October Festivals in Mindanao Worth Your Time

The vibrant and colorful celebrations of October festivals in Mindanao are about to take center stage. Known for its diverse traditions and rich cultural heritage, Mindanao offers a plethora of visually stunning festivities deeply rooted in the region’s history and identity.

These festivals reflect Mindanao’s vibrant soul, from the mesmerizing dance performances to the mouth-watering local cuisine. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, these festivities are a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the best of Mindanao’s culture.

So, if you’re looking for a fun-filled and culturally enriching experience, mark your calendars for these top October festivals in Mindanao that you can’t miss!

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October Festivals in Mindanao: Kariton Festival (October 2 – 5, Tupi, South Cotabato)

In October, Tupi, South Cotabato, throws a fantastic Kariton Festival. It’s an event where you can see Karitons (wooden carts) pulled by cows or carabaos decked with flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

The festival celebrates the importance of “kariton” in the lives of the people in Tupi and how it contributed to their development.

It’s a week-long celebration that showcases the farm products brought by the Karitons and how they’ve helped provide a livelihood to the community, including the elderly and empowered women. It’s a must-see event!

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Kidapawan City Fruit Festival (October 5 – 10, Kidapawan City, Cotabato)

The festival’s primary goal is to showcase the thriving fruit industry in Kidapawan City to the world, and it’s a delightful event for everyone.

Locally grown organic fruits fill the city’s primary roads and grounds during the week-long festival, including a buoy parade, social presentations, a fun run, various sports activities, daily live band performances, and trade fairs.

The festival starts with a Fruit Float Parade, an anticipated event of the whole festival. Thousands of people come to the happy capital in Cotabato to witness and celebrate the abundant fruit harvest in the City of Kidapawan.

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Lubi-lubi Festival (October 8, Glan, Sarangani)

Did you know Glan puts on a fantastic festival called Lubi-Lubi every October? It’s not just about the costumes, choreography, and music – it’s a celebration of the town’s industry and tradition.

The town’s locals have a wide range of skills in using every part of the coconut tree, and they dedicate almost 90% of the land area to coconut farming.

During the festival, street-dancing groups compete using materials from the coconut, showcasing their musicality, choreography, and costumes. It’s a truly amazing sight!

Glan is the oldest town in Southern and Central Mindanao and is known as the “Coco Queen of the South,” making it a must-visit destination for coconut lovers.

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival (October 10 – 12, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur)

Our Lady of the Pillar (Source: wowzamboangacity/Wikimedia Commons)

Every year, the people of Zamboanga City come together to honor their patroness, Our Lady of the Pillar, through the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival or Fiesta Pilar.

The residents of Zamboanga are renowned for their deep devotion to the Lady of the Pillar, also known as “Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar,” and the miracles she has worked.

The people prominently display her image in the Real Fuerza de Señora Virgen del Pilar, a fort converted into a shrine in her honor. They flock to pay their respects on her feast day, October 12.

The festivities, which last for the whole month of October, are jam-packed with activities that cater to everyone’s interests. Highlights include a nine-day novena, fashion shows, dance and song competitions, trade fairs, a pageant, and the famous Regatta, a colorful vinta race.

The Hermosa Festival of Zamboanga is one of the city’s largest and most awaited festivals. It is a celebration that showcases the beauty of Zamboanga City’s rich and diverse culture and heritage. It is an experience you shouldn’t miss!

October Festivals in Mindanao: Kanduli Festival (October 10, Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat)

The Kanduli Festival in Lutayan is a fantastic celebration of culture, peace, and unity that brings together thousands of people. It’s a time to thank the Almighty for the blessings and to ask for more for the betterment of our community.

The festival got its name after the Maguindanaoan term for “offering,” which accurately reflects the spirit of the celebration. The festival’s highlight is the Kanduli Showcase, which displays agricultural products, traditional foods, and delicious Muslim delicacies.

Additionally, the colorful street dancing competition, featuring elementary pupils dressed in traditional Maguindanaon attire, is another major attraction for locals and visitors alike.

Overall, we can experience the rich culture and traditions of Lutayan through the beautiful Kanduli Festival and celebrate all the blessings with our friends and family.

Kaimonan Festival (October 10, Tagum City, Davao del Norte)

Did you know that the Kaimonan Festival in Tagum City is a gathering for the four major tribes of the city– Mansaka, Mandaya, Kalagan, and Dibabaon? The people of Tagum City hold this festival annually to celebrate the bountiful harvest and thank their God, Magbabaya.

The festival showcases eclectic music, dances, and rituals unique to the region. From the courtship dance of “Pagkinarimay” to the war dance of “Pagpangayaw,” there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

If you’re interested in joining the festivities, mark your calendars for the 10th day of October every year. It’s an experience you will want to experience!

Sagingan Festival (October 16 – 17, Tubod, Lanao del Norte)

The Sagingan Festival is a yearly celebration held every October 17 in Tubod, Lanao del Norte. It’s a fun-filled event that showcases the town’s rich agricultural heritage, particularly its bananas.

The festival was first organized by Mayor Romana Dela Cruz-Neri in 1987, coinciding with Tubod’s Charter Day. The name “Sagingan” comes from the local term for banana plantation, the town’s primary agricultural product.

The festival’s primary goal is to promote the town and its bananas, improve crop yield, and provide an income source for the locals. In addition, it’s an excellent opportunity for visitors to see the different varieties of bananas Tubod produces.

The people in Tubod rely heavily on farming, with 80% of their land area allocated to banana cultivation. The top varieties include cardava, lakatan, and tundan.

The Sagingan Festival has gained national recognition over the years. The Department of Tourism accredited it in 1992 and included it in the list of festivals in the country.

October Festivals in Mindanao: Lanzones Festival (October 16 – 22, Mambajao, Camiguin)

Lanzones Fesetival (Theglennpalacio/Wikimedia Commons)

Have you heard of the Lanzones Festival in Camiguin, Philippines? It’s a week-long celebration of one of the province’s most famous fruits – the lanzones! This festival occurs in the third week of October, just before the fruit’s harvest season.

The lanzones themselves are small, round fruits with a yellow peel. You’ll find seeds arranged into lobes covered in sweet, edible, transparent flesh when opened. Yum!

The first Lanzones Festival took place in 1979, created to promote tourism in the area. It started as a simple festivity, with a fair of local products and a dance competition. But through the years, it has grown tremendously and now attracts many visitors to the island.

If you’re near the area during the festival, check it out! All the fun activities take place in Mambajao, the province’s capital.

Final Thoughts

Countless celebrations, parades, and fiestas hold tremendous significance in Filipino culture. However, these events are more than just parties. They offer a glimpse into their way of life and showcase their free ideals and unique expressions.

Attending one of these festivities is a chance to pay homage to their traditions while enjoying the benefits and boldness of their culture. It’s a unique opportunity to witness something you can’t find in the Western world or elsewhere in Asia.

The October festivals in Mindanao are exclusive to the Philippines and provide an unparalleled experience that even the most well-traveled explorers cannot match.

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