January marks the start of the year and it also catapults the festive season in the entire Philippine archipelago!
The Feast of the Black Nazarene opens it all, followed by the Sinulog Festival in Cebu held in honour of the Sto. Niño. Smaller celebrations also take place in different cities as a tribute for the Child Saint. But in the city of Iloilo, a joyous and spirited celebration is also held, filling major streets with loud music as the marauding revellers come in droves with their colourful costumes and props!
I was still a young boy when I first witnessed Dinagyang Festival. We used to live in Iloilo that time. Since then, I never had the chance to go there to be part of this annual Ilonggo merry-making!
But on my 3_th birthday, I decided to go to be young and free again, just like my childhood days. And it was a great decision!
The monotony of our daily lives here in the city can sometimes make our existence drab and almost uninspiring. We are adults filled with worries and stress. Thus, we long to escape, to reclaim life and be young and free again!
The loud music coming from the huge drum sets and the giant speakers set up in almost every corner of the street can instantly jerk you up! And here comes the parade participants in their colourful costumes and eye-catching props! To be surrounded with these lively colours and energetic kids who don't mind being under the scorching sun for hours can indeed spark the joy in you! Not to mention the street food, souvenirs and the equally happy people who all go there with a single purpose - merry-making!
(NOTE: Ilonggos use the term "merry-making" to refer to "partying" on the street during Dinagyang).
I made myself lost in the sea of colour, noise and ecstatic crowd! Never mind the heat and fatigue. After all, festivals are really meant to make you feel happy and tired at the same time! But as a "child", you don't really mind, because happiness/joy far outweighs the exhaustion!
And, of course, let's not forget that this Festival is held in honor of the Child Jesus! So I guess, it's ok to be like a child once again (at least during the parade, because you'll go back to your adult self again once the night kicks in! You can't act like a child and drink beer, right?)
The Dinagyang Festival for 2013 will be held on January 25 to 27.
Learn more about Dinagyang. Visit its Official Website at:
|Students make up most of the Parade Participants, coming from |
different school districts of the province.
|To dance and get lost in the midst of it all!|
|The sound system! Ear-splitting and heart-thumping!|
|Heroes vs Villains? I guess the Red Villains are ready to devour the girls in green! lol!|
|Things your money can buy!|