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!

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Hala Bira Tugs-Tugs at Dinagyang!

Look at the picture below:

People in front of the giant speakers...listening and just staring

That’s my favorite subject for my photo shoot in Calle Real. The International House (S.Villanueva Building as according to ICCHCC catalogue) at the corner of JM Basa corner Aldeguer Street. The symbol of Iloilo’s glorious past. Yet I won’t be talking heritage here, but I like to share a common scene during the city’s largest festival, the Dinagyang.

It’s all about those people staring blankly at sound systems which are playing in full volume!

Play this video below (or the next page). I apologize for the annoying voice that I have…pasensyahan na lang tayo, malakas kasi patugtog.

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The Sinulog Legacy

The Sinulog festival was initiated by the government to pay homage to a pagan ritual being done by Cebuanos, then and now, as a way of worshiping and praying for the intercession of Santo Niño de Cebú. Yet where did the dance that sparked the largest festival in the country today started? Two steps forward and one step backward, imitating the sulog or waves while waving a candle or an image of the Santo Niño. An ancient pagan ritual merged with Catholic beliefs—a form of syncretic Filipino folk Catholicism.

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Dancing in the Rain: My Personal Sinúlog Experience (Part 1)

All throughout the week before Sinulog in Cebu, I was already checking the weather forecast. It has been raining in Cebu for the past few days and I was worried that it’ll rain come Sunday Sinulog. 16th of January came, I lost my wallet in the cab at Makati while I’m on my way to the airport (good thing I have friends who helped me at this desperate time) and I am sleepless too. Nevertheless, it has been several years since I last went to Cebu to celebrate this annual celebration for the Visayas’ most well-loved Catholic icon, the Santo Niño de Cebú and the grandest festival in all of República Filipinas, the Sinulog Festival of Cebú.

Sleepless and haggard, I took the first flight of Philippine Airlines bound for Cebu. Upon approach, I was aghast with the sky…gray, hints of lightning…urgh! Rainy!!! Then shifted to a more positive tone, it’s a great blessing from the Creator. Reverse psychology did worked!

Continue reading Dancing in the Rain: My Personal Sinúlog Experience (Part 1)

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.

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