November 2023 Festivals in the Philippines

Watatrip November Festivals 2023 01

From historic clashes to colorful celebrations, these festivals offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of this beautiful nation. Here’s your guide to the festivities this November all around the Philippines:

💀 Kalag-Kalag Festival (November 1-2) 🕯️ 

Celebrate All Souls Day with a twist in Cebu City, reviving the Filipino custom of honoring departed loved ones. A few unique elements of Halloween are introduced in this celebration, giving these spooky characters a fresh new perspective.

The ornate decorations are one of the most distinguishing elements of the Kalag-Kalag Festival. Many cemeteries and homes are decorated with colorful skulls and skeletons, as well as other death and afterlife motifs. These decorations are not meant to be frightening, but rather to depict the festival’s fun and whimsical nature.

Explore accommodations in Cebu City, including Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, Radisson Blu Cebu, or Bai Hotel Cebu.

🎨 PintaFlores Festival (November 3-6)🌺

San Carlos City’s PintaFlores Festival is a combination of art and culture, blending the Nabingkalan Tattoo Festival and the Dance of Flowers into a vibrant spectacle. Street dancing and ritual competitions showcase painted bodies and dazzling performances. 

With its bright costumes, complex dancing, and loud music, the Pintaflores Festival is a feast for the senses. The festival’s main attraction is the street dance competition, in which groups from all across the city fight for the title of champion.The dancers are dressed in elaborate costumes and perform frenetic, synchronized routines, as influenced by the city’s flora and fauna, as well as its diverse cultural past.

You can enjoy your stay at La Esperanza Hotel for a comfortable experience.

🎉 Feast of San Clemente/Gigantes (November 22-23)

Angono, Rizal, comes alive with the Higantes Festival, honoring the patron saint of fishermen, San Clemente. This grand parade features towering paper-mache giants, a symbol of creative satire from the Spanish era. 

The festival takes place on November 23rd, and begins with a procession of the image of San Clemente through the town streets. A band, dancers, and the higantes, which can stand up to 15 feet tall and weigh over 100 pounds, accompany the procession.

The higantes are a distinct and iconic part of the San Clemente/Gigantes Feast. They are generally embellished with vivid colors and fancy costumes and are made of paper-mâché and bamboo frames. The higantes embody a wide range of characters, including historical individuals, legendary creatures, and ordinary people.

Explore nearby accommodations in Antipolo or Taytay, such as Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa or Altaroca Mountain Resort.

🌾 P’yagsawitan Festival (November 25)

Immerse yourself in the P’yagsawitan Festival in Maragusan, the Summer Capital of Davao Region. It’s a heartfelt celebration of bountiful harvests and the rich cultural heritage of the Mansaka people. 

The highlights of this festival include: 

  • Traditional dances: The Binanog, a dance done to commemorate a good harvest, and the Ilaw sa Mansaka, a dance that relates the tale of the Mansaka people’s voyage to Maragusan.
  • Music: The P’yagsawitan Festival also includes traditional music performed by Mansaka artists on traditional instruments such as the gandingan (bamboo lute) and the gabang (bamboo xylophone).
  • Rituals: The Panag-anak sa Mansaka (Mansaka wedding ritual) and the Panang-ob sa Mansaka (Mansaka death ritual) are two of the traditional rituals performed during the P’yagsawitan Festival.

The Heaven’s Peak Highland Resort is an overlooking resort and accommodation where you can stay if you want to participate in P’yagsawitan Festival. 

🌊 Guipao Festival (November 23-30) 💃 

The Guipao Festival is an annual event held in Sagay, Camarines Sur, Philippines. It’s a celebration of the town’s fishing heritage and culture, and it includes a street dance competition, a boat race, and a cultural display.

Enjoy various activities in this festival such as street dance competition, boating competition, and other cultural performances, while munching on some local delicacies.

The Guipao Parade, which takes place on the final day of the festival, is considered as the festival’s main attraction. Floats decorated with fishing nets, fishing gear, and other symbols of the town’s fishing heritage are featured in the parade. The procession is a colorful and cheerful sight that is a terrific way to enjoy the Guipao Festival.

If you’re planning to join the festivities here, check in at Tigaon Pension Hotel, located in the nearby town. This will give you more opportunities to explore the wonderful province of Camarines Sur. 

🥁 Binabayani Festival (November 30)

Binabayani is Zambales’ take on the world-famous Ati-Atihan that the province holds on November 30th. On the feast day of San Andres, patron of Masinloc, a war dance between Christians and Aetas is performed. 

It has been passed down since the Spanish era and signifies courage. Aside from preventing calamities, it is believed to avert disasters if not performed. The townspeople also think that by performing the Binabayani, they will have a bountiful harvest.

Stay at Dfarm and Park for as low as P2,500 for a room with view, or Maria’s Hotel for a more budget-friendly choice. 

🌞 Day-ang Di Onga Festival (November 30)

The Day-ang Di Onga Festival is a day-long celebration of Cordilleran culture and heritage held in Baguio City, Philippines, every November. 

The festival’s name means “The Greatness of the Cordilleras” in the Kankanaey language, and it is a time for the people of the Cordillera region to come together and celebrate their unique culture and traditions.

The Day-ang Di Onga Festival features a variety of activities most specifically ones that highly the traditional dances of the Banga:, a dance performed by women carrying pots on their heads, and the Sakuting:, a dance performed by males wearing wooden masks and headdresses, are two of the most popular.

Traditional Cordilleran music is also performed throughout the festival. Some of the most popular instruments include the gandingan: (bamboo lute), the gabang: (bamboo xylophone), and the tongali: (nose flute).

Sunset View Ridge Residences has rooms as low as P1700++. If you’re staying out most of the day, and just want a place to sleep, Vista Pino Transient House offers accommodations less than P1000 per night. 

Don’t miss these incredible festivals that define the Philippines in November!

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