Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dinagyang Festival: A Grand Celebration of the Vibrant Culture of Iloilo

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Iloilo's famous Dinagyang Festival, showcases the tribal costumes, culture, history, tradition and devotion to the image of the Santo Niño."

It was indeed a grand celebration of the vibrant culture of the city! It bursts with color and creativity that's comparable to the other Philippine fiestas across the country.

Iloilo is also a favorite destination of both local and foreign tourists during the festival parades and ceremonies.

The Dinagyang (dee-nag-yungh) Festival is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.

The 50th Anniversary in Iloilo City was a pleasure to see and feel. Similar to other festivities all over the country, many of those who performed were high school students who spent the entire year working on their routine and costumes. 

The youth has an endless supply of eagerness and enthusiasm that they seem to be tireless and always full of energy. It makes me wonder how they could cope with the after class practices and extracurricular activities while they study their lessons, or vice versa depending on their priorities. Lol!

But for me, being actively engaged in such activities during school years builds the youth to become better citizens of the nation since it also improves many of their necessary attributes like camaraderie among their peers, involvement in culture-inspired movements (honoring the city they represent), plus builds up their stamina and endurance (from all those weekly routine practices).

Nothing can beat the street parties in Iloilo City, also known as the City of Love, even if others would challenge or contest that statement. This is probably because it is not as commercialized as other festivals that have turned into mostly brand-sponsored activities ruined by so many brand tarpaulins, posters and banners carrying logos and promos.

But we're not really complaining as the sponsorship also made it possible to bring in more stuff such as celebrities for additional eye-candy. Though it somehow robbed the attention of the masses on the original concept of the festival, the new generation would not be eating up the showbiz attraction if they are not really addicted to teleserye or movie fanaticism.

By the way, these celebrities would readily hop aboard a plane and show up in Iloilo on their own if the festival is truly awesome. We would prefer to see those who naturally adore the festivities rather than those who were paid to be there. But hey, they won't be expected to perform a song and dance number if they were not hired to do so. Thus, it makes sense to have sponsored activities since a city would need to spend a lot for talent fees.

Do we also cheer for the politicians who were seen as VIP guests on stage, and those mingling with the crowd like they are common Ilongos?

The Dinagyang festival culminated with the intense Ati-Atihan parade but as we go back home to Manila, the memories will forever seem immortalized in our souls as we excitedly anticipate next year's run.

I can't show you all the wonderful photos we got from the festival but you can check them out at our official Facebook page at
Congratulations Iloilo. Keep on making us proud to the world for having yearly successful performances that awe the crowd of both new and returning visitors, including the locals themselves.

"Jetlagged and peeling like an amphibian. I would describe my skin color as Dinagyang-Black."

Photos by Collin Yap

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