When is the best time to visit Philippines?
A leisure time one the beach, kayaking out to the sea, enjoying tropical exotic delicacies, sightseeing, witnessing the annual event and enjoy the warm of tropical temperature, you can get all of them or even more by visiting the Philippines.
As one of the famous and well-known places for a tropical trip to Southeast Asia, you need to know what is the best time to visit Philippines.
To avoid being in the middle of too much crowd or taking the worst-case scenario of your trip plan being canceled, because of the weather condition, there is some information that you need to know.
The information is about the average weather, temperature and seasons that you will have to face when visiting the Philippines.
Even more, this beautiful country also has some annual events and occasions that can be part of your tropical escape plan.
Visiting the country at the right time might also ensure you more accessible places to visit.
Not only inland tourist spots, but you can also even do island visits to some well-known islands in the Philippines’ archipelago, including some secluded islands.
It is not only about the tourist spot, but visiting at the right time may lead you to witness some annual events.
For example, an event known as Ati-Atihan, which is resolved in January.
While avoiding making your trip ruined because of them, the information will make you more aware of what you expect and what you need to pack.
The hot weather in the wet season, the unexpected rainfall in the rainy season, the possible tropical bugs and typhoons, may help you know what to prepare before going on the trip.
Thus, to help you decide the best time to visit Philippines, this is some review that you need to know.
The Best Time To Buy Flights to the Philippines
When planning for a trip, you should know when is the high and the low seasons are.
The high and low season will affect the cost of your plane tickets.
The term of high and low season is referred to as the period of the year when the highest and the fewest people tend to go to visit some places and when the prices are considered in the higher or lower states.
This reason can be another determiner to decide the best time to visit Philippines for you.
Just as the dry season is considered as the best time to visit Philippines, you may expect more crowds and higher ticket value in the high season.
The high seasons tend to start alongside the start of the wet season in this particular country.
Since the wet season starting from May to October, the high season will start in December and extend to the end of April.
The high season also expected due to the approaching Christmas and the end of the year.
Around the new year and also the dry season in the Philippines, the demand for flight to Philippines will significantly increase.
Thus, you have to prepare for 5-10% extra cost to pay and brace yourself to successfully secure accommodation.
On the contrary, the low season will start from May and continues to October.
It is due to the least favorite time for tourists to visit and coming of the wet season.
However, the flight cost will be more affordable.
Around the low season, you can expect a slightly cheaper flight cost, up to 10% lower from the normal ticket cost.
Since Philippines’ popularity is currently increasing and turn into a more popular holiday destination, the flight will mostly available all year long.
If you are set for the cheaper flight cost, then it is suggested to book your flight months before your planned time.
So, you can get the advantage of the lower flight cost and easier accommodation.
The Best Season and Weather to Visit
Like most Southeast Asian countries, this country only has two types of seasons: a wet season and dry season.
The best time to visit Philippines is during its dry season.
At that time this country will most likely full of crowd and tourists.
The dry season roles out between November to April.
Why is it the best time to visit Philippines?
It is because during the dry season you can visit many islands while accompanied by the clear weather and sky.
The beautiful bright blue sky and warm temperature of a tropical island are some of the reasons, why this season is the best time for your visit.
You can expect the perfect condition of the tropical beaches and islands while taking your time to enjoy exotic fruits, food, and beverages.
While it is the dry season, you have to be aware that the daylight temperature can peak at 34°C.
The highest temperature may occur from March to May.
If you are looking for the best time to visit Philippines with a more moderate temperature, then you may want to visit when the temperature is cooler around December to February.
You will experience the temperature around 24°C to 31°C along these months.
Around this season you can also do some hiking to Mount Batulao or spent your time in one of the famous beaches, El Nido.
But note it, that you may need to apply and pack some sunscreens.
Granted that you are okay with a little drizzle of rain date along your holiday trip, then you may visit the country during the wet season.
The wet season or better known by name of rain season will start around May to October.
Since the weather in the Philippines can be unpredictable, the rain is rarely impacting your planning.
Yet, you have to consider to avoid traveling during the typhoon season, which tends to happen around August to January.
On the other hand, a trip from May to November will give you a good value of flight tickets, pleasant weather and a little bit less crowd.
It is also worth to note, that not all the country places have the same temperature.
You can visit Southern Luzon and Banaue for a moderate average temperature of around 26°C to 31°C year long.
While places like Cebu, Manila, Bohol, Palawan, etc. tend to have an average temperature of 31°C to 34°C.
