Iligan City | Diyandi Festival Street Dancing Competition 2017

September has always been special for Iligan City. It's a culturally charged month of Diyandi Festival. This year's celebration though is more meaningful. Despite the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao (and the ongoing war in neighboring Marawi City, about an hour's drive away from Iligan), the Iliganons pushed through with the festive and colorful celebration. 

iligan city | diyandi festival street dancing competition 2017 | traveljams

Iliganons once again flocked the streets as fifteen schools competed for the annual street dancing competition in celebration of Diyandi Festival. The Anahaw Amphitheater at Buhanginan Hills was also jam-packed with locals and tourists alike eager to witness the showdown of the different groups. The annual merry-making street dancing competition showcases the rich and varied cultural traditions of the city.

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What I love about Diyandi Festival is that it celebrates the union of the Muslims, the Christians, and the Higaonon lumads - three distinct groups of people bound by a common faith in St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Iligan City. The dances narrate the divine protection of St. Michael, highlighted by the eskrima, a dance form simulating a fight between the patron saint and his enemies, depicting the celestial battle between the forces of good and evil. In the end, good always win. 

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In Iligan City, Diyandi Festival officially starts on September 20 for the “Pagkanaug sa Imahe ni Sr. San Miguel” (the descent) that signals the start of the novena (nine days of prayer) and ends on October 2, with "Pagsaka sa Imahe ni Sr. San Miguel" (the ascent). 

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One of the highlights of the two-week celebration is the annual street dancing event occurs every 27th day of September. . It showcases the rich and varied cultural traditions of the city. It used to be named as "Kasadya" and "Sayaw Saulog" which literally translates to merriment and dance celebration, respectively, but has since been renamed to be consistent with the "Diyandi" brand.

Street Dancing Competition Winners

This year's street dancing competition is between schools in the city. Abuno National High School Annex bested the other contingents in the competition. They also bagged other special awards, including Best in San Miguel, Best in Costume, and Best in Showdown. Iligan Medical Center College (Kapagintaw Cultural Dance Troupe) won first runner-up, also bagging the Best in Street Dance and Best in Choreography awards. Kiwalan National High School garnered second runner-up.

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