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9/365: The Feast of the Black Nazarene and Other Philippine Festivities in January

Today is the Feast of the Black Nazarene and as usual thousands of devotees joined this year’s procession.

Black Nazarene

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is one of my dream blog post.  I mean, I want to write something about it only if I actually experience (or cover) it.  Funny that the festivities is being celebrated here in Manila and is very accessible for me and yet I can not do it.  The truth is I don’t have the courage yet to do it.  I’m not sure if I can handle such crowd (and I’m not even sure that my family will allow me to do it).   But I’m sure that you will agree with me when I say that the crowd (devotees) of this feast is really overwhelming.

This feast also marks the beginning of other grand festivals in January such as the nationwide celebration of the Sto. Niħo Festival , the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo Aklan, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City and the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.

I was searching from the net for the dates of this year’s celebration for these festivals when I chanced upon this page from the Department of Tourism site. 

It is fact that Filipinos are known for celebrating the grandest feast and festivals.  But it still surprised me big time to find how many feast and festivities the Filipinos are celebrating.  Let me share you the list for the January celebration.  But first let me acknowledge and pay credits to the Department of Tourism for this information - Thank you!

And watch out!  Because I will also be posting the feast and festivities for the other months too.  I’m sure you all adventure-seeking people are going to love this!

January | Nationwide
A grand procession of over two hundred well-dressed images of the Child Jesus.

January 1 | Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
Annual procession, parade of flowers and costumes

January 2 | Gasan, Marinduque
A feast honoring the three kings who are visiting houses around the Poblacion of Gasan

January 3- January 16 | Kalibo, Aklan
Scene of a yearly celebration in honor of Sto. Nino held every third week of January, popularly known worldwide as Ati-Atihan. So called because Aklanons, domestic and foreign tourists, wipe soot on their faces and done ethnic paraphernalia and masquerade around town as Negritos and make merry and dance in the streets to the beat of ambulant ethnic troubadours.

January 5 | La Castellana, Negros Occicental
The town’s celebration of Charter Day and a befitting culmination of the Christmas season, the festival is conceptualized as a festival of hope and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for all the blessings received in the year that was and hope for a prosperous new year. Its unique feature is the use of lights or “luces” as props and adornment and its nocturnal festivities and streetdancing

January 9 | Lingayen, Pangasinan
Lingayen, Pangasinan (6 hours from Manila by land) Commemoration of the liberation of Pangasinan from the Japanese invasion led by Gen. Douglas McArthur of the US Pacific Command on Jan. 9, 1945

January 9 | Quiapo, Manila
An intense, day-long festival highlighted by a mammoth procession through the streets.

BINIRAY FESTIVAL (Fluvial procession)
January 9 | Romblon
Sto. Niño-inspired revelry and fluvial procession.

January 10- January 13 | San Pablo City, Laguna
A grand mardi-gras celebration which pays homage to Laguna Province''s most ubiquitous crop.

January 10 | Koronadal
Translated literally, it means "Day of Koronadal" and indeed it is. Hinugyaw Festival, dubbed as the "Festival of Festivals", is a celebration of the different cultures that has dwelled on the fertile valley of Koronadal for many years now.

January 10- January 16 | Lambunao, Iloilo
Binanog is a yearly festivities celebrated by the Lambunaonos every January in honor of infant Jesus. Binanog means a pool of dance by the people in hinterland of Lambunao. The following are the Binanugan, the dance depicting the movement of the birds, the Inagong sayaw-sayaw, a celebration dances and the Dinagmay, the courtship dance. The dance movement is accompanied by lively drum beatings.

January 10- January 16 | Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental
Revelers garbed in distinctively colorful costumes with bare bodies painted in black soot take to the streets to the riotous and frenzied beats of drums celebrating the feast of El Señor Sto. Niño.

January 15 | Poblacion Makato, Aklan
The ati-atihan festival of Makato dates back before the Spaniards came to sow the seeds of Christianity into this land. During the celebration, thousands of Catholic devotees from all over the country and those from abroad felt the urge to come and join in the wholesome, frolic and religious fervor of thanksgiving to the Holy Child, Sto. Niño.

January 15 | San Joaquin, Iloilo
Celebrated every 3rd Saturday of January. This spectacular & exciting event find its origin on a hillside in one of the inland barangays of the municipality when resting farmers witness for the first time the fight between the two raging bulls, set loose by their herdsmen. It caught the fancy of the barangay folks and soon it became a popular entertainment in most barangay fiestas. During the municipal fiesta, the best bulls from different barangays are pitted against each other by weight category in a "Bull Derby".

January 16 | Libertad, Butuan City
Butuan''s version of the Sinulog of Cebu which has an equally lively and spectacular street dancing.

January 16 | Brgy. Tangos, Navotas
One of the highlights of the Navotas Day celebration featuring a street dancing and float competition focusing on the fishing industry.

January 16 | Buenavista, Guimaras
This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, Kinaradto promises the participant loads of unforgettable positive experiences.

January 16 | Libertad, Butuan City
Butuan''s version of the Sinulog of Cebu which has an equally lively and spectacular street dancing.

January 16 | Buenavista, Guimaras
This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, Kinaradto promises the participant loads of unforgettable positive experiences.

