Ginger Paws Outdoors

Halamanan Festival 2017: Gardens of Guiguinto

Here I am again for another edition of my festival series in the Philippines! However, this blog is one of my favorites because I will introduce to you my hometown, Guiguinto!

halamanan festival

Guiguinto is in the province of Bulacan, which is more than an hour away from Manila (without traffic). Bulacan is in the central part of Luzon, Philippines, where you can find farms (mostly rice), poultry and piggery farms. I grew up on a farm where I experienced to have the rice field as our playground (especially during summer!), dug the soil to get sweet potatoes for an afternoon snack, climbed mango, guava or star fruit trees (then smacked by our grandmother after) and played with cows, chickens, ducks, pigs and carabaos (water buffalo) in the shed. Oh well, memories of a childhood with a simple life in a farm! Sadly, most of the rice fields in our area have now turned into home estates, buildings, and malls. However, looking at the bright side, it is a sign of growth and development for my beloved Bulacan.

Landscape and gardening are also another way of livelihood in the town of Guiguinto. In fact, as you enter the municipality, lovely plants, potteries and landscapes will welcome you. And since this place is known for their beautiful gardens, the local government of Guiguinto launched a garden festival nineteen years ago.

The Halamanan (Garden) Festival is a week-long celebration of the townspeople of Guiguinto with full of different activities showcasing the landscape and garden industry that this town offers. The festival is also a commemoration of the feast day of their patron saint San Ildefonso de Toledo ( Saint Ildefonsus or Ildephonsus of Toledo) every 23rd of January.

There are a lot of activities for the whole week, but my favorite is always the street dance parade. Just like in the other festivals that I’ve been to, every Barangay (village)take part of this event. Wearing their very colorful costumes, with their splendid props and of course showing off their exceptional dance routines on the street. By the end of their majestic spectacle, everybody’s waiting for the great dance showdown of the participants. At the end of it, needless to say, the announcement of the winners.

As expected, I went to see the street dance competition and took photos of these kids in their varicolored costumes while showing off their dance moves!

halamanan festival 2017

halamanan festival 2017

halamanan festival 2017

halamanan festival 2017

halamanan festival 2017

Please click here for more photos.Β 

There was a tale that a golden bull used to appear from the church by moonlight and drink water down to the river and eventually returns to the church. The elders believed it was a sign that there were jars of gold buried in the town, hence it was called Guiguinto, from the root word “ginto” which means gold.

halamanan festival

About Gracie Gill

A hobbyist photographer enjoying her life through arts, music, traveling and getting fit. A proud crazy cat lady.

39 thoughts on “Halamanan Festival 2017: Gardens of Guiguinto

  1. Christie

    Wow, gorgeous photos! I love how colorful they are. I’ve never watched a street dance competition before, it sounds really interesting. Thanks for explaining in detail where Guiguinto is! I read so many posts that talk about a place and I have to google where on earth it even is, so that’s very helpful πŸ™‚ Great post – thanks for sharing!

  2. Christine K

    The countryside of Luzon sounds beautiful and what fun it would be to visit during a festival. You captured the colorful dresses so well in your photos. I loved the story of the golden bull as well.

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      Thank you. The colorful costumes and props are what I love the most when I go to festivals, and of course catching them in action might be challenging but worth it.

  3. Stephenie -Blended Life Happy Wife

    Beautiful images along with your description makes me feel like I was there with you. Amazing

  4. Emily (OCM Treasures)

    Looks like a really fun festival to attend. The dresses of all the women look very beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing. I’ve never been to a festival like this so it’s nice to live vicariously through others.

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      I hope you enjoyed your time in the Philippines! The next time you come here, look for a festival for that month. There are festivals in different towns, and there might be street dance parade there as well.

  5. Rhiannon

    When I was growing up in a small town (not quite a city but nowhere near village-sized either!) I’d always wish I could have the same kind of childhood as I read about in books, full of farms and nature and no Gameboys! So I’m kind of jealous of you for that.
    As for the festival? Well, it looks incredible!! So colourful and fun! That’s one of the things I love most about many countries in Asia – all the festivals and celebrations really promote the local culture! Something we seriously lack in the Uk

  6. Only By Land

    It’s great to read about a new place, Guiguinto, I’d never heard of it! Your pictures show it very well, I love the colourful uniforms! I’m visiting the Philippines this year, unfortunately not Luzon, but Bohol. I hope it’s as colourful.

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      Enjoy your trip to Bohol! It’s lovely there. You might want to check if there’s a nearby town that will be having festival by the time to go to Bohol. You might be lucky to witness a street dance parade.

  7. Erin PocketRockets

    You’re childhood sounds like a fairytale! I’ve never been to the Philippines, but I would looooooove too, hopefully I’ll get there next year – looks like it’ll have to be Jan with these pics!

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      You should visit Philippines! Don’t worry about the festival, because most towns in the Philippines have their own different festivals. You’ll just have to look what town is having a festival by the time you visit.

  8. Nay

    What beautiful images! They really capture the joy and spirit of the street dance. Love the colours. I bet this was amazing to watch.

  9. Riely

    I love the stories of you growing up on a farm. It’s sad that the rice fields have now turned into home estates, buildings and malls, but as you said good for your home town. Incredible photos of the kids dressed up in colourful costumes dancing around in the streets. It seems like the Garden Festival would be a special occasion to experience.

  10. Swati & Sam

    The parade looks to be a great tourist attractions. The dresses and the headgear worn by the girls look so beautiful. Love the vibrance and the colors in the festival. Would love to see this festival someday.

  11. David Elliott

    Thats very cool that you are writing about all of the different festivals that there are in the Philippines. I know I would love to go there at some point. I love travel and haven’t done nearly enough I do not believe.

  12. Sutee

    That’s an awesome theme that lends itself to beautiful costumes and color. I’m tired of so many parades that focus on military and marching. I like these small town festivals more than the uber famous celebrations like carnivale.

  13. Ling

    The Halamanan Festival looks like a stunning event! I love the vibrant colors and intricate designs of the costumes of the street dance. It really shows off their commemoration in their work in the landscaping and gardening industry!

  14. Dhaval Parmar

    Thanks for explaining in detail where Guiguinto is! I read so many posts that talk about a place and I have to google where on earth it even is, so that’s very helpful. Great Post.

  15. Jden

    Can i message you on Facebook or email? I have a picture taken at festival of the North dagupan city and i captured some photos. I just want to find this person who captured my eye.

    1. Gracie Gill Post author

      Sure. But I don’t know if I could help you identifying participants in festivals, and I haven’t been to Dagupan festival as well. Did you go to the Bangus festival? I missed that one.

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