Filipinos deeply believe in God and more than 80% of the population is Roman Catholic, other 5% belong to different Christian divisions, and another 2% believe in Protestant values. Apart from Christian mainstream, there is 8% Muslim concentrated on the southern islands of Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan.
1. Roman Catholic
2. Other Christian Denominations Combined
3. Muslim / Islamic
4. Indigenous Religions
Before Spanish era, Filipinos believed in gods, spirits, different creatures, and the souls that used to protect the streams, farms, mountains and forests. Still in some orthodox crowds sacrifices and prayers are offered to pacify the deities and spirits. People in the Philippines have shaman; also known as quack doctors or some people call them “Albularyo”.There are some Filipino found in Visayas which is home of the energy healers famous for their spiritual and medicinal skills.
Almost all the countries and their numerous communities have various festivals and these occasions attract tourists. By witnessing such moments people around the world can see and understand the rich culture of the nation. Below is the list of some major festivals that are celebrated in Philippines. Some of these festivals are popular for colorful costumes, enjoyable events, and thrilling dances in the Philippines. Incase if you flew to Philippines and if time permits in the land you may witness these precious moments.
Sinulog Festival (Cebu) –
Sinulog means “like the water current” and it’s a dance in honor of the Santo Nino. The dance moves with the beat of the drums and it resembles the current of a river in Cebu and that’s why it is called the Sinulog Dance. It’s a Grand Street Parade which is the main event during Sinulog, which starts at around 8 in morning. Sinulog Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January. For Sinulog 2021, it was on January 17 however; due to COVID-19 pandemic it was postponed.
Dinagyang Festival (Iloilo City) –
Meaning of the Dinagyang is “merrymaking” in the Hiligaynon language. It’s very similar like the Sinulog festival. Dinagyang is one more religious festival in the Philippines where they celebrate the feast of the Santo Niño and the agreement between the Datus and locals. Every year on 4th Sunday of January, the festival changes the Iloilo City into a huge street gathering full of drinks and food. On this occasions city hosts a street dancing contest which portrays tribes, represented by the locals.
Ati-Atihan Festival (Aklan) –
This celebration is similar to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival and it is celebrated in the honor Santo Nino. If you visit Boracay in the month of January, you will some locals in colorful costumes, dancing, and humming “Hala Bira!” in Aklan for their Ati-Atihan Festival. This celebration is also one of the oldest Philippine festivities.
Pahiyas Festival (Lucban, Quezon) –
Every year it is celebrated to pay respect to San Isidro Labrador, the guardian saint of farmers, for a generous harvest in town. Generally, houses are decorated with the agricultural products; everything is prepared in a bright colorful manner.