CELEBRATING FILIPINO CULTURE: PHILIPPINE FIESTAS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Miss niyo na ba maki-street dancing, makikain, at maki-fiesta?!
The Philippines is rich with colorful culture and traditions that bind every Filipino together. Aside from August being the ‘Buwan ng Wika’, we also celebrate a bunch of festivities during the month of August. And in this time of pandemic when there is limited physical activity, we also miss the burst of joy we get from our colorful fiestas.
Originating from pagan traditions, fiestas were a way for our ancestors to thank the anitos (ancestor spirits, nature spirits, and deities in the indigenous Philippine folk religions) for various reason ranging from ‘good harvests’ to ‘fertility’. When the Spanish colonizers noticed the early Filipinos’ love for celebration, they used fiestas as a way to entice the natives. Since then fiestas became celebrated events under our first colonizers but would circle around religious icons instead.
The Philippines is known worldwide for its numerous fiestas every month. To the point that it became a tourist go-to, that attracts people from all over the world. So here in The FEED in we took the liberty of listing some of the fiestas in the month of August that we will miss due to COVID-19.
Guinobatan Longganisa Festival
Celebrated every August 5 – 15 in the town of Guinobatan, Albay is the Guinobatan Longganisa Festival. Like many of the fiestas in the country, this festival is celebrated in honor of the town’s Patroness, the Our Lady of Assumption. But more than that the Guinobatan Longganisa Festival is a way for the townspeople to celebrate the culture and natural heritage of Guinobatan, Albay. The town boasts its unique and tasty longganisa products, with the event’s highlights to include the Street Dancing and the Culinaria Longganisa Cooking and Making Contest.
In the town of Tigaon, Camarines Sur is where the annual Tig-Aw Festival is celebrated every August 5 – 12. This fiesta is held in thanksgiving in honor of the town’s Patroness, St. Clare of Assisi. And every year, the town of Tigaon is filled with colorful music as the streets are flooded with Ylau-Raya Grand street Dancing Competition, Special Program in the Arts Dance and Musical Night, Tig-Aw Farmers’ Festival, and many more.
The Coron Festival of Tiwi, Albay every August 5 – 13 is held in honor of Albay’s Patroness, Nuestra Seniora de Salvacion or Our Lady of Salvation. Aside from the cheerful celebrations, the Coron Festival is where a pack of religious groups and devotees would congregate a long maritime procession of different local sea vessels on the sea spray of the serene pacific ocean that would lead to the quiet barangay of Joroan — the home of the miraculous image.
Mercedes Kadagatan Festival
Unlike many of the fiestas in the Philippines that circle around different religious icons, the Mercedes Kadagatan Festival celebrated every August 1 – 8 in the town of Mercedes, Camarines Norte is a thanksgiving in honor of the blessing and bounty during the seafaring, fishing expedition, and different fish farming endeavors. The town also celebrates its ecological balance for the attainment of environmental dignity and beauty. This fiesta is celebrated to thank Mother Nature for bestowing Mercedes the gift of vast fishery resources with their magnificent shorelines and many aquatic maritime riches.
Celebrated for the whole month of August in Cagayan de Oro City, the Higalaay Festival is a celebration of the city’s colorful culture and traditions that draw hundreds of tourists every year. It is a month-long festivity filled with different activities every week that center on the colorful, culturally rich, and fun-filled core events. The Higalaay Festival would end on the last week of August to culminate the feast day of the city’s patron saint, St. Augustine.