"A portion of Quezon Avenue that's sandwiched by the Plaza Salcedo and the Ilocos Sur Capitol was the cultural rendezvous. The street flashed with colors."

[VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR, PHILIPPINES] ▬ It was a pleasurable eye-gasmic experience to see my home province gathering its citizens in the name of culture and heritage. The mountain people dwelt with the lowlanders through traditional dances and costumes. I've been longing to see an event like this for a long time now. Kannawidan Festival's 7th year finally quenched my thirst for a province-wide cultural performances.

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016


#VIGAN


A portion of Quezon Avenue that's sandwiched by the Plaza Salcedo and the Ilocos Sur Capitol was the cultural rendezvous. The street flashed with colors. My favorite part is when the mountain tribes (particularly Bago tribe) occupied the streets to show their tradition and culture through dances in front of a predominantly Bigueño crowd. For me this is a good introduction of the culture of the other side of our province to the quite ethnocentric Metro Vigan people, who oftentimes, don't even know that these tribes exist in our province. It's time to show them that we have indigenous people with culture as colorful as the heavily Spanish-influenced culture of Vigan.


  • A Brief Background

THE KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL WAS PUT INTO EXISTENCE by then Governor DV Savellano. This is what I love about the latter governor. He has many projects devoted for tourism and preservation of our cultural heritage. Take note that I am not related to this politician and neither he knows me. I rave politicians that satisfy my taste of governance. Since I love things related to travel, culture and heritage, he is by far my most favorite politician in Ilocos Sur. On the other hand, Governor Ryan Singson also deserves my applause for making the street dancing (with showdown in the Quirino Stadium) the highlight of this year's Kannawidan Festival. Basically, Saniata ti Ylocos—a beauty pageant—used to be the yearly highlight until the street dancing and cultural performance showdown came. I appreciate Gov Ryan for making this happen (Disclaimer: Again, I'm not connected to any politician in Ilocos Sur. I rave them if it's worth my rave. I also rant on them if they suck).

Here are some of the documentary photos I took during Kannawidan Festival's first ever Street Dancing and Cultural Performance Showdown.

Erratum: All photos were taken on 07 February 2016. I made a mistake watermarking my photos with a wrong date. I have no plans of re-editing the photo watermarks so sorry for that.

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

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[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016

[VIGAN] KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING 2016


I would say this is Ilocos Sur's festival of all festivals. Each town has its festival to show. So basically, the festivals from all the participating towns were brought to Vigan to gather as a single festival. This is first time in my province and I'm so happy for this move.

Note: I didn't include yet photos of the Vigan Longganisa Festival performers because I made a separate coverage of them which will be published on this blog separately.


  • My Thoughts, Observations and Some Notes from This Festival
  • THE MAIN PERFORMANCE STAGE FOR THE STREET dancing is in front of the Ilocos Sur Capitol.
  • Twenty two (22) towns participated in this Kannawidan Festival Street Dancing. The towns that didn't join are the following: San Juan, Magsingal, San Ildefonso, San Vicente, San Emilio, Galimuyod, Quirino, Cervantes, Suyo, Salcedo and San Esteban. I hope all the towns of Ilocos Sur will join next year!
  • I noticed that the predominantly Bigueño crowd didn't cheer for the performances of the mountain tribes. I noticed that some in the audience improperly laughed and I didn't see anyone displaying a Wow!-facial expression when they performed. I think the people of Metro Vigan don't appreciate [just yet] the mountain culture the way I do. The traditional Metro Vigan area which is composed of 4 towns and the city of Vigan has no mountains (well, except for the town of Bantay, which has mountains in its remote border near Abra) so the culture here is influenced by our geographical location and topography—significantly different from the upland towns of our province.
  • It seems like the performers from Gregorio del Pilar town were not prepared. Gregorio del Pilar is an upland town and they performed a tribal dance. It would have been a good introduction of the Bago culture to the people of Metro Vigan who are not so familiar about them.
  • For me, my personal favorites were the Papaya Festival of Nagbukel and the Longganisa Festival of Vigan. They won the heart of the crowd. I love the polka dots costume of the Nagbukel street dancers. The contenders from Vigan are from Ilocos Sur National High School. They won the last Longganisa Festival street dancing competition and showdown so they represented Vigan in this event. Of course, the tribal town of Sigay also did well for me but sorry to say, no applause from the crowd.
  • I was surprised with Alilem and Sugpon's performances. I thought they'll perform a Bago tribal dance since these two are parts of the Bagolandia (a term we use here to refer to towns inhabited by the Bago people). They opted to perform a traditional lowland festival. Anyway, these two towns also have a significant Ilocano population and maybe they wanted to perform an Ilocano festival dance since they're competing here in Vigan which is the heart of the Ilocano culture.
  • Thank you for the organizers because you were so friendly to photographers! Photographers were allowed to take shots beyond the designated area for spectators.
  • Sigay performed an amazing Bago tribal dance! I just feel sad that Bigueños are not yet used to seeing tribal rites in the form of dance with performers wearing g-strings while they smash their gongs to create a sound. This is I think one of the reasons why most Bigueños don't know the deeper meaning of their dances, hence, they don't appreciate them the way they appreciate the lowland festival dances. (These are just my sentiments and personal observation. I don't exactly know what these people are thinking so I based my judgment on overt suggestive behavior of the crowd. I compared the response of the crowd. The crowd was silent when tribal dances were performed. It seemed like it's new to them and they are probably figuring out what they were doing since dances like these are uncommon in Vigan streets before this Kannawidan street dancing was brought to Vigan. They cheered to death when the lowland festivals took the stage.)

Watch out for other posts I'll be publishing on this blog about Kannawidan Festival. Don't worry, I will put the links of all my posts related to this year's Kannawidan Festival so that you can follow the series. See you! / end


RELATED POSTS FOR THE KANNAWIDAN FESTIVAL 2016.

[BANTAY] ► Kannawidan Festival: Where the Countryside Superlatives Convene

[BANTAY] ► Kannawidan Festival: Where the Countryside Superlatives Convene


TEASER ▬ The superlatives in the agriculture world are here!


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post is filed under the category "Festivals." To see more posts from this category, scroll down and look for the "More Posts from this Category..." section below.

[2] All maps I used on this post are the works of Eugene Alvin Villar and Mike Gonzalez published on Wikipedia. Source: 1 | 2

More Stories from #Vigan

Map Showing the Location of #Vigan


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TEASER ▬ Festival dancers dressed themselves with both luminescence and heat-based light. They have to stand out in the dark—that is the very essence of this artful cultural event.

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TEASER ▬ This street dancing is one of the must-see events of the week-long Raniag Twilight Festival.

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TEASER ▬ The Raniag Float Parade is one of the highlights of the week-long Raniag Twilight Festival in Vigan.

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TEASER ▬ Events like this happens because this heritage city takes pride of its rich culture and heritage.

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TEASER ▬ The heart and soul were poured to those costumes. Passion was indeed evident.

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EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer


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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

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