Spanish colonization of the Philippines has left its mark in the form of many of its customs and traditions. A large number of festivities are religious, such as Christmas or Holy Week, which are celebrated intensely. On the different islands their own patrons and saints are preserved and honoured. This is the case of Santo Niño, one of the most famous and the protagonist of some of the Philippines most popular parties. If the Filipino celebrations are characterized by anything, it is their colourful atmosphere, happiness, good atmosphere and elaborate body painting and mask wearing.
One of the most joyful and colourful festivals in the Philippines. It is celebrated in Kalibo, Visayas, where different parades are organized, including outlandish costumes, feather crowns and painted faces. The carnival honours Santo Niño, whose image is present in the different processions that cross the streets.
Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino journalist and politician killed during Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorship when he was at Manila airport, returning home after three years of exile in the United States. Every August 21 his death is commemorated along, with the fall of the dictatorship, with parades in the capital.
This celebration dates back to 1980 when the country was going through a crisis. On the island of Negros, a festival was organised to lift the spirits of the population. Influenced by the Carnivals of Venice and Brazil, they wear masks and celebrate with dance competitions in the streets, music, food and lots of colour.
The day of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated in Balayan, Batangas, in a festival in honour of a typical Filipino dish: roast pork. The most curious thing about this party is that during that day the roasted pigs, are dressed in clothes according to the theme that the organisation has marked for that year. Then, they are taken to the church of the Immaculate Conception where they are baptized before they are paraded through the city and then finally served as food for the party goers.
The days before Christmas, in the town of San Fernando - north of the island of Luzon - the Festival of giant lanterns is celebrated. Bamboo lanterns are made into beautiful shapes and released into the sky in a spectacular display. Currently, the party includes a full procession of lights that illuminate the entire town.
This religious festival is celebrated on the island of Marinduque and commemorates the life of Saint Longinus, a one-eyed centurion of the Roman Empire. In it, his life is recreated through a series of theatrical parades and masked characters roam the streets throughout Holy Week. As in other festivities of the country, the colourful atmosphere and joy of the party revellers are unmissable.
On this occasion, which marks the arrival of spring, the Philippines is full of flowers. The women share them in the streets as a symbol of virtue, the sidewalks are filled with petals and a festival queen is chosen. In this month the religious festival of Santacruzan in Manila takes place which is a recreation of the arrival of Santa Helena to the Holy Land.
The Sinulog Festival is one of the best-known festivals in the Philippines. It is religious in nature and is mainly celebrated in the city of Cebu. It honours the baby Jesus, patron of this town and who the Filipinos call the Holy Child. On this day there are parades, drumming, and processions with figures of the Holy Child.