The Dinagyang religious Sadsad for the Sto. Nino

Categories Places, Video

The drum and bugle corp was playing a familiar tune, that of the Sinulog beat in Cebu as Sto. Niño devotees massed, waved their hands and danced while chanting Viva Pit Señor! But I wasn’t in my home province. Far from it. I was infront of the San Jose Church of Iloilo City for the Dinagyang religious sadsad.

Sadsad is a form of religious devotion, a prayer dancing in honor of the Sto. Niño where devotees pray and offer their intentions. It can go on for an hour or two and many bring their religious icons. It is also performed in Kalibo during the Ati-Atihan Festival where the Sto. Niño is also venerated.

The trumpets blared as vivas were being chanted. Hands waving and hips gyrating. In between these movements, the faith of the Ilonggos and Sto. Niño devotees was just palpable, hung heavily on the air. I said my own prayers, I offered my own supplications, I asked for my own intentions and, hope that the Sto. Niño would grant them.

Waving their hands in supplication
Waving their hands in supplication
Sto Nino icon and devotee
Sto Nino icon and devotee
It can be easy to get lost in the crowd, and the devotion
It can be easy to get lost in the crowd, and the devotion
A devotee carrying her Sto. Nino icon
A devotee carrying her Sto. Nino icon
Sto. Nino devotees gather in front of the San Jose Church for the religious sadsad
Sto. Nino devotees gather in front of the San Jose Church for the religious sadsad

The Dinagyang religious sadsad is held every Saturday night in front of the San Jose Church in Iloilo City, on the eve of the Dinagyang Festival street dancing proper held on the fourth Sunday of January. This religious devotion is also done in Kalibo during the Ati-atihan Festival. Do check the schedules.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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