kimona, a loose skirt topped with a flimsy blouse. Made from papier mache, the giants are borne on shoulders by those who have made a panata (oath) made in return for a favor received. This festivity is shared by Lucban with the town of Angono, Rizal, which holds it in November.
Buyogan FestivalAugust 19Abuyog, LeyteBuyogan focuses on the bee locally known as “buyog” from which the town’s name originated.
BankatonAugust 20Lavezares, Northern SamarAn annual boat racing contest celebrating the feast of Nuestra Señora de Salvacion, the town’s Patroness.
Kagayhaan FestivalAugust 26-28Cagayan de Oro CityThis festival is highlighted by streetdancing participated in by contingents from schools and civic organizations.
                                                                                     SEPTEMBER
Aurora FestivalLast Sunday of August to 1st week of SeptemberTanjay, Negros OrientalThe festival features evening novenas participated in by more than 40 clans, which culminate in a nocturnal fluvial procession at the Tanjay River.
Hin-ay FestivalSeptember 1-29Irosin, SorsogonThis features a cultural show, trade fair, and a street dance depicting the archangels’ victory over the “Black” Angels.
Bicol Food FestivalSeptember 1-30Naga CityA festival of Bicol cuisine: pinangat and laing, bicol Express, inolokan or tilmak, pecadillo and cocido.
Sarakiki FestivalSeptember 1-8Calbayog CityThe festival features street dancers dressed as cocks swaying to the beat of ancient Samareño instruments.
T’boli Tribal Festival3rd weekSouth CotabatoA gathering of the major ethnolinguistic groups in the province together with representatives from Davao.
Peñafrancia Fiesta Festival3rd SundayNaga City, Camarines SurA religious festival honoring Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, the patroness of the Bicol Region River.
Dalit FestivalSeptember 25Tangub CityThis showcases local rituals, dances, and way of life.
Linapit Food Sharing FestivalSeptember 30Gueday, BesnoA festival with a delightful pre-planting feast at its core where natives share their food with everyone.
Djanggo FestivalSeptember 28-29Nassiping, Gattaran, CagayanThis commemorates centuries-old religious and cultural tradition based on the life of St. Michael.
Banigan-Kawayan FestivalSeptember 29Basey, SamarThis celebrates the banig and the kawayan crafts industry flourishing in Basey.
                                                                                     OCTOBER
Halaran1st weekRoxas CityThis festival highlights the performance of the history and culture of Capiz during pre-Hispanic times.
Universal Children’s Festival1st weekDapitan CityThe festival involves children of locals, dressed in costumes of UN member countries, parading around the city.
Masskara FestivalBacolod CityA grand Bacole celebration marked by carnivals, fairs and masked street dancers.
Ibalong Festival2nd weekLegaspi CityThis festival is based on Ibalong, a Bicol epic showcasing legendary superheroes Handiong and Baltog.
Zamboanga Hermosa FestivalOctober 10-12Zamboanga CityThe festival features a regatta, colorful vintas, banconan flower show, and fireworks honoring the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Zaragosa.
Kasanggayahan FestivalOctober 10-17SorsogonThe festival is itself the foundation anniversary of Sorsogon. The festival’s name means “prosperity and happiness.”
Feast of La Naval ManilaOctober 11Quezon CityThe image of the Virgin is paraded around town in a colorfully-decorated carriage, which resembles a ship. The image is believed to be miraculous and ensures safe voyage to anyone who prays to it.
Inug-og FestivalOctober 15Oroquieta, Misamis OccidentalThis is held in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Calbayog Grand KarakolOctober 16Calbayog CityA religious celebration of thanksgiving and joyous pageantry of dancing devotees of San Rafael.
Sagingan FestivalOctober 16-17Tubod, Lanao del NorteThe feast is in honor of San Isidro Labrador with street dancers dressed up in various banana-like costumes.
Megayon Festival3rd weekTigbao, Zamboanga del SurA colorful harvest festival participated in by the Subanean indigenous group.
Lanzones Festival4th weekMambajao, Camiguin IslandThe festival is held to celebrate the abundance of lanzones fruit in the island with a streetdancing competition involving the youth all dressed up in lanzones leaves or fruits. The lanzones is one of the island’s most important crops.
Catadungan FestivalOctober 24Virac, CatanduanesThis festival commemorates the province’s independence from Albay.
                                                                                      NOVEMBER
