Category Archives: Events

Sangyaw Parade of Lights, Tacloban City

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Sangyaw Parade of Lights Working for a Bright Future (Tacloban City, Leyte Province).

A bright evening, literally. Dazzling floats with colored lights, street dancers with extravagant costumes and merrymakers paraded the streets of Tacloban.

This float showed that Tacloban is the first in the Eastern Visayas Region declared as a highly urbanized city.

The Tacloban City Council Tourism Committee with the local government unit celebrated its first ever Sangyaw 2012 Festival Parade of Lights.

The streets were packed. It was hard to move around with the crowd. We had to park our rented van and go on foot to go to the parade route.

Some, to just get a glimpse of the parade, went up light posts.

It’s called “Parade of Lights” because all the floats were required to have bright and colorful lights to showcase Tacloban’s historical past, rich marine life, developments and socio-cultural and religious heritage.

This is the famous San Juanico Bridge Float. This float represents the longest bridge in the country. The two-kilometer long structure’s the 1970’s landmark of the Eastern Visayas Region.

A float that resembled a military tank had green and white lights and the words “I Shall Return” as a commemoration of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s promise kept. He was the American general who came back to help liberate the Philippines from the Japanese occupation. He landed in Leyte Province when he returned.

The gorgeous winners of the city’s beauty contest also went around on board a float, flashing their pearly whites and waving for hours. Wow, being able to smile and smile and smile and wave at everyone that long — that’s difficult.

To showcase the rich marine life, whale shark, turtle, fish and dolphin floats amazed the crowd.

Caterpillar and butterly floats also went on parade. The green caterpillar looked like a cartoon character and was smiling with its two front teeth. The butterflies were on top of mushrooms and flowers around them.

Street dancers made the parade even livelier. All of them had different themes and dances. Some of them held their skirts while also holding onto their flower props with flashlights inside to make it glow.

This chubby one just lit the night with her cute smile. Isn’t she huggable?

I especially love this energetic granny. She has a basket on her head with fruits and flowers while she danced the night away.

Being a first, part of its birth pains was the delay of the parade held last June 2012. It was announced that the event would begin around 1pm, then moved to 4pm but actually began past 7pm. A lot of the people I spoke with got impatient and were saddened with the lack of coordination and order.

Overall, the parade was fun and a first of its kind with all the bright three dimensional floats intricately designed to highlight the colored lights, aptly called Parade of Lights.

To find out about Tacloban’s events, get in touch with:
Tacloban City Tourism Operations Office
Tacloban City Hall Grounds
Kanhuraw Hill, Magsaysay Blvd., Tacloban City 6500 Philippines
(053) 325-2491

Where to go and what to do in Leyte? Click here.

Photos were taken by me, Next Layderos, Ayi Rayos and Karen Santiago.

More photo credits for pictures that may have been used in other articles, check in the “About” page.

** Follow Ayi and Karen’s blog: “I Love Pinas Travel Diaries


Dagupan Bangus Festival’s Gilon Gilon Ed Dalan

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Colorful Costumes during GILON GILON ED DALAN

Dancing with Bangus Props

Ready to party!!!

Gilon Gilon Ed Dalan is the vibrant and colorful street dancing competition celebrated during Dagupan’s Bangus Festival.

Gilon Gilon Ed Dalan roughly means catching fish in the streets. Thus the choreography, costumes, props and movements are related to catching bangus or milkfish done in the streets.

Dancing with the Street Dancers

It was my first time to experience this during the Bangus Festival 2012 and I really, really had so much fun. Taking photos, walking the crowded streets and yes, dancing.

Thousands, mostly tourists, flocked the streets to enjoy this event.

I couldn’t help it, so I joined the street dancing, borrowed the props and danced with them whenever the choreography was simple.

Street Dancers with baskets used to catch fish

Each dance group was accompanied by a band, mostly drums and trumpets. They marched a few meters, stopped and gave their dance number lasting five to ten minutes and then marched again to show their stuff to the tourists waiting a few meters away. Each group did this for like dozens of times so people also offered them water to drink. This was to make sure the people from whhichever part of the route they were, saw and enjoyed the presentations.

For the Dagupan Bangus Festival 2012, more than 30 dance groups representing their Barangays joined.

They do this yearly, originally as a thanksgiving for abundant harvest of fish the previous year.



Colorful Costumes


Tourists Posing with Street Dancers


Street Dancer smiling for the camera


With Boat and Paddle


The whole Dagupan experience was part of the shoot I did for the travel show I host “I Love Pinas” aired in the Philippines and abroad. The staff and I took the photos. Know the airing schedule of the show, click here. Please like “I Love Pinas” on Facebook, click here. Please like my food and travel Facebook page, click here.


Dagupan’s Best Special Lechon Contest

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Dagupan Lechon

Crunchy and savory lechon, Dagupan Lechon.

The province of Cebu has been known for its delicious lechon or roasted pig that needs no sauce because it’s already bursting with flavor. Today, Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim wants their city to have its own brand of lechon.

30 Lechon Entries

But how do they come up with the recipe that they can call their own?

He launched a national search open to anyone and everyone who can bring to Dagupan the best tasting lechon and the winner’s recipe will be the official Dagupan Lechon recipe for the year 2013. Thus, the first Lechon Festival within the Bangus Festival of Dagupan.

Crunchy Lechon Skin

This April 2012, during the finals, 30 made it and 30 roasted pigs were freshly cooked and presented, ready for tasting.

All the entries were so crunchy on the outside. On this aspect, for me, they were all equals.

What’s inside would spell the difference.

The contestants made use of different herbs and spices as stuffing for the lechon.  These brought out different flavors. Some more flavorful than others.

I observed the judges tasting the lechons. After each bite, they would eat cucumber slices. Why? The cucumber was used to neutralize the tastebuds so their tongues could start fresh for the next entry.

After several hours, the winner was named. He’s Melchor Corpus,  hotel and restaurant management graduate who is teaching culinary. He bagged the P50,000 prize.

His lechon was stuffed not just with herbs and spices but also with a whole chicken that was cooked inside the pig while it was being roasted. His entry was also the only one which added the use of star of anise (commonly used spice for Indian cuisine like biryani).  This also gave it a more distinct flavor compared to the rest.

Melchor Corpus: The Winner of the First Dagupan Lechon Contest

His recipe, according to the mayor, will be taught to the stores cooking and selling lechon. They will be encouraged to promote and sell this especially to tourists that would help put their lechon in the map.

Mayor Lim says, if the plan pushes through, the entry will automatically be part of the finalists in next year’s Dagupan’s Best Special Lechon Contest 2013. He also said the contest will go on for a few years until they have an undisputed champion that will become Dagupan’s permanent lechon recipe. He also hopes that people will purposely visit Dagupan to taste their lechon and have this shipped to different areas of the country to become the center of events like birthday celebrations, weddings and parties.

Dagupan’s First National Best Special Lechon Competition

The whole Dagupan experience was part of the shoot I did for the travel show I host “I Love Pinas” aired in the Philippines and abroad. The staff and I took the photos. Know the airing schedule of the show, click here. Please like “I Love Pinas” on Facebook, click here. Please like my food and travel Facebook page, click here.