Pre-Christmas Festivals You Can Enjoy This November

Pre-Christmas Festivals
Filipino festivals this month of November. ctto.

Indeed, Christmas is in the air in the Philippines as holiday songs are already playing on the radio and in stores while Yuletide lighting events come one after another.

While everyone may be busy for early Christmas shopping, planning their reunions and Christmas parties, and counting down the days for the
Simbang Gabi in December, we must not forget that November is also a jam-packed month of festivals and gatherings that celebrate milestones and anniversaries, unity, diversity, arts, and heritage.

We are almost half done with November and Good News Pilipinas came up with this list of festivals you don’t want to miss in the remaining days of this month.

November 6-23, Benguet

The grand “cañao” or native feast with pigs and cows being offered to the gods and forbears. Credits to Atty. Ronald M. Cosalan.

The Adivay Festival is an Agri-Tourism festival and thanksgiving celebration of the abundant blessings in the province of Benguet, the home of Philippine strawberries, the award-winning coffees, and etag delicacies.

The festival that celebrates Adivay (Ibaloy term for “coming together” or “bonding”) started on November 6 through the ceremonial beating of the gong and blowing of bamboo horns.

The month-long festival highlight is a civic and float parade on November 23, as well as the traditional grand “cañao” (native feast) where pigs are offered to the gods and ancestors.

Beauty pageants, medical and dental services for farmers, mountain bike racing, trade fair, and other festivities are also scheduled within the festival.

This year, the Adivay Festival theme is “HEALTHIER Benguet” which stands for the priority projects of the local government:

H (health),
E (education),
A (agriculture),
L (livelihood),
T (tourism),
H (human resource and development), I (infrastructure),
E (environment),
R (responsive and resilient government)

November 9-11, South Cotabato

The T’boli people perform the festival’s opening ritual. Credits to Where Have You VIN Facebook.

This festival is in line with the 36th founding anniversary celebration of the Municipality of Lake Sebu in South Cobato, home of the T’boli tribe who are T’nalak fabric weavers.

The word “Helobung” means “never-ending joy” in T’boli language.

In its 23rd year, the festival theme is “Lake Sebu: Home of the Living Treasures” with activities focusing on the indigenous culture and art such as the cultural parade, horse show, and a mass wedding.

It already started on November 8th and will last until 11th so you still have one more day left to enjoy this festival in South Cotabato.

November 21, Sultan Kudarat

The street dancers of Kalimudan Festival in their bright costumes. Credits to Kalimudan Festival Facebook.

The Kalimudan is an annual month-long festival of the people of Sultan Kudarat from different tribes such as Manobo, Tiruray, and T’boli gatherings to celebrate of their unity and diversity.

It also coincides with the province’s founding anniversary and is celebrated through street dancing, trade fairs and night concerts, among other activities.

The word “Kalimudan” means “informal gathering” in Maguindanaoan language.

November 22-23, Angono, Rizal

The higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper-mache brought by the Spanish priests to the Philippines. Credits Unlad Pinas.

The celebration of the Higantes Festival of the city of Angono, the country’s “art capital” in the province of Rizal, can be traced way back to the Spanish colonial times in the Philippines in honor of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen.

The celebration highlights the parade of papier-mache giants (usually 12 feet in height) in colorful costumes and rendered as a man or lady. It was said to be the Filipino form of agrarian protest back then to ridicule the hacienda rulers in Angono during the Spanish period.

The Higantes Festival has since grown and become an avenue for the people of Angono to express their artistic talent, conserve their old-age practice, preserve their heritage, and attract local and foreign tourists.

2nd week of November, Marinduque

MIMAROPA Festival is hosted by Marinduque this year. Credits to the Department of Tourism.

The MIMAROPA is coined from the names of five provinces in Region IV-B: the provinces of Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.

The festival is an annual celebration that aims to achieve the region’s vision as “The Destination of Choice” and is hosted by each of the provinces on a rotational basis. Marinduque will serve as host-province this year.

The celebration highlights MIMAROPA’s agricultural produce, indigenous arts, native cuisines, and beauty pageants, trade fair, and street-dancing competition.

TELL US in the comments below about your favorite festival experience!

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Lorenzo Cruz believes that the power of beauty could help the Philippines to rise to the top. He is a travel and fashion enthusiast who loves to explore Filipino culture.