PintafloresNovember 3-5San Carlos CityThis festival is marked by a streetdancing involving the pintados or dancers with tattoos or flowers on their body.
Kalag-Kalag FestivalNovember 13Cebu CityThis restages the Filipino tradition of visiting relatives to lovingly remember departed loved ones.
Sanduguan FestivalNovember 15Calapan, Oriental MindoroThis festival reenacts the first contact between the natives of Mindoro and traders from China.
Feast of San Clemente/ GigantesNovember 22-23Angono, RizalThis celebration is marked by giant Papier-mâché effigies, natives in wooden shoes and costumes joining the procession of the statue of San Clemente around town.
P’yagsawitan Festival3rd weekMaragusan, Davao ProvinceThis involves performances by indigenous groups of the area, and harvest-related thanksgiving rituals.
Kawayanan Festival3rd weekCapitol Complex, Pagadian, Zamboanga del SurThis celebrates the versatility of the Bamboo plant and its importance in the area.
Santa Ipon FestivalNovember 25 – December 25Santa, Ilocos SurA thanksgiving celebration highlighted by the catching of the ipon, a small but mysterious fish.
Day-ang Di Onga FestivalNovember 30Baguio CityThis is one of the region’s major events featuring young Cordillerans in a day-long event to “celebrate life.”
Binabayani FestivalLast weekOlongapo, ZambalesThis festival re-enacts the war between the Aetas and the Christians through dance.
                                                                                      DECEMBER
Paskuhan sa BarangayParian, Cebu CityThis is highlighted by nightly cultural presentations from the different universities in Cebu City.
San Fernando Giant Lantern FestivalPhilippine Christmas Village, San Fernando, PampangaThis is a month-long lantern showcase where lanterns measuring 14 to 18 feet in diameter delight spectators with their kaleidoscope patterns
Kamundagan FestivalNaga CityThis month-long festival features “Kiti-Kiti,” “Pastoras,” Bikol Song Festival, and other cultural events.
Subayan Keg SubanonDecember 1- 8Ozamiz CityThis involves a trade fair, a street theater performance, and songs and dances depicting the rich Subanon cultural heritage.
Pasko sa Tanjay FestivalDecember 1 to 9Tanjay, Negros OrientalA month-long Christmas festivity featuring cultural presentations and contests.
Fiesta de AgooDecember 5-8Agoo Civic Center, Agoo BasilicaThis features a Lantern festival, the coronation of Miss Agoo, the awarding of Bannuar ti and Dakilang Datu Awards.
SinadyaDecember 5-8Roxas CityThis features a fireworks display, a grand parade, a food festival, and the Capiz dance festival.
Hanging of the Green2nd weekZamboanga CityChildren join in the “hanging of the green” signifying the start of the Christmas season.
Feast of the Immaculate ConcepcionDecember 8Puerto Princesa CityA grand celebration in honor of the city’s patroness and is highlighted by a parade of several images of Virgin Mary.
PagdiwataDecember 8PalawanThe Tagbanuas’ feast of thanksgiving for a bountiful rice harvest along with food offerings to deities and departed kin. The rite involves men and partaking of rice wine with the spirits. After the harvest, the Tagbanuas gather in the house of the babaylan or the priestess whom the spirits speak to.
Dad-Iw Day-eng ChantsDecember 8Bakod, BenguetThis features the Ibaloi, Kankana-ey tribal songs and dance presentations.
Karisyohan Han Pasko Ha PaloDecember 10 to January 6Palo, LeyteThis features a Misa de gallo, a cultura show and a Christmas eve choral concert at Palo Cathedral.
Philippine International Lantern ParadeDecember 14Asia World Complex Roxas Blvd., and Quirino GrandstandA grand colorful parade featuring lanterns from different countries along with local bands, indigenous groups, vintage cars, and calesas.
Christmas Among the TribesDecember 16Cabarroquis, QuirinoThis involves house visitations for Christmas gifts undertaken by the indigenous groups in Quirino.
Simballay Festival3rd weekNabunturan, Davao ProvinceA week-long festival highlighted by Mansaka dances, neo-ethnic shows, street dancing and a grand parade.
Shariff KabunsuanDecember 15-19Cotabato CityA celebration to commemorate the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan and Islam to Mindanao.
Pastores BikolDecember 18Legaspi CityThis involves boys and girls in costumes playing the roles of shepherds who rejoice at the birth of Jesus.
Maytinis FestivalDecember 24Kawit, CaviteA town-wide re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a room on the eve of Christ’s birth.
SalubongDecember 29Plaridel, BulacanThis is procession of dancing women, horses and calesas to fetch the Santiago Maria Moros from Barangay Sipet.

