We’re celebrating Buwan ng Wika with an explosion of color and an appreciation of Filipino culture! Whether special or commonplace, these are things that enrich our lives and represent us as people of a nation that is vibrant, fun-loving, and one-of-a-kind. Handa ka na ba? Tara na!
1. Filipino Festivals
It’s hard to resist joining in on the merriment of Philippine festivals when even the beating of drums, already heard from afar, is enough to entice even the gloomiest passerby. Here are just three of some of the most colorful Philippine festivals: the Sinulog festival in Cebu to celebrate the Sto. Niño; the Panagbenga flower festival in Baguio; and the Pahiyas harvest festival in Lucban, Quezon.
Most Philippine festivals are accompanied by songs, dances, and cheers. Some even have reenactments and dramas! And, of course, where there’s a celebration, there’s an abundance of food. There’s pancit with meat and vegetable toppings, a selection of samalamig, lots of sapin-sapin and other kakanin—even the food is colorful.
Speaking of colorful Filipino food, it would be a crime not to mention the beloved halo-halo. The halo-halo is a visual stunner and a proper sweet treat. All its ingredients give it a full spectrum of colors and a mix of flavors and textures.
Though what goes into a halo-halo (after shaved ice and evaporated milk) varies depending on individual taste, its typically composed of sweetened beans, macapuno, gulaman, pinipig, fruits, ube ice cream, and leche flan. Best served on a hot summer day!
3. Jeepneys and Vinta
Sakay na! Get to where you want to go by hopping on colorful transportation only found in the Philippines. On land, we have the jeepney—they say no two are ever alike, a feat considering how many there are on the road! Each is painted and decorated by its owner however they like resulting in designs as unique as the jeep itself. Don’t forget the colored lights and speakers blasting OPM hits.
On water, we have the vinta. These traditional sailboats found in Mindanao are distinguished by their colorful sails and carvings. They were integral to Filipinos in the Southern region as a means to transport people and cargo but also as fishing vessels.
4. Christmas Parol
Filipinos love Christmas. In the Philippines, Christmas season starts as soon as the -ber months hit. As early as September, Christmas songs start playing in shopping malls and Christmas-themed commercials start airing on TV. Decorations go up as well and one of the most distinctly Filipino is the parol.
The parol is typically a star-shaped lantern that comes in a wide variety of designs. Its simplest design, which is unlit and constructed using wooden sticks and paper, is a common Christmas school project given to Filipino students (alongside making your own belen using recycled materials).
5. Ibong Adarna and Sarimanok
Philippine folklore is packed with interesting characters—from brave heroes and heroines to fearsome monsters and magical creatures. For some of the most colorful, we turn to the birds.
Ibong Adarna comes from an epic poem of the same name. The most colorful bird in the fictional Kingdom of Berbania, it can put to sleep anyone who hears its melodious singing and can turn into stone whoever is unlucky enough to be under it as it poos. The Sarimanok is also a beautifully colored bird and hails from the Maranao people of Mindanao. The majestic fowl is an integral part of Maranao culture and is present in their rituals, festivals, and artistic designs.
6. Sorbetes Cart
Arguably the favorite sound of most Filipino children is the ringing of Manong’s sorbetes bell as he passes by. The sorbetes cart’s colorful and unique design is unmistakable and instantly recognizable.
The ice cream is scooped from three or four top compartments. The two wheels on either side are reminiscent of those on a kalesa (though, of course, no horse pulls this cart). It also tends to always come in a predominantly cheerful bright yellow with additional details in red, green, and blue.
7. Sari-sari Store
Have you ever stepped back and really looked at the humble sari-sari store? With its array of hanging snacks in different packaging and clear circular plastic containers filled with hard candies and gums, it’s a colorful sight to behold.
The sari-sari store is so commonplace and familiar to Filipinos that it blends into daily life and may even be taken for granted. What would we do if we couldn’t quickly head to the sari-sari store down the street for a small bottle of soda with a pack of shrimp-flavored chichirya?
If this uniquely Filipino list has inspired you to add more color in your life, Boysen Paints will be happy to provide. Boysen Permacoat Latex, a 100% acrylic paint for home interiors and exteriors, comes in a wide variety of readily available colors you can buy off the shelf. And, if you still can’t find a color you prefer, Boysen Mix and Match stations are ready to help out.
For questions on Boysen products, feel free to reach out to our technical team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours for a one-on-one consultation.