Dinagyang festival 2011

Drum beats are back again in the streets. Dinagyang fever is right around the corner as the year begins. But is Dinagyang festival just all about the drums, costumes and merry makings?

During the fourth weekend of January, Dinagyang festival is celebrated in order to give tribute to the Christianization of the natives and show respect to Sto. Niño (Holy Child Jesus). It is a three-day event, the highlight of which is the 3rd day, the Ati-ati contest. It is a colorful parade of costumes staging the Sto. Niño as the object of offerings and prayers. “Viva Señor Sto. Niño” is heard amidst the beating of the drums during the competition. This is an evidence of the Ilonggos’ great devotion to the child Jesus who is believed to be miraculous during famine and drought.

Dinagyang is not just any cultural event that wowed the whole country and the world, it is also considered as a religious evangelization.

Dinagyang comes from the Hiligaynon (TRIVIA: we call the people ILONGGO and the dialect is HILIGAYNON) word dagyang meaning make happy. The festival was formerly called Ati-atihan similar of the festival in Kalibo. According to history, it started when a replica of the image of Señor Sto. Niño was brought from Cebu to Iloilo (San Jose Parish in Libertad). From then on, Ilonggos became devotees and proclaimed the 4th Sunday of January as His feast day since year 1968. The annual celebration is concluded by a nine-day Novena, an Ati-Ati contest and a fluvial procession on the last day.

It was the late Pacifico Sumagpao Sudario, a radio broadcaster who first used to name the festival when it commenced in 1977, to differentiate it from Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan.

The image of Sto. Niño is placed on a decorative boat in a fluvial procession early in the morning. It starts from the mouth of the Iloilo River at Fort San Pedro to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol found on the bank of the Iloilo River. The image is met by the Hermano-Hermana mayor devotees as well as the contesting tribes. The procession ends at San Jose Church where a high mass is celebrated. Opening ceremonies and contest proper follows shortly after the mass.

Dinagyang proved to be one of the best festivals in the country when it won Best Festival for a couple of years in a row.

Every year, tourist swarms the city to see Iloilo’s Finest and the Nation’s best: Dinagyang Festival.

I’ve been to cebu for Sinulog. but still for me Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo is more attractive, lively, more skillful, and well choreo compare to sinulog , it is really a real quality of festival and it is worth as the Best Festival of the Philippines, I’ve seen it first in Iloilo the use of huge water drums in Dinagyang(Used as actual drums), then the next year , I can saw it on cebu as well as many festivals around the country!. No argument , Sinulog Choreography is pure magic , and there is arts and everything. But if you are the festival goer looking to enjoy the festival not only by watching , Dinagyang is for you , street parties are not classier than cebu , but still its worth it. Dinagyang is festival is more lively than any other festivals in the Philippines.

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