Puerto Princesa Festivals
Puerto Princesa – the name invites visions of exotic islands, world-class diving sites, unspoiled forests, lush pristine beaches, abundant flora and fauna, hot springs and cascading waterfalls. Puerto Princesa, however, has wonderful people and a long history. You will even find historical landmarks dotting the area. Along with its culture and heritage, the people celebrate Puerto Princesa festivals all throughout the year.
The first festival is the Balayong Festival which is celebrated every 4th of March. This celebration commemorates the founding anniversary of Puerto Princesa. The highlight of this festival is the planting of the Balayong tree. Like other Puerto Princesa festivals, this event is marked with street dancing, contests and parades. The floats are covered with flowers to signify the island’s cherry blossom. This festival runs for a week and ends with an awarding ceremony.
Pangalipay sa Baybay
After the Balayong Festival, the people of Puerto Princesa will then celebrate Pangalipay sa Baybay in the first week of April. This is a huge summer extravaganza which is celebrated along the bay walk area. This festival is kicked off by various activities. A huge parade will then follow. One of the highlights of this festival is the fireworks display. Similar to other Puerto Princesa festivals, this celebration includes street dancing and dance competitions. The cheer dance and summer danzslam competition can get pretty heated. Other competitions include singing competition and swim wear competition.
Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival
There are actually several Puerto Princesa festivals during the month of April. Before or after the holy week celebration, the city also celebrates the Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival. This is a week-long festival that basically celebrates arts. Art exhibits, art forums, workshops and film showing are held. There are concerts in the evenings as well.
By the third week of April, the city will celebrate the Seafood Festival. This is one of the biggest Puerto Princesa festivals. The whole festival offers gastronomical delights. It is a celebration of the sea harvests. Restaurants all over the city prepare various seafood dishes and cuisines. If you love seafood, you should definitely visit Palawan in time for this festival.
By the first week of May, the province will celebrate the Karagatan Festival. This is one of the many Puerto Princesa festivals that are held in the beaches of the city. This is a four-day event which includes various activities like beach volleyball, sand sculpture, boat sailing, kite flying, banca race, mountain trekking, sea trekking, football, tug-o-war, film showing and this is eventually capped by a huge beach party and a bikini competition.
Feast of the Forest
By the third week of June, the people of Puerto Princesa celebrate the Feast of the Forest. People from all walks of life gather to plant thousands of trees in some of the denuded forest areas. Aside from the tree planting activity, you can also enjoy an eco-camping experience and you can also join various contests. At night, you can watch various environmental artists perform.
Baragatan Sa Palawan
The Feast of the Forest is not the only festival celebrated during the same week. Puerto Princesa also celebrates the Baragatan Sa Palawan which commemorates the foundation of Palawan’s first civil government. The people of Palawan all come together to celebrate their province’s culture, heritage and history. The highlights of this festival include trade fair, food fair and street dancing. The municipalities of Palawan including Puerto Princesa compete against each in street dancing. All municipalities send in their contestants for the Ms. Palawan beauty contest as well.
City Festival and Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
One of the biggest Puerto Princesa festivals is its actual city fiesta which is celebrated every December 8. This is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is actually a month-long celebration which starts with religious activities on the first week of December. It continues until the end of the Christmas season.
The people of Puerto Princesa love their fiestas. If you are planning to visit the city or the province, you should consider scheduling your visit in time for any of Puerto Princesa festivals, so you will have an even more enjoyable experience.