A good time to visit Puerto Princesa or Puerto for short is during one of its many festivals. This is the time when you see the locals at its finest. Expect a lot of singing, eating, drinking and some more eating and drinking!
Balayong Festival – March 4
Puerto Princesa’s first festival after the new year, of course, is the Balayong Festival, happening every March 4 of the year. This festival celebrates the founding anniversary of the city of Puerto Princesa. Lots of dancing on the streets, contests, parades happen during this day as lots of floats covered with local flowers signify the island’s cherry blossom. The centerpiece of the event is the planting of the Balayong tree.
Pangalipay sa Baybay – April 1st week
Just after the Balayong Festival, the locals of Puerto celebrate Pangalipay sa Baybay during the first week of April. Much like the previous festival, this week long celebration consists of a huge parade with an elegant fireworks display along the bay walk area. Expect a lot of singing, dancing and the much awaited annual swimwear competitions during the week. And this doesn’t end the festivities during April yet.
Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival – April
Another festival that is celebrated in Puerto Princesa is Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival in the month of April. Just before or after the Christian celebration of the Holy Week, this festival is all about the arts. Exhibits of different art forms, forums, workshops, film showing and concerts are the main events.
Seafood Festival – April
What better way to cap of the month of April than with another festival of gastronomical proportions. One of the most celebrated and awaited season in Puerto Princesa, the Seafood Festival sounds just like what it is. A grand celebration of sea harvests, during this festival restaurants all over the city come up with their specialty one of a kind seafood dish. If you love seafood, and who doesn’t, this is the time to visit the city.
Karagatan Festival – May 1st week
If you’re starting to think Puerto Princesa is all about festivals, no one can blame you. After the month of April comes the Karagatan Festival that happens during the first week of May. This is a four-day event that is held in the many beaches of the city. Four days of fun filled activities such as beach volleyball, sand sculpture, boat sailing, kite flying, banca racing, football, tug of war, mountain trekking and sea trekking. And to cap the event off is a bikini compeitition followed by a huge beach party that is sure to please everyone.
Feast of the Forest – June 3rd week
You got the Seafood festival during April, in June you have what’s called the Feast of the Forest. Definitely something to emulate around the world, this festival is more like Earth-day. Different people, rich and poor, young and old, men and women take time out to plant thousands of new trees in some of the most heavily deforested areas in and around Puerto Princesa. This festival will surely bring out the green thumb in you.
Baragatan Sa Palawan – June 3rd week
A founding of Palawan’s first civil government, this festival is all about the city and island’s history and people. The Ms. Palawan beauty contest also happens during this festival along with countless street dancing competitions, food fairs and more.
City Festival and Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary – December 8
It wouldn’t be the Philippines if you didn’t have a festival celebrating the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Along with the city festival, what sets this festival apart is it’s religious intonations and activities during the week down through the end of Christmas season.
If you want to see Puerto Princesa in all its glory, then definitely plan a trip during one of these many celebrations. You won’t regret it.