We are a country of festivals and fiestas. But of all the festivals I attended, I would consider the Dinagyang Festival as the most spectacular.
the Dinagyang is celebrated every fourth week of January following the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, which happens every third week of January. The same Sto. Nino image is carried from Cebu to Iloilo. The festival culminates with the fluvial procession of the image along Iloilo River. Thereafter, a week-long celebration of different activities, both of religious and cultural values, comprise the festivity.
The most exciting and much awaited events of the festival are the Kasadyahan and Ati Competitions, the latter being the highlight of the Dinagyang festival. A number of group participants with 100-150 members each representing a native Ilongo tribe compete against each other. Their bodies are painted in colorful and artistic motifs. Their costumes are elaborately well-crafted and their dance are artistically and rhythmically choreographed along with the loud trashing and drumbeats, all originally composed.
Visit Iloilo and experience Dinagyang Festival. For me, it's an experience of a lifetime.