The Philippines is a country that loves its culture, its crops and celebrations! Take part in the dancing, the eating and the partying this 2023. Here are upcoming festivals celebrating a province’s best crop or giving thanks for an abundant harvest.
Banana Festival | Baco, Davao del Norte
March 18 - 19*March 19, 2017: Banana festival in Baco village at Mindoro island, Philippines (Hlib Shabashnyi / Shutterstock)*
The Municipality of Baco, Davao del Norte celebrates the Banana Festival as thanksgiving for abundant and healthy harvests. It features all sorts of banana varieties such as the Senorita, Latundan, Lacatan and Saba.
During the festival, residents take part in traditions like harana (traditional serenades), and pandangguhan (dancing with lights). There are also cookfests and foodfests all featuring meals and delicacies with banana as the main ingredient. Booths and public areas are adorned with creative decorations made from bananas and its trees.
Dinamulag Festival (Mango Festival) | Iba, Zambales
March 19 - 24
The Dinamulag Festival is celebrated to encourage a bountiful harvest of the province’s delicious mangoes. It was first held in 1999 and has been celebrated annually ever since.
The festival’s mascot is, of course, a mango!*Mango, the official mascot of the Mango Festival of Iba, Zambales. (Mmhuang / Wikimedia)*
The Dinamulag variety of Carabao mango was named the world’s sweetest mango by the Guinness World Records in 1995. The Department of Agriculture also acknowledged it as the country’s sweetest mango in 2013.
The festival includes parades, street dancing competitions, and even sport events while making sure that the province’s fruit remains the star of the party.*Street Dancing Competition in Zambales Sports Complex during the Mango Fest Street Dancing Competition (Jay-Eins / Wikimedia)*
Alimango Festival | Lala, Lanao del Norte
March 22*The traditional crab mountain of the Alimango Festival in Lala, Lanao del Norte. (Photo taken from the Province of Lanao Official Facebook page)*
Perhaps you’ve seen or heard of the mountain of crabs a whole city shares during a time of celebration. That’s how the Municipality of Lala celebrates their annual alimango, or crab, festival.
The Alimango Festival holds activities such as a grand street parade, races, contests, and an agri trade fair, all themed around the pride of their town, crabs.
Sunflower Festival | Ligao, Albay
March 24*Sunflower street dance of the Sunflower Festival in Ligao, Albay. (Photo taken from the Ligao City Official Government website)*
Residents of Ligao, Albay hold a celebration for the flower abundant in their locality, the mirasolis or the sunflower. They believe that the flower is a symbol of their faith that has stood strong for over four hundred years. They pay tribute to St. Stephen, deacon and Protomartyr, for resilience amid calamities.
The festival is celebrated with a colorful cultural tapestry which tells visitors of the legends of the Sunflower City and about the progress its people achieved.
Residents take part in traditional festivities such as street dances which showcase the sunflowers grown in their town.
Kariton Festival | Licab, Nueva Ecija
Last Saturday of March*The Municipality of Licab which celebrates the colorful Kariton Festival. (Photo taken from the Licab Official website)*
A farmer’s helper deserves to be celebrated, too. At Licab, the whole town parades their carabao-pulled karitons (carts), which are decorated in striking and festive colors. Sometimes even the carabaos are painted different colors and are decorated with flowers or crops which they have assisted growing.
The Kariton Festival is also a tribute to the role the kariton had with the town’s founding father, Don Dalmacio Esguerra. Don Esguerra used the kariton when he left San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte until he finally settled and founded the town, Licab. The Licab LGU adopted this event as an official festival as it also celebrated its founding anniversary.
Besides kariton float parades, the Kariton Festival holds beauty pageants and a trade fair to promote its local products.
Tobacco Festival | Candon, Ilocos Sur
Last week of March*Parading the town’s longest made tobacco during the Tobacco Festival in Candon City, Ilocos Sur. (Mau Victa / Flickr)*
As the "Tobacco Capital of the Philippines," the city of Candon, Ilocos Sur has a festival of the same name. It’s to highlight the city’s achievement as the country’s largest producer of the Virginia-type tobacco and to celebrate bountiful harvests.
Residents and visitors of the city can enjoy many activities like street dancing competitions, beauty pageants, band competitions, and concerts. There are also other kinds of competitions like kalamay (rice cake) eating contests, singing, boxing and even mountain biking. Of course, you can’t miss the highlight of the festival, which is creating, rolling and parading their longest tobacco.
Ani Festival | Dingras, Ilocos Norte
Last week of March*Dance competition held at the Ani Festival of Dingras, Ilocos Norte. (Ilocos Norte Government / Flickr)*
Just like its name ‘ani’, the Ani Festival in Dingras City, Ilovos Norte is a thanksgiving celebration of Ilocano “mannalon” (farmers) for a bountiful harvest. It’s also to celebrate their efforts and dedication and to thank them for their contribution to the province’s economic development.
During the Spanish era, Augustinian friars believed Dingras to have the most fertile and most productive soil in Ilocos Norte. This must be why they produce garlic, corn, coffee, bananas, and vegetables in abundance and is known as the rice granary of Ilocos Norte.
The Ani Festival starts its week-long celebration with a thanksgiving mass they call Dingras Night. Residents also look forward to the dance parade held on the same day which features ethnic dancers with colorful costumes.
The festival also holds events like an agro-industrial fair, beauty pageants, concerts, and food fests.
Mark your March calendars, Agri-folk, and join the celebration of abundance that different regions of the Philippines are blessed with.