Traditional Festivals in Cebu City
People in Cebu love to celebrate festivals or are fiesta-loving people. Cebu has one of the most colorful and world-renowned festivals in the Philippines and they celebrate it with excitement and high spirits. Cebu celebrates different festivals in different towns and cities. Cebu celebrates fiestas with religious rituals and dancing in the streets to the beat of the drums.
Sinulog Festival3rd Sunday of January (Cebu City)
People shout “Viva Pit Señor”. The Sinulog is Cebu City’s most popular and grandest festival. It is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January in honor of the Señor Sto. Niño. Foreign and local tourists flock to Cebu City for this celebration and join in the procession and the grand mardi gras. The Sinulog is a dance-prayer expressing devotion to the Holy Child. it is a popular belief among Cebuanos that this dance-prayer is the most effective way of getting favors from the Sto. Niño. This festival is world-renowned and the most extravagant festival in Cebu. The Sinulog festival is celebrated in honor of the holy child Senior Santo Niño. The highlights of this festivities are the street dancing where merrymakers dance to the beat of the pit senor drums.
Tagbo Festival19th of January (Poro, Camotes Island)
It is celebrated every January in honor of patron Sto. Niño de Poro. Beloved memoir of a living past, Tagbo is the cornerstone from which this great municipality has sprung. Rich in cultural heritage and deep in spiritual values, Tagbo is a very significant event precluding the birth of a town very dear to the hearts of her sons and daughters.
Bodbod Festival10th Of February (Catmon)
The town of Catmon is famous for its tasty “bodbod” and thus is the focus of the festival. The street dancing competition is participated by the different barangays has its dance movements, the movement of making the bodbod with the costumes in bodbod concept.
Kadaugan sa Mactan22nd – 27th of April (Lapu-Lapu City)
A weeklong commemoration of the historic battle of Mactan between the Spanish Conquistador Fernando Magallanes and Mactan Chieftain Lapu-Lapu. The festival features various activities highlighted by the series of musical productions culminating with the famous battle, food street, and live band entertainment.
Kabayo FestivalFebruary – Movable (Mandaue City)
Organized by the Cebu Equine Owners, Breeders and Sportsmen Association (CEOBSA), the Kabayo festival is supported by the DOT. The festival promotes sports tourism, ecotourism and agri-industrial tourism awareness in the country. The highlights include the parade of horses, horse racing competition and the best decorated “tartanillas” or horse-drawn carriages and features a bazaar and flea market.
Sarok Festival14th of February (Consolacion)
The festival is part of the town’s commemoration of their founding anniversary. It is a mardi gras parade and street dancing along the main thoroughfares with participants using a creative design of “sarok”, a native hat used by the farmers to protect them from the heat of the sun.
Soli-soli Festival18th March (San Francisco, Camotes Island)
named after the soli-soli plant which abounds around the lake Danao which is used for mat, bags and hat weaving and other handicrafts. its freestyle street dancing competition uses soli-soli plant as its dominant material. The festival adds color to the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Tostado Festival3rd Sunday of April (Santander)
The festival focuses on the town’s famous delicacy, the “tostado”. The street dancing which is the highlight of the festivity uses the different movements of making tostado in the dance participated in by the different barangays.
Haladaya FestivalEaster Sunday (Daan Bantayan)
Starts on Easter Sunday and ends with a street dancing on the seventh day after Easter. Haladaya means “Halad Kang Datu Day”, the leader of the first Malayan settlers in Daan Bantayan. Highlights include the fluvial parade where patron saints of the different barangays will be placed in decorated bancas or motorized outrigger boats and paraded in the sea.
Kabanhawan FestivalEaster Sunday (Minglanilla)
Showcases the “Sugat” in which the town is known for many years since. The street dancing depicts the joy felt by the believers when Christ is resurrected. The celebration is grander since it will be followed by a day-long game and entertainment that highlights the endowment of Minglanilla’s history, trade, and arts.
Mantawi Festival7th of May (Mandaue City)
A showcase of the city’s historical heritage and identity promoting the city as an industrial and tourist hub, that involves the Spanish regime through street dancing, dioramas, floats, food festival, trade fair and sports event.
Tartanilla Festival12th of June (Cebu City)
The Tartanilla Festival is Cebu City’s way of preserving the tartanilla (horse-drawn carriage) heritage by reviving the oldest mode of transportation to ply some of the city’s streets. The festival coincides with the city’s celebration of the country’s Independence Day starting from June 1 to 12. gaily decorated tartanillas driven by kutseros ply the streets of some of the city’s barangays and compete for several awards.
Camotes Cassava Festival2nd week of June (Tudela, Camotes Island)
A yearly celebration of a bountiful harvest where farmers display their various cassava-based products, share their varied technical experiences in producing and processing cassava products. Among the activities are the Best Booth Contest, Poster-making Contest, search for new cassava food products, cultural night and the search for Miss Camotes Tourism.
