Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fire and Fun for Anilao’s BANAAG Festival

photo by JV Perez (PALI)

The Banaag Festival of Anilao has been blazing a trail for Ilonggos for the last eight years but there is still more to see. Known to be one of the most spectacular festivals in Iloilo, Banaag is a celebration life and spirit; beauty and artistry using fire in tribal performances that mesmerize and enchant spectators. The celebration features dancers who work, tame and shape fire as they spin flaming props and hoops of fire. It is one evening that the people of Anilao hope people attending will be left enriched.

photo by JV Perez (PALI)

This celebration put on by the local government of Anilao showcases visual art inspired by fire incorporates live performers and dramatic musical scores reflecting the history and culture of its people. It explores of fire element and light in the works of local choreographers producing a complex and rare mirages that distorts images in the presentation.

photo by JV Perez (PALI)
The lighting of the fires officiated by the ever-dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Maria Theresa Debuque will be the heart of the rekindled celebration of the Fires, but the body and soul of the festival will be an incredible performances and entertainment of the competing groups, all in synergy with the incredibly uniformed theme.

photo by JV Perez (PALI)
The occasion is also accompanied by fire works from locally made firecrackers. There is no religious significance attached to it and is a purely secular festival for all Anilaonons. It is a cultural celebration unlike any other. It is showcased at night and created through the alchemy of ceremony, music, theater, dance and art. It will feature the collective talents of artists, performers, craftspeople of Anilao.

This year’s Banaag Festival 
tribal dance competition will open with a street-dancing competition at 6 in the evening followed by the performances of eight competing tribes on October 31 at 8:30 in the evening.

Witness and revel in the profound influence of fire in Anilao’s culture featuring dance and music. Come be part of it!

One can take a van or bus at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro. Anilao is located 40 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City. Comprised of 21 barangays It is bounded in the north by the town of San Enrique; the highest mountain of the town in the west; in the south by Barotac Nuevo; and the Guimaras Strait in the east.

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