Category Archives: Pangyayari/Occassion (Event/Occassion)

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City, Philippines

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From the winning tribe – Tribu Pan-ay
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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:

Fluvial Procession
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.

Kasadyahan
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.

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Sinulog Festival in Cebu Philippines

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Facts about the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines

  • It is being held annually every third Sunday of January in Cebu, Philippines to honor the patron saint Seńor Santo Nińo de Cebu (Lord Holy Child of Cebu) and the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippines.
  • Cebu is in the Central Visayas (Region VII) in the Philippines and is founded on April 27, 1565.  The capital is Cebu City. Cebu has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and has numerous historical churches, including the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the San Carlos Church, the Santo Rosario Parish Church, San José-Recoletos Church, and Sacred Heart Church as well as several other non-Catholic churches, mosques, and temples.
  • Part of the tradition is a fluvial parade where the image of the Child Jesus will be leaving His home in the Basilica del Sto. Niño and will be paraded to His foster father in the St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue City. The Niño stays with His father for a day and a night.  After the overnight stay with His father, He will be voyaging His way to His mother in a nearby island in Lapu-Lapu. The ceremonies in Cebu begin with this early morning fluvial procession, reenacting the coming of the Spaniards.
    The Holy Child Jesus is usually kept in a glass case bedecked with blossoming flowers, which will be carried by a “galleon” towards His destination.  The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu is performed.
  • Sinulog is essentially a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity.  The word Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb “sulog” which means “like water current movement;” it describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. The dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of drums.  The festival features some the country’s most colorful displays of pomp and pageantry.  The participants garbed in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs.
  • The event has become a tourist attraction.

The photos above are taken from the actual parade of this year’s Sinulog Festival.  I took these photos along Mango Avenue in Cebu where the grand Sinulog parade is passing.  I took more than 200 photos of this event and it can be viewed from here.