Whale Shark Festival in the Philippines

The municipality of Donsol has also come up with a month-long festival in April to honor the whale shark – locally called butanding and as thanksgiving for the townsfolk’s additional jobs and livelihood derived from local and foreign visitors’ interaction tours with the “gentle giants”. During the Butanding Festival, the local people and visitors participate in a celebration, which culminates with a regatta exhibition and maritime parade consisting of more than 50 boats with banners and giant images of the butanding along the Donsol River. There is also a street parade along the town’s main thoroughfares consisting of life-size images of the butandings on floats accompanied by village (barangay) delegations, brass bands, drum and bugle corps, and the festival street-dancing contingent winners from other Bicol provinces. To find more Donsol pictures, please click here.

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