As an annual tradition, the Dinagyang Festival ends on a Sunday with the Ati-Ati Dance Competition. It's a must-watch show as it showcases the different tribes from all over the island and presents an eye-popping array of cultural dances.
Way back in the earlier years, tribes and dancers would always be in their best replica of an "ATI". An Ati is an early settler on the Panay Island and considered to be the "natives". In honor of Sto. Nino, they would have dance rituals as a form of praise.
Here's a glimpse on the first few tribes who performed.
|Here's an example of the huge catchy props from one of the tribes. - A deer.|
Dancers are usually practicing for months just for their performance. They are also trained to be fit and physically energetic as they have to dance the same tribal dance for 3 places in one day. From the Freedom Grand where they'd usually begin, they won't actually stop dancing as they will have to move to another stage which is at the Capitol. Then they have to move to another location. As what I've seen on television, they'd move to Sports Complex as well. Just imagine how tiring could that be especially knowing that it has always been a hot day ever since!
|Another eye-catching jumbo props. Human acting as supernatural creatures are really coming out of its mouth and its eyes are blinking too!|
As you can see, the dancers are wearing sandals. Years back, they had to dance barefoot! No wonder this festival is a must-see for all. I can't think of another festival as grand as this yet. (Well, in the Philippines). ;)
After every performance, dancers or the so-called "ati's" are kind of required to mingle around as to earn more points in the competition. The photo above involves us with one of the dancers from the winning tribe.
|And this is about my outfit of the day. haha|
See you next year? :)