The last time I went to the famous Dinagyang Festival was 15 years ago, back in 1994 when I was still a student in the city. I also join their “Sadsad” or Kasadyahan, where people fill the streets and dance, every time for 4 years. While Dinagyang Festival is basically a tribal dance-prayer in honor of Senor Santo Nino, it has evolve into one of the most fascinating festival in the Philippines today. No wonder it was awarded, for the third consecutive time, the Festival of the year, by the Dept of Tourism. I still watch in awe whenever I see these “tribes” dancing to the thunderous sound of drum beats.
So Joy and I took the opportunity this time and watched Dinagyang festival’s tribal street dance competition after our Mt. Napulak Climb. It was Joy’s first ever Dinagyang, even though both her parents are natives of Panay! The basic dance and parade format is still there. Designated areas for judging or “performance areas” are still filled to the brim. These are areas where the tribes do all of their showmanship routines although I’m pretty sure endurance and “performance” while on parade is given judging points. To get better views and shots, we “paraded” with the “tribes” on various sites. And we were rewarded with our efforts. Take a look at some of our photos and see for yourselves.
Dinagyang nowadays is pretty grand. I mean, I dropped my jaws in amazement of their colorful, elaborate costumes and props.I saw the number of tribe sponsors and political freeloaders, swelling, Other people are making business out of the “performance areas”, where they outsource viewing seats and stands that are potentially disastrous accident areas. Well, its not these sore that I’m interested anyway, so we avoided them and followed the parade instead. So, “Hala Bira”!