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HomeBulawanon nga Dinagsa: Northern City celebrates 50th Dinagsa Festival

Bulawanon nga Dinagsa: Northern City celebrates 50th Dinagsa Festival

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Roughly translated, it means “to flock” or “to swarm”. The visual connotation also brings to mind a kind of rush, of bodies rubbing together frenetically, bringing with it a kind of high and an unrelenting contagious energy fueled by the person next to you.

Such is the feel one usually gets when the term “Dinagsa” comes to mind. The word, since being appropriated by the Cadiz City local government for their city festival, has taken in an entirely different layer of meaning, bringing to mind not just a mindless frenzy but a degree of spirituality as well. And why not? Said festival after all is deeply rooted in the people’s faith and religious beliefs, a celebration of one’s devotion to Child Jesus.

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The Dinagsa Festival in Cadiz City is now one of the most iconic religious festivals in the province, or indeed in the country.

Now on its 50th year, the festival formerly known as Ati-Atihan has been attracting both foreign and local tourists and tumandoks (natives); the former out for some cultural immersion; the latter as a display of their own brand of religiosity. Both, for sure, are there for some good ol’ revelry.

But why Dinagsa? For the uninitiated, this is in reference to the pod of whales that had flocked the ports of the burgeoning northern city.

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Despite the name change, the Festival is still primarily a tribute to Señor Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus. The official website of the Cadiz Local Government reveals that the Festival was originally called Ati-atihan, a reference to the indigenous settlers of the city.

This year’s Dinagsa has a slew of activities since its official launch last 12 January 2024.

This includes sports events like football tourneys, shoot fests, and the presentation of the Dinagsa Queen 2024 candidates.

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Highlights include the Dinagsa Queen Coronation night on 26 January 2024, and the lamhitanay and Sinaot Cadiznon street dance competition on 28 January 2024.

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Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.
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