September in Iligan City is the month-long celebration of the Dyandi Festival. Originally a rite performed by the Dumagats, Maranaos and the Higaonons to pay homage to their patron saint, Saint Michael. It’s a multi-cultural celebration passed through generations now practiced by Christians, Muslims and the natives. It was in 2004 when the city established the Dyandi Festival as their tourism identity. Among the highlight of this month-long revelry is the Kasadya Streetdancing Competition.
It was in September 2013 last year, around this time when I witnessed the Kasadya Streetdancing event amidst the Waterfalling 2.0 (WAT2) organized by the Iligan Bloggers Society. Nine contingents from different barangays in Iligan City donned their colorful and creative costumes to vie for the grand prize.
We caught the groups at the port where they assembled, do last minute touches on their make-ups, fixes on their costumes and rehearsals before they hit the streets. I could see that all of the groups spent time and resources on their stunning costumes. We also had a glimpse of their routines for their 5-minute street dance performance before hitting the streets en route to the Anahaw Amphitheater for their stage performance.
Their dance routines reflect the harmonious relationship between the Dumagats (Christians), Maranaos (Muslims) and Higaonons (lumads). Part of their performance is the Yawa, a depiction of a battle between good and evil represented by Archangel San Miguel and a demon. Waking up early to catch the street performance was worth it. We didn’t manage to catch the grand showdown at the Anahaw Park since we had a full itinerary for the day. But I did enjoy watching the street performance.
Barangay Saray was the grand winner for 2013 Kasadya Streetdancing Competition. We had the same sentiments when we saw them rehearsing as the group had meticulous costumes, well coordinated, captivating routine and had that wow-effect on their performance.
For more info on the Dyandi Festival and the Kasadya Streetdancing Competition, do follow their facebook at /DyandiFestival.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.