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Behind the Scenes: Tribu Pan-ay’s Rehearsal for Aliwan 2012

Submitted by on April 13, 2012 – 4:49 am3 Comments

tribu-pan-ay Iloilo

 Iloilo I LOVE! visits Fort San Pedro National High School – the home of Dinagyang 2012 Ati Dance Competition Champion Tribu Pan-ay to witness the contingent’s preparations for the Aliwan Fiesta 2012.

It was five in the afternoon when I arrived at Fort San Pedro National High School while the dancers are in the heat of practicing. The afternoon was hot but I could see the tribe giving all-out in their practices. The day was no ordinary dance practice; it was the final tribe meeting before heading off into vacation in the Holy Week and later journeying to Manila for the Aliwan. I could see that the tribe is now on their finishing touches on the new routine. As I was told, the performance was shortened into 5 to 6 minutes from Dinagyang’s running time of 8 minutes.

While waiting for the dance and costume rehearsal (that was scheduled at around 7 PM), I headed to the office of Dr. Blesilda Floro, principal of FSPNHS and manager of Tribu Pan-ay for permission to take pictures and videos. It was a very light moment as we discussed the changes of the performance and the tribe’s preparation for the Aliwan. After our short meeting, off I went to take shots and observe the group in their practices.

This is where the wonderful costumes are conceived and born into reality. At the time this picture was taken, they’re sewing the costumes for the drummers.

Dance Master  George Susvilla polishing the routine of the dancers. This is part of the final act of the performance.

The Ati Warriors taking a break after a whole day of practice.

Final touches for the drummers. They’re bringing all of these instruments to Manila by ship.

After 2 hours, finally, it’s time for the final rehearsal. The tribe members changed with their costumes and props, while the drummers positioned themselves at the side of the gymnasium. It was a tense moment. Even though I saw their performance at this year’s Dinagyang, I’m very excited to see how they will represent our festival at the Aliwan. (Sadly I cannot attend Aliwan because of my day job, so I have to content myself with the rehearsals).

Synopsis of Tribu Pan-ay’s Peformance (courtesy of Dinagyang Community Facebook Page):

The mighty Philippine eagle used to inhabit the mountains of Panay, taking pleasure in its richness. It was a dwelling place that the magnificent raptor shared with other swift, agile, and ferocious hunters – the indigenous Ati. Despite the pact that the villagers forged with nature to respect, nourish, and protect the environment, colonization and eventual modernization began to encroach—threatening the peaceful coexistence that had reigned. While there were those who resisted change, the call of progress led to a clash of wills within the tribes, leading to a ferocious display of combat skills. The denuded forests took their toll on the eagles’ nesting places, and it was with the greatest determination that the villagers sought to make up for the damage. Drawing divine inspiration from the statue of the Infant Jesus introduced by the colonizers, the Atis invoked both pagan and Christian fervor to restore the good quality of life that they had been blessed with. Here are the students of Fort San Pedro National High School as Tribu Pan-ay delineates the Iloilo Dinagyang festival!

So without further ado and as agreed upon with the tribe managers (Dr. Floro and Mr. Flogen), I present to you Tribu Pan-ay’s dance rehearsal for their entry at tomorrow’s Aliwan Fiesta 2012:


Company call after the rehearsal – reminders given by the managers to the tribe members before the vacation in the Holy Week.


I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the dancers, warriors, drummers and props men of Tribu Pan-ay, to Dr. Blesilda Floro and my friend Claribelle Floro, choreographer Romel Flogen, dance master George Susvilla, musical director Jeepy Henson, and production designer Joemel Mirabuena, for allowing me to document the behind-the-scenes preparation of the tribe. I wish you all the best on your  presentation and you have the full support of Iloilo I LOVE! God Bless Tribu Pan-ay and Salakayan Festival!

Bring home the bacon and shout to the world how beautiful Dinagyang  is!


For those coming to ALIWAN tomorrow here are few reminders courtesy of Dinagyang Community FB Page:

Question: When I will come to watch the Aliwan Streetdance Competiton, what will I do or bring to show my support to the Ilonggo contingents?

ANSWER: Since there are two contingents that will represent Iloilo, we can find a variety of ways to support them, the following are recommended:

WEAR RED SHIRTS. No matter what the printed designs are as long as its red, we will be able to identify that you are any Ilonggo supporter. Shirts with Angry Birds graphics, or any shirt with printed words such as: Dinagyang, Miag-ao, Pan-ay, Salakayan or Iloilo will do as long as its color RED!

Bring along with you ARTICLES or MERCHANDISE that symbolizes or represents the ANGRY BIRDS & EAGLE.

Addendum: I suggest we use the hashtags: #Dinagyang, #Panay, and #Salakayan to express our support and let Iloilo’s contingent top the trends in Twitter.

You can also bring with you TARPAULINS or POSTERS with message of support or encouragement to our contingents,



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