April 2011 Festivals

Witness the solemn occasions and fun festivals that will take place this April.

By TravelBook
April 01, 2011

April is a month of solemn occasions, as well as colorful celebrations. While several provinces commemorate the suffering of Jesus Christ during Holy Week, there are also a few festivals scattered throughout April that makes it one of the most exciting months in the Philippines!

Panaad Festival in Bacolod, Negros Occidental

April 4-9
The Panaad Festival in Bacolod is a thanksgiving festival where the people of Negros Occidental showcase their province's history, art, and culture. The festival is usually held at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. This year, there will be a thanksgiving mass, trade fairs, product displays, and a Festival Costumes Exhibit and Competition. Click here for the schedule of activities.

Aliwan Fiesta in Manila

April 14 to 16
Organized by the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC), the Aliwan Fiesta is the mother of all fiestas. The biggest festivals in the Philippines are brought to Manila during this celebration, showcasing the country's most colorful and most unique fiestas. The Aliwan Fiesta will kick off at the Quirino Grandstand, from where the parade down Roxas Boulevard begins until they arrive at the Aliw Theater in the CCP Complex. For more information, visit the Aliwan Fiesta's official website.

Masks worn at the Moriones Festival
Photography: Lesley Espiritu

Moriones Festival in Marinduque

Holy Week (April 17 to 24)
Visitors from all over the country and abroad flock to Marinduque during Holy Week to witness the Moriones Festival, a street festival that re-enacts the story of Longinus, a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity after the blindness in one of his eyes was cured by Jesus Christ's blood. Today, people roam in the streets of Marinduque, colorfully dressed in warrior costumes and masks, embodying the Roman soldiers who went looking for Longinus after his conversion. This week-long festival is paired off with the traditional Filipino Lenten practices, such as the Pabasa (a reading of the passion of Christ), and the Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross. Click here to see the Moriones Festival's schedule of activities.

San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites in San Fernando, Pampanga
Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org (user: Barrera marquez )

San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites in Pampanga

Good Friday (April 22)
The famous Cutud Lenten Rites in Pampanga is a re-enactment of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, which is done during Good Friday. There is a procession, the Via Crucis, during which participants journey to a hill in the town whilst whipping themselves, following a penitent carrying a cross. The penitents are volunteers who wish to do penance for their sins. At the end of the procession, the flagellants go up the hill and pay homage to the cross, and the other penitents are nailed to their crosses.

Photo source: morguefile.com

Butanding Festival in Donsol, Sorsogon

April 25-30
The Butanding Festival in Donsol, Sorsogon ushers in the season when the butanding, or whalesharks, arrive in the waters near the town. The townspeople celebrate the migration of the whalesharks into their waters, which has made Donsol a much-visited tourist destination. The festival date changes depending on the whalesharks' migration season, and is celebrated with street dancing and fluvial parades.