First Day On a New Perspective: My Dinagyang Experience

Few days before Sinulog, I was scrambling to get a way to Iloilo for the Dinagyang Festival. For the moment, I thought I wouldn’t be pushing through with my las celebraciones grandes de enero—a feat which I last made in 2007 when I celebrated both grand festivals in a year. Then I was informed, something beyond what I was expecting…the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation asked me to become one of the judges for street dancing competition! I was speechless and to be honest, it is beyond what I have been expecting for. My original plan was just to cover Dinagyang the way I cover it for the past few years. Yes, I took the offer as an honor for my service for my beloved banwa (hometown). I was placed on a different perspective…from appreciation to decision-making. This Dinagyang season changed the way I see Iloilo’s grandest fiesta.

The good news is, after weeks of rain in the Visayas, Haring Araw was there to say hello all over the weekend!

Continue reading First Day On a New Perspective: My Dinagyang Experience

Breaking Dawn at Silay City

Pro-Cathedral of Silay City / San Diego del Alcala Pro-Cathedral

It was me who chose to go to Negros on Sunday morning…on a very unholy hour of the first flight. I would rather make the most out of that Sunday, that’s why my Airphil Express flight was the first one bound for Bacolod-and still no signs of Typhoon “Juan” back then…Good! Now at least I’ll get to start my day by going around at “Paris of Negros”…Ciudad Silay.

Continue reading Breaking Dawn at Silay City

MassKara Festival 2010 of Bacolod: Revelry as Negrenses Enjoy it

It was my first MassKara festival in five years. The last time I went to Bacolod City in the province of Negros Occidental to witness the said celebration was during its silver anniversary—2004! By that time, I was already at the streets, witnessing how Bacolodnons do their revelry about life and resilience. After all, this is Bacolod’s way of celebrating history and commemorating what history has brought to the lives of every Negrense, and a reflection of their culture.

Continue reading MassKara Festival 2010 of Bacolod: Revelry as Negrenses Enjoy it

San Joaquin Church of Iloilo: Stories Behind the Stone Carvings

San Joaquin Church Rendicion d' Tetuan

Last week, we were in Batangas for a visita iglesia in Taal’s prominent religious structures—the Basilica Minore de San Martin de Tours and Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine. Today, we fly all the way to the Visayas to visit Iloilo. Our first stop would go all the way to the southernmost town of the province, San Joaquin. This town is known to be one of the landing sites of the mythical Ten Bornean Datus. However, the crowning jewel of this southern town would be its 19th century church and its cemetery. The church however tells the story of the San Joaquin’s history, carved in stone.

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Hala Bira To Life and Faith! Celebrating Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival 2010

Wow…It’s been almost two weeks since the festivities and I still can’t get over the January celebrations either. That January though, I came home for somewhat like an annual pilgrimage for myself. I couldn’t resist the temptation of those throbbing drums pounding loud and hard in this southern Philippine city every January. I’ve been with this festival since 2003, yet it never failed to amaze me as it continually innovates itself year after year it is being celebrated by the Ilonggos. Outrageous and frenzy as some say it may seem but this is Iloilo’s grandest fiesta at its finest!

It was one crisp morning of January that the city streets were starting to feel the throbbing beat of the drums, as if Iloilo City’s core was a heart. As the sun shines in this central Philippine city, the crowd gradually increased to witness and enjoy Iloilo’s grandest fiesta, the Dinagyang Festival. Now, this is the time you’ll be seeing those dancers painted in dark brown (back then it was black…welcome to the era of political correctness, hehe!) with colourful costumes and choreography so agile and fast that you shouldn’t blink during their performance! Continue reading Hala Bira To Life and Faith! Celebrating Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival 2010

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