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El Nido bay, Philippines

When to visit the Philippines

The geographical location of the Philippines in Southeast Asia creates a tropical rainforest climate all over the country. This means that you should expect high temperatures and high humidity levels when you visit, whatever month it is of the year.

The highest temperatures in the Philippines are recorded in May, with a mean of 28.3°C (82.9°F). The coolest are in January, at a mean of 25.5°C (77.9°F). In between, the country’s temperature averages at 26.6°C (79.9°F).

An average of 20 typhoons enter the country every year, with an average of 9 making landfall. Most of these typhoons come between May and October. Therefore, these are the least advisable times to visit if you’re looking for a beach vacation, as rain will most likely spoil your trip.

The best time to visit the country is from December to February, where the weather is usually pleasantly sunny and the temperatures are comfortably low.

Rain or shine, though, festivals and other special celebrations abound in the country all throughout the whole year. The most famous of these festivals are as follows:

• The Ati-atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan, held every third week of January, is considered the wildest among the Philippines fiestas as celebrants paint their whole bodies black and wear brightly colored costumes as they dance to honor the Holy Infant Jesus.
• The Sinulog Festival of Cebu City, held every third Sunday of January, is one of the most famous and grandest festivals in the country, celebrating the Filipino’s recognition of Christianity through dance rituals all over the city
• The Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City, held in the fourth weekend of January, commemorates the Christianization of the region through colorful parades and dramatizations

• The Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City, held every February, is a festival of giant floral floats, a true visual treat to flower fanatics. This is one of the country’s most popular festivals because Baguio City, due to its high elevation, it is one of the coolest cities in this tropical country – a very attractive feature in the summer months.

• The Moriones Festival of Marinduque City, held every Holy Monday until Easter Sunday, is characterized by parades of people in colorful Roman costumes (morion means mask or visor, referring to the Roman helmets of the past) as they depict the passion of Jesus Christ, the search for Longinus, the centurion whose blind eye was healed by a drop of Jesus’ blood, and Longinus’ eventual beheading.

• The Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon, held every 15th of May, is one of the most extravagant festivals in the country as residents decorate their houses with colorful fruits and other edible ornaments, which are eventually given away to the merry makers, to celebrate their bountiful harvests.

• The Pintados Festival of Tacloban City, Leyte, held every 29th of June, is a month-long religious festival which showcases the people’s experience and love for body tattoos as they join parades that show off their works of art

• The Kadayawan Festival of Davao City, held every third week of August, is a week-long celebration for bountiful harvests. Fresh and cheap fruits, including the odorous durian, flood the streets. And though this is in the middle of the rainy season, Davao City is one of the few areas in the Philippines that is seldom hit by strong rains.

• The Maskara Festival of Bacolod City, held every third weekend of October, consists of mask-making contests, food fairs, band competitions, local beauty pageants, windsurfing regatta, trade fairs, and exhibits.

• The Higantes Festival of Angono, Rizal, held every 22nd and 23rd of November, is characterized by huge paper mache giants or “higantes.”