Just as easily as Filipinos find an excuse to sing, they also find a reason to dance—be it for leisure, entertainment, or even for worship.
For this year’s Aliwan Fiesta—the annual cultural extravaganza organized by Manila Broadcasting Company and the Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the cities of Manila and Pasay—dance in its myriad forms takes centerstage anew, as interpreted by contingents from various regions of the country.
Metro Manila will be represented by the Banhayan of Muntinlupa, an annual thanksgiving festival held on the feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.
Antipolo, which is home to the provincial capitol of Rizal, will present Tayo na sa Antipolo Maytime festival, promoting its products and honoring its patroness – Our lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
From the Cordillera Administrative Region, Baguio City showcases its innumerable blooms for which Panagbenga has become immensely popular.
The town of Dolores, Quezon, which lies at the foot of mystic Mount Banahaw, will send their Hambujan dancers to depict the Niyogyugan festival, celebrating the coconut industry, which has sustained the province through generations.
Debuting this year are the Manggahan festival of Guimaras and the Cinco de Noviembre of Bago City, Negros Occidental.
Defending champion Manaragat festival of Catbalogan City goes for a three-peat with its stylized merging of cultural nuances and ecological preservation.
The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao fields three entries – Parang’s Padang Padang harvest festival, Datu Piang’s Inaul festival, and Upi’s Meguyaya.
Rounding up this year’s festival dance competition is the contingent from Sarangani, which will present the Timpuyog festival, where Lumads, Muslims, and Christians alike gather to preserve and propagate their cultural heritage.
Aliwan Fiesta will be held on April 20 to 22, with the grand culminating parade traversing Roxas Boulevard from Quirino Grandstand to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex.