Celebrating Mahal na Araw – “Holy Week” in the Philippines

The Philippines is known to be the only predominantly Christian country in the whole of Asia, with its roots of the religion tracing back from circa. 1500. It was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who, by mistake, landed on the island of Cebu during his travels along the spice route. In search of trade materials and foreign lands to colonize, he bargained with Chief Humabon, leader of Cebu, which ended with around 800 newly-baptized Filipino Christians.

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Sinulog Festival – Cebu, Philippines

View Sinulog Festival 2013 schedule

In the Cebuano dialect, the word sulog, where Sinulog comes from, describes the motion of water. This flowing movement is mirrored in the Sinulog dance which characterizes the festival.

The central theme of the Sinulog festival is the child Jesus, more popularly known as the Santo Niño.

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Feast of the Black Nazarene – Philippines

At the geographic center of Manila lies Quiapo, the third congressional district of the Philippine city. More commonly associated by locals and foreigners alike with all the cheap wares you can buy under the sun, Quiapo, by its nature, resists any attempts at neat categorization and logical order. That’s why it’s rather surprising, especially to the uninitiated traveler, that the district has kept alive — and for a very long time — a history of fervent religious devotion.

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Kadayawan sa Dabaw: The King of all Festivals – Davao, Philippines

Flower and fruit filled floats parade up and down the streets. Dancers perform tirelessly in the bright and colorful costumes of their tribe’s traditional garb. Curious audiences flock to watch horse fights reminiscent of Spanish bull fighting. A young beauty from an indigenous tribe receives the crown of the Bya’Neng of Kadayawan, or Miss Kadayawan. The third week of August gets jam-packed with activities and sights to suit nearly every taste and fancy, when the Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival unfolds in its colorful glory.

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