Year-Long Annual Events and Festival in Philippines
You can also decide best time to visit Philippines, by looking at the time where you can find and participate in some annual event.
Philippines has a vast variety of events that you can find in year long.
Many events held every month in Philippines.
The people love to showcase their culture in the form of singing, dancing, parades and of course, local cuisine.
Since there are many events to mention, let’s start listing the events from each month.
Events and Festivals in January
January is a great time to visit this country.
Even though being part of the dry season, January has a moderate temperature, it won’t be too hot or too cold for you with the lowest temperature hit 21 °C and peak at 30 °C.
This month is one of the best time to visit Philippines when the local people will hold a quite large number of events.
At least there are four famous events and festivals that will be held: Ati-atihan, Dinagyang, Black Nazarene Feast, and Sinulog.
If you decide to visit Philippines in January, make sure to stop in Kalibo in the second week of January.
The biggest and the most famous festival in the country, Ati-Atihan, will be held in Kalibo, Aklan province.
The festival is held to celebrate a holy representation of the catholic church, called Santo Nino.
You can expect many extravagant parade participants, merry and wonderful time during the street parades.
The wonderful street parade also fulfills the purpose of celebrating the old pact between the local settlers in Kalibo and the homegrown locals from a long time ago.
January will be the right time to visit Philippines for those who want to expect the most wonderful and the best of decorated rides, the local delicious cuisines, and the locals dancing on the street.
Locals will be wearing colorful costumes, body paints, and many more extravagant tribal costumes.
Feast of the Black Nazarene
In case you are in the middle of the city of Manila, precisely on the 9th of January, you may stumble to an annual event called a Feast of the Black Nazarene.
There will be a mass of crowds, who are devotees, gathering in the plaza right outside of Quiapo Church.
They gather around to touch a life-sized iconic statue of Christ, the Black Nazarene.
This particular statue is brought by the devotes by carrying it through the city street while barefoot.
There is also a more modern styled festival with basic ideas just like the Ati-atihan festival.
This festival is known as Dinagyang.
Serve the same purpose as the Ati-atihan festival, you can expect fancy parade full of locals and rides dressed and decorated in fancy and colorful costumes.
They will dance to music and show some attractions.
Later on, the festival will be followed by a parade on the Iloilo River.
Sinulog Santo Nino Festival
Another well-known festival in Philippine during the dry season that you can find in January, is a Sinulog.
If you are visiting Cebu City, on Sunday of the third week of January, you can witness this biggest festival in Cebu.
This festival is held in honor to celebrate the introduction of Christianity to the country, by carrying an image of Santo Nino or an image of Jesus’s childhood.
The dances displayed in the parade are dance rituals that represent the current of the Cebu river.
The huge street parade accompanied by live music, the big amount of grandeur, colorful costumes and vibrant color of decoration always attracted thousands of visitors and tourists from around the world.
While enjoying this street parade, you can also enjoy plenty of beverages and cuisines.
You may also join the festival activities, such as concerts, contests, firework displays, street fairs, beauty pageant contests, photo contests, and many more.
Annual Events and Festivals in February
If you missed out on the annual events in January, you don’t need to worry.
In the second month of the year, February is not that different from the previous month.
This can be the best time to visit Philippines for you since there are some annual events and festivals held this month.
Also, there will be fewer visitors in this period.
It is due to the temperature will start to rise and the peak of the dry season is coming.
The temperature this month is around 22 °C to 31 °C.
Pamulinawen is one of the events held in February.
This event is located in Laoag City.
The whole Laoag City resident will participate in this event.
The particular event is held to honor the Hermit St. William.
People will join the event by having a big street party that enlivened with some other activities.
If you come to join the party, you will be able to watch a beauty pageant show, followed by music concerts and religious street parades.
Another festival that worth to join and see as the tourist is a flower festival in Baguio.
The flower festival that also called Baguio or Panagbenga flower festival, will roles out in the third week of February every year.
For those who love flowers, not only your eyes which will be pleased with many beautiful rides designed and decorated with flowers.
But, you can also learn more about flowers from the lectures and exhibitions that especially held in this event.
The flower festival is one of the ways people celebrate the coming of flower seasons.
The colorful flower used for parade and decorations are flowers from the Cordillera region.
Other than just celebrating the coming of the flower season, there is another reason why people held this event.
They want the event as a tribute and to represent the feel of a new beginning, for the family who suffers from the past earthquake in 1999, that happened in the Luzon region.
The events in February still goes on. In the third week of February, there is a Suman Festival.
