Dinagyang 2012–Ati Parade and Competition

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I prefer to be in the streets to get the “feel” of the Dinagyang Ati Parade and Competition, rather than have a ticket and be seated in any judging area where the competing tribes will be performing. For me, the seats are for the judges and the full video coverage are for the professionals.  I want the streets where the scenes are real and not choreographed.

Braving the blocked roads and the sun-burning weather that climactic Sunday of this year’s (2012) Dinagyang festival, I witnessed and captured the Dinagyang scenes that you can find only in the streets of Iloilo, Philippines.

I watched in awe each tribe arrived at the Sports Complex at La Paz, Iloilo City wherein the first judging (main) area will be done.  The first question that came into my mind was, how much is the coveted cash price?  Eventually, I learned that it is “not that big”, not even enough to cover the expenses of the props or the participants’ talent fees if you pay them individually.  Geez! this is what you call passion and dedication. It’s totally for the love of the Dinagyang spirit.  Hala Bira Iloilo!

A “full-to-the-roof” jeep with fully costumed, well-painted and fully armored tribal people.101_0228
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Each tribe will create their own tribal setting using hundreds of props men, supporters, throngs of drums, tribe people complete with tribal weapons and armors, giant birds, Sto. Niňo, boars. trees, fish and a LOT more.
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The giant bird, one of the props of the winning tribe Pan-ay.101_0470
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The participating tribes will assemble and do their first performance at the first and main judging area at the Sports Complex in La-Paz, Iloilo.  They then will be parading to the next three judging areas on foot and perform in the same performance level they did from the first: 
Judging Area #2 Front of St. Clements Church - Lapaz, Iloilo
Judging Area #3 Front of DOT R6 Office - Bonifacio Drive (near Museo Iloilo)
Judging Area #4 Freedom Grandstand - FINAL JUDGING AREA

In spite of the blazing hot sun the participants are at their best in performance and on parade.
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I was told by the locals that it’s not about the winning price, it’s all about passion and pride of making the Dinagyang a world’s best festival.

The defending champion Tribu Pan-ay once again declared champion for this year’s Dinagyang Ati Tribe competition.  They also bagged several awards such as Best in Costume / Best in Designer, Best in Music / Best in Musical Director, Best Choreographer.  Here’s a video of their goose bump-causing performance.
Tribu Pan-ay–Dinagyang 2012 Champion in the Ati Tribe Competition

Later I was joined by my “own tribe” and we had the real Dinagyang fever of street dancing and mingling with the accommodating members of the performing tribes who adorned the Dinagyang streets with awesome perfectness.
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You will find more exciting street scene photos from this photo album. Hala Bira watch na!

Dinagyang 2012–Kasadyahan Night

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It’s a street fever party all over Iloilo City!

Words are not enough to describe the fun and excitement during the Kasadyahan night of this year's  Dinagyang Festival  so let these photos speak for themselves.
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Mask, mask, mask…  Dinagyang is all about masks!
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More masks…
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Food, food, food. Oysters
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All kinds of “sinugba”
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(Henna) Tattoo is a must. The wilder the better.  I learned from one tattoo artist that he earned more than PhP 5,000.00 during the Kasadyahan day alone.  Cost of one henna tattoo is as cheap as PhP50.00.
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Accessories at very affordable prices.
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Loudest, noisiest sound systems in every corner in every streets!
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All establishments are closed and the streets are filled with makeshift bar and food place. Our table is located just below this school of music signage.100_9979

Dress wild, act tamed and have crazy fun is the rule of the day.  "Ilonggos" are such peace loving people. Didn't spot any trouble the whole night in spite that almost everyone is holding a bottle of beer.

A bunch of party people enjoying the festive mood!
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Bar hopping is in… but!
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… the streets are closed from traffic. You have to walk or take this exciting ride.
Sophie our Swedish friend seems to be enjoying the “going-ons” and the “ride” Smile
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Party people dressed in tribal attire are everywhere.   You can have your souvenir pics with them.  Just drop some change as token for their effort.
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More fun…fun... every corner has something amusing!
KGB = Korean Grilled BBQ = LOL!
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and more fun that you can find from these photos.  Hala Bira Iloilo!!!

Iloilo Gearing for Dinagyang Festival 2012

Being in Iloilo for more than a week now, I can’t help but be blown away by the frenzy of the Ilonggos as they prepare for the big day that is called Dinagyang Festival 2012 which highlights is on the third weekend of January (January 20 to 22 for this year).

Posters, signage, flaglets/ banderitas can be seen everywhere.  Once you see a bunch of people huddled together the topic of discussion is definitely something about Dinagyang.  The parade route, the traffic and re-routing, store sales, costumes, face mask/paint, tattoo, hair highlights, etc.

The fiesta mode is really up in the air.  And like I always do every time I go around anywhere,  I am trying to document important and interesting moments as much as I can .  The week of  Dinagyang is such an interesting subject to document by photos.  Here’s a sort of photo blog on the week of Dinagyang Festival 2012.

henna tattoo, hair highlights, costume, face mask/paints are the order of the week
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Apart from the official program from the Iloilo government’s official website, each malls and major establishments have their own sets of schedules for Dinagyang.

a poster at Robinsons Place Iloilo100_9332
a poster in one of the SM Malls
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an item “For Sale” at ACE Hardware
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a poster at SM City Iloilo
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activity center at Robinsons Place Iloilo with GMA 7 stage set-up
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the streets and buildings adorned with “banderitas
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this kind of display replaced the common fashion mannequin100_9695
this kind of display replaced the common fashion mannequin100_9696
this kind of display can be found in the many corners of the malls
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a wall display at Gaisano Mall100_9754
These are just photos before the festival’s big day.  What more during the actual festival?

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