Every December, Tangub City is illuminated with more than just your typical holiday cheer. During its month-long Christmas Symbols Festival, the city fills with a delightful array of illuminated holiday decor, bathing the streets in a most enticing glow.
The Christmas Symbols Festival started in 1992, under the rule of Mayor Philip T. Tan and Dr. Jennifer Tan. What was originally a charming community affair has since grown to a dazzling display that draws people from around the Philippines and beyond. Tangub City has even been dubbed the “Christmas symbols capital of Mindanao.”
The holiday extravaganza, which is now the country’s longest-running Christmas festival, became even grander in 2012, when the city introduced its “Discover the World” theme. Ever since then, displays representing various iconic international landmarks let visitors take a dreamy journey around the world, all without leaving the city.
You can enter a three-story mock-up of Paris’ Notre Dame, complete with a live chorus inside. Or, you can frolick in the Garden Fountain of Isola Bella—complete with a unicorn on top! Other highlights include the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the Sail Monument of Manama, the Vortex Center of Gippsland, Australia, and the South African Air Force Memorial.
Visitors can even pay 20 pesos ($0.37 USD) to pick up their very own “passport,” which they can then get stamped at each of the “countries” they visit during the festival.
Know Before You Go
The festival runs throughout December, so you'll have plenty of time to visit the various attractions. You can pick up your "passport" at the City Tourism Office.