Saturday, January 9, 2010

Celebrate Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang Festival this January

In line with the celebration of Sinulog Festival on January 8-17 in Cebu and Dinagyang Festival on January 18 - 24 in Iloilo ABS-CBN Regional Network Group launches their January Festival Campaign with their tagline Bilib sa Kulturang Pinoy.

The Sinulog Festival is held on the third week of January on Cebu which on this year the celebration begins on January 8th until the 17th. The festival honors the Child Jesus or the Sto. Niño. The celebration is done through a ritual dance that commemorates the pagan origin of the Cebuanos and their acceptance of the Roman Catholic faith. The Sinulog Festival features street parade where participants wear bright colored costumes and dancing with the rhythm of drums, gongs and trumpets. The festival usually held at the Cebu City Sport Complex. The festival lasts for 9 days in which it reaches its peak during the fluvial procession in the morning and followed by a foot procession in the afternoon where it ends at the Basilica Minore de Sto. Nino de Cebu (Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebu) and re-enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu takes place. Sinulog came from a Cebuano word “sulog” which means like water current movement which shows on the street parade where participants forward-backward movement (two forward and one backward). The Sinulog festival is also open to other Visayan and Mindanao participants. This year ABS-CBN Regional Network Group brings Kapamilya artist like Banana Split funny men John Prats and Jason Gainza and ‘And I Love You Goodbye’ star Angelica Panganiban with their special production numbers and a special meet and greet with their fans at the Ayala Parking, Cebu City on January 16, 4pm for the Kapamilya Karavan in Cebu. Cebu City celebrates it 30th Anniversary this year.

After the fun and excitement on Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, it’s Iloilo’s turn to celebrate its devotion to the Holy Child on their Dinagyang Festival on January 18 – 24. The Dinagyang started when Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, introduced the devotion to the Sto. Niño in 1967, as Fr. Sulpicio Enderez gave a replica of the original image of the Santo Niño de Cebu to the Confradia del Santo Niño de Cebu, in San Jose Parish in Iloilo City. Dinagyang came from a Hiligaynon word dagyang which means merry making. The event is divided into two major happenings, the Kasadyahan Street Dancing where it showcases performance from different towns in Iloilo and the Ati Ati Street Dancing an Aklan like Ati Atihan where participants are called tribe or tribus. Unlike the Sinulog, Dinagyang’s movement is fast and mimicking the stance of the Ati warriors of the past with the rhythm of the drum beats. Dinagyang traces its roots from Aklan Ati-Atihan.

ABS-CBN Regional Network Group's January Festival Campaign

Ati-Atihan in Aklan is celebrated every 3rd weekend of January. Called as the “Mother of the Philippine festivals,” the practice of street dancing dates back since time immemorial (or as some officials say, it’s a seven century old practice) by the Aklanons who dance with the beat of the drums at the streets of Kalibo. The participants are in black soot or outlandish costumes and the dance step is simple...just dance to the beat of the drums! Like Sinulog, Ati Atihan is originally a pagan festival where through dancing thay give homage to the anitos and as the Spanish missionaries came they included Christianity to the festival though the devotion to the Sto. Niño.

The only thing I can say is that the Filipino culture is rich and I am proud of it.

* Festival logo and video courtesy of ABS-CBN Regional Network Group.
* Sinulog and Dinagyang photos courtesy of Bernardo Arellano of

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