Just as easily as they party, Filipinos find an excuse to dance – for leisure or entertainment – as a manifestation of worship or as a social valve for relationships.
For this year’s Aliwan Fiesta – the annual cultural extravaganza organized by Manila Broadcasting Company and the Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the cities of Manila and Pasay – dance in its myriad forms once more takes center stage, as interpreted in the festival context by contingents from various regions all over the country
Banhayan of Muntinlupa, an annual thanksgiving festival held on the feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine will represent Metro Manila.
Antipolo, home to the provincial capitol of Rizal, will present Tayo na sa Antipolo Maytime festival, promoting its products and honoring its patroness – Our lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
From the Cordillera Administrative Region, Baguio City showcases its myriad blooms for which Panagbenga has become immensely popular. Alicia, Isabela, which used to be known as the town of Angadanan, will feature its Balitok ti Alicia, highlighting the town’s role as premier producer of the golden palay.
The town of Dolores, Quezon, which lies at the foot of mystic Mt. Banahaw, will send their Hambujan dancers to depict the Niyogyugan festival, celebrating the coconut industry, which has sustained the province through generations.
Iloilo, in turn, fields the highly acclaimed Dinagyang Festival, which features the aboriginal tribes’ offering to the Infant Jesus.
Debuting this year are the Manggahan festival of Guimaras and the Cinco de Noviembre of Bago City, Negros Occidental.
Defending champion Manaragat festival of Catbalogan City goes for a three-peat with its stylized merging of cultural nuances and ecological preservation.
The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao fields three entries – Parang’s Padang Padang harvest festival, Datu Piang’s Inaul festival, and Upi’s Meguyaya.
Rounding up this year’s festival dance competition is the contingent from Sarangani, which will present the Timpuyog festival, where Lumads, Muslims, and Christians alike gather to preserve and propagate their cultural heritage.
Now on its 15th year, Aliwan Fiesta will be held from April 20 to 22, opening with a three-day Shoppers Bazaar along Sotto Street, where provincial goods will be sold at bargain prices, Tugtog ng Aliwan, featuring a rhythm competition among the music ensembles of the different contingents, the Reyna ng Aliwan pageant night, and the grand culminating parade traversing Roxas Boulevard from Quirino Grandstand to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex.
For inquiries, call 832-6125 or email [email protected]; for updates, log onto www.aliwanfiesta.org.ph or like the official Facebook page.
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