The extravagant and colorful, almost random themed festival, is held in Baler City, Aurora.
In this particular street parade which accompanied by dancers and rides, you can enjoy the native delicacies known as Suman.
Suman is a cake made of sticky rice that rolled and wrapped in banana leaves.
Fascinatingly, this delicacy will also be used to decorate the floats of the street parade.
Hot Air Balloons festival
A worldwide Philippine Hot Air Balloons festival in February, tend to attract many tourist and pilots from around the world who loves to enjoy some airborne attraction.
The event has a large number of airborne attractions that you can witness and even join, such as balloon rides, skydiving, microlight flying, and some aerial acrobatics.
This event will be held in Clark city in Pampanga.
The last event that held at the end of February, is an event called the Kaamulan Festival.
The Kaamulan festival normally started at the end of February and continuing until the early of March.
The festival is a festival that holds to honor and celebrates the traditions and customs of the seven original group tribes people that used to reside in the Bukidnon.
The festival held by the locals from Malaybalay City, in Bukidnon.
The local people will perform dances, chants and perform ancient rituals while wearing traditional costumes.
Events and Festivals in March
The temperature will start to elevate in this month, but it won’t highly impact your travel plan.
But it should be noted, that in this month there will be a Holy week in Philippines.
The holy week situation tends to cause availability issues, especially when looking for accommodation.
It is advised, to book way before the holy week period or avoiding a visit at this particular time.
However, if you visit and stay in Philippines this month, you can witness some annual events.
The first event is the Kaamulan Festival.
These events which held for two weeks, from the end of February to the early March, will be taking place in the Malaybalay City of Bukidnod.
The purpose of this event is to celebrate the seven traditions and culture of the original tribes residing in the area.
Thus, in this event, you will see the street parade full of people wearing many traditional, clothing, do ancient cultures like rituals, dances, and traditions of the original Bukidnon Tribespeople.
Arya! Abra Festival
The next event in this month is Arya! Abra Festival!
Arya! Abra Festival is an event located in Bangued, the provincial capital of Abra.
As the name depicts, the event is mainly a race of bamboo raft which located in the lively Abra river, along Calaba River.
Other than the raft race, the event is an event for the gathering of the northern tribes.
Tourists can come witness and also participate in this event, that held in the first or second week of March.
At the same time but located in a different place, there is a festival called the Bangkero Festival.
The name of the festival “Bangkero” has the meaning of boatmen.
As the name says, the festival will be located along the river of Pagsanjan.
The festival is a means to honor all of the boatmen.
This event will also have many attractions including a boat race, colorful boat parades, band competition, cultural night, sports contest, a choral fest and street dancing.
In the third week of March, there will be an outdoor dancing competition participated by 12 Barangays.
The festival is known as Pasayaw Festival.
This festival is an event that represents the thanksgiving festival to God and St. Joseph.
While at the Easter weekend, or the end of the holy week at Philippines.
There will be a religious festival called the Moriones Festival.
In the Moriones Festival, you will witness locals wearing masks of someone’s face.
The idea behind wearing the masks is to re-enact a famous figure from the Roman century named Longinus.
Locals will wear a mask of Longinus face and an eye-catching soldier costumes from the roman century.
In the parade, there will be people who wear Christ’s costume.
They may re-enact a scenario when the Longinus pierced Christ’s side with a spear.
Instead of getting hurt, Christ healed back, because of the blood that spurted out from the Longinus’s eye.
Events and Festivals in April
The end of the dry season will be started in April.
This month the temperature will reach its peak, which is around 34°C.
If you decide to travel during the early days of this month, make sure that you already have secured accommodation, like a hotel or inn.
Otherwise, you might have difficulties finding available accommodations.
It is because Easter week in the Philippines will be considered a holy week, when it may affect accommodation issues.
Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival
For those who love the water ride race, this is the best time to visit Philippines for you.
There is an International event called Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival.
The event is based on the dragon-boat race in Hong Kong, but here, the event will have some local touch in it.
This boat festival will not only open for the International participant, but also some domestic boat racer.
The competitions will use long wooden canoes that track along the White beach.
Allao Ta Apo Sandawa
In the second week of April, there is an event called Allao Ta Apo Sandawa.
This annual event will be held every year by the different tribes of Mindanao.
All the tribespeople will gather at Kidapawan City, placed in the North Cotabato.
The reason for the event is to pay honor and respect to the country’s highest peak, Mount Apo.
The tribes pay respect to the mountain because they considered the mount as a scared ground due to its height.
