The Iligan Diyandi Festival is the official title for the city’s month long cultural celebration. It concludes with the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel on September 29.
The festival was established to promote Iligan’s cultural identity. You see, Cebu has Sinulog, Davao has Kadayawan, and Iloilo has Dinagyang. Iligan has none. Of course, Iligan should have one.
So in 2004, the Iligan City Council passed and approved a resolution establishing Diyandi Festival as the tourism name of Iligan.
Today, the fiesta celebration developed into a much bigger and more culturally charged celebration.
Folklore depicts patron saint St. Michael the Archangel as the protector of peace. During the 70s at the height of the sessionist hostilities in Mindanao, people believed that Iligan remained untouched and safe from rebel attacks because of the miracles of St. Michael.
One evening, when a hostile group was poised to attack Iligan City, the members of the group retreated because they could not find the city as it was transformed into a lake. Another story told is that the Patron Saint makes his rounds in the evening as evidenced by his muddy boots and the presence of amor-seko grass on his clothes.
These are just a few of the many stories about St. Michael. Even the story of his installation as patron saint of Iligan continues to inspire and endear him to each and every Iliganon.
Thus, his feast every 29th of September, is a grand celebration in Iligan. In fact, is has transformed into a month-long festival, the Diyandi Festival sa Iligan.
The Diyandi Festival sa Iligan is the official title of Iligan City’s month-long fiesta celebration in honor of St. Michael the Archangel. The title was established in 2004 through the passage of a resolution by the City Councilors.
Diyandi – or celebrate – is a ritual dance performed by an all-female group outside the Cathedral during the “Pagpakanaug”, before every novena and before the start of the Komedya (Comedia de San Miguel). The Diyandi ritual depicts the courtship between a Maranao male and Higaonon female and culminating into an offering symbolic of their union and bountiful harvest to St. Michael the Archangel. The ritual aptly describes the peaceful co-existence of Iligan’s tri-people — the Maranaos, Higaonons and Christians