Who says summer is the only time to fete in the Philippines? While it often brings rains, July remains a festive month for a number of provinces in the country. Celebrating historical events, traditions, and commerce, the different festivals boast vibrant parades, exciting competitions, local products, and more.
Below are some of the most noteworthy festivals that will encourage locals and foreigners alike to come out and celebrate, rain or shine.
Whole month of July | Tagbilaran City, Bohol
Best known for its Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, Bohol is also the site of one of the country's most famous historical events - the blood compact or sandugo between Bohol chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The Sandugo Festival commemorates this event annually in a month-long festival featuring a street dance competition, motorcade, programs, beauty pageants, church services, sports tournaments, and fireworks.
Bocaue River Festival
First Sunday of July | Bocaue, Bulacan
The town of Bocaue in Bulacan comes to life on every first Sunday of July to commemorate the discovery of the miraculous floating cross discovered in the Bocaue River 200 years ago. Also called the Pagoda sa Wawa, the festival features a fluvial parade centering on a replica of the cross set on a pagoda, which is decorated magnificently and escorted by colorful bancas. Devotees also participate in a nine-day novena.
First week of July | Tagum, Davao del Norte
With bananas being the province's number one export, it's no surprise that Davaoeños pay homage to this fruit once a year. The festival is celebrated in time for the founding anniversary of the province, and features street dancing and agricultural trade fairs.
July 4 | Tubod, Lanao del Norte
Showcasing Maranao culture in all its finery, the Sagayan Festival is held during Araw ng Lanao del Norte and centers around the Maranao Muslim War Dance. It features male performers in full warrior regalia showing their masculinity through aggressive movements and women in vibrant costumes performing the famous fan dance. Other activities include photo and painting contests.
July 13-18 | Koronadal City, South Cotabato
South Cotabato highlights the significance of its t'nalak fabric in the T'nalak Festival during its foundation anniversary every year. While the street dance competition featuring performers sporting traditional garb remains to be the most anticipated event, the festival also features agri-trade expos, a motorcross, a beauty pageant, parades, and various competitions. Check out the schedule of activities here: http://www.southcotabatonews.com/2011/08/tnalak-festival-2012.html