This piece is originally published at asianTraveler magazine‘s January-February 2011 issue, ‘Food Trip.’
Words by Nikka Corsino
Photos by Gabriel de la Cruz
Festivals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Unlike leisurely vacations, chasing after festivals all over the country will most probably leave you more tired after than you had been when you arrived.
But being toasted under the hot sun, getting your feet swollen from all the walking, and snaking through thick crowds to have a good view have their unique ways of gratifying anyone who wishes to see the country in a different—albeit adrenaline-filled—light.
Having seen not too many festivals, I was hungry for more; taking photos of the annual Panagbenga at home, promising though it is, simply could not satisfy me. I knew I had to pack my bags and dust my camera for the rest of the country’s drum-beating offerings. I had therefore made it this year’s goal to attend as many festivals as I could, believing it would give my hungry—but otherwise healthy—body the rush of adrenaline it seeks.
So off we went to the Visayas—home to the country’s biggest and most colorful fiestas—all the way from Baguio City at the end of January for one of the three biggest celebrations in honor of the Sto. Nino (Infant Jesus)—the Dinagyang.
But as it turned out, festival-hopping wasn’t as easy as hopping on a plane with my camera. Government accreditations, club memberships, festival schedules, and photographers’ IDs were just some of the things I had to settle before finally boarding a Manila-bound bus from Baguio for an early-morning Iloilo flight.
With all paperwork miraculously in order a mere hour before our departure, all thanks to people we had bothered for their signatures, everything else took off as planned. Dinagyang was waiting for us.
The complete article is available at AsianTraveler magazine’s Food Trip issue, now in circulation.