Fiesta! Some Philippine Festivals in December

by Roy Cagalingan

The Christmas season is in full bloom and the year is coming to another end. But the Philippines, being a country of festivals, still has a few celebrations on its sleeve. Let’s have a look at some of these events:

Coffee Festival

December 11 to 16

Lipa City, Batangas

The “Coffee Granary of the Philippines” pays tribute to the Kapeng Barako. Activities include the Karera ng Tibutrin, games and trade fairs.

Shariff Kabunsuan Festival

December 15-19

Cotabato City

A colorful commemoration of the arrival of Shariff Kabunsuan, a Muslim missionary who introduced Islam to the natives of the region more than 500 years ago. Some of the events are Alimango Festival, Culina, Kulintang Ensemble Competition, Philippine Legend Acrobatic Show, Inaul Fashion Show, and Photo Exhibit Contest.

Giant Lantern Festival

December 15-31

San Fernando, Pampanga

A spectacular lights and sounds display of lanterns that San Fernando is known for. Bigger-than-life parols, some reaching 20 feet, get involved in a 5-minute showdown. The lanterns have a special place in the town’s history. It is said that as early as 1830, processions guided by lanterns were held after the Simbang Gabi.

Maytinis Festival

December 24

Kawit, Cavite

A young man and woman play the roles of St. Joseph and Mother Mary as the town of Kawit becomes Bethlehem. The dramatic play eventually ends with a parade down the streets of Kawit.

Simbang Gabi

December 16-24


Churches across the nation will once again open up their doors to the faithful as the nation prepares for the coming of Christ. These dawn masses usually take place at 3 or 4 in the morning. Puto bumbong and bibingka reach their peak season filling the streets with their familiar aroma.

So enjoy your extended holidays with these festivals while making the season more memorable and meaningful. Merry Christmas!