Let's Celebrate: 8 Fun Festivals in Metro Manila

Anne Marielle Eugenio
PUBLISHED September 10, 2018 08:57 am
Art by Dani Elevazo

Philippines is known for countless festivals-from the vibrant Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City to the weird Aswang Festival of Capiz. However, you don’t have to travel far just to experience festive celebrations. Metro Manila has them, too!

Festivals in the metro might be celebrated a bit differently than the ones in the rural areas, we can’t exactly have long parades and street dances, can’t we? Bottomline is people still come together to celebrate and have fun.

Here are eight festivals on the Metro that you might want to check out!

Bailes delos Arcos (June)






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Makati keeps in touch with its traditional roots. This modern city still practices the tradition of Bailes delos Arcos or Dance of Arcs in celebration of the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Imagine a parade of dancers with arcs on their hands, dancing simultaneously with the music. It’s like barrio fiesta in the midst of a city!

San Juan Festival (June)






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Wattah Wattah Festival is another name for San Juan Festival. Pretty quirky, eh? That is because this festival involves dousing of water to people, even to unaware passengers and pedestrians. This is in commemoration of St. John the Baptist's birthday (Yes, the John who baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River). Makes sense, right? When you pass by Manila on June 24th, be sure to have an umbrella, a change of clothes, and be prepared to get wet!

UP Fair (February)






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best day ever💙 #cosmos #upfair

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If it's music festivals you are looking for, you don't have to search far. University of the Philippines Diliman holds the annual UP Fair, which students, alumni and and non-alumni look forward to. It promotes homegrown bands of UP as well as music groups in the local music scene. Put on your most comfortable shoes and clothes, UP Fair is one wild and rocking music party of the year.

UP Lantern Parade (December)






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UP surely loves big events. Aside from the UP Fair, they also have this annual Lantern Parade every December. Students get creative to make their lanterns adhere with the theme. The iskolars’ creations are then paraded within the campus, showing off their creativity. Last year's theme was "UP Diliman, Paaralan, Palaruan", which involves the social and political changes in the country. Cash prizes are awarded to the best lanterns, too!

Fete dela Musique (June)






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Another much-awaited music festival in the country is Fete dela Musique, which is also known as Music Day or Make Music Day. Every June, music lovers come together for one of the biggest jam parties in the country. You even get to choose your "stages"--rock, reggae, soul, jazz, name it! Main stages are put up in different parts of Makati and Intramuros during this time of the year.

Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (August)






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If Fete dela Musiqe is for the music-lovers, Cinemalaya is one of the most-anticipated events of film aficionados. New independent films are featured every year and they are proudly Filipino made. Philippine cinema at its finest is celebrated here in Cinemalaya!

Dia del Libro (April)

Bookworms, this is your kind of festival. Dia del Libro is held every April in celebration of International book day. Books are sold at discounted prices, and some are given away free! Also, for buyers are entitled to a rose upon book purchase. Sweet, isn't it? Tons of activities also await the participants, including those that involve music and storytelling.

Pasinaya Festival (February)






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Pasinaya is the biggest multi-arts festival in celebration of the National Arts Month and it is held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines every February. It has a large array of activities: music and dance workshops, film screenings, visual arts exhibit, theater performances, you name it. Everything you want to see and celebrate about Philippine art, Pasinaya Festival has it!

Without question, Filipinos just LOVE celebrations, don’t we?

Any interesting Metro Manila festivals that were not in the list? Share them with us!



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