Lechonan sa Baroy. Photo by Mark Cyril Olis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively put a stop to most festivals around the country. The ones that manage to push through despite lockdown restrictions have significantly scaled back celebrations or shifted festivities online. Here are some of the festivals celebrated during the first half of June which have been put on hold for this year for everyone’s safety.

  • Lechonan sa Baroy (June 10)

The Lechonan sa Baroy is celebrated every June 10 in the small, quiet town of Baroy in Lanao del Norte. Known more for its pottery and beautiful seashells, the porky celebration is fairly new in the festival circuit, with the first one launched in 2005. Since then, it has successfully brought the community together over food and happy times.

For only one day, the highlight of the event are the succulent lechon (whole pig skewered with a bamboo and slow-roasted), a famous Filipino cuisine, and their talented lechoneros. The highlight is the presentation of the 23 mouth-watering lechon—one from each barangay—before everyone dives in. While everyone is in it to win it, it’s a very friendly competition.

Of course, there’s also the usual grand parade, which opens the festival, as well as lots of dancing and drinking (lechon, after all, is a great pulutan or beer food). While there are other places in the country that celebrate lechon as well, Baroy’s version is quickly becoming an annual favorite.

Pagdayao Festival. Photo from lakwatsero.com
  • Pagdayao Festival (June 11 and 12)

Pagdayao Festival is an event held every June in Masbate. This festival honors the city’s patron, Saint Anthony of Padua. This is where its name comes from, “pagdayao,” loosely translating to “the act of praising, honoring, and thanksgiving.” The two-day affair features historical and cultural street presentations depicting the town’s past, agro-industrial fair, sports tournament, and a beauty contest. 

Naliyagan Festival. Photo by Alex Celo.
  • Naliyagan Festival (June 12 to 17) 

The Naliyagan Festival is Agusan del Sur’s province-wide festivity which starts on June 12, which happens to be the Philippine Independence Day, and ends on the region’s Foundation Anniversary on June 17. Naliyagan is a Manobo word which means “the chosen one” or “the most loved one.” 

The weeklong celebration usually includes arts exposition of indigenous groups, the display of skills and culture through through tribal dances and rituals, exhibits of native products, ethnic games, as well as a sporting tournaments.