Philippine festivals have always been a pride of every Filipino. We offer plenty of regional fiestas every month which is often associated with the feast of the patron saints of the town or city.
For the first month of the year, Paul, Ate Jovy and I went to San Pablo CIty to experience the 18th Coco Festival which is labled to be as the best tourism event in the Philippines for three consecutive years! San Pablo is located in the southern portion of Laguna province and the city is known to be the “City of Seven Lakes”. From Manila, it will take at least 1 and a half to 2 hours to get into the city proper. There are several provincial buses in Manila that can take you to San Pablo. From Alabang, we rode a bus going to Lucena and this will pass by the city, just ask the bus conductor to drop you off there.
The Coco festival is a week-long celebration in honor of Saint Paul (San Pablo) the Hermit, San Pablo City’s patron saint. The festival started in 1996 and is held every first to second week of January. It consists of street dancing, float parade, street concerts, and nightly programs.
We arrived way too early that is why we had a chance to take some pictures around the city and also, the preparations for the Coco Fest. We got excited when we finally saw the banderitas that were hanged on the main streets. Loud music, vendors and some tourists also filled the festive streets.
Whenever I get the chance to go to other places, I make sure to try their local dishes and street foods, as I believe, that one way to learn more about a place is through the stomach
We went back at the plaza around 10:30 am. After a little waiting, the procession started in honor of St. Paul (San Pablo) and it lasted for about more than an hour.
After the procession, at exactly 1:00 pm, the street dance competition began, just as we thought that we already landed in a good spot, we were then asked not to stay on the street islands and so we headed to the plaza square. It was actually a good thing because it is near the school, where the parade’s jump off point was.
Drum beat opened the much awaited Street Dance Competition!
and it made us more excited!!!
The streets were already filled and you have to take the leap to be able to have a good sight of the live happenings on the streets. Coco Carnival Queens, live drum bands, motorcades, street vendors, kids in their colorful dancing costumes, loud dancing musics, photographers and tourists filled the entire party breeze!
These coco carnival queens showcases the creativity of San Pablenos in making festive gowns and costumes made from coconut trees! These gowns are really impressive!
The event everyone was waiting for, the Street Dance Competition!
From the school grounds these students danced all the way through the main streets of San Pablo City.
The competition is among the schools of San Pablo City, despite the heat of the sun, a bit of rain and some technical difficulties, the participants gave their all and flaunted their beautiful and colorful costumes!
The event continues to be an annual showcase of cultures, creativity and of course of Filipino talent. Truly, street party and dancing are more fun in the Philippines!
Experience the fun, exciting and thrilling festivals here in our country, the PHILIPPINES!
Catch for the full edit of Paul Pantalla ‘s video of the 18th Coco Festival! I’ll post it here soon
More photos here —-> 18th Coco Festival
After experiencing the fun, we had a side trip in Sampaloc Lake which is one of the famous Seven Lakes in San Pablo CIty. I’ll write about it soon! Au revoir/until next time/hanggang sa muli!