Festivals of Mindanao

Fiestas and festivals in Mindanao

Within the Land of Promise campaign we strive to get to know the island Mindanao and its people. To make this exploration without touching down on their monthly fiestas and festivals would be like preparing a three course dinner and then skip the delicious dessert. We simply have to give you a glimpse of this significant and colourful component of the Mindanaoan culture.

Mindanao is famous for its communal celebrations – the joyful fiestas and whimsical festivals. The gentle and fun-loving Mindanaoans enjoy every moment of celebrating their community and history, promoting their rich heritage or honouring a patron saint. These occasions are deeply rooted within the island’s culture and are of great importance to the Mindanoans’ social life. Each village or neighbourhood has its own festivity.

Suited up in colourful costumes, participants paint their bodies and faces to perform at the many processions and popular street dancing contests that are held in every corner of the island. The spectators enjoy the parades, the music, dancing, competition, horseshows and – of course – the delicious food in the colourful markets. Most festivities in Mindanao also include a beauty pageant, where local girls hope to be dubbed the Queen of the festival.


Kadayawan Festival
This festival inDavaoCity is often dubbed as “the festival of allMindanao festivals”. Kadayawan is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture and the bounties of harvest. There are parades with beautiful fruits and flower arrangements and a variety of indigenous tribes parade the streets, dressed in tribal costumes. The Kadayawan is held every August.

Kaamulan Festival
The Kaamulan is an ethnic cultural festival held annually in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, from the second half of February to March 10. It is held to celebrate the cultures and traditions of the seven ethnic tribal groups – Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon – that originally inhabit the province.

The Kagay- an festival
The Kagay-an festival is taking place in the city Cagayan de Oro, in the end of August. It has evolved over the years and now hosts a culinary competition where students from Hotel and Restaurant Management schools and professionals chefs compete against each other in their respective categories. There are also cultural shows, sport competitions and celebrity concerts.

Have a look at a movie from the Kagay-an festival!

Then there are numerous others, such as: the Hermos, the T’nalak, the F’lomolok, the The Bonok Bonok, the Hinugyaw, the Seslong, the already mentioned Lanzones festival and not to forget the big Tuna festival – with boat race ending and a full seafood breakfast thanksgiving!

Tomorrow: Summer Peace Festival in Mindanao
From April 26 to May 1, there will be a Summer Peace Festival on two different locations inMindanao. The organisers seek to spread peace by promotingMindanao’s art, culture, eco-tourism, food and music. They also want to tackle environmental protection, through sustainable reforestation and coastal clean-ups, as well as development of economy, skills and cultural exchange – all to safeguard the beauty ofMindanao and its natural resources for future generations.

The festival is in Cagayan de Oro April 26 -28, then in Zamboanga City from April 29 to May 1. Read more here!
With objectives as great as these, we think this festival sounds like a wonderful initiative! The Mindanoans certainly sound like a cheerful group of people, don’t you think? How about your local neighbourhood or village – do they celebrate your heritage, harvest, patron saint or anything else?
And have you ever dressed up in a colourful carnival suit? Such as, let’s say…a pineapple?