Makati City Festivals
Makati City is among most advanced and high-class cities in the Philippines with towering skyscrapers, financial institutions, chic malls, and the latest in a stylish lifestyle. Yet, the city also religiously observes colorful traditional Makati festivals annually which have been handed down from generation to generation.
Bailes Delos Arcos
“Dancers of the Arch” in English, Bailes elos Arcos is one of the exciting Makati festivals bequeathed by an elderly generation to a younger generation. The festival involves the participation of young ladies who train for a year mastering peculiar dance steps to be performed on the festival day, June 29. They offer the dance in a kind of pledged devotion to their patron saints, St. Peter, St. Paul, and Virgen Dela Rosa. When the participants get old they assign the tradition to their young daughters. So the festival goes on annually perpetrated by family lines. The event is held in Barangay Poblacion.
The Xong Di Festival
Probably the most colorful and educational of Makati festivals, the event is highlighted by colorful displays of costumes, trinkets, accessories, and the like, of 17 different ethnic tribes of China. The idea is to juxtapose them with Filipino costumes and accessories to prove the similarities between the two Asian cultures. The Chinese words, “Xong di” really means “brother.”
Belen sa Makati
Christmas is celebrated widely in the Philippines but what makes “Belen sa Makati” different is that this festival showcases different versions of the Nativity displayed outside buildings, barangay halls, the Makati City Hall, schools, malls, and offices. The entire length of Ayala Avenue comes very vibrant with huge Yuletide lanterns and blinking Christmas lights to emphasize the event. Makati festivals are often decorated with lights, and this event is known as a city-wide festival of Nativity lanterns. The event often starts in early November of each year and ends on the first week of January.
Ganito Kami Noon
Translated “The way we were,” Ganito Kami Noon is a tribute ball led by the mayor of Makati right at the city hall quadrangle. This event is held on June 1 each year. Participants—all government employees whose offices and agencies work with city hall—wear native traditional clothes or the kind of clothes stylish in their youth. Makati festivals like this are often fun and amusing. At near closing of the festival, the mayor and his wife cite achievements of model employees.
Makati festivals often have to do with religious or cultural events but there is one that pays tribute to and helps artists and craftsmen with their trade. Likhang Kamay or “Hand-Created” is a trade show of native handicrafts featuring works of superb artists and craftsmen. In this event, prospective buyers and investors in native crafts and artworks are invited to see the exhibits. This festival is assisted by the trade and tourism departments and well promoted to ensure broader participation and exposure.
Caracol is held each first Sunday of the year (first Sunday of January) and captures the efforts of Filipinos in coping up with life’s vicissitudes. Makati festivals are sometimes derivations from other festivals, and three ethnic festivals are combined in Caracol. The term “Caracol” is Spanish meaning “snail” which has a shell covering. The shell symbolizes people’s efforts at combating life’s challenges.
Flores de Mayo
Each month of May Makati City celebrates the flowers in bloom in the city—and the flowers are not only those produced by plants but young women in the city as well. The event, among flowery Makati festivals, features lush varieties of flowers to serve as backdrop for the young beauties paraded in the streets of Makati.
Makati takes time out to relax and count its blessings through Makati festivals.