Monday, January 16, 2012

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The Dinagyang: It’s More Fun in Iloilo City

an essay by Roger B Rueda

The festive spirit is now permeating the city with the approach of the Dinagyang as Iloilo City holds it every fourth week of January. It’s a marvellous festival in the tradition of the Ilonggo origin, diversity, and Christianisation. It’s killing the fatted calf. It’s lively as a grig.

Every year, the city streets seem to be a sea of multi-coloured people. It’s breath-taking, a delight to watch. It’s a fabulous sight - it's fresh, varied, fun. Everyone is in a mood to celebrate.

The Dinagyang dance is vigorous, but full of subtlety. It fills us with a sense of awe over and over again. Their step design is very novel, yet intrinsically Ilonggo. The Dinagyang tribes dance down the streets to the next judging area.

The tribes have got it all so nice. How artistic they always are with colours! They are invitingly vivacious. They all have extraordinary vibrancy as they dance with great passion. The warriors are bonded by a spirit that is truly Ilonggo.

The Dinagyang shows more than an Ilonggo cultural and religious inheritance. It remains a valuable showcase for Ilonggo talent. For one, Ilonggos have got a lot of talent, and it has been their brilliant talent and performance that established their reputation across many countries. The Dinagyang includes several other festivals such as on film and the Kasadyahan, where the best of other festivals in the West Visayas participate. Some fairs, by the way, at the Dinagyang offer crafts and food as they celebrate the unique character of Ilonggos.

The city’s blessing of prosperity is celebrated with the fiesta. It is a celebration of life, love, and passion. Ilonggos are genuinely appreciative of all the success they’ve had, for one thing.

Any spectator can enjoy the liveliness of it with the rhythmical beat of the drums. For one thing, it has a lot of fantastical aspects: The dances have stories to tell as one’s thought can be in a whirl. Even from a distance the effect of the Dinagyang costumes is stunning. Its ambience is uniquely favourable to merrymaking. Everybody can go on the town.

Ilonggos are wonderful fun to be with, don’t worry. They are hospitable and welcoming. So any tourist can go out of her way to eat and mingle with the locals, or go on a bender. Grills are across the streets. One can strut her stuff and be on the tiles. Shindigs are all over. Live through the bopping and jiggling the night away and the jollity of the celebration.

Experience Iloilo City as it goes global through the Dinagyang! See you here this week. You still have time to join in the fun.



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