List of Festivals in Leyte

The Philippines is an island of a hundred festivals. We live tropical life to the core, the hot sun and the warm seas makes us very gay and fun loving. We live for each day and celebrate life to the fullest. Like every Filipino, Leyteños love to party and our festivals are a unique blend of religion, animism, paganism and merry. Our celebrations are punctuated by food galore and "tuba" a coconut wine. Naturally no festival is complete without dancing, hours and hours of dancing and singing!

Palo's Holy Week Traditions ( every Good Friday; Palo, Leyte)
Palo, Leyte was declared in the Diocesan Synod of 1910 as a center of faith and religiousity in Eastern Visayas. Oldest of Palo's Holy Week traditions is the Penitentes, a penitential fraternity of cassocked, barefoot, and hooded members organized by Fray Pantaleon de le Fuente, OFM in 1984 supposedly to replace the flagellants, fanatics who whipped themselves or have themselves whipped to atone for wrong doings. The church authorities were alarmed by flagellants whose cult of fanatics was gaining momentum among the faithful.

Turugpo (every Black Saturday; Brgy. Camansi, Carigara, Leyte)
Turugpo is traditional jousts of native carabaos (pasungay) and horses (paaway). Cockfight (karambola) is another attraction. This is day long affair.

Sunduan ha Carigara (Easter Sunday; Carigara, Leyte)
Sunduan takes place on an Easter Sunday. This celebration commemorates the resurrection of Christ. A colourful parade of songs and dances and floats depicts the rich history of the town of Carigara, once a capital of Leyte.

Sanggutan Festival (May 18; Barugo, Leyte)
The Barugo Sanggutan Festival honors the age-old process of coconut wine (tuba). Sanggutan comes from the word "sanggut" or scythe which is a tool used to gather sap from the coconut buds. The collected sap is then fermented to make "tuba". Tuba making has been and will always be a part of the life of the Barugueño. Sanggutan, the festival, is a dance of celebration. It is dance of men (the mananggetes) and women (their wives, sisters, daughters) involved in the production of the red wine. It is also a dance of men and women enjoying the spirit of this gift from, literally, up high. The costumes are the everyday wear of the mananggete and his family, which is to say the dominant color is red, because the tuba dyes everything and everyone that it touches.

Pintados-Kasadyann Festival
Formerly called Pintados Festival, is a popular festival in Tacloban City, Leyte which is now called Pintados-Kasadyaan, after combining it to the another festival. It is also called Festival of Festivals and celebrated every June 29th. The name Pintados (tattoos) is derived from what the native warriors, whose bodies were adorned with tattoos, were called. In those times, and even in some places today, tattoos were a mark of courage and beauty. Since tattoo-making was not yet as precise as it is today, they were rather painful and one risked the chance of contracting an infection. Therefore, a man who faced the dangers of tattooing and lived was considered to be both strong and brave. But even before the tattoo process itself, one would have to earn them after fighting heroically in wars. 

Pasaka Festival (August 14; Tanauan, Leyte)
A dance parade and street pageantry showing the culture of the town of Tanauan as it honors its patron saint, Our Lady of the Assumption. Pasaka connotes warm welcome, progress, and religious homage, and is the native word for assumption. The dance parade is a symbolic send-off of Our Lady of the Assumption where dancers in native costumes carry offerings to the town's patroness as she is assured into heaven.

Lubi-Lubi Festival (August 15; Calubian, Leyte)
Lubi Lubi is a dance festival extolling the many uses of the coconut parts as costumes, props, and accessories. The dance is in homage to the town's patron saints, Our Lady of Fatima and St. Roque. This street dance and merrymaking depicts the origin of the town's name, which means abundance of coconuts (lubi) which is considered as the "tree of life."

Buyogan Festival (August 19; Abuyog, Leyte)
Adjudged as one of the ten best festivals of the Philippines, Buyogan's artistic choreography and realistic costumes focus on the appearance and movement of the honeybee locally called"buyog" from where the town's name originated.

Leyte Gulf Landing's Anniversary (October 20; Palo and Dulag, Leyte)
The Anniversary is a commemorative program which marks the anniversary of the Ocotber 20, 1944 landing on Leyte of the Allied Forces of Liberation. The historic event is usually attended by national government officials and dignitaries from embassies of United States, Japan, and Australia as well as World War II veterans who come on a sentimental journey.

Karisyohan han Pasko ha Palo (December 6 – January 6; Palo, Leyte)
The town of Palo, which is the religious center of Eastern Visayas, is transformed into a veritable "Christmas Village" where the whole community participates in the beautiful Filipino traditions of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. In 1989, Enrico M. Saboren, a tenor based in California, started to decorate his family ancestral house with artistic Christmas decor from abroad. This "House of Fantasy" fascinates people from all walks of life who make it a point to visit Palo to enjoy the unique sights. As part of its annual entertainment, community competitions like best decorated barangay, best belen( nativity scene), best parol (lantern), old traditions of pastores and Christmas carol singing, drum and bugle corps, and other festivities make Christmas in Palo truly enjoyable.

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