Everyone knows that Boracay is all about parties, soaking in the sun and dipping your toes in the white sand beaches. But what most first time visitors to the island paradise do not realize is that it is also where you can witness some of the most colorful festivals in the Philippines.
The Ati Atihan Festival
Practically every province in the country has its own version of the Ati Atihan festival, and Boracay is no exception.
The fiesta takes place every January 2. What makes the Ati Atihan such a fascinating spectacle is that it represents a blend of various religious beliefs. Although it is held to honor the Infant Jesus (the Santo Nino) the participants clothe and paint themselves according to the motifs of tribal peoples. The highlight is the marching of the Ati Atihan through the beat and rhythm and drums along the sandy beaches.
The Ati Atihan commences with a march accompanied by hypnotizing drumbeats, and is marked by the participation of the local populace through dancing. The next day there is a mass beginning in the morning, On the third and final day there is the competition for best tribe, similar to the Mardi Gras.
Each tribe dresses up in colorful outfits, and proceed to march with bamboos and images of Catholic saints and the Santo Nino in hand.
The trademark of the Ati Atihan of course, are the painting of dark colors on the skins of the marchers. This festival is one of the most popular in the Philippines, and in Boracay is followed closely by local and foreign tourists.
The Boracay Food Festival
The Filipinos are well known for their delicacies, and every summer Boracay hosts its own food festival.
The Boracay Food Festival is a grand showcase of the best in Filipino food and delicacies. From the sweetest desserts to seafood to well known dishes, there is nothing like feasting on the beach.
The Boracay International Funboard Cup
With its beautiful waters, it was inevitable that the island would become the staging ground for windsurfing events like the International Funboard Cup.
While technically a sporting event, the Funboard Cup has all the elements of a festive atmosphere. People can watch the competition free of charge, and later on take part in the beach parties and concerts. The event itself, which starts in late January, continues for six days, and is marked by other activities like giving away prizes, and of course, the chance to meet new people.
The Yapak Fiesta
There are three barangays on the island, each one having its own festival. The Yapak festival is held every February 10 in the barangay of the same name.
Typical of other Philippine festivals, the Yapak festival, with its colorful parades, dances and songs, reflect the joyful spirit of the Filipino. At this time of the year the barangay comes to life through the retelling and demonstration of ancient folk beliefs and cultural practices.
The Dragon Boat Festival
Early in May, Boracay plays host to the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year.
Although it is a sports competition, with the participants all aiming to win, it is also a spectacle, as crowds gather to watch the colorful boats traverse the waters. As with other fiestas, the competition is only half of the event, as it is always followed by a series of beach parties and shows.
The New Year Festivities
There is nothing like welcoming the New Year in Boracay Island, as it a spectacle with few equals.
Not only do you get to party all bight at the beach with your friends, but you are also treated to some spectacular fireworks.
While the fireworks displays takes place in the evening, there are other activities to occupy you in the meantime, such as building sand castles and more.
Fil-American Friendship Golf Cup
In the month of January, another famous event is held. This is the celebration of Fil-Americans who either reside in the island or come for a visit, and has a love for golf. The event is aptly called as the Fil-American Friendship Golf Cup.
Goma Golf Cup
In the month of February, Boracay holds the Goma Colf Cup event, another popular occasion in Boracay like the Corporate Golf Cup event and the Annual International Paraw Cup Challenge. Golf lovers, members of the media, and other famous celebrities come to this event. This tournament is founded by Richard Gomez, which explains the first name of the event which was actually garnered from the nickname or “media” name of this distinguished actor. The event is celebrated on the 20th to 24th in the month of February.
Beach Reggae Festival
The Beach Reggae Festival is celebrated during May 11 to 14 every year. It spells lots of partying and fun for those who come to the event. Live reggae music echoes throughout the island during this occasion.
Boracay Dive Olympics
If you like water sports, especially diving, March 30 up to April 1 are the dates to remember to watch the festival known as the Boracay Dive Olympics. This popular Boracay event is held to encourage diving enthusiasts to join and measure their athletic diving prowess.
