A Definitive Guide to Festivals in the Philippines

Whether it’s an intimate gathering of family and close friends, or a huge celebration that includes the whole village, Filipinos love parties. The Filipino fiesta or festival has been a momentous event binding communities together for centuries, with the tradition tracing back to the Spanish colonization.

There are plenty of festivals in the Philippines — every local province, city, and town has a different patron saint, and each one is celebrated in a unique way as defined by cultural traditions. Some festivals include large celebrations that are attended by thousands, with extravagant and lively parades, events, and street celebrations, while some are small and involve potlucks between families and neighbors.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, here’s a list of some of the biggest, grandest festivals in the Philippines.

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The Most Popular Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

2018 was the year when tourism in the Philippines hit an all-time high. The Department of Trade and Industry reports a recorded 7.1 million foreign tourists that visited the country, an increase of 7.7% when compared to 2017’s statistics. This year, the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, with the Manila Standard noting foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines increasing to 12.4% in the first seven months of 2019 alone.

Domestic travel also seems to be flourishing these past couple of years. The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) recorded number of domestic travelers have already exceeded 97 million since 2017, which prompted the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) to revise their target of 89.2 million domestic tourists by 2022. This has been a fairly recent trend, too, with DOT noting that these statistics have doubled from the 45 million domestic tourists recorded four or five years ago.

With the tourism industry booming, the tourism market is catching up with things that make traveling easier and more accessible. As noted by lifestyle magazine Preen, seat sales and apartment rental apps like Agoda or Airbnb make booking your next getaway easier and more wallet-friendly.

If you’re already building up your wanderlust spirits and looking for your next R&R destination, here are some popular locations in the country that you might want to look into.

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Areas in the Philippines Most Affected by Natural Disasters

Last June 2019, PAGASA officially declared the start of the rainy season in the Philippines. Preparing for days, even weeks, of heavy rain is certainly something Filipinos aren’t new to — PAGASA says much of the Philippine climate is characterized by heavy rainfall. With a tropical and maritime climate, rain is something that all regions experience, but to varying degrees. For example, Baguio City, Eastern Samar, and Eastern Surigao usually experience the most amount of rain, while the southern portion of Cotabato experiences the least.

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A Definitive Guide to Manila Traffic

When you live in Metro Manila, heading out of your house means coming face-to-face with one of the most dreaded traits of the megacity: the infamous Metro Manila traffic. Every day, millions of travelers in and around the Metro struggle through one of the longest commutes in the world, with cars, buses, motorcycles, bikes, jeeps, and pedestrians all vying for space on the road. Over 370,000 vehicles daily pass through EDSA, Metro Manila’s busiest highway, and the metropolis itself has a population of 12.8 million people. If you’d like to know more about this perennial problem, or are stuck in traffic yourself, then here are ten top facts about traffic in the Metro.

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8 Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the Philippines

As the saying goes, golf is the gentleman’s sport. Where other sports may have boxy, plain arenas, golfers compete in lush greens with stunning vistas unlike any other. In the Philippines, a tropical paradise with over 7,000 islands, the game is elevated by the balmy tropical weather and unique views that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. According to website Top 100 Golf Courses, there are almost a hundred different courses in the Philippines where golfers can enjoy their sport. Here are eight of the most beautiful spots in the archipelago where you can tee off.

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5 Packing Hacks for the Traveler on a Budget

If you were to take a quick scroll down your Instagram feed, it would look as though the new national pastime were getting on a plane and heading somewhere new. In 2016 Visa announced that Filipinos are among Asia’s top travelers, thanks to rising economic gains in the region. And it looks like the wanderlust is holding steady, with the Philippine Travel Agents Association predicting that foot traffic is going to break records at this year’s Travel Tour Expo.

With so many airlines opening new routes, and ticket deals being offered left and right, it’s no surprise that travel has become one of the top activities for the middle-class Filipino. If you’re looking forward to a weekend getaway at one of Spot.PH’s top travel destinations, or already planning your next long trip, then you’re probably thinking of the best ways to maximize your budget and experiences. Take a look below at some tips that will help you round out one of the foundations of your trip— packing.

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The History of Malasimbo Festival, Puerto Galera

For music lovers in the Philippines, there’s no event that stokes more anticipation than the yearly Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. Named for the Malasimbo Ampitheater, where the festival has been held for the past eight years since its inception, there are tons of new plans for 2019 that will make this year’s festival bigger and better. If you’re new to the Malasimbo scene, take a look at this primer and quickly brush up on its history, as well as get a peek at what might be in store for you when the festival runs from March 1-2, 2019.

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10 Tips for the Newbie Traveler – Tokyo, Japan

With the proliferation of budget airlines and greater accessibility to seat sales and other airfare promos, destinations that used to be a far-off dream are now easier and easier to get to. Ranking high among those destinations is Japan, land of cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, and some of the best food in the world. There are now twelve flights per day that connect Manila to Tokyo, and according to the Philippine Primer, the first ever Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) opened its first office in Manila in October 2018.

Japan is closer than ever before, and if you’re planning your first trip to Tokyo then you should take a look at some of these helpful travel tips below.

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30 Things to Do in Taiwan

Filipinos love to travel, and luckily being in this part of the world means that there’s no shortage of incredible destinations to go to. One of the hottest destinations right now for the Philippine tourist is Taiwan, just a two and a half hour flight to the north. According to Taiwan Today, the visa-free program for passport holders from the Philippines has been extended until July 31, 2019, which means that Filipinos can hop on a flight for a weekend to check out the amazing sights— as long as you head back home within 14 days.

If you’re intrigued by what our nearest neighbor has to offer, check out our mega list of things to do in Taiwan that we’ve compiled below!

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