Philippine Festivals and Tourist Attractions in April
The month of April hosts the most dramatic and colorful events in the Philippine Islands. Here are just some of the festivals held during April.
The Moriones Festival – Marinduque
This colorful folk-religious festival, held during the Holy Week is focused on the story of Longinus whose sight was miraculously restored after a drop of Jesus’ blood fell on his one blind eye. The term Moriones comes from the word “morion” meaning mask or visor.
During this festival, the menfolk of Marinduque dress up as Roman centurions, wearing fierce masks and headdresses. The festival culminates on Easter Sunday, when the Roman centurions behead the newly converted Longinus after a wild chase.
Penitencia/ Semana Santa – Nationwide
This is the age old tradition and a ritual performed by many Filipinos nationwide during Good Friday. During this event, flagellants by the dozens try to reenact the suffering of Christ by parading on the streets whipping themselves with thorns, broken glass, or any sharp material tied to strings. It is a gory scene, I tell you. It’s not for the weak stomach. One or several men would be dressed up like Jesus, complete with the replica of a crown of thorns, reenacting the Messiah’s tormentous walk to Calvary, carrying a wooden cross, which is obviously not a heavy one. The climax of the event happens with a dramatized crucifixion of the flagellants. Most don’t die in the penitencia. None of them has resurrected either.
Kadaugan sa Mactan – Cebu
A major tourist attraction is the Kadaugan sa Mactan, which celebrates the Victory of Mactan. It is a dramatic reenactment of the historic battle of Lapu Lapu and Magellan which takes place annually at the beach of barangay Mactan where the battle actually took place in April 1521.
A river procession by bancas or canoes represents the arrival of the three ships of Magellan. Part of the event is the reenactment of the planting of the Magellan’s cross which also signifies Lapu-Lapu’s victory. The Mactan Shrine serves as a remembrance of the historic event.
Bataan Day – Bataan
Held annually every 9th of April, this celebration commemorates the fallen heroes of the Bataan Death March. People from different places travel to Mount Samat “Shrine of Valor” to reminisce and celebrate the bravery of the soldiers who offered their lives for the country’s freedom.
Tanduyong Festival – San Jose City, Nueva Ecija
Usually held on the 4th Sunday of April, the Tanduyong Festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving for good harvest. Barangays and establishments from all over the city participate in a colorful parade. Dressed in festive costumes, the participants dance on the streets.