In an unprecedented sweep of three festivals in a span of less than a year, the Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, Leyte was declared the Grand Champion of the Aliwan Fiesta 2009 Festival of Festivals at the Aliw Center-Quirino Grandstand early Sunday morning, April 26 in Manila.
Victory was super sweet.
First, they won at the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival last June ‘08 in Tacloban City. Next, they bagged the crown at the prestigious Sinulog Festival ‘09 in Cebu City last January 18. This time, it was the ultimate battle of champions of the country’s top festivals – the Aliwan Fiesta 2009.
Together with the crown and prestige, Buyogan pocketed a cool one million pesos, the top prize for the Dance Competition.
Second placer was the Tribu Kasag of Iloilo’s Kasagyahan Festival with a P500,000 prize.
Third was the Dinagyang Festival, also from Iloilo, with a prize of P250,000.00.
Seven runner-ups, which included the Karatong Festival of Dulag, Leyte,
received P50,000 each.
Despite the sudden downpour which drenched everyone just as Buyogan’s turn to perform was up at the Aliw Grandstand, the audience were simply awed by the intense and high-energy performance of the Buyogan dancers.
The parade started at 4 p.m. in front of the Aliw Theater, passed through Roxas Boulevard as it continued to rain, and ended at the Quirino Grandstand.
Buyogan won from a field of 22 participating festivals coming from all over the country:
1. Lalbayaw Festival (Tondo, Metro Manila)
2. Pakalog Festival (Pasig City)
3. Panagbenga Festival (Baguio City, Benguet)
4. Pamulinawen Festival (Laoag, Ilocos Norte)
5. Ibon-ebon Festival (Candaba, Pampanga)
6. Caragan Festival (Mabalacat, Pampanga)
7. Boling Boling Festival (Catanauan, Quezon)
8. Fiesta de Toros (Nasugbu, Batangas)
9. Lambayok Festival (San Juan, Batangas)
10. Lapay Bantigue Festival (Masbate)
11. Pulang Angui Festival (Albay)
12. Dinagyang Festival (Iloilo)
13. Kasagyahan Festival (Iloilo)
14. Paraw Regatta (Iloilo)
15. Siloy Festival (Alcoy, Cebu)
16. Buyogan Festival (Abuyog, Leyte)
17. Karatong Festival (Dulag, Leyte)
18. Kadayawan Festival (Davao)
19. Mimodoman Kalilangan Festival (General Santos City)
20. Tuna Festival (General Santos City)
21. Buklod Festival (Parang, Maguindanao)
22. Kalilintad Festival (Mamasapano, Maguindanao)