Boracay International Beach Festival
A well-known festival or event in Boracay is the Boracay International Beach Festival. This is one of those events that people wouldn’t want to miss. This is held during the months of October, November or December. Fun, thrills, and exciting activities are in store for those who would come to this island and witness this occasion during these months. Residents and guests merge together as one during this beach festivity. It is really one of those fun-filled experiences that you could get only in Boracay.
Corporate Golf Cup
The Corporate Golf Cup is another awaited festival or event in Boracay. This is usually open to seniors and regular men who share a love of this sport. It is usually celebrated from the 19th of February to the 9th day of March. Although a relaxing sport if done at leisure, engaging in this golf tournament makes the sport more intense and challenging for the participants. This occasion is held in order to measure one’s knowledge and experience in the sport. Aside from that, a lot of camaraderie is expected among the participants and the audience.
Sand Lantern Contest
The Sand Lantern Contest is a festival or event in Boracay that is usually held on the 30th day of March to the first day of April just like the Boracay Dive Olympics event. Those who have a creative flair and know how to form the particles of sand into a spectacular and original masterpiece gets to bag cash prizes for the top spot in the contest.
Boracay Invitational Golf Tournament
The Boracay Invitational Golf Tournament is usually held in the summer – particularly in the month of April. This famous Boracay event usually starts at the first day of the month up to the eighth day. During this time of the season, the northeastern monsoon winds, or “amihan” as called by most of the locals in the area, blows strong winds in the area that sometimes make it more challenging for the competitors to play in this tournament.
Boracay Beach Soccer Cup
The island of Boracay is not merely known for its numerous water sport activities that one can enjoy with one’s own family or group of friends. There are also a handful of land sports that cater to many sports enthusiasts. One of these land sports is the Boracay Beach Soccer Cup. This famous Boracay event is held in April of each year just like the Boracay Invitational Golf Tournament. It goes on for two days – starting from April 20 to April 22. The competition is usually aimed at the soccer professionals and it would be very pleasing to watch them play and (try to) get the winner’s position in the end.
Caddie Shack Golf Tournament
Of the numerous famous events in Boracay, the Caddie Shack Golf Tournament is said to be the only event that is held annually during the month of September. To be particular, it is usually celebrated on the ninth of September up to the fifteenth day of the same month. Golf enthusiasts usually practice months before the event to prepare for the competition against other golfers. And it is so exciting to see these players strut their stuff once the competition starts. A lot of good sportsmanship and camaraderie is usually seen among the players.
Chairman’s Golf Cup
In the month of November, another golf tournament commences. This is the famous Chairman’s Golf Cup that many anticipate. Typically, it is held at the Fairways & Bluewater (a perfect golf course and a relaxing resort in one). The competition usually begins at the tenth day of November and ends on the sixteenth. Many international guests come to see this event together with the locals and foreign residents of Boracay.
Nestea Beach Volleyball
A popular sport not merely used for recreation and leisure but also for building up strength and agility for more competitive tournament sessions, volleyball is one of the best loved sports in Boracay. Basically, this is done on the sandy beach of the island. Since many love this game so much, an annual competition known as the Nestea Beach Volleyball is held for professional male and female volleyball players. This tournament usually lasts for a few days during the summer. Players of two opposing teams are expected to adhere to the official tournament rules of the game. Winners from the male division and female teams proceed to the semi-final sessions and championship sessions. It is one of the famous events in Boracay that both locals and tourists like to watch. Nestea is the main sponsor of the event. Aside from the intense volleyball match, players and onlookers can look forward to other exciting activities like parties, fashion show event, parties, and clean up activities of the island.
International Paraw Cup Challenge
Another tournament among the famous events in Boracay that is highly liked by most is the International Paraw Cup Challenge. It is celebrated every year during the month of February just like other important events in the island of Boracay such as the Goma Colf Cup and the Corporate Golf Cup.
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