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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dinagyang Festival

January is Philippines' festival month. Many places in the country celebrate fiesta and delicious native delicacies are serve to satiate the hungry stomach. Merrymaking and frolic revelry fills the street and mardi gras festival is done through competition and street dancing. Black soot, tribal headgear, shield and spears become popular during this month. One of the famous is the Dinagyang Festival held every last Saturday and Sunday of January in Iloilo City, Philippines. A week of colorful and exciting activities culminates in a two-day street dancing competition - the Kasadyahan competition and Ati competition. Kasadyahan is a competition among schools - an interpretative song and dance telling a story or event is held on Saturday. The most anticipated event the Ati tribe is a warrior competition among several barangays in the cities and even some private schools and towns or province. A tribal competition which is done through choreographed dance routines to the beats of drums and other tribal muscial instruments. The results and announcement of winners is done at the end of the day of Sunday and usually followed by a fireworks display.
         Dinagyang started in 1968 when the Sr. Sto. NiƱo or the most Holy Child Jesus replica came to Iloilo for the first time and since then promised to be a devotional undertaking. The following year the first competition is held with Tribu Mamau of Compania Maritima as the first champion. The word "Dinagyang" was coined by the late broadcaster Pacifico Sudario from the rootword "dagyang" which means merrymaking.