One of the factors contributing to the growth of the tourism industry of a town or a city is having its own festival. There are numerous Philippine festivals which are all expected to draw local and foreign tourists on their list.
Batangas, being one of the most visited provinces in Southern Luzon, has quite a number of festivals. So to give you a short list of various festivals in Batangas, I made my own top 10 festivals (which I think are the most celebrated ones) that you, as a Batangueño, should take part in. Scroll down until the no.1 spot!
10. Sinuam Festival, San Jose – Poultry industry is San Jose’s main drive for its economic growth. Being the top producer of eggs in the province and also in the neighboring areas in the region, the people of San Jose derived their festival from a dish made out of their main produce – sinuam (egg soup). Sinuam Festival is celebrated on the 25th of April (San Jose’s foundation day) and just like any other festivals, street dancing highlights the celebration.
9. Sinukmani Festival, Rosario – Sinukmani is one of the famous Filipino meriendas (I even consider this a dessert) made of sticky rice cooked in sugar (I don’t know if they have other ingredients for this). Celebrated on June 9, Sinukmani Festival is participated by local folks, preparing and decorating their own sinukmani, making them visually and gastronomically enticing. This year’s celebration was an attempt to make a world record of the longest line of sinukmani ever made.
8. Tinapayan Festival, Cuenca – I love festivals that showcase local delicacies. Tinapayan Festival puts the spotlight on the hardworking bakers or panaderos of Cuenca, the reason why the town claimed the title “Home of the Bakers”. The festival includes bread-making contests and festive parade to present the finished products of the bakers and celebrated sometime in June.
7. Walistik Festival, Lipa City – I can’t remember the last time I went to see this festival. Walistik originated from the word walis (broom) and the Tagalog slang for incredible (walastik). This festival is being done on the second week of January or as part of the celebration of the city’s fiesta, January 20. How is this celebrated? Often with a street dance competition where walis is used as the main material for the dancers’ costumes.
6. Anihan Festival, Lobo – Lobo is famous for its white sand beaches and the Malabrigo lighthouse. But it was only last year that I learned that this town boasts of abundant produce such as tamarind (Lobo is the proud producer of tamarind wine), rice, custard apple (atis), corn kernels, and buli fabrics to name a few. A street parade and dance competition are the main events of the Anihan Festival (last week of September) – the people’s way of thanking God for a bounty produce.
5. Sublian Festival, Batangas City – This is a meaningful festival as it encompasses the cultural and religious oneness of the people of Batangas City. Sublian is part of the week-long celebration of the city’s founding anniversary, July 23. Subli is a ceremonial dance to worship the Holy Cross.
4. Balsa Festival, Matabungkay, Lian – When I was little our family would always have Matabungkay beach as our summer destination before other beach resorts started sprouting. And then the people of Matabungkay came up with a brilliant idea to attract more tourists – the Balsa Festival. Matabungkay beach is famous for the bamboo beach raft or balsa. As far as I know, the festival doesn’t have an exact date of celebration but it’s always held on the month of May.
3. Lambayok Festival, San Juan – Lambayok stands for the three main products of San Juan – lambanog (coconut wine), lambat (fish net), and palayok (clay pot). We had a very unforgettable experience of this festival last year that’s why it landed 3rd on my list. Celebrated on the second week of December, the Lambayok Festival shows off the creativity and camaraderie of the San Juan folks.
2. Kabakahan Festival, Padre Garcia – Padre Garcia is a town close to my heart (hahaha) and when the team went there to celebrate with the town folks in the Kabakahan Festival last year, we had a first hand experience of the hospitality of the Garcianos. This is one of the most notable festivals in the region and I must say, another world-class event, with a Wild Wild West vibe to it.
1. Parada ng Lechon, Balayan – Why it landed on my list’s no.1 spot? Because it always reminds me of my childhood, when our family would go there to celebrate this festival with my uncle’s in-laws. I remember how cholesterol and future heart problems were ignored back then, haha. But I don’t like being soaked with water during the parade, that was before. Now, let’s bring all the water guns out! I’m looking forward to see these roasted pigs clad in different costumes for this year’s Parada ng Lechon.
So these are the Top 10 most celebrated festivals in Batangas, at least for me. Thumbs up or thumbs down? Let me know!