Sunday, January 5, 2014

KASADYAHAN: Celebrating Cultural Diversity in Western Visayas

KAING Festival, Leon, Iloilo, photo by Ray Tabafunda

Twelve (12) non-contesting participating tribes from different provinces and cities in the region will showcase their local festivals in this year Kasadyahan scheduled on January 25. The four assigned judging areas in carousel type at the Freedom Grandstand, Maria Clara Street, Quezon-Ledesma Streets and at the Provincial Capitol will highlight the following tribes: (1) Tribu Banigan of the municipality of Libertad, Province of Antique, (2) Saad Festival of the municipality of Leganes, Iloilo, (3) Manggahan Festival of Guimaras Province, (4) Tribu Hugyaw Kansilay of Silay City, Negros Occidental, (5) Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School, Iloilo City, (6) Sinadya Sa Halaran of Roxas City, Capiz, (7) Tribu Hugyaw of St. Therese MTC-Colleges, Iloilo City, (8) Tribu Lacsonian of John B. Lacson Maritime University, Iloilo City, (9) Kalibo Sto. Nino Ai-Atihan Festival of the Province of Aklan, (10) Bacolod Masscara Festival of Bacolod City, (11) Tribu Kaing of the municipality of Leon, Iloilo and (12) Tribu Busilak-San Carlos Pinta Flores Festival of Negros Occidental.

SINADYA SA HALARAN Festival, Roxas City, Capiz, photo courtesy of DOT-VI

The city of Iloilo brings threads of regional culture together in one place during the annual Kasadyahan Festival, held every 4th Saturday of January. It is also a spectacular festival packed with a variety of dance presentations that draws visitors from all over the world. This festival celebrates the indigenous culture of Western Visayas with handicrafts and performers.

Western Visayas is the festival region of the country. Throughout the whole region, colorful and vibrant festivals range through musical, religious, cultural and harvest to name just a few. These festivals have been successful in attracting domestic and foreign visitors in great numbers, and recently have encouraged the Regional Office of the Department of Tourism to preserve and prosper these regional festivals. The celebration of these festivals will surely improve the overall image of the Western Visayas and show the acceptance of cultural diversity. It will keep alive the older traditions and provide entertainment to the people.

Tribu Hugyaw of St. Therese MTC-Colleges, Iloilo City,
photo by Ray Tabafunda

With colorful parades combining traditional music and dance, Kasadyahan Festival immerses spectators in local culture in a way no museum can. The sound of folk music and the beat of the drums usher everyone to dance in the streets. And every year brings a new cultural group, from local universities to neighboring provincial festivals.

KALIBO ATI-ATIHAN Festival, photo courtesy of DOT -VI
Music, parades, dressing up, beauty contests, dancing in the streets, drinking, feasting, fire crackers - Filipinos love a good party and there is nothing like a festival to generate the right mood. 

For Filipinos, festivals are great opportunities to join in and have fun. Towns and cities all have their own festival days, usually a local saint's day, an important historical event or highlighting the main product or industry in the area. 

Festivals hold a favored place in the Filipino culture. Some are celebrated throughout the country. Others are regional, municipal or city specific.

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