Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo that first started as a feast confined to the Parish of San Jose in 1967 to honour Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Ati people.
By 1977, it eventually grew into a replica of the Ati-Atihan Festival and is held on the fourth weekend of January or right after Sinulog in Cebu and the original Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, Aklan, where natives dance in the streets, their bodies covered with soot and ashes, to simulate the Atis dancing in celebration as the parish could no longer handle the growing challenges of the festival and also to boost tourism for Iloilo.
You can imagine as if somebody spilt a rainbow, lights and glitter across the streets and the city does not sleep at all with countless activities, events and parties starting from a few days before the actual 51st Dinagyang weekends.
And even though I was already struggling after the back-to-back holidays at the end of 2018 and the preparations to welcome the Lunar New Year but, it was all well-worth that I decided that I have to experience the festivities for myself.
Here are ten of my personal favourite shots from the Ati Tribe Competition on the morning of 27 January 2019!