Aliwan Fiesta 2013: Bigger and Better than ever!

Posted by on April 15, 2013

It’s a fact. Aliwan fiesta is getting bigger and better each year. This year we saw 17 festivals compete for the 1Million Peso Grand Prize at the Aliwan Fiesta 2013 edition.

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Based on the last eight Aliwan Fiestas that i have covered. Seventeen is quite a small number. But this is also very understandable as there’s also a trend that the number of contingents actually goes down during the election year.

We may have seen fewer contingents this year, but the intensity of the competition is still there. This year we saw four first timers enter the Top 10.

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Meguyaya Festival

During the entire streetdancing competiton, it was clear that Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival is set to take home their 4th straight Aliwan Fiesta Crown. But the battle for the second to tenth place is quite tough. One could not easily say which festival is going home with the Half Million Prize as the second place winner.

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Dinagyang Festival

One thing is sure, Almost all of Mindanao Contingents have leveled up. Everyone has improved. The costumes are really eye-catching, the choreography has also improved. Kudos to all the choreographers who has really made so much effort in incorporating folklore, legends and local practices into their dances.

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This is how Aliwan fiesta should be. a festival showcasing the cultural diversity of the Philippines.

I am emuch delighted to see the performances of Kalivungan Festivalof Midsyap North Cotabato, Padang Padang Festival of Parang Maguindanao, Meguyaya Festival of Upi Maguindanao and Adivay Festival of Kabayan Benguet.

Padang-Padang Festival and Meguyaya Festival are no strangers to me. These festivals have been joining the Aliwan for quite sometime now, but has never been near the top 5 spot.

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Masinloc Zambales’ Mango Festival

A few weeks ago, I made my forecast. (Read: This was even before the competition) In no particular order my top 5 were Dinagyang from Iloilo, Zamboanga Hermosa, Meguyaya Festival, PadangPadang Festival, and Sagayan Festival.

Right after the competition, I changed my Top 5 to Dinagyang, Meguyaya, Padang Padang, Kalivungan, and Adivay.

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Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

I was surprised at Kalivungan Festival. I have seen their prior performances in youtube as well as their blocking rehearsal performance. The dance was not really polished. but they have greatly improved. Very good execution.

Adivay Festival of Kabayan Benguet is one of the biggest surprises of all. Adivay is a first timer, so nobody really expected them to shine during the Saturday’s competition,. They were actually the Champion of this year’s Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City.

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Adivay Festival of Benguet

Thsyear, we also witnessed another first in aliwan fiesta. This time they gave out special awards for the StreetDancing Competition.

Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival bagged the Best in Costume and Best in Music Award, while the Adivay Festival won the Best in Folkloric Interpretation.

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Pasaka Festival

At the end of the day, Iloilo Dinagyang claimed their fourth straightAliwan Fiesta title. It as a convincing win, I must say. I like the concept of dinagyang this year. They portrayed the Ilongo folklore Bakunawa. the mythical sea dragon that eats the moon from the heavens which causes the lunar eclipse.

Aside from the Grand Street Dancing competition, there’s also the Reyna ng Aliwan and the Float Competition.

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Sagayan Festival of Parang Maguindanao

Cebu Sinulog’s Jamie Herrell won the fifth straight Reyna ng aliwan for Cebu. foour of these five titles courtesy of Cebu Sinulog Festival. Last year’s reyna ng aliwan was from toledo City Cebu representing the Hinulawan Festival. I dunno if any town city or province can still beat this 5-year streak. Cebu is indeed a province of pretty ladies.

For the float Category, It was also a convincing win (at least for me!) for Alang lang Leyte. The float is entitled Bahandi han Eastern Visayas. the float showcases the jewels of the region that they are truly pruoud of. among them the Basey Banig, San Juanico Bridge and other products. Festival dancers dressed in various costumes were also on the float.

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Alang alang Leyte’s Float

All in all, it was a grande celebration of the Cultural diversity of the Philippines. Once again we show to the world that we are a nation of love to party. We are a nation of talented dancers, musicians, and artisans. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Aliwan Fiesta 2013 is a great success. In the 11th year of Aliwan Fiesta this is probably the most attended edition ever. There were just so many photographers and spectators from Quirino Grandstand, along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard down to Aliw theater.

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Congratulations to Manila Broadcasting company for successfully stagin the aliwan Fiesta this year. Next Year naman! I hope that by 2014 more festival would compete. I am hoping to see Surigao’s Bonok Bonok Marajaw Karajaw, Bacolod MassKara Festival, Camiguin’s Lanzones, Pintaflores festival of San Carlos city, Kadayawan sa Davao, Talakudong of Tacurong, Buyogan of Abuyog, Lingganay of alang alang leyte, and Lumad Basakanon of Cebu Sinulog Festival.

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Comments (5)


  1. zodio says:

    wow. I live just around the block. How could i have possibly missed this?!? No idea that these festivals were competitions. It will definitely bring out the best…

  2. jakeson says:

    Masskara Festival could not join the Aliwan Fiesta as the province of Negros Occidental is also celebrating the Panaad sa Negros that coincides with the same month. Pero much better din talaga sana kung makakasali sila.

  3. Enrico Dee says:

    jakeson masskara has been invited by MBC countless of times. the city does not have the budget or shall i say… is not willing to invest for tourism promotions via aliwan. ive been talking to the Silver Masskara Foundation peeps sevral times about this.

  4. kt says:

    Dang! I wanna go there too!

  5. Bianca says:

    Man, next time this will be on my list!

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