Thursday, January 6, 2011

KASADYAHAN: the Best of Iloilo Festivals, All in One Place!

photo by Jose de Luna

If one of Iloilo’s festivals is great fun, what would a bunch of them at one time be like?

Iloilo is one that thoroughly understands the importance of preserving its rich history and many unique cultural flavors. Iloilo has the biggest and most-prolonged cultural celebrations in the country. All year round, Iloilo is in permanent celebration as the diversity of festivals leave spectators in awe. These local cultural attractions do not only showcase the beauty of the different destinations but also fosters an understanding of our rich history and culture. Many of these festivals have become tourist attractions on their own.

The annual celebration of Kasadyahan every 4th Saturday of January is an incredible opportunity to sample Ilonggo celebrations that brings the culture of the different towns in Iloilo out into the city streets.

Kasadyahan was conceptualized by the local residents and the provincial government of Iloilo a few years after the birth of Dinagyang. It started as out as Mardi Gras with participation from city schools, universities and private organizations. Now more than 30 years old, it represents a kaleidoscopic view of dazzling culture and customs of the different participating towns. It features something from almost every festival in Iloilo. It helps in strengthening the integrity of Iloilo and also in preserving the generations-old folk traditions.

Bayluhay Festival of San Joaquin, Iloilo, photo by Jose de Luna

It is a time when Ilonggos celebrate their cultural heritage through dance, music, and the arts. Audiences can enjoy a variety of presentations in theatrical performance type and music series to entertain even the youngest spectators. All this makes up Kasadyahan with its variety intended for all types of audiences.

As always, the different participating municipal festivals are the highlight of the celebration. Listings feature diverse themes and styles suited to every taste, without sacrificing the quality of the festival involved. For this year, nine (9) towns are scheduled to participate: Tribu BINANOG of the Municipality of Lambuanao; Tribu HILIUSA of the Municipality of Barotac Nuevo; Tribu KASAG of the Municipality of Banate; TRIBU PAGDIHON of the Municipality of Dingle; Tribu PANDAYAN of the Municipality of Lambunao; Tribu PANTAT of the Municipality of Zarraga; Tribu PATUBAS of the Municipality of Barotac Viejo and, Tribu TINUOM of the Municipality of Cabatuan.

Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo, photo by Jose de Luna

Kasadyahan actively supports local festivals with the aim of enriching the cultural variety on offer in our province. It has allowed the different towns in the province of Iloilo to enjoy its share of widespread fame that has positioned them through this cultural event. At the same time, artists from different artistic fields are invited to take part. Through this activity, our youth who are more attracted to western culture will get to know about the age-old rich traditions and culture of our fore-fathers.

Although it takes a considerable amount of time to put this quality of presentations and to put this lineup together, Dr. Eden Deriada, Kasadyahan Festival Chairperson believes that the celebration help in reviving the local culture and that it plays a vital role in uniting the Ilonggos by bringing together our municipal festivals.

The unending beat of the drums and Ilonggo’s pre-disposition for a good party, the result---a flamboyant display of folk dances, colors and fun. Definitely it is an event that should not be missed.

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