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

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

Experiencing Aliwan Fiesta!

Last Saturday was my first Aliwan experience. Yup, the festival of Philippine festivals showdown in our nation’s capital has put the bayside of Manila into a halt as country’s premiere festivals converge to bring out the best out of celebrating the Filipino culture. The country’s grandest festivities compete here for the one million pesos prize and prestige.

Together with Eric of, Marcos of, Alvin and the rest of my barkada, we’ve witnessed street dancing and power presentations in Manila setting. It made me think and feel that I was home. The beating of the drums and festive atmosphere despite the heat of the afternoon (that turned into a wet and wild party in the evening due to summer rain). Continue reading Experiencing Aliwan Fiesta!

Lighting up the Fuse to Freedom: Cry of Jelucon of Iloilo

Cry of Jelucuon

The Cry that started a revolution in this side of the country…a simple cry that sparked a rebellion against Don Quixote’s colonial forces. Manila got its Pugad Lawin (or Balintawak) and Iloilo has its own Jelucuon in the town of New Lucena in the Panay island province of Iloilo in Central Philippines.

Come every last weekend of October, the people of New Lucena celebrate freedom from the colonial oppressors as they celebrate the Cry of Jelucuon Festival, its a new and still a hardly-known festival.

Like Pugad Lawin and Balintawak, until today this event is still debatable on who’s first to declare war, Jelucuon or Santa Barbara? But either way, they both celebrate the struggle and the revolution of the Ilonggos towards freedom against the colonizers.

With colourful costumes of the 19th Century Ilonggos, bamboo poles and interpretative highly-choreographed drama, it tells the story on how the event started with the search for two carabaos (water buffalos) that lead to the uprising.

Continue reading Lighting up the Fuse to Freedom: Cry of Jelucon of Iloilo

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May 2011
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