Best Time To Visit Philippines

What is the best time to visit Philippines?

The best time to visit the Philippines is during its dry season that lasts from November to April. The dry season is also the most popular time to visit this tropical archipelago because rainfall is at its lowest, even the most remote regions and islands are easily accessible. The weather conditions are also ideal for sightseeing and trekking activities. Even within the dry season, the temperatures in March and April are higher in comparison to December and January. So you can opt for a month depending on your choice of suitable temperatures. The climate is a major factor in deciding when to travel to the Philippines. The period from June to October is the wet season and is best avoided owing to the high possibility of typhoons. The typhoons are most destructive, and most tours and activities remain cancelled under such circumstances.

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Seasons in Philippines

Peak Season in the Philippines
It is not surprising that the peak season for tourism in the Philippines corresponds with the dry season. The period from December to April sees the most number of tourists. The rainfall is minimal, and the weather conditions are delightful during these months. All the remote islands and regions are also fully accessible. It is recommended to make your bookings well in advance if travelling during this period.

Shoulder Season in the Philippines
May and November constitute the shoulder season for tourism in the Philippines. These months offer good value for money. The weather conditions are incredibly pleasant, and the fights are much cheaper. You can expect to find much lesser crowds during these two months.

Low Season in the Philippines
The period from June to October coincides with the wet season for the Philippines. The rise in temperatures, as well as rainfall, makes the whole country hot and humid. These months also face an increased possibility of typhoons. It is recommended to check the weather forecast to avoid any typhoon activity during your stay. Most tours and activities remain cancelled under such circumstances.

Philippines Weather in January

In January, the temperatures are pleasant and cool, but not too cold. Hence, this month is an excellent time to visit the Philippines. The average temperatures in this month are around 26 degrees Celsius. The rain is also minimal as January is the peak of the dry season. Even the most remote areas and islands are fully accessible. The weather conditions remain comfortable for sightseeing, for hitting the beach or for trekking. As January is a popular time of the year for a Philippine holiday, travelers are advised to make their bookings well in advance.

Events and Festivals in the Philippines in January
  • Sinulog is celebrated on the third Sunday of January. It is the biggest annual event in Cebu City. The event hosts a huge street parade, plenty of drinks and food and live music.
  • Ati-Atihan is one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines. It takes place in the Aklan province, Kalibo, and is usually celebrated in the second week of January. The festival celebrations include street dancing and wild, eccentric costumes.
  • Dinagyang is a relatively modern festival that is based on the Ati-Atihan festival. It is usually celebrated in the fourth week of January and includes a parade along the Iloilo River.
  • The Feast of the Black Nazarene is held on 9th January. A life-size statue of Jesus Christ is paraded around the streets by a bare-footed procession.

Philippines Weather in February

The weather conditions in February are similar to that in January. A slight increase in the overall temperatures can be expected. Apart from that, the rainfall is still at a minimum, and you get to experience dry, sunny days throughout the month. The sea temperatures are on the rise, and hence, February is an ideal month to take up water activities such as snorkelling and diving.
Events and Festivals in the Philippines in February
  • Pamulinawen is a city-wide fiesta that takes place over the first two weeks of February. It is held in Laoag City and honours St William the Hermit. The festivities include concerts, religious parades, street parties and beauty pageants.
  • The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival also takes place in February. Pilots from all over the world gather at Clark, Pampanga, to take part in this four-day event. They put up elaborate displays of balloon rides, skydiving and microlight flying among others.
  • Kaamulan Festival is an ethnic festival that takes place in the Malaybalay City of Bukidnon. This festival aims to honour and celebrate the traditions of the original seven ethnic tribal inhabitants of this region.
  • The Baguio Flower Festival is the largest annual event of the capital city. Several flower related lectures and exhibitions are held as a part of this festival. A huge parade with beautifully decorated flowers also takes place.
  • The Suman Festival takes place in Baler during the third week of February. This extravaganza includes street parades and lots of dancing. Suman is the name of a native delicacy.

Philippines Weather in March

March sees an increase in temperatures in the Philippines. Some days even record an average temperature of 32 degrees Celsius. The coastal regions experience a pleasant breeze that helps to beat the heat. However, the conditions are still suitable for travellers.
Events and Festivals in the Philippines in March
  • The Bangkero Festival is a five-day festival that is held near the Pagsanjan River. Bangkero translates to ‘boatmen’. It has parades and boat racing events.
  • Moriones is a religious festival that takes place during the Easter weekend. The locals wear masks to re-enact the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion, who pierced Christ’s side with a spear. The spurting blood is said to have cured his eye.
  • The Pasayaw Festival is celebrated during the third week of March. It is a thanksgiving festival to honour God and St. Joseph. There is an outdoor dance competition held as a part of the celebrations.

Philippines Weather in April

April is the last month of the dry season in the Philippines. The temperatures are seen to rise significantly this month. Some days even record an average temperature of 33 degrees Celsius. There is also an increase in humidity levels. The hot, sunny days and clear, blue skies make April a popular time to visit the coastal areas. It is also a peak time for the diving season. This month is also an ideal time to explore the rice terraces of Banaue.  

Events and Festivals in the Philippines in April
  • Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival is held in April. Local, as well as international, teams participate in the dragon boat races near the White Beach. 
  • The Turumba Festival is celebrated to commemorate the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary. The festival is held during the weekends in Pakil, Laguna and extends into May as well. 
  • Allaw Ta Apo Sandawa takes place in the second week of April. Highland tribes gather in Kidapawan City to offer their respects and prayers to the sacred Mount Apo.

