Grand Street Parade
CCP Complex, Manila
25 April 2009
By 4PM, everybody gathered for the start of the parade. Most photographers positioned themselves by the stage, because each contingent will perform before they walk to Quirino Grandstand, where they will perform again.
Like what I have said in the previous post, Aliwan Fiesta is kinda like the "Mother of All Festivals," because it is where you can have a glimpse of different festivals around the country. Each contingent came in from their native hometowns to compete. There were three general categories - the float, the street dancing, and the beauty pageant.
We cannot go to the stage anymore, so most of us (my brother, Buge, JenL, Ronnie, and I) just stayed on the street. At first, there was a metal fence preventing people to come near the contingents, but after a while they took out the fence and just place it near the stage. The festival staffs have given people the permission to take pictures of each contingents before they reach the stage, so all of us had a grand time taking pictures.
Sharing now pictures in order of appearance, with descriptions taken from the Aliwan Fiesta website:
Kalilintad Festival - Mamasapano, Maguindanao
Rido, or retaliation, is a practice among Bangsa Moro tribes in many parts of Maguindanao as a manifestation of family honor against verbal or physical abuse. In the town of Mamasapano, this form of assault was seen in a marital arrangement where a boy insisted on courting a girl who was already engaged to another. The ensuing violence escalated over the years, affecting an entire community that lived in constant fear. After some time, a local leader related to both warring clans brought them together to swear on the sacred Q’uran that the quarrel would finally end. This reconciliation gave birth to the Kalilintad festival. Their float depicts the venue where the Sapa sa Q’uran is held. It is decorated lavishly in traditional Maguindanaoan décor such as pasandalan, baguiontay, and obol-obol. Both parties swearing on the Holy Book hold a copy of the Quran in their hands, after which they partake of the food on the dulang trays.
Karatong Festival - Dulag, Leyte
Dulag is one of the municipalities situated on the eastern coast of Leyte. In ancient times, Dulagnon communicated using the karatong – a bamboo implement also used to warn of impending danger and to drive away intruders. When Moro invaders ravaged the town to get their golden bell, the natives were allegedly moved by the Nuestra Senora del Refugio and the Senor Santo Nino to tap the karatong to save the town. Since then, it has become a highly progressive town. Dulag’s float is made of 100% bamboo as this is an abundant resource in the municipality. The open bamboo stands for a new beginning for the town, while the cornucopia laden with fruits and grains symbolizes abundance and a bountiful life. Festival muse – Ariane May Briones.
Dinagyang Festival - Iloilo City, Iloilo
This festival celebrates the time when the image of Senor Sto. Niño was first brought to the archipelago by Magellan as a goodwill gift for the wife of Rajah Kulambo. Natives used the image of the Child Jesus to convince aboriginal tribesmen of the saving power of God. This year, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School continues to honor Senor Sto. Niño and proclaim with “one mind and one heart” the omnipresence of God. Festival muse – Natalie Grace Roberts.
Pamulinawen Festival - Laoag, Ilocos Norte
From Laoag, Ilocos Norte comes a festival which focuses on fishing as an ancient Ilocano practice. The power-charged variety of steps is a faithful metaphor of the elements such as the wind and the sea. The dance expresses the Ilokanos’ industriousness, along with their resilience, bravery, resolve, and a spiritual affinity to their patron saint, William the Hermit. Laoag’s float depicts the process of weaving abel iloko from cotton and other natural fibers. Up to now the fabric is manually woven on pedal-frame looms, and made into bedcovers, pillow cases, place mats, bags, garments, and everything else that the creative Ilokano mind can think of. Just as tourists can see living history at the Gameng Museum in Laoag, the float also carries three “manangs” weaving the threads. The abel has been a major economic factor in the lives of the ilokanos and was once praised by legendary fashion icon Pierre Cardin for its intricate weave. Festival muse – Kate Lao.
Buklod Festival - Parang, Maguindanao
Parang, Maguindanao’s version of the Kalilang – or traditional festivity – is characterized by exotic and colorful Islamic décor, sumptuous food, captivating music, and lots of merrymaking. Being an integral part of the lives of Muslim Filipinos, the Kalilang is also at the core of any reason to rejoice – be it marriage, baptism, rites of passage, or even remembering the dead. Their Buklod kalilang is presented in different stages. It opens with a welcome dance called Silong sa Landing, followed by the all-male Kapandala and the female-led Lalansay. Tribes crossing the river to attend a Kalilang are also portrayed in the Kadindang sa Tamlang. The presence o royalty is symbolized by the Payong a Sinilatan. The entrance of the Samolayan – the highest form of Islamic décor – signals the finale. Their float depicts how royal festivities were usually held on the mouth of the Masla Pulangi or Rio Grande de Maguindanao on board the Guinakit Ta Laya, -- a colorful grand banca lavishly decorated with royal banners, pamanay, pasandalan, obol-obol, and baguiontay – making it a real sight to behold.
