I’m the typical hopeful romantic. So even if I had no ticket for the annual Kasadyahan celebration (one of the major events of the Dinagyang Festival) and no official media/photographer’s ID, I woke up really early and ventured into the crowded streets of down town Iloilo armed with nothing but hopeful romanticism and a digital camera.
Good thing I found a spot right behind the fountain in front of the old provincial capitol building. I rented a monoblock chair from a bunch of guys who were taking advantage of the lack of seats at the guest area. And for the sum of 200 pesos I found myself standing on my monoblock chair and enjoying the view. As expected, the Kasadyahan participants performed with their backs to me, hence my very limited camera angles, hahaha. The pictures I managed to take are products of sheer luck and I saw more action behind the scenes (with the dancers frantically changing costumes, throwing bandanas, headresses and props all over the place) rather than the actual performance at the front. It doesn’t help at all when you’re a short girl standing at the tip of your toes. Haha
History. “Kasadyahan” is an Ilonggo word that roughly translates to “happiness”. And rightly so, because the festive affair centers around the theme of thanksgiving and merrymaking.
The festival showcases cultural dance presentations from all over the island and the entire visayan region with this year’s participants coming from as far away as Miag-ao, Antique, Capiz, and Silay City in Negros. For some time now, the Kasadyahan festival has become a battle of champions with most of the participating tribes or tribus being contest winners from various fiestas or festivals around Western Visayas.
Despite the heat and the effort of dancing through the entire length of the down town area, most of the performers were still dancing and smiling their hearts out. And because of my “strategic” location, I had the privilege of witnessing a rather broader variety of emotions.
Like these girls running off for a quick change of costumes at the back of the judging area…
Or the equally lovely sight of feet, stomping in unison.
There were times when I just couldn’t see a thing when some of the tribes had back drops as huge as a house. So instead, I turned my attention to the people who had a way better view!
While the busy street peddlers didn’t quite mind not seeing any of it.
The Kasadyahan Festival is also a smorgasbord of various DIY’s with props ranging from the ginormous…
…to the thoroughly cultural. Like these handwoven baskets made of bamboo strips.
It is a beautiful blur of colors…
a vibrant mix of candid emotions…
And true to its name, the Kasadyahan Festival is a display of Visayans, having lots and lots of fun!
Hala Bira Iloilo! 🙂