10 Popular Festivals In Zambales, Philippines - Updated 2022

festivals in zambales

Zambales is popular among weekend warriors who want to take a quick trip to the beach to go swimming or diving. Located in Central Luzon in the Philippines, it is just a short driving distance away from Manila, the country’s capital. It’s also known for being one of the provinces to host Mount Pinatubo, one of the most active volcanoes in the country. It also features a number of amazing hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals for travelers, as well as incredible staycation spots for locals looking to relax. What many do not know, however, is that Zambales also plays host to a number of festivals celebrated throughout the year. Want to join these festivities? Take a look at this list to find out more about the popular festivals in Zambales, Philippines.

1. Dinamulag Festival [Last event in 2019]

Besides its beaches and dive sites, Zambales is also best known for its mangoes - the dinamulag variety that they grow is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world - and the Dinamulag Festival celebrates this sweet, sticky fruit. Intended as a way to celebrate the bountiful harvest of the fruit, this event sees a number of activities, including a street dancing that features dancers clad in mango-themed costumes. Besides mango-themed activities, the festival also features a number of sports-themed events and activities such as fireworks displays and a sand sculpting competition.

Dinamulag Festival

Address: Iba, Zambales, Philippines

Takes place: March or April

2. Caracol Boat

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Caracol Boat event takes place at the same time as the barangay fiesta in Calapandayan, Subic, every second Sunday of May. This activity sees a boat parade, wherein an image of San Roque (also known as Saint Roch, Saint Rock, and Saint Rocco) is paraded at sea, accompanied by a live band playing in other boats.

Caracol Boat

Address: Globe Circuit Event Grounds, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Takes place: May

3. Sibit-Sibit Summer Festival

Sibit-Sibit Summer Festival got its name from the small paddle boats that used to be the center of livelihoods of the residents, who made a living largely from fishing. Originally, the festival’s main event was a race among competitors on the aforementioned boats. Today, however, the event has evolved to include motorized boat and sailboat competitions, as well as a fluvial parade. There are other activities off the water as well, including a volleyball competition and a boat-themed sand sculpting competition.

Sibit-Sibit Summer Festival

Address: Barangay Barreto, Olongapo, Zambales

Takes place: Fourth week of April

4. Feast of Ina Poon Bato in Botolan

InaPoonBatojf9542 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

January 24 marks the feast of Ina Poon Bato in Batolan. A number of miracles are attributed by the locals through the intercession of Ina Poon Bato, also known as Nuestra Señora dela Paz of Zambales, Apo Apang, and the Miraculous Lady of the Aetas. The arrival of the image is also said to be miraculous, as it was found among the Aetas, the indigenous people living there, by priests who are clueless as to how it came to be with the tribe. Ina Poon Bato has a number of devotees, and a number of pilgrims visit the town yearly to pray and ask for her intercession.

Feast of Ina Poon Bato in Botolan

Address: Batolan, Zambales

Takes place: January 24

5. Love And Light Festival [Last event in 2019]

If you believe in or are curious about new age practices, the Love And Light Festival might be right up your alley. Promoted as one of the biggest spiritual events, this event features activities such as shamanic rituals, aura cleansing, meditations, and yoga. For additional fees, attendees can also get tattoos and massages or try out acupuncture services. Those who will be going to the event are requested to bring their own tents, sleeping bags, or hammocks. Alternatively, they can rent one of the cottages in the venue. They can also bring fruits and vegetables for sharing.

Love And Light Festival

Address: Sitio Liwliwa, San Felipe, Zambales

Website: Love And Light Festival

Takes place: October

6. Olongapo Grand Mardi Gras [Last event in 2019]

Head over to Olongapo if you want to have a different experience of Mardi Gras from what New Orleans has to offer. Olongapo’s Mardi Gras started in the 1980s, back when the US Naval Base was still operational in the city. The highlight of the event is street dancing, which starts at 6pm and ends just before dawn. As the attendees dance the night away, live bands and comedians provide entertainment. The theme changes yearly, so be sure to check what the theme is during your visit so you don’t end up sticking out like a sore thumb.

Olongapo Grand Mardi Gras (October)

Address: Olongapo, Zambales

Website: Olongapo Grand Mardi Gras

Takes place: October

7. Domorokdok Festival [Last event in 2019]

Botolan,Zambalesjf9615 08
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This festival is almost like a variety show brought to the streets. The two-day event brings together different activities - beauty contests, street dancing competition, and music fest. The street dancing in particular should not be missed, as competing groups do not only get points for their performance, but also their colorful costumes, so you’re bound to see dancers in creative, eye-catching outfits.

Domorokdok Festival

Address: Botolan, Zambales

Takes place: May

8. Paynauen ‘Duyan’ Festival

Amy Perez Paynauen in 2015
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mmhuang used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This festival was named after two things: “Paynauen”, the original name of the town, and “duyan”, which is the local term for hammock. Put together, the festival is intended to bring to mind the town as a place of rest. The week-long celebration is marked with a number of activities, including a sand sculpture competition, a street dance parade showcasing the history of the town, a duyan parade, a boat race, kite flying, and a number of other sports-themed activities.

Paynauen ‘Duyan’ Festival

Address: Iba, Zambales

Takes place: Third week of April

9. Binabayani Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

“Binabayani” can be loosely translated as “courageous”. This festival is Zambales is answer to the Ati-Atihan Festival of Aklan, another province in the Philippines. The festival is conducted in honor of Saint Andrew, the town’s patron saint. The highlight of the activity is the depiction of a historic battle between the Aetas and the early-day Christians. A dance competition is held annually, with each group vying to present the best version of the war dance that the Binabayani Festival has come to be known for.

Binabayani Festival

Address: Masinloc Zambales

Takes place: November 30

10. Subic Karakoa Festival

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This festival is held annually every April to honor the warship Karakoa, which was built by the Pintados tribe. The activity is marked with a number of activities, including a motorcade and a parade that features colorful floats. The activity is intended to serve as a complement to the Karakoa Food Festival and the Philippine Motorsports Festival.

Subic Karakoa Festival

Address: Subic Bay Freeport, Zambales

Takes place: April

Join the festivities in Zambales

Zambales is well-loved for its beautiful beaches and fantastic dive sites, but the province has a lot more to offer besides these fun activities in and by the water. Be sure to go through this list so you can schedule your trip there in time for the festival that most resonates with you.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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