Palawod FestivalLast week of June (Bantayan, Bantayan Island)
Palawod is the fishermen’s daily toil, their means of livelihood, their life, and pride. The street dancing captures and preserves the Bantayanon’s unique traditional fishing rituals inherent to the island through dancing, music and the visual arts.
Semana Santa sa Bantayan12th of June (Cebu City)
Holy Thursday and Good Friday (Bantayan, Bantayan Island) Also known as “Pasko sa Kasakit” Celebrated in Holy Thursday and Good Friday. This is celebrated in the observance of the Holy Week on Bantayan Island with the procession and merrymaking.
Kinsan FestivalJune – Movable (Aloguinsan)
Kinsan is the name of the town’s favorite fish that abounds in the town’s coastal area every June. It is relatively big fish, with a foot-long kinsan, weighing about three kilos considered small.
Kuyayang FestivalJune – Movable (Bogo City)
Kuyayang refers to the dance movements conveying courtship and love characterized by the Bagohanon’s cariñoso character. Kuyayang mardi gras as a cultural tourism festival manifests the cultural heritage of Bogo as a place and avenue for cultural conservancy program of the city.
Caballo Festival25th of July (Compostela)
A street dancing competition that honor’s the town’s patron saint, Señor Santiago de Apostol. History retells of a war between Christians and Muslims where the townsfolk saw and was saved by a miraculous apparition of a man riding a horse and later became known as the town’s patron saint.
Dinagat Bakasi festival2nd week of August (Cordova)
It is a unique reinvention of the Dinagat Festival. The exotic eel locally known as “bakasi” is peculiar and abundant in Cordova. The dance replicates the gliding movement of the bakasi.
Bonga festival9th of August (Sibonga)
Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Our Lady of Pilar and Santa Filomena. Among its highlights is the street dancing and ritual/showdown competition. “Bunga” is a Cebuano word which means fruit in English. This festival is a thanksgiving for all the blessings and graces the Sibongahalnons have received for the abundant fruits found in their town.
Siloy FestivalLast Saturday of August (Alcoy)
The festival promotes the Mag-abo forest with its famous Black Shama or Siloy, the town’s scenic white sand beaches, and dive spots and in honor of the town’s patroness Saint Rose of Lima.
Kabuhian Festival3rd Sunday of September (Ronda)
Celebrated during the town’s fiesta that features activities like trade fair, livelihood forum and a street dancing competition participated in by the different barangays with the dance movements depicting the various livelihood program of the town.
Karansa Festival3rd Sunday of September (Danao City)
The Karansa is a dance expressing one’s joy and happiness performed in four basic steps: The kiay, karag, kurug and kurahay that jibes with the Karansa official beat. It is celebrated during the city’s annual fiesta in honor of their patron saint, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva.
Sinanggiyaw Festival4th of October (Dumanjug)
Sinanggi-yaw is taken from two old Cebuano words, Sinanggi meaning abundance of harvested agricultural products of the local farmers and Sayaw meaning dance. Through street dancing and field presentation. Performers is focused on three aspects: planting, harvesting and thanksgiving.
Inasal (Halad) Festival14th – 15th of October (Talisay City)
A showcase of Talisay City’s historical heritage and identity promoting the city as an aqua and tourist hub, through street dancing as a thanksgiving offering to the city’s patroness, Sta. Teresa de Avila. Sports fest, parade of the great personages as higantes, food festival featuring the famous “inasal” or lechon, Talisay’s roast pig being the undisputable best – golden brown, crackling crispy skin, tasty meat from secret stuffed herbs.
Kabkaban Festival4th week of November (Carcar City)
The festival is in conjunction with the first of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the town’s patron saint. It is a cultural catalog of the town’s historical past. Among the highlights of the festival which was named after Carcar’s old name Kabkab which is a kind of fern, is the street dancing and parade.
Kawayan Festival2nd of December (Alegria)
“Kawayan” is the vernacular term for bamboo and is the major source of livelihood/income in Alegria. The street dancing competition is based on the kawayan and is slated during the town’s fiesta in honor of Saint Francis Javier.
Sadsad Festival8th of December (Oslob)
In celebration of the town’s annual fiesta, “sadsad” is a form of merrymaking and thanksgiving for the blessings received for the past year from the town’s patroness, the Immaculate Conception.
Pasyon sa MandaueGood Friday to Easter Sunday (Mandaue City)
This is a re-enactment of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Fiesta sa MandaueMay 8 – Week Long Festival (Mandaue City)
This is a week-long fiesta celebration. The festival will starts May 8. The fiesta is celebrated in honor of Mandaue’s Patron Saint, St. Joseph.