Aliwan Fiesta, the Philippines’ Grandest Fiesta, held its 13th Cultural Street Dance Competition on April 25, 2015 along Roxas Boulevard. Aliwan Fiesta is a visual feast because it gathers different fiestas in the archipelago in one place on the same day. On one hand, it permits participants to show their culture through dances, costumes, floats and people. On the other hand, it enables other Filipinos and the rest of the world to see what type of heritage the participants. It is a historical and cultural show with so much flair and flavor.
Quirino Grandstand was full of people from different walks of life, some of whom have been watching Aliwan Fiesta for years while others were there to support a particular group. In the middle of a sizzling Saturday afternoon, people had hand fans to alleviate the heat and hankies to wipe the sweat dripping off their chins, but no one looked bored or irritated. Everybody knew that the heat, the hours of waiting and the expenditures for cold bottled water and junk food would seem insignificant compared to the spectacle that would unfold before their very eyes.
In this year’s competition, there were 14 contingents that came from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. As expected, the competitive contingents from Visayas (one from Cebu and two from Samar) lorded it over all the other teams. The teams from Mindanao improved by leaps and bounds compared to what they showed the last three Aliwan Fiesta editions I watched. The teams from Luzon showed up but they were crushed to pieces. Sadly, the Dinagyang contingent was absent for the second time in as many years. The Iloilo tribes’ energetic dance steps that combine brute force and sheer will and their epic props that move like feather even though they look like they weigh a ton were sorely missed . The group from Iloilo could have made the competition fiercer because they are usually trailblazers when it comes to dance steps and props.
Here are some photos and videos of the first six contingents of Aliwan Fiesta 2015:
Videos of the performance of the group Batoan (?) Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:
Video of the performance of Mayaw-Mayaw Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:
Videos of the performance of Kalivungan Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:
Video of the performance of Sambuokan Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015: