Have you ever witnessed the mother of all Philippine Festivals?
Don’t miss it this weekend!
Grassroots entertainment will find its most awesome manifestation as Aliwan Fiesta kicks off today and once again gathers champion festivals from north to south of the archipelago in a massive convergence of creativity and culture, alongside the Pinoy’s joie de vivre in its many incarnations come April 26 to 28.
Loudness, boisterousness, color, movement, and uncanny juxtapositions are all essential elements that Filipinos incorporate into their celebrations, but as Aliwan Fiesta participants will show, Philippine festivals reinvent and transform themselves in a continuous process of creation more attuned to the demands of popular entertainment today.
Aliwan Fiesta harnesses the power of Philippine festivals to showcase how religion, culture, and tradition are woven into the fiber of our existence. Traditional fiestas, which are held annually to commemorate the foundation of a town or province, or honoring its patron saint, are brought together en masse to highlight the Pinoy’s indomitable and ebullient spirit, together with his mien for creativity and innovation. With most major fiestas rooted in the pre-colonial period, there is understandably a festival sector that celebrates Nature’s bounty. Our Filipino forebears worshipped pagan gods who, to them, were responsible for bountiful harvests on land and sea. Aliwan Fiesta is both celebratory and commemorative. It is grassroots theatre at its best. But in the myriad faces of its participants, we see our very selves. Regale in these festivals. . .join in the merriment. . .and be prepared to be awed. …Makiisa, makisaya, pista’y narito na!
This year, seventeen contingents have signed up to take part in the festival dance competition. The Cordillera Administrative Region will field the Panagbenga festival of Baguio City, Benguet as well as the Abrenian Kawayan festival of Bangued, Abra. Region 1 will be represented by the Pandan festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan., while from Region 2 will come the Bato Art festival of Luna, Isabela.
Region 3 also has two entries — both from Bulacan — in the Fiesta Republica of Malolos, and the Halamanan festival of Guiguinto. Not to be outdone, Region 4 will showcase the Bakood festival of Bacoor, Cavite, the Tagultol festival of Atimonan, the Dumagat festival of Rodriguez, Rizal, and the Niyogyugan festival of Quezon Province. And from Region 5, the town of Balud, Masbate will present the Pangumagat festival.
Region 6 carries Ilonggo pride with the Manggahan festival of Guimaras, the Binirayan festival of Antique, and the Iloilo Dinagyang festival. Region 8, through a contingent from Burauen, Leyte, will showcase the Kasadyaan festival. Finally, from Maguindanao, we will see representatives of the Meguyaya festival of Upi, and the Inaul festival of Datu Piang.
But apart from these, other festivals will also be represented in the float design competition as well as the search for Reyna ng Aliwan. So expect to be dazzled by craftsmen of Hagonoy’s Singkaban festival, Catanauan’s Boling-Boling, Tacloban’s Sangyaw and Fiesta Tarakloban, Cotabato’s Sinilatan, Mother Kabuntalan’s Bangsa Maguiranun, and the Kapasiti of Shariff Aguak, as well as additional festival queen entries from Antipolo’s Maytime festival, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta festival, the Sinulog festival of Cebu, Zamboanga Hermosa, the Salug festival of Zamboanga del Norte, the Kalimudan festifval of Sultan Kudarat, the Munato festival of Sarangani, the Tuna and Kalilangan festivals of General Santos City, and the Kalivungan festival of North Cotabato.
Aliwan Fiesta 2018 kicks with the opening of the Shoppers Bazaar along Sotto Street featuring products from regional trade initiatives of the different participating towns. At 6 p.m., the Pasakalye concert and variety show featuring X-Battalion, Darren Espanto, Mocha Babes, the Go Girls, and Rocksteddy takes place at the outdoor stage in front of the Aliw Theater.
On April 27, the lovely ladies vying for the title of festival queen will have their pageant night at the Aliw Outdoor stage at 7 p.m, to be hosted by 101.1 Yes The Best’s Raki Terra and DJ Nick of 96.3 Easy Rock, with special guests TJ Monterde and Ronnie Alonte.
On April 28, the grand parade and streetdance showdown will commence at Quirino Grandstand at 3:30 p.m., making its way to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex, where the awarding ceremonies immediately follow. This will be hosted by Nicole Hyala and Chris Tsuper of 90.7 Love Radio, with special guest performances by Gloc 9 and Ebe Dancel.
Amateur and professional photographers are most welcome to take their best shots from the parade and join the Photo Competition; deadline for submission of entries is on May 4, at 5 p.m. For indeed, Aliwan Fiesta is a feast for the senses. Its myriad sights and sounds should definitely be experienced. And by doing so, we can pay tribute to all those who continue to make it a truly unique and enjoyable experience.
Aliwan Fiesta 2018 is a project of Manila Broadcasting Company and Star City, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, along with the cities of Manila and Pasay.