Cebu City
April 27

The festival of Kadaugan sa Mactan is known to be celebrated in Cebu, Philippines in the month of April as the defeat of Magellan by Lupa Lupa is re-enacted annually at the beach of Barangay Mactan where the event had actually taken place (Mactan Shrine). This is a major attraction for the tourists and the locals in the city and draws a lot of crowd.

The 3 ships of Magellan are represented by the bancas or canoes and they are made to lead a river procession up to the beach. This act is followed by the re-enactment of the planting of the Magellan's Cross leading to the final act of Lapu-Lapu's victory. Kadaugan sa Mactan literally implies about the 'Victory of Mactan'. It was also called Bahugbahug sa Mactan or 'Melee at Mactan' when it was initially staged in 1981. The exact time of the commencement of the festival mostly depends on the tidal conditions and otherwise it is known to begin at around 8 in the early morning hours. This festival is mostly celebrated on the 27th of April with much grandeur and pageantry. This festival grants the Cebuano people a good opportunity to re-visit the days of Mactan Battle between Magellan and Lapu-Lapu and also to celebrate their history and events.


San Fernando, Pampanga
16-18 April

Prayer of a different meaning during the Lenten season, when villagers of San Pedro, Cutud, engage in the act of self-flagellation. This ancient ritual is executed in the morning of Good Friday during the Holy Week. Backs, arms, and legs are cut and then struck with burillo beats. The climax to this occasion happens at midday, when penitents are literally nailed to their waiting crosses.

The San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites is a Holy Week re-enactment of Christ’s Passion and Death complete with a passion play culminating with the actual nailing of at least three flagellants to a wooden cross atop the makeshift Calvary. Every year on Good Friday, a dozen or so penitents - mostly men but with the occasional woman - are taken to a rice field in the barrio of San Pedro Cutud, 3km from San Fernando,Pampanga and nailed to a cross using two-inch stainless steel nails that have been soaked in alcohol to disinfect them. The penitents are taken down when they feel cleansed of their sin. Other penitents flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope.

San Pedro Cutud is a town in Pampanga province in the Philippines, approximately 70 kilometers north of Manila. It is known for annual re-enactments of the crucifixion of Jesus. During Holy Week each year, thousands of penitents arrive in the area to watch and take part in a pageant commemorating the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, including the Good Friday flagellation and crucifixion rituals. A small number of participants choose to have their hands and feet temporarily nailed to makeshift crosses as a sign of faith and repentance; some undergo the ritual yearly.

Angono’s Easter Sunday Salubong

Angono, Rizal
The salubong dramatizes the meeting of the Virgin and the Risen Christ. This year’s Easter presentation in Angono, Rizal begun with a procession of andas bearing images of key personalities present during the Resurrection of Christ. The andas were carried over the shoulders of devotees.
A stage was set in an open plaza. A curious dance of the tinyenta (female lieutenant dressed in a sky blue gown) who waved a short flag started the Easter presentation. This was then followed by the kapitana (female captain dressed in a colorful, ruffle-riched gown) declaiming a very long poem in rich Tagalog about the fulfillment of Christ’s promise.
Upon reaching the climax of the poem, birds of colored paper and bamboo swoop down from the corners of the four-posted structure called galilea to open a heart hanging at the center that conceals the girl dressed as a little angel. We were impressed by the little angel (girl) not only for spending hours suspended by rope inside the hollow heart but also for singing the Latin Antiphon “Regina Coeli Laetare” (Queen of Heaven, Rejoice).
The angel is then lowered towards the image of Mary below. She then slowly removed the black veil from the Virgin to signify that Her Son had already risen from the dead.
The salubong in Angono ended with the released of multi-colored balloons and another dance of exaltation from the kapitana.

Agoo Semana Santa

Agoo Semana Santa
March 24- March 25 | Agoo, La Union
In the oldest town of La Union, the life-size statues depicting the Stations of the Cross are pulled by devotees along the processional roads during the Good Friday procession. During the Holy Week, the town people of Agoo come up with religious activities to make the occasion more meaningful and sacred.


April 19 (Black Saturday) / San Antonio, Siquijor (1 hour 15 minutes from Manila to Dumaguete City by air; 1 hour 15 minutes from Dumaguete City to San Antonio, Siquijor by ferry/land)
A time when herbalists from all over Visayas and Mindanao participate in a ritual known as "Tang-Alap".

Moriones Festival, Marinduque, Philippines

Easter Sunday

One of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the island of Marinduque is the Moriones Festival. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. This week-long celebration starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. This is a folk-religious festival that re-enacts the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye.

LonginusLegend has it that Longinus pierced the side of the crucified Christ. The blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle converted Longinus to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when Longinus is caught and beheaded.

The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. The towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog in the island of Marinduque become one gigantic stage.

The observances form part of the Lenten celebrations of Marinduque. The various towns also hold the unique tradition of the pabasa or the recitation of Christ's passion in verse. The Via Crucis is also reenacted and flagellants, known as antipos, inflict suffering upon themselves as a form of atonement. After three o'clock on Good Friday afternoon, the Santo Sepulcro is observed, whereby old women exchange verses based on the Bible as they stand in wake of the dead Christ.


Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte
March 31

On March 31, 1521 (Easter Sunday) Spanish friar Pedro Valderama conducted the first Catholic mass in Limasawa, Leyte. Rajah Kolambu, who forged a blood compact of friendship with Magellan two days earlier, attended along with Rajah Siagu.

The historical event, viewed largely in its religious context in the Philippines but more comprehensively in its global context as a fleeting episode of the 1,081-day circumnavigation of the world, came to pass when Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his Armada de Molucca of three sailing ships, landed in the western port of the island of Mazaua.