Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City, Philippines
From Tribu Buntatalan-on
From Tribu Lun-ok
From the winning tribe – Tribu Pan-ay
Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo is in the same subject of celebration with Kalibo Aklan’s Ati-atihan and Cebu’s Sinulog which are all about thanksgiving and a celebration in honor of Seňor Sto. Niňo (the child Jesus). They are all celebrated in January.
The government has more than a month long schedule of activities with a three day festival highlights:
The fluvial procession is the religious highlight. It is on the Friday of the Dinagyang week. The devotees carry assorted images of the Seňor Sto. Niňo (the child Jesus) and ride in bancas from the river towards the pier where the foot parade would start and then back to the church.
The Kasadyahan (merrymaking) is the cultural highlights and is being held on the Saturday of the Dinagyang week. It is a cultural parade that depicts the culture of the early people in the province of Iloilo. It is conceptualized by the local residents and provincial government in the late 1900s. Private corporations, non-profit organizations and dance groups in Iloilo support this special celebration. The government gives special cash prices to the winners to encourage the local groups to participate.
Ati-atihan Parade and Competition
The Ati parade and competition is another cultural highlights and considered the biggest event. It is being held on the Sunday of the Dinagyang week and participated by more than ten groups of tribes. The parade is very colorful with dramatization of offerings and prayers in honor of the patron saint Sto. Niño amidst the drum beats and shouts of “Viva Señor Santo Niño” and “Hala Bira”. The performance of each tribe is spectacular with an impressive choreography, costumes and music.
Dinagyang Festival has been noted by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts and tagged it as the “Festival of Excellent Folk Choreography”. The festival has gained national prominence and recognition by winning the national street dancing competition. It is now a vehicle to promote Iloilo as a tourist and investment destination along with its grand mansions and old churches.
The photos above are taken from the actual parade of this year’s Dinagyang Festival which I took along Bonifacio Drive (near Museo Iloilo) after each tribe performed in this place which is also the third judging area. More photos of the Dinagyang parade can be viewed from here. And street scene photos during the Kasadyahan night can be viewed from here.