Philippine Festivals: Aliwan Festival 2013

The Aliwan Festival held every April featuring different festivals found in the country. Any photographer, culture enthusiast or even tourists for that matter would surely enjoy feasting their eyes with colorful costumes and exotic dances.

I like traveling alone and even though this is just about an hour and a half away from home I choose to see this event alone most of the time. But this year my new found friends who are photography enthusiasts as well met up and shoot the event together.

The photographer’s booth in front of  the Quirino Grand Stand was already crowded I arrived and my companions are now where to be found in that area. I texted one of them and after a while I was able to locate them, I took some photos of the participants and when I got back to where they are, I lost them again! It took a little more patience as they are very young people with all that energy while I am of the ageing generation. Hahaha… do I really feel that old? hahaha!

We held our territory in front of the US Embassy just before the foot bridge and while waiting we had to entertain our selves… or maybe we tried to get to know each other would be a better description hahahaha. People were walking towards every direction that you can imagine then something caught the eyes of one of my companions Axl, a cute dog! hahaha! but hey tell me isn’t the dog really cute? He wanted to get a picture of the dog but, I think, he was a bit shy to try to catch up with the running itsy bitsy dog. I too wanted to have a picture, not of , but with the dog! I asked the generosity of Axl to take my photo and as I was looking at the dog he suddenly licked my face almost touching my mouth! hahaha! he must have really liked me! hahaha! Axl captured the event really well with these series of action photos.

The parade came around past three in the afternoon and we were racing time to get decent photos because light was running out! The street dancers came in garbed in full royal and colorful costumes (well at least for the first few contingents) and off we shoot! I got some decent shots but this is what I have learned from this experience If you can shoot in the official or a regulated place the better. Why? Because I got to take many good photographs, at least I thought they were until I realize that there are other photographers in the photo! If I have taken the photographs in the photographers booth I would have saved a lot of my wasted clicks because I get to see the full production of the contingents and there are no unwanted people in the background or any where else in the photo!

More photos from the festival HERE

It was dark already and the rest of the groups aren’t dancing anymore they were just running towards the next location to catch up with the rest of the parade. There wasn’t any photograph that I could take anymore much like the ones I did earlier so I just rested my camera inside my bag.

The only girl, Joy’s friend from Poland asked for our group to grab dinner at the Shawarma Center in nearby Malate district. Diner was great specially the conversations that we shared with each other are amazing talking about the travels we made where I learned that they too are couchsurfers!

Festivals are great specially if you meet people and make new friends. Surely I would do my best in seeing my next festival!


Check out the blogs of the new friends I’ve made during this trip.

Bryan Benida –

Axl Guinto –

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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.