It’s mango season! Coconut season! Banana season! Although technically these crops can be had all year-round, the month of May is filled with festivals celebrating them and their abundant harvests. Not just crops, but May is also a month to celebrate farm helpers, too!
Celebrate and party with locals of different towns as you explore the different agriculture-related festivals this May.
Abaca Festival | Catanduanes
4th Week of May
From its name, the Abaca Festival highlights the production of abaca fiber, or Manila hemp, in the Catanduanes region. It’s also known as the Catanduanes Abaka Festival, and it celebrates the versatility of abaca as a major source of livelihood and craft material.
Festivities include a streetdance competition, float parade, trade fairs, and more, all designed with and around abaca.
Carabao-Carroza Festival | Pavia, Iloilo
To highlight the farmer’s best helper, the Carabao-Carroza Festival celebrates the carabao in fun and exciting ways. The decades-old festival is participated by the eighteen barangays of Pavia and displays the ingenuity of its people.
The main events of the Carabao-Carroza Festival are the Carabao-Carroza Parade where carabaos are decorated and costumed creatively as they pull a similarly-decorated cart with a muse, the Search for the Festival Queen where maidens of each barangay compete for the title, and the exciting Carabao-Carroza Race where carabaos pull a carroza (bamboo sled) with a rider as they race to the finish line.
Saging Festival | Lazi, Siquijor
The city of Lazi celebrates their harvest of bananas by holding the Saging Festival. It’s an event to give recognition to the importance of bananas to the lives and diet of the people.
During the festival, the story of how the banana came to exist is depicted in dances performed by the locals. Aside from this, the festival also has parades, pageants, sports competitions, a variety show, and so much more.
Pinya Festival | Calauan, Laguna
Founded in 1999, the Pinya Festival shines a spotlight on the abundant harvest of pineapple and other agricultural products of Calauan. The festival holds cultural presentations, street dances, a float parade, and a decor contest.
The town also celebrates its patron saint, Isidore the Laborer, the patron of farmers.
Palong Festival | Capalonga, Camarines Norte
Palong means rooster comb, so the Palong Festival of Capalonga is a thanksgiving celebration of the abundant presence of roosters in the town.
The festival’s activities include street dancing and an agro-industrial fair highlighting not just roosters, but also other products of the town. The festival is also celebrated together with the Feast Day of the Black Nazarene.
Pulilan Carabao Festival | Pulilan, Bulacan
Here’s another festival honoring the hard work of the farmer’s best helper. Carabaos are celebrated by different town’s and regions, but the Pulilan Carabao Festival is one of the grandest festivals highlighting them.
One of the major events during the festival is the parade where farmers groom their carabaos and decorate them in flowers, ribbons, or other unique costumes. Some of the carabaos are even painted with washable paint in striking colors.
The carabaos are then led to the church square and are made to kneel down. This gives emphasis to the festival’s other name, the ‘Kneeling Carabao Festival’. When the carabao has kneeled, a priest will bless it. The rest of the festival activities will follow.
Pahiyas Festival | Lucban
There’s not a lot that wouldn’t know of the country’s biggest and most colorful harvest festival, the Pahiyas Festival of Lucban.
The festival is held in honor of the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, to which locals give their thanks for a bountiful harvest and hope for future abundance.
Locals and tourists from far-off places celebrate together as they watch dances, parades, and enjoy trade fairs. The streets, houses, and buildings of the town are all decorated in vivid and colorful decorations, emphasizing the joyful and cheerful atmosphere.
Manggahan Festival | Guimaras
The five municipalities of Guimaras, namely Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag, come together to hold another grand festival in the country, the Manggahan Festival.
Guimaras has always been known as the province with the most delicious mangoes, and the festival celebrates an abundant harvest of the crop.
The Manggahan Festival is filled with exciting activities that go beyond traditions. They have trade fairs with different mango-centered products, as well as a mango eat-all-you-can for you to freely eat your fill for a small price.
Pahoy-pahoy Festival | Calbiga, Samar
Don’t be scared of the giant people you see on the streets, it’s just Calbiga celebrating their festival! Pahoy-pahoy, or scarecrows, are human-look-alikes that guard farms to scare off local birds preying on the crops.
The scarecrows are made of indigenous and organic materials, and clothed in creative costumes to decorate the town with. The locals celebrate with street dances, band performances, and more.
Lubi-lubi Festival | Gingoog, Misamis Oriental
Another harvest festival is the Lubi-lubi Festival celebrating a bountiful harvest of coconuts in the locality. Not only is the raw crop celebrated, but the festival also highlights the products made from the versatile crop.
The town also pays homage to its local patrones Sta. Rita de Cascia, and hold events such as the Sayaw Lubi-lubi, the major dance competition performed by different groups with coconuts as their main prop.