Festive merry-making is one of the most defining traits of the Filipino. Our buoyant spirit, which readily manifests itself even in the most mundane circumstances of everyday life, bursts into unbridled proportions during local feasts. Thus, many balikbayans time their trips back home to coincide with their respective town fiestas. It is also why fiesta-hopping has become the most convenient excuse for traveling throughout the islands to savor our myriad cultures.
When the Aliwan Fiesta unfolds from April 24 to 26, local residents and foreign tourists alike will witness once more the cornucopia of sights and sounds that has made the event a popular destination during the summer months.
Now on its 12th year under the aegis of Manila Broadcasting Co., Star City, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with the cities of Manila and Pasay, it is a grand cultural extravaganza that brings together the country’s most popular festivals, showcasing Filipino revelry to the max. The grand parade will kick off at the Quirino Grandstand at 4 p.m., traversing Roxas Boulevard enroute to the Aliw Theater at the CCP Complex where a star-studded awarding ceremony and fireworks display will cap the festivities.
Participants include the Kalilangan festival of General Santos City; the Caragan festival of Mabalacat, Pampanga; Bato Art festival of Luna, Isabela; Kalivungan festival of Matalam, North Cotabato; Panagbenga of Baguio City; Sagayan festival of Mother Kabuntalan, Maguindanao; Boling-Boling festival of Catanauan, Quezon: Adivay festivalof Benguet; Halamanan festival of Guiguinto, Bulacana; T’nalak festival of Sto Nino, South C otabato; Dawa festival of Gonzaga, Cagayan; Meguyaya festival of Upi, Maguindanao; Pamulinawen festival of Laoag, Ilocos Norte; and the Pandang Gitab festival of Oriental Mindoro.
With the non-participation of Iloilo Dinagyang underscored by the confirmation of Sinulog’s Lumad Basakanon, competition is expected to be intense. The contingent from San Nicolas, Cebu was elevated to the Hall of Fame for three consecutive Aliwan Fiesta championships in 2006 to 2008 and took a five-year hiatus, during which various tribes from Iloilo took home the coveted title.
Towns participating in the Aliwan Fiesta may also join the float design competition, where master-craftsmen outdo each other in depicting their respective provinces in mammoth proportions
As their inspiration, some of the country’s loveliest young ladies will ride their floats and compete in the search for Festival Queen, traditionally called the “Reyna ng Aliwan.”
Amid this kaleidoscope of color, amateur and professional photographers are expected to take their best shots during the grand parade on April 26 for the Aliwan Fiesta photo competition under the theme “Sining Makulay.”
The Aliwan Fiesta will also feature a shoppers bazaar along Sotto Street at the CCP Complex, which will be anchored on the “One Town, One Product” campaign enabling visitors to bring home unique pasalubong from the provinces.
For inquiries, call 832-6125, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto
the official website at www.aliwanfiesta.com.ph.