Dinagyang opening salvo teases crowd

BY CAROLYN JANE ABELLO

January 13, 2018

DINAGYANG PREVIEW. Members of Fort San Pedro National High School’s Tribu Pan-ay perform during yesterday’s (Jan. 12, 2018) opening salvo of Dinagyang Festival 2018. The Dinagyang ati-ati tribes competition is on Jan. 28. Iloilo City’s world-famous festival is marking its 50th anniversary. JOSELITO VILLASIS/PN

ILOILO City – Yesterday afternoon’s Dinagyang Festival 2018 opening salvo drove huge crowds to pack major downtown streets.

Ten contingents participating in the ati-ati tribes competition on Jan. 28 gave a preview of their performance.

Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) chairman Ramon Cua Locsin promised a “genuine, world-class event any Ilonggo can be proud of.”

The opening salvo officially kicked off the Dinagyang season, said Mayor Jose Espinosa III.

He beat a huge drum at the Freedom Grandstand where a program was held to symbolically open the festivities.

The ati-ati tribes performed in five judging areas: Freedom Grandstand, Iloilo provincial capitol, Delgado-Mabini streets, Quezon-Ledesma streets, and Maria Clara area.

The 13 Iloilo Miss Dinagyang 2018 candidates also joined the opening salvo. The coronation night is on Jan. 20 at the University of San Agustin gym.

Dinagyang started in 1968 when a replica of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo City by Fr. Sulpicio Enderes, OSA and the Cofradia de Cebu. The image was enthusiastically received by the Ilonggos who danced on the streets to the tune of rumbling drums.

This year’s celebration will be grander than those of previous years, said Ma. Luisa Segovia, vice chairperson of IDFI.

Among other activities, there would be a “night of international cultural shows” where delegations from New Zealand and South Korea will showcase their festivals, she said.

Also for the first time, there will be a parade of lighted floats in the evening of Jan. 27.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Dinagyang@50: Timeless Tradition, Culture and Devotion.”

The annual celebration is jointly managed by the Iloilo City government, IDFI and the San Jose Parish Church.

The 10 ati-ati tribes that performed yesterday were Salognon of Jaro National High School; Paghidaet of La Paz National High School; Obreros of Bo. Obrero National High School; Ilonganon of Jalandoni National High School; Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña National High School; Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School; Buntatalanit of  Tiu Cho Teg Ana Ros Foundation Integrated School; Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School; Amihan of Mandurriao National High School; and Tapasnon of Tapaz, Capiz./PN