FOR ONE WEEKEND every summer, the stretch of Roxas Blvd. in Manila from Quirino Grandstand to the CCP Complex is filled with color music and dancing as the Aliwan Fiesta presents some of the best streetdancers from the most colorful fiestas in the country.
While it was held this year on April 14-16, those who were not able to see it live will have a chance to catch The Aliwan Fiesta TV Special on May 4, 2:30 p.m., over PTV 4. It will be hosted by 2015 Reyna ng Aliwan Stephanie Joy Abellanida.
This year, Catbalogan City’s Tribu Katbalaugan, representing the city’s Manaragat festival, bested contingents from various regions and claimed the P1-million grand prize for the second straight year. Tribu Katbalaugan also took home special awards for Best Costume and Best Music.
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, represented by Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School, came in second, with students from Dr. Bernabe de la Fuente, Sr. National High School in Upi, Maguindanao, essaying the Tedurays’ Meguyaya Festival, taking third place.
Datu Piang, Maguindanao’s Sagayan Festival dancers emerged fourth, while the Hambujan Dancers of Dolores, Quezon, competing for the very first time on behalf of the Niyogyugan Festival, took fifth place.
Runner-up honors went to the Anilag Festival of Laguna, the Boling-Boling Festival of Catanauan, Quezon, and the Panagbenga Flower Festival of Baguio, which was also awarded for Best Folkloric Performance.
In the float design competition, Cebu’s International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. won for its rendering of the Sinulog float, with Damak of Cotabao City coming in second, and the Sagayan Festival taking third place.
In the Search for Reyna ng Aliwan, Sinulog Festival Queen Cynthia Thomalla recaptured the crown for Cebu, besting 15 other candidates. Andrea Fe Gomez of Baguio’s Panagbenga was first runner-up, while sharing second runner-up honors were Lou Dominique Piczon of Catbalogan City’s Manaragat Festival, Darlene Joy Tabuga for the Pintados de Passi Festival of Iloilo, and Airish Yamamoto for the Anilag Festival of Laguna.
Thomalla was likewise named Most Photogenic, Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown, and Best in Festival Costume, while Gomez received the award for Miss Unique Smile. In turn, Tabuga was selected by her fellow candidates as Miss Friendship.