March Festivals

Welcome the summer with these hot and colorful Philippine festivals.

In the Philippines, March signals the beginning of one of the most awaited times of the year for both kids and kids at heart—summer! While many locals and tourists take this time to soak up some sun or explore the great outdoors, March is also a great time to party Filipino-style at the many colorful festivals the country is known for. If you’re looking to start summer 2012 with a bang, join in the revelry of one of the fiestas below:

Kaamulan Tribal Festival
February - March 10 | Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

Derived from the Binukid word amul, kaamulan means to “to gather.” To celebrate the culture and traditions of the seven tribes of Bukidnon, many locals gather from the second half of February to March 10, donning elaborate woven traditional garb along with headpieces, necklaces, earrings, anklets, amulets, leglets, and other trinkets. Visitors are treated to a sensory spectacle of dances, chants, ancient rituals, and native sports.

Bangkero Festival
March 6-10 | Pagsanjan, Laguna

Held every first week of March, this festival is a tribute to the boatmen (bangkero) of Pagsanjan, who are admired for their deftness at navigating the province’s wild rapids. A fluvial parade, exhibitions, street dances, trade fairs, sporting events, a cultural night, and a drum and lyre competition are some of the activities visitors can expect during the celebration.

Araw ng Dabaw Celebration
March 10 – March 16 | Davao City

In celebration of the founding of Davao City, Davaoeños come together in a week-long festival that features a socio-civic and military parade, cultural presentations, trade fairs, sports competitions, a food street party, and a beauty pageant, among other events. Davao City is the largest city in Mindanao and was inaugurated on March 16, 1936.

Pintados de Pasi Festival
March 13 | Passi City, Iloilo

Passi City explodes with activity every third week of March, with performers sporting traditional tattoos in intricate geometrical designs taking to the streets and wowing audiences with theatrical and often aggressive dances. The festival is a celebration of the culture and history of the Passinhon, who during Spanish times, were called pintados by the colonizers on account of their tattoos. The week-long celebration also features garden show and food festivals, the Karosa Parada, a carabao (water buffalo) painting contest, a beauty pageant, and body painting contests.

Sinigayan Festival
March 15 – 19 | Sagay City, Negros Occidental

Sagay City highlights its rich cultural heritage, creative people, and abundant seas and land in this annual festival held in honor of its patron, St. Joseph.  The city’s name was derived from a univalve-shelled mollusk found in abundance on the city’s shores—the perfect symbol of Sagay City’s rich aquatic resources. Festivities include sports tournaments, beauty pageants, church services, as well as food and arts festivals.

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Photo by Martin Flordeliza

Strawberry Festival
March 16 | La Trinidad, Benguet

La Trinidad made history in 2004 for whipping up the world’s largest strawberry shortcake and making it to the Guinness World Records during that year’s Strawberry Festival. This year, in an effort to promote organic strawberries and their by-products, an estimated 180 farmers are expected to harvest tons of fresh strawberries for the festival. Visitors can also expect a trade fair, the biggest strawberry cake parade, and walk-throughs of strawberry fields in celebration of this scrumptious fruit.