The family never yet stayed in Pampanga for a vacation but we passed thru it on some of our out skirt trips. One of the renowned festivals in Pampanga particularly in Candaba is the very colorful and festive IBON-EBON FESTIVAL (also known as the Birds and Eggs Festival, as “Ibon” means birds while “ebon” means eggs). It is being held in honor of the local patron saint, San Nicolas de Tolentino, wherein the local government and the people of Candaba aim to boost food production and promote eco-tourism. The feast of San Nicolas de Tolentino has been believed to be in connection with the migration of tarat (bird specie known as the Brown Shrike) to Candaba. With a bird on a platter on his hand, the image of San Nicolas parades in the streets in a procession, along with the tradition of giving out San Nicolas cookies. Story has it that San Nicolas prefer vegetables over meat, once asked to have a fowl for a dinner, he made a sign of a cross and let the fowl flew away. More than three hundred miracles are attributed to him.
Lined up during the festival are other activities like presentation of high school talents, exhibits, and trade fair featuring products of Candaba. Along with these activities are the parade of participants clad in different duck costumes competing for the best duck costume at the town plaza, street dancing, duck race, bird program and an art contest, a bird kite exhibition, and a variety show.