Four more festivals we miss celebrating this month (June)

Nipa Festival. Photo by Tom Udasco.

The Philippines is a nation that loves festivals. So when a celebration is either cancelled or heavily scaled back, it saddens a lot of people (including us). However, it’s the reality we’re in right now during the pandemic. Safety comes first and foremost.

We put a list of festivals that Filipinos usually celebrate during the first two weeks of June, which you can read here. This list enumerates the celebrations that communities around the country celebrate during the latter half of this month but were either scrapped or downsized substantially. 

Kaliguan Festival. Photo from Kaliguan Festival Facebook Page.

* Kaliguan Fluvial Festival (last week of June)

The Kaliguan Fluvial Festival is an annual merriment in Cagwait, Surigao del Sur, that pays tribute to St. John the Baptist through various fun activities in and around bodies of water. While the highlight is always the fluvial parade and procession, which never fails to draw thousands of  spectators, they also hold beauty pageants, agri-industrial fairs, bazaars, beach dances, and trade and shows and exhibits, among many others. It’s a relatively new festival, the first one launched in 1996. Since then, it has grown in popularity, attracting tourists from nearby provinces.

Baykat Festival.

* Baykat Festival (June 17 to 19)

The Baykat Festival in the town of Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya, is a fiesta that showcases the traditional culture, rituals, and practices of the Kalanguya and Ayangan people, which are the dominant indigenous group in the area. In celebration of the town’s fiesta, there are lots of songs, and dances that are performed, including the “Duyya.” The people’s night always attracts hordes of crowds looking to check out activities such as beauty pageants and an agro-fair. Another highlight is the product exhibit featuring crops (camote) and semi-temperate vegetables. A cultural day featuring “padit” or “cañao” is showcased, too.

Magdiwata Festival logo.

* Magdiwata Festival (3rd week of June)

The Diwata festival is celebrated every third week of June in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur (June 19 to 21 this year). It features the Manobo culture and traditions, where the main attraction is the street dancing that brings excitement to the festival. The celebration coincides with the founding anniversary of the municipality of San Francisco. This year’s celebration included an online concert and talk show streamed on the town’s Facebook Page.

* Nipa Festival (3rd week of June)

El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental successfully held its first ever Nipa Festival in 2018, making it one of the newer festivals in the country. Derived from Tagnipa, the old name of then El Salvador town (which was coined from the abundance of Nipa Palm in the area), a street dancing parade, which uses nipa (palm) as the major decorative item and for costumes, is the main attraction.