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The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, CHINA- S...

Thursday, April 26, 2012





Araquio of Penaranda
Date and Venue: Month of May, Penaranda and other towns, Nueva Ecija
Held during the month of May in Penaranda, Nueva Ecija, the Araquio Festival is a traditional procession and dramatization of the finding of the Holy Cross by St. Helena and her son, the Emperor Constantine, where Jesus Christ was crucified. Similarly, the komedya or moro-moro carries on in some villages or barangays such as Poblacion, Las Pinas, Sto. Tomas, San Jose and Pinasahan. Dating back from the Spanish colonial period, the festival features vivacious beats of brass bands, spirited choreography and moving voices embraced with a daunting literary piece. Written in ancient Tagalog, the script tells about the feud of the Muslims and Christians that started over territories. It shows how Christians used the power of the cross symbolizing their faith in defeating the Muslims, who later retaliated by way of stealing the cross from them. Many battles preceded the retrieval of the cross, which in the end led to the Christening of the Muslims. Because the date of the feast varies from one town to another, Nueva Ecija can be considered an Araquio province in the month of May. This festival starts with a Eucharistic Mass celebration and ends with the ever-elaborate Flores de Mayo. Each performing group is given a day or two to perform in the town plaza, and thus it becomes a weeklong presentation when there are many groups lined-up. Contact Joseph Mabalay (Municipal Tourism Officer) Mobile 0906-331-9011 or contact Ms. Carolina Uy (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 982-3041 (trunkline) Mobile 0910-888-8288 / 0908-888-4858 Email

Luyang Dilaw Festival
Date and Venue: May 2, Marilao, Bulacan
The name Marilao originated from a plant (shrub) that abundantly thrived in swampy areas during Spanish era. The matured plant bears light yellow flower & the edible roots are colored dark yellow (dilaw). The yellow roots became famous and used for various purposes now we called "luya". The purpose of the festival aims to inculcate in the minds of residents and the youth, the love and appreciation for the town's origin. For further details, please contact Joseph “Sonny” Cristobal (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 791-6604 / 2480 Mobile 0927-648-6916 / 0929-745-2566 Email / or log on to

Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival
Date and Venue: May 12-15, Talavera, Nueva Ecija
Celebrated during Farmers’ Week, the festival aims to actively encourage, promote and enhance carabao’s milk as a nutrition and livelihood industry. Highlight of the festival is street dancing followed by float parade, parade of carabaos, carabao race, agri-trade fair, milk drinking contest, ice cream making competition, among others. For further details, contact Elman "Sonny" Maniquis (Municipal Tourism Officer) Phone (63 44) 411-1977 / 7950 / 0285 Mobile 0926-719-4815 / 0917-995-8126 Email / or contact Carolina Uy (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 982-3041 (trunkline) Mobile 0910-888-8288 / 0908-888-4858 Email

Obando Fertility Dance
Date and Venue: May 17 – 19, Obando, Bulacan
Devotees from all over dance their way to find a lover or be rewarded with a child on the feast days of San Pascual Baylon, Sta. Clara de Asis and La Concepcion de Nuestra known as Virgen de Salambao every May 17 - 19. Be enthralled by rythmic dances of men and women accompanied by traditional brass bands - all garbed in Filipiniana attire. LEGEND OF THE FERTILITY DANCE: It is believed that the fertility dance originated from a miracle performed by Saint Pascual Baylon (San Pascual Baylon) who was a member of the Franciscan Order. He was very much blessed by the Holy Spirit, and to show his adoration and respect for God, he usually danced merrily and with great devotion. Many miracles were attributed to San Pascual Baylon. A story related that San Pascual Baylon sometimes visit villages in Obando and other neighboring towns disguised as a vinegar peddler. He then advised couples to go to the Obando Church to pray for a child. Many followed the advice and to their surprise, the image of San Pascual Baylon resembled that of Pascual, the vinegar peddler. Believing that what happened to them was a miracle, they danced with joy in front of the altar. And a few months later, many couples' faith was rewarded with a happy baby. The account of the miracle spread and was told and retold a thousand times, and soon devotees began flocking to Obando during the feast day of San Pascual Baylon on May 17 to perform the annual fertility dance. For further details, please contact Obando Tourism Council, Office of the Municipal Mayor, Phone (63 2) 294-7097 Email or contact Joseph “Sonny” Cristobal (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 791-6604 / 2480 Mobile 0927-648-6916 / 0929-745-2566 Email / or log on to

Pastillas Festival
Date and Venue: May 5-7, San Miguel, Bulacan
The festival is a tribute to one of the town's famous sweets - pastillas de leche (carabao milk candies). The town was formerly known as San Miguel de Mayumo, so called because it was renowned for the sweets made there. Among the events in the festival are demonstrations on pastillas cooking and the craft of making pabalat, the lacey pastillas wrappers made of rice paper. The art of making the pabalat or pastillas wrappers has transformed in recent years from being a local, folk tradition into a popular art. Besides adding flair to the sweet pastillas de leche made from fresh carabao’s milk, the pabalat has also become a compelling icon/symbol of the people’s creativity, not only of the town of San Miguel but the entire province of Bulacan. For further details, please contact, Municipal Planning and Development Office, Phone (63 44) 678-2452 Fax (63 44) 764-0154 or contact Joseph “Sonny” Cristobal (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 791-6604 / 2480 Mobile 0927-648-6916 / 0929-745-2566 Email / or log on to

