Alae holds 1st Alanihan Festival

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Sunday, February 3, 2013


ALL roads lead to the booming village of Ali, one of 22 barangays of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon province, as villagers converged last Saturday for the Alanihan Festival 2013.

Alanihan Festival is the villagers' way of thanking their patron saint, Sto. Nino, for a bountiful harvest.

Among the residents' farm products are corn, cassava, vegetables and fruits.

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At the village's gymnasium, residents from seven clustered zones clad in spectacular costumes showed off their best dance moves and amazing performance, which can very well compete with the famous Sinulog Festival of Cebu.

Contingents from Purok 3 got the nod of the judges as they were proclaimed the grand champion. Their winning performance really showed mastery, discipline and unique choreography. They later took home P30,000 cash as prize.

In second place are the contingents from Purok 5 while Purok 2 is in third place.
  
Alae village chief Jundini J. Artajo, who organized the event based on the concept of his brother Hiedie, says Alanihan Festival also aims to boost the local tourism industry.

Hiedie is the founder of Sinulog Festival at Xavier University who conceptualized the festival while they were still students. 

Hiedie says from the very start, he is already a devotee of Sto. Nino.
 
"During the time when Sinulog Festival was still grand in Cagayan de Oro, I initiated to make the celebration livelier for five years," he shares.
 
Though the Jesuits at one time disallowed the holding of the celebration, he says this never stopped him from yearning to have another Sinulog Festival.
 
A  Kagay-anon by heart but has since lived in Ali, Hiedie says he was awakened from that deep yearning after he learned that Sto. Nino is the patron saint of his new hometown. So he requested Jundini to help him come up with their own version. 

And they came up with Alanihan Festival, though it took them quite some time to organize the event due to many hesitations.
 
Last Saturday's festival was the first and Jundini says it was so successful that he decided to make it an annual event.

"But the festival would not have been successful without the unity of the residents in all the zones and the full support of our barangay kagawads, namely Rio P. Edquilang, Erasmo Cesar A. Ramirez, Alicia Marinay, Casimera L. Ganas, Ariel Alcantara, Carol R. Larong, Cepriano Enterina and Jigger Ranas," he says.
 
Alae has been known for its abundant crops but Jundini says they want the village to be known more as the place where the lively Alanihan Festival is held.

"We aim to become part of the tourism super highway and be known to the world," he says.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 03, 2013.

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