Aliwan Fiesta 2015, Part I

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.

The crowd at Quirino Grandstand (right side) watching Aliwan Fiesta 2015

The crowd at Quirino Grandstand (right side) watching Aliwan Fiesta 2015

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.

The epic props of Dinagyang contingent to Aliwan Fiesta 2012. That eagle moved and it had eaglets that also moved.  I did not see anything like this in this year's Aliwan Fiesta.

The epic props of Dinagyang contingent to Aliwan Fiesta 2012. That ginormous eagle moved around during the performance and  it had eaglets that also moved. I did not see anything like this in this year’s Aliwan Fiesta. Photo by John.

Here are some photos and videos of the first six contingents of Aliwan Fiesta 2015:

Sagayan Festival of Datu Piang, Maguindanao before they started their performance

Sagayan Festival of Datu Piang, Maguindanao before they started their performance

Sagayan Festival from Maguindanao

Sagayan Festival from Maguindanao

Sagayan Festival of Datu Piang, Maguindanao performing at Aliwan Fiesta 2015

Sagayan Festival of Datu Piang, Maguindanao performing at Aliwan Fiesta 2015

The float of Sagayan Festival of Maguindanao

The float of Sagayan Festival of Maguindanao

Batoan (?) Festival from Isabela

Batoan (?) Festival from Isabela

Batoan (?) Festival from Isabela

Batoan (?) Festival from Isabela

Videos of the performance of the group Batoan (?) Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:

 

 

Float that showcases indigenous materials from Isabela

Float that showcases indigenous materials from Isabela

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival of Pinabacdao, Samar. This was one of the favorites to win the grand prize at Aliwan Fiesta 2015.

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival of Pinabacdao, Samar. This was one of the favorites to win the grand prize at Aliwan Fiesta 2015.

These performers came from under the brown cloth seen on the photo above. They moved like lightning and the crowd cheered to show its appreciation.

These performers came from under the brown cloth seen on the photo above. They moved like lightning and the crowd cheered to show its appreciation.

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival placed 3rd in Aliwan Fiesta 2015.

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival placed 3rd in Aliwan Fiesta 2015.

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival (Samar)

Mayaw-Mayaw Festival (Samar)

Props of Mayaw-Mayaw Festival group. The objects on the top photo are vegetables.

Props of Mayaw-Mayaw Festival group. The objects on the top photo are vegetables.

Aaaand there were flowers. The crowd shrieked and applaused at the sight of flowers. To be fair, the flowers moved simultaneously as the changed colors and formations.

Aaaand there were flowers. The crowd shrieked and applaused at the sight of flowers. To be fair, the flowers moved simultaneously as the changed colors and formations.

Video of the performance of Mayaw-Mayaw Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:

 

Float from Samar

Float from Samar

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province. Their props and their costumes complement each other.

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province

Kalivungan Festival from Cotabato Province

Videos of the performance of Kalivungan Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:

 

 

Float from Cotabato Province

Float from Cotabato Province

Boling Boling Festival from Catanauan, Quezon

Boling Boling Festival from Catanauan, Quezon

Float from Quezon

Float from Quezon

Another float from Quezon

Another float from Quezon

Sambuokan Festival from Mati, Davao Oriental

Sambuokan Festival from Mati, Davao Oriental

Sambuokan Festival from Mati, Davao Oriental. The only group that used a fire truck because their number involved water, and lots of it.

Sambuokan Festival from Mati, Davao Oriental. The only group that used a fire truck because their number involved water. I liked the first part of their performance where someone descended from the falls and was carried by “water”. Of course, there were more flowers. More shrieks and applause from the audience.

Video of the performance of Sambuokan Festival during Aliwan Fiesta 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Aliwan Fiesta 2015, Part I

    1. Next year, you HAVE to join us in watching Aliwan Fiesta. 🙂 Watching it live and cheering for a particular group if your province/municipality sent one, or just shouting and shrieking were so much fun. Meeting neutral or hardcore fans from other places was part of the experience, too.

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