Misamis Occidental

Christmas Symbol Festival

Christmas Symbol Festival, as the name suggests, is a yuletide celebration in the city of Tangub, Misamis Occidental, Philippines every month of December. It starts from the first day of December to the first week of January. The festival has become renowned it is considered the Grandest Christmas Village and the city is called the Christmas Symbol Capital of the Philippines.

History of Christmas Symbol Festival

The origin of the festival began with Dr. Jennifer Wee-Tan, wife of Philip Tiu Tan who was the mayor of the town. She had lived in General Santos City and Cebu where she pursued her studies, and spending her Christmas in Tangub as a young bride was new to her.

So in 1992, a Christmas tree was put up in the town plaza, which was unlit and unadorned during Christmas in the past years, for the first time. The sight drew a crowd who wanted to witness the night illumined by the season’s lights. That started an annual tradition that had since become a hallmark of the city.

Through the years, the event has gone bigger and grander as it showcases Christmas symbols and icons such as the angels, Star of Bethlehem, the lowly manger, the Holy Family, drummer boy, candy cane, the three wise men, the barn animals, lanterns, stockings, and lights.

It has also become a city-wide endeavor participated by various public and private institutions, from government bodies to barangay units, businesses, and individual households. Decorations no longer are confined within the plaza and had since extended to other spaces such as the public market, buildings, and villages.

The event has also become a platform to display the city’s creativity and bayanihan, translated to a sense of community and volunteerism.

Christmas Symbol Festival Activities

The Christmas Symbol Festival has a yearly theme, and one of its most memorable was the erection of popular tourist spots around the world. People who joined were issued a Tangub ‘passport’ where they can visit areas decorated and designed like a particular globally famous tourism landmarks.

Another aspects of its evolution are the contests held for the best decorated areas. There are several categories of the contests including the best lit barangays and best lit house. Materials that are used into the decors are recycled. Each of the entries go through three rounds of judging that is based on overall appeal, lights, quality, and creativity.

How to reach Tangub City, Misamis Occidental

Book a flight to Ozamiz Airport and take the bus to the city of Tangub, which is half an hour away.


Christmas Symbol Festival Summary

NameChristmas Symbol Festival
CelebrationChristmas, Lights
Contact(088) 586-0173
DateDecember 1
DurationOver a month (whole month of December until the first week of January)
FounderPhilip Tiu Tan
LocationTangub City, Misamis Occidental
OrganizerCity Government of Tangub
Simultaneous eventChristmas