January 16 | Poblacion Batan, Aklan
The participants celebrating this festival wear masks made up of paper mache and prepared costumes. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Sto. Niño with merry making for a bountiful harvest, peace and prosperity, street dancing along the streets and plaza of the poblacion. A holy mass is celebrated before the start of the contest on Sunday morning proceeded with a parade of participating tribes.

January 16 | Arevalo, Iloilo City
Highlights of this District Fiesta of Arevalo are the multicolor fireworks. The skyline becomes a celebration with the dazzling display of sparkles and blazing lights.

January 16 | Glorietta 4 Park Makati City, Metro Manila
Official Festival of the City of Makati by virtue of resolution No. 251 of Jan. 21, 1991 displaying the call of the local Government for the protection and conservation of our ecology.

January 17 | Bansud, Mindoro Oriental
A thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest which coincides with town fiesta. It features dances and cultural presentations by schools and barangay communities.

January 19 | Janiuay, Iloilo
“Sadsad Sa Kalye” is a dynamic mass presentation expressing the beliefs, views, visions and aspirations of the Janiuaynons based upon tradition, historical experiences, and culture of the people of Janiuay. It is a street-dancing affair buoyed by the kaleidoscopic prism of cultured grace and fineness that reflects the embodiment of all that are beautiful in man’s body and soul. “Sadsad” is a native word meaning dance.

January 20 | Cebu City
Celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January, is Cebu''s biggest and most popular festival. The feast is in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. Fiesta Senyor, as it is widely known, is the most celebrated among Cebu''s festival where people converge along the routes of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a mardi gras parade immersed in wild colors and the constant beating of drums.

January 20 | Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
A true to life dramatization depicting the life of Bacoleños during the Spanish times and the life of being a Catholic

January 20 | Jamindan, Capiz
A cultural and fiesta celebration.

January 21- January 22 | Poblacion Altavas, Aklan
This day marked the end of the Fil-American war in Altavas. Since then, January 22 is being celebrated as an Annual Thanksgiving and Armistice Day in Altavas. Later, the date was adopted as its municipal town fiesta. This is the continuation of the joyous celebration of peace when Fil-American war ended in this municipality.

January 22- January 23 | Iloilo City
A spectacular street merrymaking in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

January 24 | La Carlota City
These features cultural shows and traditional fiesta activities like procession, traditional games and cultural presentation.

January 24- January 25 | Ibajay, Aklan
A religious feast in honor of its patron saint Sto. Niño, held by transferring the holy image of the patron from Ibajay Cathedral Rectory and enthronement at St. Peter Parish Church, by way of amusing the image from where it was originally discovered and brought to the church.

January 24- January 30 | Cadiz City, Negros Occidental
A revelry from sunrise to sunset, with ceaseless and rhythmic beating of drums. A sea of humanity in cadence with black soot “ati” performing rituals, all in honor of El Señor Sto. Niño. A spectacular fluvial parade where the Infant Jesus is carried aboard a fishing boat around the river, out to sea and back. “Dinagsa” connotes the sudden surge of good things washed ashore, such as the generous catch of fish and other sea foods, which Cadiz is famous for. Throw all cares to the wind as you street dance with gaily-costumed ati-tribes. Be game however if you find your own face painted black by playful ATIS.

January 28 | Jordan, Guimaras
Primarily a celebration of the economic endeavor that made Jordan what it is today. Sana-aw also pays tribute to the skillful artisans and the enduring workers in an endearing characterization through dance drama.

January 30- February 6 | Calinog, Iloilo
An annual festivity of Calinog’s devotion to Sr. Sto. Niño. It is a nine day event and its activities consist of an opening salvo, food fest, live Sto. Niño contest among young boys not older than seven years old, Search for Lin-ay Kang Hinirugyaw and the contest proper for all participating tribes in three judging areas.

January 30 | Malolos, Bulacan
The Malolos Sto. Niño featuring a week long exhibits, a month procession featuring more than a hundred caros of drivers Sto. Niño images.

January 31 | Pateros
One of the highlights of the Pateros Town Fiesta celebration

Have you experienced any of these feast and festivities?


  1. I have fear of too much crowd, so definitely I won't be seen in this kind of event. Wow ang daming mga festivals, of which others I just knew by now. At laugh out loud ako sa "Balot sa Puti" festival of Pateros. Naiisip ko tuloy kahit ano nalang na festival ang maisip ng mga tao, pwede na hahahaha.

  2. looking forward sa mga yan! well special day din samen yang araw na yan kasi
    bday din ng mama ko yan ee,

  3. ngayon ko lang narealize na ang dami dami pala tayong festival sa pinas, at take note naman hanggang january lang yan ha! hahahaha may 11 months pa! thanks for the info mommy!

    and to the black nazarene naman, its my first time na sumama sa prosisyon dito sa cagayan de oro and guess what, the moment i saw the black nazerene approaching where i stood, (i was walking so fast so i can catch up the prosisyon with my sister and tita which is sa isang kanto lang kami magkikita sa dami ng tao kasi dadaan don yong black nazarene) hindi ko maexplain yong feeling ewan ko ba basta parang sasabog yong dibdib ko at talagang naiyak ako nong malapit na malapit na sa amin. basta hindi ko lang talaga maexplain iba talaga hehehe masubokan mo yon minsan, pwedi dito sa cdo kasi di ganon kadami tao sa manila.


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