November Festivals and Holidays 2012

Flowers and paper mache giants are the motifs of this month's celebrations.

By TravelBook
October 23, 2012

Colorful costumes and props are necessary for throwing a successful fiesta in the Philippines. Liven up your November by dropping by these provinces to experience the unique culture of the country as evidenced in lively dance routines and vibrant colors.

We’ve also taken note of regular and special holidays this month and the significance behind them in the list below.

All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day

November 1-2, 2012

While All Saints’ Day is a holiday commemorating the saints, it is often grouped together with All Souls’ Day in the Philippines, when Filipinos pay respect to their dead. During Todos Los Santos, they travel as far as their provinces to visit their loved ones’ graves.

Pintaflores Festival

November 3-5, 2012 | San Carlos, Negros Occidental

The Pintaflores Festival is a celebration in honor of San Carlos Borromeo, patron saint of San Carlos City. The term Pintaflores comes from the words pintados, which refers to the tattooed Visayan warriors of pre-colonial times, and flores, for flowers. Parade participants in ethnic costumes paint their faces and bodies in floral theme as a symbol of gratitude to nature. The celebration culminates in a street dance competition.

Higante heads lined up for the next festival
Photo by At Maculangan

Sandurot Festival

November 9-15, 2012 | Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

Sandurot comes from the term pakig-sandurot, which refers to offering hospitality. The Sandurot Festival is an annual fiesta in Dumaguete celebrating the city’s history as well as its people’s welcoming nature. It also serves as thanksgiving to Dumaguete’s patron saint, St. Catherine de Alexandria. The Sandurot Festival starts with a ceremony at the Rizal Boulevard and is often followed by street dance competitions.

Higantes Festival

November 22-23, 2012 | Angono, Rizal

During the Higantes Festival, devotees (called parehadoras) pay homage to San Clemente, patron of fishermen. Townsfolk don costumes and fisherman's gear and parade around Angono. They are accompanied by colorful higantes, paper mache giants created to represent different barangays. The giants are said to have originated from colonial times when townsfolk built them for the fiesta as caricatures of their Spanish lords who only allowed them to celebrate once a year. 

Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Manila
Photo by Jurbyjumawan via Wikimedia Commons

Bonifacio Day

November 30, 2012

Bonifacio Day commemorates the birthday of Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan, a secret society that strived to gain independence for the Philippines back in the Spanish colonization era. Unlike national hero Jose Rizal who fought with his pen, Bonifacio preferred to face the Spaniards head-on through military movement. After having internal conflict, he was executed by order of the Philippine government under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.