Festivals in the Philippines | March Guide
Festivals in the Philippines are as abundant as there are islands to this country. And March marks the beginning of fiestas happening back-to-back in many provinces.
Lenten specials highlight the festivals in the Philippines for the month of March.
While March signals the coming of the long summer holidays, this year, it is ushered by the Lenten season. The Philippines is one of the biggest Catholic nations in the world. The Holy Week is an anticipated religious activity observed by most Filipinos.
But there’s more to the festivals in the Philippines than just the sacred rites of the lent. Check out the fun fiestas that are also happening across the country this month.
The Senakulo is a Lenten play that depicts the life & death of Jesus Christ. This activity stretches for 8 days, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. During the Holy Week, episodes of Christ’s life are told in many ways like the pabasa & stage plays. But the most awaited parts are the traditional processions of The Way to the Cross & the Resurrection.
While this is observed nationwide, some provinces have become popular for its spectator parades. Characters from the Passion of Christ like the Roman soldiers flock to the streets in full costume. But in some towns like Zambales, Mindoro & Pampanga, some men take it to a different level by self-flagellation to atone their sins.
During the Holy Week, the small island province of Marinduque becomes the hub of pilgrims & tourists. They come for the grand Moriones Festival. Taken from the morion helmet worn by Roman soldiers, this festival reenacts the story of St. Longinus, the one-eyed Roman centurion. Men & women march on the streets of the capital town of Boac in masks & costumes reenacting the search for Longinus.
The island of Siquijor has always been feared as a place plagued with witches, witchcraft & black magic. But in reality it is one beautiful island that has kept our ancient natural healing traditions. Healing Festival celebrates the “mananambal” or the healers & their mystical knowledge of medicinal herbs.
From Holy Wednesday to Black Saturday, traditional healers climb Mt. Bandilaan to prepare different concoctions. Uniquely, this is the only festival in the Philippines of this kind.
Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival
March 4-6 / March 24-26
Mt. Malasimbo in Mindoro comes to life during the Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival. Held annually, it features global artists showcasing various genres of music, traditional & contemporary art. On its 2nd weekend of performance, light show is added bringing the spectacle to a different level.
March 1-April 2
Kaamulan, from the Binukid word “amul” meaning to gather, brings the different indigenous tribes of Bukidnon into one celebration. It rejoices their bountiful harvest, wedding rituals, peace pact & installation of tribal leaders. In a month of frenzy, Bukidnon delights its guests with trade fairs, variety shows & street dancing.
To find out more about festivals in the Philippines for the month of March, check out the complete list here.