Every April, a couple of festivals representing provinces and cities from all over the Philippines gather at the nation’s capital to perform their local dances during the Aliwan Fiesta. In my opinion, there aren’t any other time where one can witness a more diverse sense of Philippine culture than the Aliwan Fiesta so I’ve always made it one of my biggest agendas in my travel calendar. It’s now my second time experiencing the Aliwan Fiesta and, sans the almost unbearable summer heat, it was so worth the airfare!

Halamang Dilaw Festival of Bulacan

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival of Zamboanga City

It’s great to see my hometown, Iloilo, represented by our biggest festivals, perform in other places and see people living outside Iloilo cheer for them. It’s also a great experience to have the chance to witness other festivals perform and learn more about the history and customs of other places in real life.

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City

The Aliwan Fiesta has actually become infamous for its street dance competition, wherein the festivals not only perform to delight the audience but also to compete for the championship title. The rankings have always pestered (local travel) blog-o-sphere and social networking sites like facebook and youtube with endless “city vs city” (CVC) and “festival vs festival” comment wars. I’d prefer if these shameful discussions stop but I’m beginning to think that regionalism is human nature. I just wish people will stop dwelling too much on it and just focus on more productive aspects of Aliwan.

Lapay Bantique Festival of Masbate

More photos including videos of the festival parade performances during the Aliwan 2010 can be viewed at PuebloPhilippines.com.