Pastores Festival
Date and Venue: May 1, Gapan, Nueva Ecija
The Feast of Divina Pastora is celebrated every 1st day of May. Visitors come to the Shrine for prayer offering. They believe that the patron is miraculous.For further details, please contact Ms. Carolina Uy (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 982-3041 (trunkline) Mobile 0910-888-8288 / 0908-888-4858 Email

Paynauen 'Duyan' Festival
Date and Venue: April 25 - May 1, Iba, Zambales
Paynauen Festival in Iba, Zambales which commemorates the provincial capital's founding anniversary (founded in 1611) traces its origin from a Zambal word which means “rest” or “pahingahan” - the ancient name of Iba before the Spanish conquistadores founded the village on the shore of the Bancal River in 1611. The festival is the brainchild of Vice Mayor Benjamin Farin, Jr. It features photo competition and exhibit, sand sculpture competition, skate boarding, 2-cock derby, carabao race, beauty pageant, kite flying, banca race, boxing tournament, street dancing / Duyan Parade, among other activities. For further details, please contact Rufina Arcega (Municipal Tourism Officer), Office of the Mayor, Phone (63 47) 811-2910 / 2708 / 3583 Mobile 0917-803-7245 or log on to

Pulilan Carabao Festival
Date and Venue: May 14 – 15, Pulilan, Bulacan
An annual festival featuring hundreds of water buffaloes (carabao) parading along the streets of Pulilan followed by a throng of colorful floats and farming machines - all celebrating the feat of their patron saint, San Isidro de Labrador. The popular beasts of burden are cleaned and waxed to an ebony shine, their horns festooned with garlands of flowers, and and made to take a bow before the town church by performing the traditional genuflection - an incredible feat that never fails to mesmerize local and foreign visitors. One week before the feast day, a number of agri-related events are held in the town to primarily focus on and promote the economic development programs of the local government. Farmers hold contest such as carabao races, best crops competition and other folk children's games. Prizes are at stake for the best-looking carabao, the most skillful and the cleanest, the best themed-cart float, among other events. Contact Santos Santos (Municipal Tourism Officer), Phone (63 44) 676-1234 or contact Joseph “Sonny” Cristobal (Provincial Tourism Officer), Office of the Governor, Phone (63 44) 791-6604 / 2480 Mobile 0927-648-6916 / 0929-745-2566 Email / or log on to

Flores the Mayo
Date and Venue: May 1 – 31, Nationwide
First introduced by the Spanish friars in 1854, and ten years after, blossomed in the various towns of Bulacan, Laguna, Batangas and Pampanga, the May devotion, also known as Flores de Mayo, is celebrated in the entire month of May when organizations like Daughters of Isabela, Knights of Columbus, Solidarity and Adoracion Nocturna, offer flowers to the Virgin Mary. The grand feast of the event is reserved for the last Sunday of the month when Mass is said and the image is led in a procession around town. Women who joined the procession wore blue saya and white veils made by local couturiers. The virgin is usually put under neoclassic arches, called kubol. Young men in barong Tagalog fetch and escort the girls in long gowns towards the church. Today, the celebration is combined with the traditional Santacruzan. Please contact your local tourism office.

Date and Venue: May 1 - 31, Nationwide
Santacruzan (Holy Cross Festival) is considered the queen of Maytime festivals. It begins with a rosary novena in honor of the Holy Cross. Each night of the novena is assigned to a “hermana”, a member of the organizing committee, which is headed by the “hermana mayor.” The culminating event of the Santacruzan is a grand religio-historical procession commemorating Queen Helena's finding of the Cross. During the procession, young women in appropriate, lavish costumes personify Biblical characters and symbols of the Christian faith: Reyna Abanderada (Queen with the Standard), who carries the Philippine flag symbolizing the Christian Army, Reyna Justicia (Queen Justice), who is blindfolded, Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess), who carries a shepherdess' crook, Reyna de las Estrellas (Queen of Stars), who carries a wand topped by a star, Reyna de las Flores (Queen of Flowers), who walks with a canopy of flowers. There are also young girls dressed as angels. But the central figure in the procession is Reyna Elena (Queen Helena), accompanied by a little boy representing the young Constantine. Devotees walk with the procession with lighted candles singing the theme song "Dios Te Salve" (Hail Mary). According to legend, Queen Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, took it upon herself to recover the original cross upon which Christ died. After many false leads, she came upon fragments of the true cross, which she brought back to Rome. Please contact your local tourism office. (Source: Fiesta! Fiesta! Festival Food of the Philippines book)

Jose Abad Santos Day
Date and Venue: May 7, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
The entire province of Pampanga remembers the patriotism of one of the City of San Fernando's illustrious sons, Chief Justice Jose B. Abad Santos, who was martyred by firing squad in Malabang, Lanao on May 7, 1942 by the Japanese for his refusal to pay allegiance to the Japanese flag. He is remembered for his famous words, "It is a rare opportunity to die for one's country. Not every Filipino is given this chance." For further details, please contact Ching Pangilinan (City Tourism Officer), Office of the City Mayor, Phones (63 45) 961-6640 loc. 106 / 209/ 961-5022 / 5684 / 3328 loc. 211 or lof on to

*Dates and other important details may change with or without prior notice. Please contact the local tourism office prior to visit. Always verify the exact date of festival or the highlight of the event (street dancing / parade, float parade, eucharistic celebration, showdown / competition etc.).



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