Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo City, Philippines

Every year, on the fourth Sunday of January, the Ilonggos are celebrating the natives’ introduction to Christianity. This annual event is coupled with street dancing and competition in honor of the Saint Sto. Niño which is culminated by a nine-day novena, an Ati-Atihan competition, and a fluvial parade on the last day of the celebration. On this occasion, the city is in full-swing in the preparation and  celebration of the event. Foreign and local  tourists are arriving filling the hotels’ rooms to its capacity that swells to nearby districts and towns for bookings. Looking back, the celebration originated as a welcome treat to the Saint Sto. Niño as it arrived from Cebu and brought to San Jose Parish Church. In honoring the saint, people were enthusiastic and joyous about his arrival to the city. There were dancing on the streets with  only a number of drums playing which is very different from today’s feast which numbered from thirty to fifty drummers. As the year passed, participants grew bigger as well as the drummers, the steps and the beat of the drums and its rhythm, and the costumes and sponsors of the participating groups. Then, street dancing was purely dancing all throughout the event but the city decided to have a competition to entice visitors to come. So, the contest was materialized. Today, it is a full-blown celebration where the champion of the contest is awarded with a hefty sum of money and are sent to participate in other competitions abroad in which case, tourism is being promoted by the city government. So, what are you waiting for? Come for the celebration this coming year, 2016 and witness a grand show of colors and beatings of the drums.  Reserve yourself a room in our hotels months before the actual celebration! Don’t be a late-comer!


Jalaur River, Iloilo, Philippines

These pictures depict a slightly different period of time of the day during a rainy season. Topmost photo shows how dim it was right after a light downpour. I was nearer at the subject which made the reflection of the  trees’ color more significant  on the water which was aided by the sun’s direct subdued shine on the trees. In the second photo, as I move the angle to the left side of the river, the subject was farther away from the camera. It resulted to a bit thicker contrast  due to the camera’s facing the direction of the sun’s covered light.

As the sun was evidently in appearance, it became brighter, illuminating the whole panorama decreasing its contrast and shadows. These shots were done with a five-minute interval each at the lower reached of the river in Leganes town.

God’s Trial

San Juan de Sahagun Parish Church or Tigbauan Catholic Church, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines

San Juan de Sahagun Parish Church or Tigbauan Catholic Church,
Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines

when drops of liquid leaked out of my lamenting sobs
coming from the deepest echoes of my  suffering soul
i’m drowning in the river of my own weep
going blindly against the  flow like a black sheep
fighting it out and conquered what i feel
the world on my back too heavy my ordeal
aching bones loaded eating all the gained fame  
overweight bundles are too much but given the same
i dug up my faith to reach the far and thorny finish line
my skin bursting, knees were trembling i didn’t mind
i dropped on the ground where my sweat and blood meet
the nearer i got, my strength i have to compete
a stone’s throw, strength depleted i’m not in vain
several times the ground kissed my knees in pain
little of my psyche remained but never retreated
   as i won God’s trial my faith remained undefeated