Start the year on a high note at any of these cultural and religious events happening across the Philippines.
Lakbayaw Festival Santo Niño de Tondo, held in the third week of January, draws a crowd of thousands each year. Devotees of the Santo Niño (as the Holy Child is known throughout the Philippines) celebrate through street dancing and processions on the Pasig River.
Held in the second week of January, the Biniray Festival is a celebration of Señor Santo Niño de Romblon, an image of the Child Jesus that is said to have miraculous origins. Dancers fill the streets and part of the main parade is taken to Romblon Bay, where a regatta awaits.
Perhaps the country’s largest Santo Niño festival, Sinulog draws over a million visitors annually. The three-day event culminates on the third Sunday in January with a full-day grand parade with dancers in vivid outfits.
Held on the fourth Sunday in January — or right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan — the Dinagyang Festival features soot-covered tribal warriors dancing to lively beats.
“‘Masadya gid!’ sums up the Ati-Atihan Festival. This is the Ilonggo translation for ‘This is so fun!’. Check it out if you’re around Kalibo or the Visayan areas in the third week of January — Santo Niño is honored and celebrated with music, the arts and street dancing. Feel free to join in with creative costumes and face paint.” – Gab Arellano: IG: @gabarellano