Philippines Weather in May

The lowland areas of the Philippines are extremely hot during this time of the year. May is also the hottest month in the Philippines. The average temperatures often reach 34 degrees Celsius. However, May is a good month to travel to the mountain and coastal areas.

Events and Festivals in the Philippines in May
  • Flores de Mayo is a countrywide religious procession that celebrates the start of rainfall. The candlelight processions are popular for their wonderful vibe.
  • The Obanda Fertility Rites is a Catholic festival that is celebrated in the honour of the three patron saints of Obanda. The locals and pilgrims take part in singing and dancing events.
  • Carabao Carroza takes place on 3rd and 4th May. There are races held in Iloilo to celebrate the Carabao or water buffalo.
  • Pahiyas is a colourful harvest festival celebrated on 15th May. Locals decorate their houses with fruits and vegetables to honour the patron Saint of the farmers, San Isidro Labrador.

Philippines Weather in June

June is monsoon season in the Philippines. The rains start from the North and gradually make their way South over this month. However, areas in and around Cebu usually stay dry for most days of June. The rainfall is known to bring about attractive changes to the Philippine landscape. The rice terraces of Banaue are usually at their greenest during June. Independence Day takes place on 12th June. An elaborate ceremony is held at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, the spot where the first Philippine flag was unveiled. The Pintagos-Kasadyaan is a festival that celebrates the art of tattooing.

Philippines Weather in July

July witnesses an increased amount of rainfall throughout the country. The northern areas of the Philippines are the most affected. Remote regions and islands can be challenging to reach during this month. The central areas like Cebu usually remain dry for most of the month. Even when they do experience rainfall, it is not as heavy as in the other regions. The Sandugo Festival is held in Tagbilaran City. It celebrates the life of Datu Sikatuna, a revered Filipino leader. 

Philippines Weather in August

The weather conditions in August are similar to those experienced in June. Heavy rainfall is expected in most parts of the country. The typhoon season starts around mid-August. The Philippines is best avoided during the typhoons. However, few southern islands (Cebu, Bahol and Siargao) experience a less dramatic wet season. These regions have the best chance of sunshine, and the downpours are not as intense as in the other regions.
Kadawayan sa Davao is a week-long harvest festival that is celebrated in Davao City. The events include military and civic parades, horse fighting and street dances.
The Rajah Baguinda Festival is a three-day religious and cultural event in Sulu. It usually takes place in the second week of August.

Philippines Weather in September

The Philippines experiences extremely heavy rainfall in September. It is also one of the wettest months of the year. The daily temperatures range between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius. There is a high possibility of typhoons as well. The rainfall is particularly prevalent in the Northern regions. It becomes challenging to access remote areas. It is advised to avoid travelling to these areas in September.

Events and Festivals in the Philippines
  • The Penafrancia Fluvial Festival is celebrated on the third Saturday of September. A sacred statue of the patron saint of Bicol, Our Lady of Penafrancia, is paraded around the streets of Naga. It is then made to sail down the Bicol River, on its way back to the shrine. 
  • The Lemlunay is a tribal festival that takes place between 16th and 18th September. The celebrations are held on Lake Sebu. 

Philippines Weather in October

The rainfall starts to decrease gradually throughout October. However, there is still a slight probability of typhoons. Hence, it is recommended that travellers choose the latter half of October to plan their trip. The southern islands face a lesser risk of typhoon activity. The daily temperatures fall in a bearable range of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius.

Events and Festivals in the Philippines in October
  • Kasilay is a modern festival celebrated around 19th October in Silay. It aims to commemorate Silay’s charter day. The celebrations include a massive parade, beauty pageants and eating and drinking contests.
  • The Lanzones Festival is celebrated during the third week of October. It is a vibrant outdoor party in the region of Lambajao.
  • Ibalong is another festival celebrated during the third week of October. It is celebrated throughout the regions of Bicol and Legaspi. There are street and dance performances that depict Bicol’s mythological Gods.
  • MassKara is a festival in Bacolod that is celebrated during the third week of October. The festivities include mask-making contests, fairs and brass band competitions. There is also an elaborate parade that takes place.

Philippines Weather in November

November marks the official beginning of the dry season in the Philippines. You can expect to see predominantly sunny days throughout the whole country. The average daily temperature is in the range of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius. There is also a considerable decrease in humidity levels. The improving weather conditions make November a good time to plan a trip to the Philippines.
The Grand Cordillera Festival is a major tribal festival that takes place around Baguio City in the fourth week of November.
Feast of San Clemente is a colourful, religious festival that takes place on 23rd November in Angono.

Philippines Weather in December

December witnesses a drop in temperatures throughout the country. The average daily temperatures are in the range of 22 to 32 degrees Celsius in the central and southern regions and the range of 21 to 30 degrees Celsius in the Northern areas. It is also the start of the peak tourist season for the Philippines. A typical day is sunny with minimal chances of rainfall. The pleasant weather conditions make for an excellent time to plan your travel. 

Events and Festivals in the Philippines in December
  • The Feast of Immaculate Conception is a famous religious festival that takes place on 8th December. A procession takes place on the streets of Manila. 
  • Pagdidiwata also takes place on 8th December. It is a kind of tribal Thanksgiving and is celebrated in Palawan.
  • Bicol Pastores is a one of a kind Christmas celebration in the Legazpi City. Locals dress up as shepherds and take part in the festivities.
  • Christmas is another famous festival in the Philippines. The celebrations start at mid-December and go on till early January. 

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