Celebrities pay homage to Sto. Niño

 Jeric Gonzales, JC Tiuseco and Pancho Magno with the ‘Muyta It Kalibo’ 2014 winners

Jeric Gonzales, JC Tiuseco and Pancho Magno with the ‘Muyta It Kalibo’ 2014 winners

Joins Visayans in the Ati-Atihan, Sinulog, and Dinagyang festivals

GMA Network, through its regional arm GMA Regional TV, kicked off the year in an energetic beat with its participation in three of the grandest and merriest festivals in the Visayas region—the Ati-Atihan in Aklan, Sinulog in Cebu, and Dinagyang in Iloilo—all celebrated in reverence to the Holy Child Jesus.

Eager to liven up the annual January festivals, the cast of the network’s newest dramas, led by Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera participated in special events all throughout the festival week.

Andrea Torres with ‘Lakan It Kalibo’ 2014’s second runner-up

Andrea Torres with ‘Lakan It Kalibo’ 2014’s second runner-up

With GMA Network being the strategic media partner, this year’s Ati-Atihan Festival—dubbed as the “Mother of all Philippine Festivals”—featured performances from Dantes together with Rhodora X’s Jennylyn Mercado, Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, and Mark Anthony Fernandez during a Kapuso Night at the jam-packed Pastrana Park on January 14. The show left around 15,000 supporters starry eyed from the celebrity sightings.

Of the many times he has been to Aklan, Dantes revealed why looked forward to joining the Ati-Atihan all the more this year: “It’s different now to be here for the Ati-Atihan Festival because I know that despite all the calamities that struck the Visayas last year, we still have reason to celebrate life.  Being here is one of the ways we can show the world the uniqueness of this province, and the reason why I’m grateful for the chance to celebrate with the people of Aklan.”

 A lucky gentleman of Aklan gets to escort the lovely Isabelle Daza at the ‘Pagdayaw kay Señor Sto. Niño’ parade

A lucky gentleman of Aklan gets to escort the lovely Isabelle Daza at the ‘Pagdayaw kay Señor Sto. Niño’ parade

The concert was followed by the Pagdayaw kay Señor Sto. Niño “Sinaot sa Calle” Float Parade on January 15, which featured Isabelle Daza, Thea Tolentino and Andrea Torres, escorted by the Lakan It Kalibo 2014 winners. Joining them were Jeric Gonzales, JC Tiuseco, and Pancho Magno, who, in turn, ushered the Mutya It Kalibo winners during said parade.

At 7 p.m. of the same day, a sizzling Kapuso Hala Bira Dance Showdown ensued at Magsaysay Park with Julian Trono as guest judge.

On January 19, the network aired the live coverage of the pilgrims’ mass at the Kalibo Cathedral titled, Señor Santo Niño de Kalibo Pilgrims’ Mass, across GMA Regional TV Stations, with a live streaming via GMA News Online.

Meanwhile in the Queen City of the South, it was an equally lively celebration with the artists who joined Cebu’s Sinulog—the annual festivity that celebrates the conversion of early Cebuanos to Catholicism.

 Thea Tolentino with a ‘Lakan It Kalibo’ 2014 finalist

Thea Tolentino with a ‘Lakan It Kalibo’ 2014 finalist

Successful back-to-back mall shows took place on January 17 featuring the lovely pair of Kristoffer Martin and Kim Rodriguez from Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw, and The Borrowed Wife’s Pauleen Luna, TJ Trinidad, Rafael Rosell, and Camille Prats at the Gaisano Grand Fiesta Mall Tabunok and at The Terraces of Ayala Center, respectively.

On January 18, GMA’s Marian Rivera fulfilled her promise to Cebuanos when she returned to one of her favorite cities and celebrate their fiesta via another back-to-back mall show with her Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw leading man Alden Richards.

Rivera, who has been very active in helping the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Central Visayas, said at the end of her shows, “It’s such a feeling to be able to see and be with those you want to help, instead of just seeing them on TV.”

Along with GMA Network’s assistant vice president and head for RTV-IMS Oliver Victor Amoroso, GMA TV Central and Eastern Visayas station manager Ann Marie Tan, and Bantayan Island Association of Hotels, Resorts, Bars, and Restaurants Inc. president Allan Monreal, Rivera also signed a memorandum of agreement for the “Kapuso Adopt-A-Bangka Project,” a media campaign that intends to help provide long term livelihood opportunities to those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Northern Cebu by rehabilitating and rebuilding their bancas through the help of various sponsors.

By January 19, Rivera and Richards boarded the Kapuso float that toured the major streets of Cebu City for the Grand Sinulog parade.

Not to be outdone was the Network’s participation in the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo where thousands of raving fans welcomed Jennylyn Mercado, Mark Herras, and Yasmien Kurdi, together with Camille Pratts, TJ Trinidad, Rafael Rosel, and Dingdong Dantes once more.

Mercado, whose family is from Cebu and Leyte, was thrilled to celebrate the Dinagyang where a packed Robinson’s Iloilo greeted her and her co-stars on January 24.

Dantes, who also has roots in Iloilo, participated in an outreach activity benefiting the students of Yusay Memorial Elementary School before joining the roadshow.

On January 25, Prats, Trinidad and Rafael joined the vibrant Kasadyahan parade of the Ilonggos. As they toured the major streets of the city, the stars enjoyed mingling with their fans, shaking their hands, and taking photos with them.

The annual Ati Tribe Competition, the biggest contest of the festival, came the next day, with Adarna lead actor Geoff Eigenmann and actress-host Isabelle Daza hosting the affair. By evening, SM City Iloilo witnessed Miss Saigon-bound Rachelle Ann Go’s singing prowess in a mall show with Eigenmann.

The highlights of these exciting scenes from the Sinulog and Dinagyang Festivals will be aired in the Let’s Fiesta TV Special, which airs tonight and February 9 respectively, via the network’s regional stations in Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Dagupan, Ilocos, GenSan, Bacolod, and CDO.


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