Fiesta de Toros - Nasugbu, Batangas
This is a thanksgiving feast in honor of St Francis Xavier. A legacy from Navarra, Spain which was the saint’s birthplace, it features the bringing of bulls onto a central plaza to chase people away. Since Batangas beef is highly regarded, the people of Nasugbu lent the festival their distinct Batangueno touch by using cattle instead. By showcasing a fusion of traditions, townsfolk also highlight their annual sugarcane harvest, together with the scenic beauty of their beaches – all under the loving guidance of their patron saint. Festival muse – Jennah Lynne Tolentino.
Pulang Angui Festival - Albay
From Albay we see the Pulang-Angui festival. The feast gets its name from a lady named Angui, who loved everything in red - - from her dress to her umbrella, her lips and her cheeks. She looked like a goddess and was known for her kindness and generosity. One day some huntsmen arrived at her place and upon seeing her, their leader became lovestruck. In time, they lived happily ever after. Their float depicts the world-famous Mayon Volcano, along with the Oyangui tree which is native to Polangui. Abaca twine, coconut husks, sinamay, raffia and nito vines are also used to embellish the decorations. At center is Pulang Angui and the huner making the town’s delicacy - kalamay. Festival muse – Ashley Ann Himor.
Boling Boling Festival - Catanauan, Quezon
This festival of laughter serves as a prelude to the Lenten season, and features uninhibited merrymaking and dressing up, prior to the solemnity marked by Ash Wednesday. The townsfolk believe that by rejoicing, they will ward off spirits that bring about illness, hardship, and the loss of hope. The pyramid-like structure of the Boling-Boling float signifies the evolution of the festival from wild and naive expressions of simple, fun-loving folk, to today’s socio-political concerns. Using local products artistically designed by Catanauan townsfolk, the float shows the fulfillment of the people’s craziest dreams without inhibition.
Pakalog Festival - Pasig City, NCR
The delegation from Pasig City presents a fiesta celebrated on New Year’s Eve, which focusses on the lifestyle of the early residents of Santolan, Pasig. Pakalog is an old recipe of Santoleños in preparing the native fish called “bulig.” This is placed in a vessel and shaken together with herbs and spices before cooking. The dance shows the daily activities of life as they go about their hard work, where the promise beneath the toil and bountiful harvest is the enticing aroma of their favorite dish as media noche fare to greet the incoming year. Festival muse – Anne Camille del Rosario.
Mimodoman Kalilangan Festival - General Santos City
The B’laans inhabit the southern part of Sarangani in South Cotabato and General Santos City. The natives celebrate with a Kalilang, using unique traditions that have withstood time. In this showcase, the B’laan portray the Almugan bird’s cry as a good omen for the planting and harvest seasons. They depict the men’s bamboo pakupak, in rhythmic synergy with the women’s sloong and bukag. Offerings called Butne are given to the Adwata for help against pestilence. At harvest time, the natives gather for the Mimodoman in thanksgiving. The Gen San float depicts a B’laan wedding and uses t’nalak décor and the traditional S’long Kinibang hat among others. Musicians are carrying indigenous instruments like the two-stringed lute. The whole presentation focusses on B’laan merrymaking called Mimo-Kaflahaw. Festival muse – Charise Hannah Ingente.
Caragan Festival - Mabalacat, Pampanga
This month-long town fiesta, timed in honor of the feast of Nuestra Senora de Gracia, is actually held in honor of the aboriginal Aeta chieftain named Caragan, who married a Mabalacat resident named Laureana Tolentino. The event highlights the celebration of traditional Aeta culture. Their float is made of improvised “lahar” material gathered from barrios of Mabalacat which were buried by the volcanic eruption. There is also a replica of the Balacat tree – which used to grow in abundance there and from which the town got its name. Festival muse – Rizelle Manio.
Ibon Ebon Festival - Candaba, Pampanga
This is held on the first weekend of February in Candaba, to show wildlife protection in a sustainable environment. The townsfolk began celebrating the peak season of migratory birds, with the opening of the Candaba Swamp Wildlife Reserve as a new tourist destination. Candaba also happens to be a top producer of duck eggs which are usually made into balut, itlog na maalat, and a gourmet specialty called burong ebon. The festival itself features bird-watching tours and an agro-trade fair, with side activities like boat-racing, kite-flying, duck races, an itik-cooking contest, and the search for the best-dressed itik. Their float is laden with bird-like objects representing both Candaba’s environmental concern and agricultural productivity – striking the balance of people’s needs and sustainability. Kite-makers, parol-makers, and other Kapampangan artisans designed the float, which also shows a representation of their patron saint – San Nicolas de Tolentino. Festival muse – Stephanie Rae Paras.
Panagbenga Festival - Baguio City, Benguet
From the Cordillera Administrative Region, we have the famous flower festival which showcases the myriad blooms for which the city has become famous. 2009 is Baguio’s centennial year, and to celebrate their culture of caring, they have sent Cordillera warriors garbed in traditional weave and maidens wearing the four-colored wings of their butterfly centennial logo to show the metamorphosis of the city in the last 100 years. The Panagbenga float incorporates miniature rice terraces from the Mountain Province region, together with a caving of an Igorot boar hunter, a Cordillera woman with a kayabang – the four-cornered rattan backpack laden with vegetables from La Trinidad, and miniature waterfalls. The float showcases the freshness of Baguio’s attractions, and the cool ambience of the country’s summer capital Festival muse – Parul Framil Shah.
Lapay Bantigue Festival - Masbate
This streetdance festival emerged champion in Bicol region’s Magayon 2008. Through efforts of the late National Artist Ramon Obusan, a dance anchored on the movements of the lapay – a bird found hovering along Bantigue’s coastline – gained national renown. It was originally choreographed by the venerable resident Lola Felisa as a dance ritual in honor of St Filomena. Today, it is one of the finest folkdances in the country.
Lambayok Festival - San Juan, Batangas
This annual event showcases the three major industries of the municipality – lambanog, palayok-making, along with the growing resort sector. Their festival promotes creativity, ingenuity, and hard work. The core theme of their presentation revolves round the lambanog, often called the poor man’s drink because of the abundance of coconut and the relatively cheap distillation process it goes through. Tribu Mangangarit will depict the popular ‘tagayan’ – a tradition of simplicity handed down from one generation to the next. Their float, aptly called lambanugan, was crafted from various materials from the coconut tree, and shows how and where lambanog is processed. Mangangarit are workers who climb the trees in the afternoon to prune the flowers and gather the sap in bamboo receptacles. In the morning, it is fermented to produce “tuba,” which when distilled becomes lambanog. From a mere cottage industry, lambanog is gaining recognition and is now packaged in different flavors like mango, blueberry, buble gum, and cinnamon among many others. Festival muse – Nerissa Dimaculangan.
Buyogan Festival - Abuyog, Leyte
The Buyogan festival which emerged champion in both the Pintados-Kasadyaan and Sinulog festivals this year. The dance ritual brings to life the story of two children who disturbed beehives while playing in the forest. One was stung badly and got very sick. His parents implored the Sto Nino to heal the boy. In thanksgiving, the townsfolk then promised to respect all forms of life.
Kasadyahan Festival - Iloilo
The first part of Dinagyang is called Kasadyahan, and happens on the Saturday of the fiesta. It has a more varied theme, usually portraying colorful rituals or slices of local history. Carrying its colors will be Tribu Kasag of Banate, Iloilo was formed after the town took on the ‘One Town, One Product” campaign to popularise the blue crab as a local delicacy. Called ”kasag” in Ilonggo, it is the core of the celebratory dance which depicts the lively movements of the crab amid the Banatenhon way of life and implements such as the bancas, bodol, and panggal. The three levels of their float symbolize the Banate folk’s wish to excel in economic, cultural, and artistic development. Naturally, a giant crab is the focal point of the float, and their décor utilizes artful appliqués of shells and various body parts of the kasag, combined with fishing nets, bamboo poles, and even giant jelly fish! The use of blue and orange come from the crab’s colors before and after it is cooked. Festival muse – Marie June Bebing.
Lakbayaw Festival - Tondo, City of Manila
Fiesta time in Tondo, Manila is anchored on the devotion to the Santo Nino. Streetdancers emulating the Ati-Atihan style are called Lakbayaw dancers, from the words Lakbay and Sayaw. The image of the Santo Nino is carried throughout the parade, from the streets to the pagoda on the bay, where a fluvial procession is held. Tribu Lacson wil interpret the devotees’ special intentions as they offer up prayer under the theme – "Hilingin mo at isayaw sa Sto Nino".
