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Turumba Festival: Everything a Traveler Needs to Know

To honor the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin of Turumba, the people of Pakil, Laguna celebrate the Turumba Festival seven times year during the months of April and May.

As the longest religious festival in the Philippines, Turumba Festival’s main highlight is the dancing procession with the image of Nuestra Senora delos Dolores de Turumba.

During the late 18th century, a group of fishermen found a framed oil painting of Our Lady of Sorrows floating in a lagoon. As they were transporting the holy image to the church, they felt it become heavier and heavier, until it became so incredibly heavy that it was impossible to move.

The painting allowed the people to transport it only when a priest promised an annual celebration in honor of the image. On the way to the church, a group of people started to honor the Blessed Virgin of Mary by singing and dancing in great joy, also called Turumba which literally translates to “natumba sa kagalakan” (trembled in great joy).

 

How to Get to the Turumba Festival

By Private Car

From SLEX, take Calamba exit and then head straight to Calamba. Turn right at Calamba crossing and follow this road where you’ll pass by Los Banos, Bay, Victoria, Pila, Sta Cruz, Pagsanjan, Lumban, Kalayaan, Paete before reaching Pakil.

Pakil, Laguna is a 3-hour drive from Metro Manila.

By Public Transportation

Ride an HM Transport bus, with terminals along Cubao near Victory Liner, going to Sta. Cruz/Calamba (fare: P130.50) or Green Star Express with terminals along Buendia (fare: P123.00) then get dropped off at the terminal in Pagsanjan.

After alighting the bus, board a jeepney bound for Siniloan, then alight in front of Pakil Church.

What To Expect

Turumba
photo via Instagram,@c3leine

The exact schedule of each celebration (called “lupi”) varies, according to the Christian religious calendar:

  • 1st Lupi – “Biernes Dolores” on Friday before the Palm Sunday.
  • 2nd Lupi – “Pistang Martes” on Tuesday following the Easter Sunday.
  • 3rd Lupi – “Pistang Biyatiko” on the 2nd Wednesday after Easter Sunday.
  • 4th Lupi – “Pistang Biyernes” on the 3rd Friday after the Easter Sunday.
  • 5th Lupi – “Pistang Linggo” on the 4th Sunday after Easter Sunday.
  • 6th Lupi – “Feast of the Ascension” on the 4th Sunday after Easter Sunday.
  • 7th Lupi – “Feast of the Holy Spirit” on the 5th Sunday after Easter Sunday.

Lupi (to fold) got its name from the act of “folding” a novena booklet to signify the closing of the novena. After the novena is done, a dancing procession follows.

During the Turumba Festival, religious images are adorned with flowers.

Tips While Attending Turumba Festival

Turumba Procession
photo via Instagram, @merlynaaaaaaaa

  • During times of Turumba, the Paete-Pakil road (JP Rizal St. in Paete) is closed to vehicular traffic (except motorcycles and tricycles). Take a tricycle instead.
  • Since the weather during summer is particularly hot, bring a water tumbler with you to prevent dehydration.
  • You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes and cool clothing. Choose cotton material as it is soft, lightweight, breathable, and soaks up sweat so you can cool down easily.
  • Bring an umbrella or wear a cap to protect you against the harsh rays of the sun.
  • As always, bring a powerbank for your phone so you can document the whole event.

Where To Eat

As you’re watching the dancing procession take place, you can also buy street food from the local vendors. Available selections are bibingkang Pakil, suman and espasol.

Things to Do

Buntot Palos

If you’re planning to explore more of Pakil, here are some spots you shouldn’t miss.

  • Saint Peter of Alcantara Parish Church or “Pakil Church” was finished in 1767. It’s popularly known as the home of the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores or the Virgen de Turumba.
  • Danilo Dalena’s “House of Paintings,” located at Burgos Street just across the Pakil church and town plaza, exhibits his old paintings and art works.
  • Pakil has a single large cross on top of Mount Ping-as watching over the town.

Mt. Ping-as
photo via Instagram, @dacling25

And if you ave more time you can check out Mount Ping-as. Days before the Turumba Festival, you can hike to the top of Mount Ping-as to strengthen your faith.

Another activity you can do is to spend the night at Turumba Spring Resort and enjoy the refreshing water that’s free-flowing and coming down from the mountains.

  • Panguil River Eco-Tourism Park. Located at Pangil, Laguna where you can enjoy hiking trails to waterfalls and river raft rides.
  • Buntot Palos Falls. Located deep into the forests of Sierra Madre mountain range at Pangil, Laguna. Also known as “hidden falls” will definitely bring out the adventurer in you.

     

    Headed to the Turumba Festival? Make sure you book your hotel with Traveloka

     

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