Dinagyang Festival 2012
The Ilonggos celebrate their famous Dinagyang Festival on the fourth weekend of January. It is the most eagerly anticipated religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines, right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan. Exploreiloilo.com states it is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay by Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.
The festival draws thousands of visitors to Iloilo every year, with the event getting more extravagant and more with each succeeding year.
Exploreiloilo.com outlines the major events of the festival. Some of the festival highlights include the Fluvial Parade and the Street Dance Competition. These are the most awaited events during the celebration.
The fluvial procession was held on January 20, 2012, Friday, along the Iloilo River. All the boats that participated were well-decorated and packed with different icons of the Sto. Niño, and a lot of devotees joined the procession.
The procession on the river ended at the Pier where the foot parade started going to the church where a mass celebration was conducted.
The cultural parade also known as Kasadyahan was held on January 21, 2012, Saturday. A must-awaited and watched event in the festival, the Ati-atihan Contest, was celebrated on January 22, 2012, Sunday.
About 20 local groups joined the contest and each group represents a tribe of Iloilo. The street dance contest started at Freedom Grandstand and the final showdown held at the Iloilo Sports Complex. The event was very colorful where all participants wore colorful costumes perfectly suited to their lively moves and to the wild beat of drums.
Every group brought the Sto. Niño image which was the center of their performances.
Jeremy Villasis and blog I am Jammed reports that at the end of the competition, the last year's champion won the 2012 contest. Tribu Pan-Ay of Fort San Pedro National High School won the Ati-atihan street dance contest for two consecutive years.
List of winners of the 2012 competition (Street Dance Contest)
- Champion – Tribu Pan-ay
- 1st Runner Up – Tribu Lunok
- 2nd Runner Up – Tribu Ilonganon
- 3rd Runner Up – Tribu Paghidaet
- 4th Runner Up – Tribu Atub-Atub
Dinagyangsailoilo.com outlines the many events held throught he course of the festival.
- Dinagyang festival has brought a lot of innovations throughout the years. These innovations has influenced the way other festivals in the country is run. Among these are the following:
- Carousel Performance - Dinagyang initiated the simultaneous performance of the competing tribes in different judging areas.
- Mobile Risers - Mobile risers is a prominent feature of Dinagyang choreography today. It was introduced by Tribu Bola-bola in 1994. The risers has added depth and has improved the choreography of the dance movements.
- Dinagyang Pipes - First used by Tribu Ilonganon in 2005, the Dinagyang pipes is made of PVC pipes and is hammered by rubber paddles. Each pipe produces a distinct sound depending on the length and diameter of each pipe.
- Dagoy - The first festival mascot in the Philippines.
Here are some snapshots during the fabulous celebration of Dinagyang Festival 2012.