Turumba Festival is the event that you can find and witness along the course of April and May, at Pakil, Laguna.
This festival is a long period festival that will hold 7 times every year.
The first one is started on Friday before Palm Sunday.
The festival keeps going on till it is ended at the last fall on the Pentecost Sunday This festival held to celebrates the seven distresses of the Virgin Mary.
One of each novena (Virgin Mary’s distresses) will be held every weekend.
Events and Festivals in May
At the period of April and May, the country will hit by the highest temperature due to the ending of the dry season.
While May is still a part of the dry season, the weather will mostly clear and access to islands is still available.
However, the temperature in the lowland areas may be increased and hotter at this time.
It will be the best chance for you to do some hiking trips or to go visit some coastal areas.
While the heat may reach a peak, there will be some events and festivals that particularly held this month.
For example, the Turumba festival which known as the festival that runs for the longest period in Philippines.
This festival is started in the last month (February) and will be ended at the end of May.
While it represents each Virgin Mary’s distress every weekend, you will be able to witness always different events and performances at the end of the week.
Flores de Mayo Festival
Flores de Mayo is also one of the annual events that you might stumble on when visiting this country in May.
This event is countrywide, you will experience the religious procession which is held to celebrate and to welcome the coming of the wet season.
In this even, the processions are mostly carried out during the night.
In the procession time, locals will lit candles and creating a wonderful ambiance throughout the whole night.
Carabao Carroza Festival
From the 3rd to the 4th of May, there is a unique race held in Iloilo.
The festival is held to honor the humble and the beast of mans’ burden, carabao or water buffalo.
The carabao that tends to be used as a man’s helper in farming will be participating in this event.
Together with the muses that dressed in Philippian’s costume, eighteen decorated carrozas and the carabao will attend the Carabao Carroza Parade.
A carabao Carroza festival queen will be chosen among those muses.
The search of the queen is made through various competitions.
Such as Best in talent, Miss Congeniality, miss photogenic, etc.
Meanwhile, the carabao race consists of the Carroza that have no decoration being pulled by the carabaos with the riders.
The race track is made on a 110-meter lane.
This event is quite well-known and able to attract many domestic or international tourists and visitors.
On the 15th of May, there is a festival involving some harvests.
The Pahiyas Festival is a merry and wonderful festival where you will find many houses is cheerfully decorated in bright and colorful color.
But fascinatingly, the decorations also involve some fruits and vegetables.
The main purpose of this event is to honor the San Isidro Labrador, which is the guardian angel for the farmer.
At the same time, the event also shows appreciation for the earth’s products.
If you are interested to attend and participating in the Pahiyas, make sure you prepare some baskets on your hand.
It is because one of the main attractions of this event is to pick some of the rewards from the decorated houses.
You can enjoy the entire haul that you get from this festival.
Obando Fertility Rites
Moving on, two days later after the Pahiyas, from 17th to 19th May there will be another event located in Obando at Bulacan.
The event called Obando Fertility rites is a festival held by Catholics to honor the guardian angels of Obando.
Some travelers and locals will dance and sing on the street and churchyards.
People or couples will dance as a form of prayer to conceive a child.
The church also holds a three-day feast, which successfully draws people from throughout the country for masses, devotion inside the church and the dancing processions.
What to do from June to July
Since the wet seasons are starting to come in June.
This period maybe not the best time to visit Philippines.
Most of the lands in the Philippines will be wet and the annual events or festivals are hardly found in this period of the year.
The whole country area will gradually have increased rain levels.
In July, the whole country will hit by the increasing volume of rainfall.
In this period, the northern areas will have the most impact on the wet season.
However, in case you are visiting Philippines around June to July, you can still enjoy your trip by visiting the central areas.
One of the examples is Cebu.
It is because Cebu will mostly have the least effect of the wet season.
While the city will remain dry most of the time, you may expect some odd and light shower there.
There are many tourist spots and places to visit and enjoy during your visit to Cebu.
In Cebu, there are many indoor shopping areas, historical heritage sites, or some restaurant and culinary spots.
One of the recommended activities to do in Cebu during the rainy season is to enjoy the hot spring and get a taste of the local delicacy, Lechon de Cebu.
You can also enjoy the beach in Cebu, diving in Moalboal, hiking mount Mago, experiencing the waterfalls in Cebu and man more places and activity in Cebu.
Events and Festivals in August to September
During August, you will expect a lot of rain and a high chance of typhoons.
It is advised that you will not have a trip to Philippines at this time.
Kadayawan sa Davao
However, if you are already situated in the country, then, you may visit Davao city to enjoy an annual event Kadayawan sa Davao.
