The culture of the Philippines can be seen in its rich history. The Philippines was colonized by the Spanish, the Japanese and the Americans. Each contributed in the shaping of the beliefs and values of the first inhabitants: values and beliefs that were consequently inherited by modern-day Filipinos. Education and Christianity are perhaps the most important of these values. The culture of Palawan is no different. Palawan‘s culture is largely influenced by its history, which dates back as far as 1100s when the first civilization in the island was said to be established.
Today, much of what colonization brought Palawan was retained and practiced by even the modern settlers. Its rich culture shines in its many festivals, each one showcasing the cultural heritage of its people. Let’s dive into Palawan’s wealth of history as we take a look at its culture and festivals happening almost every month.
The best time to see Palawan is during the summer months, but you are welcome to visit Palawan any other time and observe the festivities with the locals. You’d be surprised at how welcoming they are at those times of year. Some of the most popular festivals are the following:
The Baragatan Festival is usually celebrated from May to June at Puerto Princesa City. The week-long celebration commemorates the emergence of democracy and the establishment of the local government. This festival is participated in by other municipalities of Palawan. The highlight of the Festival is a parade dance portraying the history, culture and tradition of the province.
Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual Festival
This festival happens every December full moon at Aborlan town proper. It’s a religious festival celebrated to thank the gods for the good harvest and for all the celebrants’ good health. The highlight of the festival is the thanksgiving dance done by the Tagbanuas and the Bataks. The Tagbanuas and the Bataks are the descendants of the early people who crossed the land bridge that then connected the island to Borneo. If you come to the festival, you’ll have the chance to get in close contact with the shy and reclusive Tagbanuas and Bataks people.
The Kulambo festival happens every March at El Nido. During the festival, famous delicacies from different municipalities are presented and sometimes paraded. There is a great deal of singing, dancing and eating. The best part of the festival comes when people parade the streets while wearing mosquito nets.
This festival is observed every May in Taytay. It honors the skills of the Filipino people, especially in handicraft. Folk dances and songs performed by the locals are part of the highlights of the festival.
The festival is celebrated every August at Cuyo’s city center. The participants of the festival cover their skin with soot and dance in the streets to the tune of the native dance called Ati-Atihan. This festival is probably the most special of all festivals in Palawan as it showcases the rich culture and festivals honored and observed by the people of Palawan.