Iloilo's Dinagyang: Hala Bira! Viva Señor Santo Niño!
Although the celebration still has that quaint, provincial city-feel, the Ati-Ati dance productions are among the best that I've seen in street dance festivals in the Philippines. They are the Grand Champions in the Aliwan Festival (Manila-based competition for all the street dance festivals) in 2010 and 2011.
Dinagyang is the best time to go to Iloilo!
Here are the things you need to know to have an awesome experience in DINAGYANG:
Dinagyang is an Ilonggo term for "merrymaking".
The fun starts with the Kasadyahan Street Dancing, on the Saturday (9am-5pm) before the Ati-Ati Street Dance Competition. It is a regional dance competition, which includes the Iloilo tribes and the Ati-Atihan tribes in Aklan, among others.
It is scheduled a week after the official feast day of the Santo Niño so that it does not conflict with the Ati-Atihan Festival or the Sinulog of Cebu.
In the 2012 competition, there were 13 participants: Paghidaet, Buntatalan-on, Salognon, Lunok, Milagrosa, Pag-asa, Ilonganon, Molave, Atub-Atub, Aninipay, Pan-ay, Angola, Bantu.
No actual Ati tribe is included in the competition.
The Sinulog usually has one main Sinulog drum beat, while the Masskara dances are set to one pre-recorded song.
There are four dancing stations: the first one is the Freedom Grandstand, the second is near the Provincial Capitol (near Days Inn and Iloilo Supermarket), the third is near Metro Gaisano, and finally, in the Iloilo Sports Complex.
The best place to watch it is in the Freedom Grandstand where the City Mayor showcases Dinagyang to his personal and political guests of honor. The first dancing station is where people are excited to see the exciting performances for the first time.
Tickets are very hard to get unless you know someone from the Who's Who in Iloilo.
The Dinagyang is a spectator-type of festival, like the Sinulog and Masskara, where you watch the street dance from the sidelines. It is unlike the Ati-Atihan, which is a more participative festival where you are encouraged to dance with the performers on the streets. :)
Tribu Pan-ay - Back-to-Back Winner of Dinagyang Ati-Ati Competition 2011 & 2012!
- Best in Costume
- Best Designer
- Best in Music
- Best Musical Director
- Best Choreographer
- Best in Choreography
- Best in Performance
- Dinagyang 2012 Grand Champion
Here's the Tribu Pan-ay Dinagyang 2012 Winning Performance in the Freedom Grandstand.
See related articles: ABS-CBN NEWS | Dinagyang wows spectators, netizens
Some people just stand in front of it, listening (maybe evaluating the quality of the sound to the detriment of their ear drums?). :)
They say that the closer you are to the speakers, the less you feel the impact of the sounds.
(Can someone explain how these palakasan ng speakers came about? I've never seen this in Sinulog or in Masskara or in any festival aside from Dinagyang.)
Dinagyang is definitely one of the Philippine festivals you shouldn't miss. It is the best time to experience the Ilonggos' creativity, hospitality, and party scene. :)
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P.S. During Dinagyang, a lot of people used different hashtags like #Dinagyang , #Dinagyang2012, #HalaBira, #DinagyangFever. It would be very hard for it to trend if people use different hashtags on Twitter.
Let's use the main names of the festivals (e.g. #Dinagyang, #Sinulog, #Masskara) so that the actual festival name would trend, and then you can add other hashtags if you like. :)