Events, Philippines

Holi Festival Experience in Manila!

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on social media of people with their full smile with dyed colors on their faces and shirt for the past years.

I tried to google it once, and found out that this is actually an Indian Festival called Holi! I thought it was just a party where people throw color powder on one another. But when I got the chance to attend the Holi festival this year, I realized it’s more than that.

Holi Festival is a celebration in India for the arrival of Spring. It has its story and history associated with their Hindu gods but now, the festival is being celebrated all over the world as a symbol of love and positivity. Of course, this festivity has been embraced by the Philippines, not only because of the growing Indian communities in the country but because of its positive message to the world – as the festival of love and color.

And the only way to enjoy and understand this fully is by taking part of this festival! This year the Holi Festival in Manila was celebrated last March 20 at the SM Mall of Asia by the Bay organized by the Asia Society Philippines.

Holi Festival 2016 Manila
Holi Hai!

Holi Festival 2016 Manila


Holi Festival Manila 2016

By the time we arrived at the event, I instantly heard someone called my name. When I turned around, I saw some familiar faces, faces with vibrant colors of green, pink and yellow. If I could categorize them in my life, they are the people whom I met through travel. They are of course somewhat different from the friends I have at the office and all. These are the people I turn to when I need to break the routinary boring cyce of my life. LOL! They are my good friends and I really treasure them all.

And what a way to celebrate Holi than being with people who truly enjoy life? I knew at that time that my first time Holi experience would be awesome!

Holi Festival 2016 Manila
Taking a video

Holi Festival 2016 Manila

We were all given some dyed color upon entrance. (fee is 200 pesos)

There were some catching up conversations with friends then we immediately hit the crowd to the tune of some Indian and Bollywood songs. Indian songs proved to be one of the most electrifying genre as it would make you move to the groove even without understanding it. LOL! Once again, music is indeed a universal language, capable to bringing people together beyond race and affinity.

It was also nice to witness our Indian friends truly enjoying the songs and festival as a whole.

There were a lot of Indian singers and performers, but the best about it was when we were all instructed to throw our color powder in the air. Then followed by a familiar Indian song to all Filipinos, yeah It’s Jai Ho!

Then the crowd went crazy!

Looking at the crowd of different nationalities enjoy Holi Festival amazed me at how a usual spring frestival in India has been embraced by the whole world. A spring festival that has become a symbol of celebration of love, friendship and positivity.

Indeed, Holi is the time to celebrate laughter and color by embracing the positive and putting away the past. It was an amazing experience. See you next year. Holi Hai!

Date: March 20, 2016 (3:30-7:30PM)

Program Highlights:
– Cultural Performances – Bollywood & folk songs & dances
– Live DJ and Drummers
– Indian cuisine & trade
– Multiple Holi countdowns!
– Activities – Henna, Rangoli, Raffle


  1. I have never participated in a Holi celebration before but I was a volunteer for the run or dye event, which is a color race where people who run go through paint stations. I was in charge with throwing the paint on them and it was so much fun. At the end of the race there was a concert also and everybody looked just like in your pictures. 🙂

  2. That looks fun! I never tried joining an event like that before. I think there is also a similar one that is for a fun run? They will run then they will throw colors at you.

  3. Never heard about Holi Festival before but you’re right. Filipinos are naturally festive and so this is not news that we are also celebrating an Indian Festival here in our country. This event seems really fun too. Hope I can be a part of it someday. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. I recently found out about Holi when I was doing research for an article I was writing. I have never had the opportunity to experience the festival for myself but it really looks like a lot of fun!

  5. I experienced something like this during Sinulog 2014 (a festival in Cebu, Philippines). Everyone are just so happy putting colors in everyone’s faces or clothing. No one mind. I’m loving the fact that we get to experience this kind of festivities. Even if it didn’t originate in our country, for as long as it’s festive and it doesn’t violate any of my moral or spiritual beliefs. I’m willing to accept it. 🙂

    Jen Villarosa of Invest MNL

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