Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo--January 2015

It was another raining morning as I left the Check Inn Hotel by moto-taxi to the fast boat pier in Bacolod to Iloilo. The cost was 250 pesos for the 1 hour 15 minute journey. The seas were pretty rough with water occasionally washing over the boat as it plowed its way to Iloilo.

It was good to finally arrive at the Iloilo pier.

As I left the pier several touts wanted me to take their taxi or moto-trike, but I was planning to walk into town which looked like a short distance on the map. I then came to a partially filled jeepney so I hopped aboard and passed up my 10 pesos and was passed two pesos in change. Good thing I jumped on the jeepney for it was a lot longer ride than I figured.

When I heard some incredibly loud chorus of drums and chanting, I got off. There was a grandstand, but all of the tickets had been sold so I just stood behind the crowd getting a small glimpse of the performance. They called this the Dinagyang Festival which occurs here during the 4th week in January---lucky me. I continued on until I reached Iznart St. There I saw several groups along the street lined up to enter these area where they would perform their dances in front of the grandstand.

There were lots of crowds, food stalls and souvenier sales folks along this street as well as three or four other parallel streets where they had other performance areas in front of other grandstands.

The Dinagyang festival celebrats Santo Nino and is much like a mardi gras party with tribes from all over the Philippines compete for a 175,000 peso prize. Included in the parade were also several corportations like Pepsi, local food chains, mobile phone companies, etc.

There were also floats of hugh tree houses, monsters, monkey filled trees and woodland creatures.

Here I am with one of the ram characters--not sure if this was a guy or gal though.

Just as the parade ended, we had a huge rainstorm that got everybody running for cover. I just retreated to a local Resto bar for some bbqd chicken, calamari, and fried eggplant washed down with a San Miguel. I then returned to my Riverside Inn hotel that had doubled the room rate during the festival to 1765 pesos for the night.

Early tomorrow, I fily to the Palawan Islands by Cebu Air at a cost of 1961 pesos--about $40 for an hour flight.

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