This event will start in the third week of August.
You can witness a harvest festival that will be held for the whole week, which convoy horse fighting, street dances, military, and civic parades.
Same with August, in September you should forecast heavy rainfall and chances of a typhoon.
Penafrancia Fluvial Festival
In this particular month, locals will hold an event called as Penafrancia Fluvial Festival.
The festival that carried out on the third Saturday of the month, will be parading a sacred statue of the guardian angel of Bicol, Lady of Penafrancia.
The parade will roll out along the streets of Naga and then drift down the River of Bicol to bring it back to its shrine.
Events and Festivals in October
During October, you can expect better weather and lessen rain.
However, since it is around the time of season change, there is still a possibility of the typhoon.
If you are going to visit Philippines around this time, it will be highly advised to visit the country at the end of the month or early November, when the weather and the season are in better condition.
In case you are in the country during this month, there is some event you may find.
Most of the events are held on the third of October.
The first event you can expect to find is Masskara.
As the name depicts, the festival related to the mask.
The attractions of this festival are a contest for mask making.
There are also some food fairs and competitions for brass bands.
Followed by a colorful carnival parade where locals and participants wear playful and smiling masks while dancing.
You can also join in on all the excitement by dancing to the music.
Ibalong which is located in the entire Legaspi and Bicol will show you some entertaining events that full of epic, extravagant, wonderful dances and street parades or presentations.
All the presentation is displayed to portray the local gods and mythical superheroes.
During the same week, at Lambajao in Camiguin, there is also a festival called Lanzones festival.
The festival is held by having colorful, vibrant and also a good-natured party placed in outdoor areas.
The Lanzones festival is held as a form of giving thanks for all of the crops, which are mostly tropical fruits that grow on the island of Lanzones.
And the last event that occurs on the 19th of October at Silay in Negros Occidental is known as Kansilay.
Some contests held in this event is such as eating, drinking and beauty pageants contests.
There is also a quite large scale of a street parade that will brisk this event, which is held to commemorate Silay’s charter day.
Events and Festivals in November
Since November is the start of the dry season in Philippines, you should not expect an Annual Events and Festivals this month.
In this month local people tend to get busy starting again their work on the farm.
The dry season may just have started, but, there is still a chance of typhoon happens in this month.
If you are set to visit at this time, it is highly recommended to visit at the end of the month.
Even though there is no annual event or festival, you may still able to enjoy some tourist spots in the middle of the central city, like Manila or Cebu.
If you are residing in Manila, you can always do a culinary trip.
There are many cafes and restaurant that serves many kinds of food from around the world.
Or you can visit some places like Intramuros, San Agustin church or museum for the historical trip and capturing some pictures for a souvenir.
There are also some places that you can visit to experience some tropical adventure.
Like taking a trip to Bohol, to enjoy the beaches, snorkeling, or visiting the countryside.
If you love some thrill, this month you can visit Padre Burgos to do a whale shark watching.
There are many more activities across the country.
Since this month is part of the low season, you can expect lesser visitors and a tad bit cheaper fare, compared to the peak December season.
Events and Festivals in December
December is the time when the temperature will gradually cooler.
The dry season temperature around this month is in the average range of 23°C to 30°C.
At the same time, the rain level also lower than the previous month.
The great temperature and weather in this month is the main reason, people will start flocking around and come to visit.
Even though this month is the start of high season, please be aware that there is still a small chance of typhoons.
This month is the beginning of the high season.
So, you can expect many domestic or International visitors and tourists starting to come.
Giant Lantern Festival
Other than celebrating the end of the year party in Philippines, you can also find an annual event that known as the Giant Lantern Festival.
Taken place in San Fernando, this event is a citywide festival.
You will witness the city street of San Fernando comes alight with vibrant and colorful light and lantern.
The fancy giant lantern will be displayed along the street across the city.
The lanterns will be lit using LED lights to make it even livelier and colorful.
The event will start in a week before Christmas.
This is the best time to visit Philippines, for those who want to celebrate Christmas in Philippines.
It is because, the excitement and the atmosphere that brought by the event, has successfully made the San Fernando City known as the Christmas Capital of Philippines.
To fully gain the experience of your trip to Philippines, make sure you have determined when you want to go.
To help you decide that, some information about the high and low season period, the weather and temperature, and some activities related to annual events and festivals can be used as determiners for you.
Thus, later on, you can expect more comfortable weather and temperature condition, followed by affordable tickets and good experience holiday trips.