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.

Continue reading Hala Bira Tugs-Tugs at Dinagyang!

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

Revelry and Dance: Kasadyahan in Dinagyang Festival 2010

Tribu Kasag of Banate in Kasadyahan 2010

Magsinadya kita! That’s what we do during Dinagyang. Sadya is a Hiligaynon term meaning “happy, joy or fun.” The Dinagyang Festival street dancing starts not on the Ati-Ati competition but with the Kasadyahan Festival. Held on a Saturday before the Ati-Atihan highlight of Dinagyang, it is a cultural dance parade, contest and showcase of Iloilo’s kabanwahanan or towns and several institutions within the city and the province (and I heard it is also open to all towns in Panay Island as well!) You don’t get to see soot-covered Ati warriors dancing during Kasadyahan like what most of us know about Dinagyang though. By the beat of the music and interpretative dance, the contingents showcase a myriad of cultural topics that is incorporated in every Ilonggo, from history to current events.

Continue reading Revelry and Dance: Kasadyahan in Dinagyang Festival 2010

The Musicality, Choreography and Costume of Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang

Eversince I settled in the Visayas, I was exposed to these big festivals that the Visayans are very proud of. Reflecting its laid back yet devoted populace, the January festivities attract spectators by the millions…all in the name of Señor Santo Niño or the Holy Christ Child. Here’s the thing though on what I’ve observed on these big Santo Niño festivals when it comes to musicality, costumes and choreography. Each of them, unique in a way…well, in my observation.
Continue reading The Musicality, Choreography and Costume of Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang

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