The Philippines is a country in the Southeast Asia that has one of the most colorful histories in the world. Its history with other nations from Asia, Europe and the Americas has paved the way for it to have many diverse cultural heritages. These regional differences have allowed various cultural festivities that are so colorful that they have become major tourist attractions for the country. Most festivals or “fiestas” as it is commonly called in the country are mostly influenced by their catholic religion, a sect initially brought in by Spain when they first colonized the country in 1500. Until today, “Fiestas” are still one of the main festivities that Filipinos celebrates each year. In Manila alone, each city celebrates “Fiesta” and the festival is usually dedicated to the patron saint of the City. These religious Festivals promote the country’s very rich culture and heritage.
Almost every day, there is an event celebrating a momentous occasions in the country. These fascinating festivals are one trait of the Filipinos that shows their in-born fun loving nature. All festivals and holidays in the Philippines are both cultural and religious in nature and they are celebrated almost all year round in both urban areas and provinces. Each region of the country has its own unique way of merry making all throughout the year. There are countless ways to enjoy and explore the scenic beauties and festivities of these islands in the Far East. Festivals in the Philippines are considered to be one of the main attractions for the tourists aside from the unspoiled beaches and o ther man-made and natural attractions of the islands. These festival events are so filled with energy and enthusiasm that tourists and visitors can’t help but join the fun instead of just watching them.
Examples of very high energy festivities are the “Ati-Atihan” and “Sinulog” of the provinces Kalibo Aklan and Cebu in the islands of Visaya. Both festivities are celebrated during the month of January and the celebration is for the thanksgiving for the infant child Jesus. The two festivals which usually last for about a week to nine days features various street parades with participants dressed in bright costumes or body paints and dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs. It is also in January that the most attended festival is celebrated in the city of Manila which is called “Fiesta ng Quiapo” this celebration is known worldwide where hundreds and thousands of people join a parade where the Black Nazarene, (a black image of Jesus Christ carrying a cross) is paraded throughout the street of Manila.
Other well known festivities that are usually flocked by visitors and tourists are the “Panagbenga”, a flower festival in the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City; the Moriones Festival of Marinduque, Pahiyas festival of Quezon Province and the Kadayawan Festival of Davao City. Most of these festivities are religious in nature but the festivity most visited by tourist is the celebration of the Lenten season in the country. This is where penitents from different parts of the country would have themselves literally nailed to the cross to imitate the hardship of our Lord Jesus Christ.