Butanding Festival is held every summer in the Municipality of Donsol in the Province of Sorsogon. It is held in honor of the gentle giants that are the whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and their annual return to the vicinity of Donsol. Contributing greatly to the development of the town’s economy and tourism, the whale shark’s peak attendance is  annually anticipated and greatly welcomed by the locals who are directly involved in looking out for the butanding’s well-being.

With the continual increase of sightings of the whale sharks, Butanding Festival would be celebrated more grandly to celebrate and compliment the population increase of the whale sharks. A week-long activity, Butanding Festival would feature all the anticipated festival trimmings of themed parades, street dancing, delicious delicacies, fun music, and much, much more.



Aimed to showcase the locality’s delicious native dishes, food lovers can dig in and indulge on the great number of grilled, stewed, boiled, braised, fried, and smoked food choices. From Bicol Express, laing, pinangat, and kinunot to pili preparations and more, the flavors of Bicol await local and foreign foodies. The week-long food fair offers Bicolano foods and delicacies for everyone to enjoy.


With the natural beauty of Donsol as a ready backdrop, captured moments throughout the festival will surely leave lasting impressions and good memories worth recalling and sharing with friends. Photographers across the region and the country are invited to take part in this competition and make a full creative use of their lenses as they capture the stories unknowingly told by people, the butanding, and the festival.


Being one of the country’s first eco-tourism hubs, Donsol will hold the very first regional summit on eco-tourism. With the Butanding as the main tourist attraction, a campaign on ensuring the proper conservation of the whale shark has been further initiated. A project in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environmental and National Resources (DENR), the Climate Change Academy of the Philippines as well as other private institutions, the summit aims to promote and advocate eco-tourism.


With Donsol’s rich natural resources, the town’s homegrown products will be given a spotlight in the festival’s agro-trade fair. Various national agencies will take part in this activity such the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). But more importantly, local Bicol manufacturers would also participate and display products in this fair.


Loved by many locals, this festival can never do away with the annual concerts. This year, music legends like Joey Ayala and Lolita Karbon will belt their hearts out. Various performers will also rock the stage and show bands like Patanao and Lagrimas will take the center stage. But of course, above all these is a cultural show to showcase talents of the locals


As Butanding Festival’s grand opening event, the marathon marks the festival’s new image – a bigger and bolder Butanding Festival 2012!

This will happen on May 13. For more details, click here -> BIG RUN CROSS-COUNTRY HALF MARATHON! 1st Donsol Off-road Cross-Country Marathon


The town of Donsol, having beautiful sights to see, is further blessed with beautiful people that fully compliment the scenery. As an eco-tourism advocate, the town chooses among the local beauties this year’s Butanding Little Ambassador.


A stroll on the beach at night is a must in Donsol. With the sound of the waves and the cool breeze brushing swiftly upon one’s cheek, this experience is too wonderful to be just imagined. With the addition of dazzling lights and cool sounds, plus good food and great friends, make your summer more fun and enjoyable at the beach.


Strolling along the shores of Donsol is fun in broad daylight. Imagine doing it with swimming fins on. Now, let us put it a notch higher by making a race out of it. Are you laughing?
Wacky race is organized for the child and young at heart. Bringing out the best kid in you, this festival event is a fun, fun experience that can be experienced and shared by the whole family.


Local Bicol fashion designers and national clothing brands will come together for this big summer fashion show. The event will benefit a chosen charity of the Donsol Tourism Office.


A current fad not only among the Sorsoganons but in the wide world of sports, an amateur boxing competition adds more thrill and action with the players’ exhibition of strength, power, agility and will to win.


Not simply a game but a form of passion for the men of Donsol, a fighting-cock competition has always been a staple form of entertainment for the locals, not just in Sorsogon, but in the whole country.


A ride on Donsol’s very own sibid-sibid is just one of the many ways to savor the lifestyle of Sorsoganons. With a twist of making it into a competition, tourists and participants can be assured of the extra excitement it will bring to the festival.


A favorite game and pastime by most Sorsoganons, Bingo brings double entertainment as players take their chances on cards and Lady Luck.


As an eco-tourism advocate, the town chooses among the local beauties this year’s Butanding Ambassador. See them all in a parade of beauty and find out who it’s going to be this year’s Ms. Teen Philippines winner.

Check back for the detailed schedule of these events!

All images and information lifted from the official Butanding Festival website at www.butandingfestival.com. They are also on Facebook, click here to visit.