Siloy sa Alcoy Festival - Alcoy, Cebu
The municipality of Alcoy in the southeastern part of the province of Cebu derives most of its income from the Dolomite Mines, which are the biggest in the world. But Alcoy is also home to the Mag-abo Forest where reside the Black Shama – or Siloy -- a type of bird that sings a very soothing melody. With its natural habitat now designated as an ornithologist’s dream destination, the Siloy’s rapidly diminishing population is being zealously conserved not just as a symbol but as a cause. The festival in its name is held on the feast day of Sta Rosa de Lima, whose intercession is invoked by the residents to protect Alcoy’s eco-tourism program. Festival muse – Sian Elizabeth Maynard
Kadayawan Festival - Davao City
From the city of durian, the waling-waling and the majestic Philippine eagle comes a festival. that gets its name from the word “dayaw,” which refers to anything good, beautiful, superior, or valuable. Not only is the festival held in thanksgiving for an abundant harvest, but it shows the interface between its tribal heritage through the “lumads”, along with the wealth of culture and entertainment found in the city, added to its progressive industrial development. Their fascinating costumes and swift body movements manifest the very traits Dabawenyos are proud of as persistent, industrious, and peace-loving people. Festival muse – Aliah Heitz.
Paraw Regatta Festival - Iloilo
A guest entry this year is the Paraw Regatta. At the annual boat race among native outriggers separating the island of Panay from Guimaras, townsfolk recreate the design of the paraw or sailboat that supposedly carried the first Bornean settlers to Panay. Remember the legend of the Maragtas? 10 datus supposedly fled the dictatorial rule of Sultan Makatunaw and settled in Panay after bargaining with the Aeta leader Marikudo. For centuries, the paraw has become an essential part of the Ilonggo way of life, and the Iloilo Strait becomes a sea of colors whenever they hold the Paraw Regatta. Their float depicts a typical regatta festival scene, with the colorful sails representing the Ilonggo lifestyle. Historically artistic, Ilonggos use sail-painting as a form of expression to entice the youth. They also showcase famed Ilonggo maritime skills renowned the world over.
Lemba Festival - Cotabato City
Cotabato, which derives its name from two words meaning stone fortress, has prepared a colorful flotilla display of traditional heirlooms of the sultanate, which is held on special occasions or even healing rituals called Ipat. Affluent families with sufficient royal lineage are on board to symbolize the richness of Maguindanaoan heritage. Traditional decor such as flags, rice grain, and a miniature spirit house decorate the float. In pre-Islamic practice, the Lemba was important when conducting special offerings to pagan gods for abundance, peace, power, and progress.
Limbonan Festival - Parang, Maguindanao
Also from Parang, Maguindanao is the float called the Limbonan. This is a fully decorated room where a Maguindanaoan bride stays while waiting for her wedding day to relax and beautify herself. Brassware, betel boxes, and trays indicate the wealthy status of the bride’s family. Outside, her relatives play music while dancers perform to entertain her family. An unta, whose head resembles a deer moves to the rhythm of the drums.
Pakadyaran Festival - Malapatan, Saranggani
The municipality of Malapatan in Saranggani province is participating with a float entry. The Pakaradyan is a term used for any festivity in the area – be it a kalilang (wedding), a kuyog (procession), or the enthronement of the sultan. In Saranggani, a pakaradyan celebration is highlighted by beautiful Maguindanaoan décor artfully arranged. The sound of drums, kulintang, and agung are heard the whole day. The Pakaradyan is an opulent feast to fill the senses.
24 contingents, 1 big fiesta. This has got to be the grandest, the most colorful, and the most beautiful festival I have attended - I felt like I traveled to each of the places that took part of the fiesta, and I happy I was able to see this. Too bad, though, it rained early night time and I wasn't able to see some of the contingents because I gave my umbrella to my brother, while Buge and I took shelter in the lobby of Star City.
Some pictures were taken from my brother's Multiply site, while some were taken from the album before the grand parade.
As for the winners:
Float Design Competition
Champion: “Abel Iloko” of Laoag City
2nd Place: “Lemba” of Cotabato
3rd Place: Tribu Paghidaet of Dinagyang
Festival Dance Competition
Grand Champion: Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte
2nd Place: Tribu Kasag from Banate, Iloilo (Kasadyahan Festival)
3rd Place: Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National HIgh School, iloilo (Dinagyang Festival)
Aliwan Festival 2009 Queen
Sian Elizabeth Maynard (Sinulog, Cebu City)
*** Jenn ***