Travels and Festivals

Aliwan Festival in Pasay: A Cultural Extravaganza

Aliwan Festival

The Aliwan Festival happens in Pasay City, Metro Manila. It is the Philippines’ largest and grandest fiesta because all the popular festivals gather here. They compete in three major highlights of this festival:

  • The Aliwan street dance parade competition
  • Float competition
  • Beauty pageant (Reyna ng Aliwan)

They compete for prestige, fame, and a booming cash prize of about three million. The Manila Broadcasting Company is in charge of the whole event with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the cities of Manila and Pasay.

It features different cultures and festivals showcasing Filipinos’ religion, cultural heritage, and tradition. Many celebrations commemorate their gods, who are responsible for their bountiful harvests. In addition, the locals display their creativity through dance styles, music, colorful costumes, and props.

Journey Through the Pages of Time

The history of the Aliwan festival dates back to the Spanish era when it was known as Fiesta de San Pedro. The festival was on June 29 and 30 to commemorate the feast day of Saint Peter. It is as colorful as its culture. The first festival was in 1958, and it is also to celebrate the centennial of the City of Manila. It has become a yearly event ever since. 

Aliwan is a Tagalog word that means “to gather.” It is exactly what this festival does—it gathers people from all over the country for an exciting week-long celebration of arts and culture. A colorful celebration as the costumes worn by dancers during the event. It is an event to showcase Philippine culture and heritage. In addition, the festival mainly promotes unity among members of different ethnic groups.

Over time, it has become a conglomeration of the best and most well-liked festivals in the Philippine archipelago. Participating contingents can proudly showcase the festivals from their locality and become ambassadors of their respective provinces, city, or town. Each delegation has a hundred dance performers and dozens of staff.

Unleash the Aliwan Festival Highlights

Street Dance Parade of Aliwan Festival

Aliwan Festival Street Dance

Street Dance Competition is one of the highlights of the festival. It is a significant event where participants from different communities compete. Additionally, the competition aims to preserve and promote the traditional dance forms of the Philippines and provides a platform for communities to showcase their unique dance styles.

Float Competition In Aliwan Festival

Float Competition,Aliwan Festival

The parade showcases the cultural diversity of the Philippines and provides a platform for communities to display their unique traditions and customs. The grand caravan is a spectacular color, music, and dance display, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The Float Parade is the most visually exciting part of the festivities.

Reyna ng Aliwan, Aliwan Festival

Reyna ng Aliwan,Aliwan Festival

The competition to find the top female lead dancer is Reyna ng Aliwan (literally, Queen of Aliwan). They represent and advance the best aspects of the festival they attend. The competition brings together young women from different regions—and ethnic backgrounds to compete in various categories, such as traditional attire, talent, and intelligence. 

Easy Access To Aliwan Festival

How to reach Metro Manila

You can reach Pasay City via air, land, and sea. You can reserve a flight to land at Clark International Airport or Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Buses are another option for on-land transportation. Lastly, one can purchase a ticket for ferries and ships that embark at the Manila South or North Harbor.

If you want to travel by plane, various airlines offer flights from different cities in Mindanao and other parts of the country to Manila. Alternatively, going by land is also an option if you are okay with spending some time traveling. There are several bus terminals in Manila that you can take a ride from and drop off at Roxas Boulevard or Arroceros Street. 

Best Time to Visit Pasay for Aliwan Festival

The best time to visit Pasay is in May. Because it is when the Aliwan Festival happens, it is also when the Philippines celebrates its Independence Day. You can also visit the place during the summer. It is because it’s a dry season, and you’ll be able to experience cooler weather than at other times of the year. 

Many people are curious about the best time to visit Pasay. Some tourists from all over the country visit the place for business or leisure. The Aliwan Festival lasts for ten days. If you want to glimpse what Filipino culture and tradition are all about, this festival will give you a clear picture of what it’s like.

Find Your Home Away from Home during the Aliwan Festival

If you plan to go to Pasay City to experience the Aliwan Festival, you should book your hotel accommodation as soon as possible. Depending on your budget and preference, you can stay at a budget, mid-range, or luxury hotel. 

Pasay is a city in the Philippines with several famous hotels catering to different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the most popular hotels in Pasay:

Solaire Resort & Casino – 

A luxury hotel with a range of upscale amenities, including a casino, spa, and dining options. A luxury hotel with prices starting at around PHP 8,000 to PHP 25,000 ($160 to $500) per night for a standard room.

Aliwan Festival, Solaire

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila –

 A 5-star hotel that offers luxurious rooms and suites, multiple dining options, and recreational facilities. A 5-star hotel with prices starting at around PHP 8,000 to PHP 25,000 ($160 to $500) per night for a standard room.

Aliwan Festival, Sofitel

Red Planet Manila Bay –

 A budget-friendly hotel that offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price. A budget-friendly hotel with prices starting at around PHP 1,500 to PHP 2,500 ($30 to $50) per night for a standard room.

Aliwan Festival,Red planet

The Bayleaf Intramuros – 

A historic hotel in the heart of Intramuros, offering guests a unique blend of traditional charm and modern comfort. A landmark hotel with prices starting at around PHP 2,500 to PHP 4,000 ($50 to $80) per night for a standard room.

Aliwan Festival, Bayleaf

Remember: The actual prices can vary depending on the time of year, room type, and availability. Therefore, it is best to check the hotel’s website or online travel websites such as, Agoda, or for the most up-to-date information.

Your Next Stop After Enjoying the Aliwan Festival

Pasay is a city in the Philippines that offers a variety of tourist attractions for visitors to explore. If you want to experience the best tourist spots in Pasay City, then you can visit the following:

Pasay City Sports Complex 

One of the largest sporting venues in Metro Manila is Pasay City Sports Complex. It is where Aliwan Fiesta happens every year in this place. If you have spare time, visit the Pasay City Sports Complex. It is a must-visit because it’s one of the most famous landmarks in Pasay. In addition, the complex is home to many events, such as boxing matches and concerts. 

SM Mall of Asia (MOA)

SM Mall of Asia is on the south side of the city. The mall has everything you need in a single place, including restaurants, shops, and entertainment centers. The mall provides a variety of food, entertainment, and retail options. In addition, the mall has an amusement park, making it a great place to visit with your family. 

Roxas Boulevard

Roxas Boulevard is a popular tourist attraction because it’s where you can find many restaurants, hotels, and bars. The boulevard also has many statues worth seeing, such as the famous statue of Carlos P. Romulo, one of the country’s heroes during World War II. Aside from being the host of the Aliwan Fiesta, Pasay City is also home to several tourist spots that you can visit. 

Cultural Center of the Philippines  

A center for the performing arts that hosts a range of cultural events, including theater, dance, and music performances. It is a multipurpose cultural and tourism destination in south-central Manila. It looks out onto Manila Bay.

Star City  

Star City is a theme park containing a variety of amusements. It has the advantage of being right in the heart of Metro Manila. Additionally, Star City is within the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay City, a short drive from SM Mall Of Asia. Furthermore, it is a 15 – 30 minute drive from Makati and Manila international airport, although these times can be significantly longer due to heavy traffic in the area.

These are just a few attractions of the many tourist spots in Pasay that you can visit. Whether you are fond of history, culture, shopping, or entertainment, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

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