This list of festivals shared by the Tourism Promotions Board will be updated continuously as many of the dates and details can change every year.

Connect with our travel experts to plan your upcoming festival attendance!

7 Must-See Churches in the Philippines: Plan an Easter Experience

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday are celebrated by Christians around the world, but in the Philippines, it’s different. More than 80 percent of Filipinos are Catholic. Their traditions have influenced the culture and whole communities celebrate together.

For travelers interested in observing these holy days, it’s an ideal time to visit the Philippines. Plan a spiritual experience with your family or with close friends. It’s important to start planning this trip early–booking both travel and accommodations–as many guests visit for the Easter holiday and Filipinos travel to be with family and friends.

Must See Churches

Enhance your journey through the Philippines during the Easter holidays by visiting some of the oldest and most beautiful churches on the islands.

Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva – Ming-ao, Iloilo

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, the Ming-ao Church has an extensive history. It’s thick walls and mismatched bell towers helped protect the area from invaders during the 18th and 19th centuries. The belfries were commissioned by two different parish priests and the west tower is both older and taller. While visiting this church, don’t forget to go inside and see the solid gold retablo also known as a sanctuary.

St. Matias Parish Church – Tuamauini, Isabela

Built entirely of red bricks in 1783, the church, commonly known as the Tumauini Church, has been under consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. It was built in the style of Late Baroque or Early Rococo and its bell tower stands four stories tall.

Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church – Boljoon, Cebu

While this parish dates back to the 1690s, the church building, which is commonly known as Boljoon Church, was first built in 1783. It was listed as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2001 and continues to be a candidate to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is well-known for its special ceilings which are made of “tag-ut” which means “coming from trees” and are beautifully painted. They date back to at least 1883.

Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel – Argao, Cebu

Completed in 1788, the church commonly known as the Argao Church is a two-level structure built of coral stone. The beautifully painted ceiling tiles are made of wood. The paintings themselves were completed by two artists, one being the renowned Cebuano painter Raymundo Francia. Sadly, the other half was completed by an unknown Boholano artist. As the name suggests, the church was dedicated to the archangel Saint Michael.

Saint Augustine Church – Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, the church, commonly known as the Paoay Church, began construction in 1694. It is known as a prime example of the Spanish Colonial Baroque Architecture-style which was adapted for the Philippines due to the frequency of earthquakes. You’ll see larger than normal buttresses and stair-style buttresses. The facade is made up of two materials, brick on the lower part and coral on the upper.

The Camarin de la Virgen at the Sta. Ana Church

Commonly known as the Santa Ana Church, it was established by the Franciscan Order in 1577. The first cornerstone for the larger stone church and convent was laid on September 12, 1720. The image of the patron saint, Nstra. Sra. De los Desamparados – or Our Lady of the Abandoned – was carved in Spain and brought to Santa Ana by Fr. Vicente Ingles, OFM, who was the parish priest at the time.

Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours – Taal, Batangas

Within the Archdiocese of Lipa you’ll find this church, commonly known as Taal Basilica. It is considered the single largest church in the Philippines, as well as in all of Asia. First established in 1575, the church was severely damaged by the largest recorded eruption of the local volcano in 1754. The church was then moved to its current location on top.

Tips for What to Expect

If you’ve never been in the Philippines for Holy Week and Easter, you will need to keep a few things in mind.

  • Heavy traffic and crowded streets cause problems getting anywhere quickly. Processions involving people, carts, floats, and crowds around the churches are common. Plan to become part of the celebrations and immerse yourself in the experience.
  • Many businesses are closed during Holy Week or have shortened working hours. Once you know where you’ll be staying, learn what will be open and be prepared for stores and services to be shut down, including grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Some television and radio stations feature reruns or pre-recorded shows during parts of Holy Week, while others play seasonal content to join in the spirit of the holiday.

 Plan Your Trip to the Philippines

Spending the holiday living like a Filipino local creates one-of-a-kind, spiritual memories.

The time to plan your trip to the Philippines is now if you want to be a part of this immersive religious experience before it’s gone. If you’re ready, our partnersare ready to help you discover the Philippines.