Manila - Festivals
Manila folks are fond of city-wide celebrations, religious or otherwise. Here are some popular Manila festivals that rock the city with wild and jubilant street revelries.
Feast of the Black Nazarene
Most famous of all Manila festivals is the Feast of the Black Nazarene or “Pista ng Itim na Nazareno.” This is celebrated each January 9th of the year. It is marked by a tumultuous procession attended by a full-packed crowds filling the entire surroundings of the Quiapo Church and portions of Quezon Boulevard where the church is located. The big Black Nazarene statue carrying a cross is paraded on a float. Taken out of the church, it leads a tedious procession around the church vicinity. Thousands of devotees from various parts of the country attend this event, pulling and pushing the float. Manila festivals that gather big crowds like this often end up with casualties each year but devotees nonetheless continue with the annual celebrations. So if planning to attend make sure it is from afar. Perhaps bring a telephoto lens for your camera.
Feast of the Sto. Nino
After the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Manila is poised to celebrate another big and equally tumultuous religious event—the Feast of the Sto. Nino. This event is centered on the district of Tondo, Manila where replicas of the Sto. Nino or “Little Child” are huddled together in various costumes atop a flowery float and paraded around selected streets in Tondo. Among very colorful Manila Festivals, this feast fills the streets with dancers, tots, teens, and senior citizens, in bright costumes depicting clothes in early Hispanic times. Pandacan, another district in Manila, celebrates another version of the feast.
Grand Marian Feast
This is among religious Manila Festivals devoted to the Virgin Mary. Here, tourists see the widest array of different Marian statues displayed on flowery and brightly lit floats. The floats are intricately designed and paraded around the streets of Intramuros. Thousands of Marian devotees from around the country attend to see this event. The celebration is supposed to fall on the birth date of the Virgin Mary as announced by the Roman Catholic church. The parade starts from the Manila Cathedral, goes around the Walled City, and ends up also in the same cathedral.
Bailes Delos Arcos
Bailes Delos Arcos or “Dance of the Archs” is a traditional event passed on from generation to generation. It is a feast dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, and the "Virgen" Dela Rosa. Daughters of devotees are required to carry on the tradition when they reach their teen years. Bailes Delos Arcos is among Manila Festivals focused on young women trained to perform a peculiar dance for a year and then dedicate it to the saints. It is a colorful religious dancing event where devotees offer a pledged ritual in return for favors asked the saints.
Buling-Buling in Pandacan
January of each year is the month of Buling-Buling in Pandacan, Manila. Among Manila Festivals centering on cultural dances, this event is highlighted by dance performances on the community stage depicting the hospitality of Manila folks since early times up to the present. Buling-Buling is now the official cultural dance of Manila.
Liberation of Manila
Every 3rd day of February a historic event is celebrated in Manila. Among historical Manila festivals, the event highlights the important decision of General Douglas MacArthur to prioritize the liberation of Manila over that of Formosa in Word War II. Hence, in February 3 1945 Manila was liberated by American Forces from the Japanese. However, this event is observed with simple ceremonies.
Celebrated with special ceremonies and programs at the Luneta Park and Manila City Hall is Manila Day every June 24. Also among historical Manila festivals, it is declared a holiday in the city.
Manila festivals allow people to celebrate their religious, cultural, and historical triumphs. A visit to these islands is more enriched sharing in these traditions.