Monday, January 2, 2012

SM City Dinagyang Festival 2012

What is Iloilo Dinagyang Festival?

Commonly known as the Iloilo Ati-Atihan festival, Dinagyang began after Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, a Roman Catholic priest introduced the devotion to Senior Santo Niño in November 1967. A year after, a replica of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo by Fr. Sulpicio Enderez as a gift to the parish of San Jose. The faithful devotees led by the members of The Confradia Del Santo Niño de Cebu- Iloilo Chapter and further improved and developed the image by providing its proper recognition by parading it down the streets of Iloilo.

Before, the execution of the feast was only limited to the parish priest. It was patterned with The Ati-Atihan of Ibajay Aklan where natives would cover their bodies with ash and soot and merrily dance in the streets to commemorate and imitate the native Atis in celebration of the birth and good harvest of Panay. This was the main model of the Dinagyang festival.
In the year 1977, President Marcos ordered numerous regions of  in the Philippines to come up with local festivals in order to help boost the tourism value of the country. The local government of Iloilo City enthusiastically recognized the Iloilo Ati-atihan as a legal festival for Iloilo, a perfect scheme to control and develop the mounting challenges in celebrating the said religious event.

The festival is then divided into three Major events:

The Ati-Ati Street Dancing, wherein local youth and academic groups form tribes or “Tribus” and dancers called as warrior to portray a dance drama that depict and showcases the native history of Iloilo. There are a number of requirements, including that the performers must paint their skin brown and that only indigenous materials can be used for the costumes. All dances are performed to drum music.

The Kasadyahan Street Dancing, is done a day before the Ati-ati Street Dancing. This portrays different dances that praise and thank the Gods for a fruitful harvest.

Miss Dinagyang is a prestigious beauty pageant that showcases lovely ladies of Iloilo City to vie for the title of Miss Iloilo Dingayang. The winner of the said event will have the honors to officially open the Ati-ati Street Dancing contest together with distinguished guests and public officials.

Dinagyang was voted as the best Tourism Event for 2006, 2007 and 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines. It is the first festival in the world to get the support of the United Nations for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals, and cited by the Asian Development Bank as Best Practice on government, private sector & NGO cooperation.

This year, the Iloilo Dinagyang foundation together with SM City Iloilo has prepared various events for both local and foreign tourists. For the official events and updates of SM City Iloilo, follow us on twitter @SMCityIloilo
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