Aliwan Fiesta stages grand comeback on July 13-15

At a glance

  • The colorful floats, the heart-stopping dances, and the majestic queens will be seen once again as Aliwan Fiesta makes a much-awaited comeback at the CCP Grounds on July 13 to 15. Its staging has been withheld since 2020 because of the pandemic.

Festival beauties (from left) Reyna ng Aliwan 2017 Marla Alforque, Reyna ng Aliwan 2013 and Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell, Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen 2022 Marikit Manaois and Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen 2020 Jannarie Zarzoso

Aliwan Fiesta is dubbed the "Festival of Champions." It is a feast for the senses with regional participants from all over the Philippines outdoing each other in the competition for the best float and dance parades. Of course, what is a fiesta without crowning a queen? Being chosen Reyna ng Aliwan is seen as a good launching ground for pageant contestants, some of whom have won beauty titles in the national and international sphere.

The colorful floats, the heart-stopping dances, and the majestic queens will be seen once again as Aliwan Fiesta makes a much-awaited comeback on July 13 to 15, 2023 at the CCP Grounds. Its staging has been withheld since 2020 because of the pandemic.

Representatives of the organizer, Manila Broadcasting Company, revealed that Aliwan Fiesta returns as a grand cultural extravaganza with a few changes, such as a new logo inspired by Filipino weaving artistry.

Winners of the Float Competition will receive the following cash prizes:  1st place - P750,000, 2nd place - P300,000, and 3rd place - P100,000 plus seven runners-up who will receive P25,000 each. Criteria for the judging of floats will be craftsmanship (50%), Theme (25%), and overall impact/ingenuity (25 percent).

On the other hand, the Dance Parade Competition will be judged based on theme/concept (35 percent), choreography (20 percent), performance (20 percent), costume (15 percent) and props (10 percent). The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of P1.5 million while the ret will receive the following:  P750,000 (2nd prize), P300,000 (third prize), P150,000 (fourth prize) and P100,000 (fifth prize). Five runners-up will likewise be awarded P50,000 each.

Special awards will also be given for the Best Folkloric Performance, Best Costume, and Best Musical Accompaniment.

It was likewise announced that previous candidates and winners of Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen are welcome to compete in the search for the  2023 Festival Queen, provided they are endorsed by their respective local government units.

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Shown after the contract signing for the holding of Aliwan Fiesta 2023 are (from left): Dennis Marasigan, Vice President and Artistic Director of CCP,  Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano; and Mr. Ruperto Nicdao Jr., President of Manila Broadcasting Company

This year's Reyna ng Aliwan will receive P150,000 in cash while the 1st runner-up is entitled to P75,000. Three 2nd runners-up will get P10,000 each. There will also be three special awards for Best in Festival Costume, Best in Evening Gown and Best in Swimsuit.

Reynas ng Aliwan Jamie Herrell (2013) and Marla Alforque (2017), as well as Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queens Jannarie Zarzoso (2020) and Marikit Manaois (2022)  made an appearance during the Aliwan Fiesta 2023 media launch held in Aliw Theater last week.

Jamie, who later became Miss Earth 2014, stated: "Aliwan Festival Queen was actually my very first pageant when I arrived in Manila in 2013. It's a very dynamic pageant that not only showcases the beauty and brains of women but also the festivals all around the Philippines. This is why it's considered the festival amongst all festivals, so good luck to all the candidates.

For her part, Marikit remarked: "Aliwan Fiesta is a melting pot of culture, the arts, beauty and talents. I'm so happy to be tagged as one of the queens. I hope that the next queen who will be crowned is someone that other people can relate to, someone who can inspire, and has a platform that could give back to the community."

Marla gave an advice: " To our future queens, i hope that when you come here aside from being beautiful and physically fit, you should also know the background story of your festival because you're not just representing yourself, you're representing your province as well as the culture and tradition you have back in your province."

Fresh from her Top 10 and Top 18 finish in Miss Universe Philippines 2023, Jannarie noted that being an Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen is something that she carries with her "loud and proud."

"It has been my stepping stone, it's what catapulted me to the national stage, it's what made people know who I am - as the girl from the province who had big dreams of conquering the national stage," she pointed out.

"Thank you so much for the opportunity because you have allowed me to spread my wings and chase my dreams. Not everybody gets to do that," Jannarie told the organizers.