ILOILO City – “We will bring the festival to its next level.” With this declaration, Mayor Jerry Treñas launched yesterday Dinagyang Festival 2020 with the theme “Perfect Vision: Celebrating the Ilonggo Spirit in Honor of Senior Sto. Niño.”
For the first time, contingents in the tribes competition – which will now be called “Dinagyang 360°” – will have a guaranteed school participation prize of P1 million worth of projects to be sourced from the Special Education Fund of the Local School Board.
The prize for the first placer or grand champion will reach a total of P5 million – P1 million for the contingent, P3 million worth of projects for the school, plus the guaranteed P1 million school project participation prize.
“With the schools, with everyone working together, we will make it happen. I have no doubt at all,” said Treñas.
Dinagyang will be handled by the newly-organized Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI). Treñas assured Ilonggos it could do the job.
“Dinagyang 2020 will be far better than the previous celebrations. With the IFFI, we will bring the festival to its next level. Let us not worry about anything. Iloilo is Dinagyang, and who is Iloilo? Kita,” said Treñas.
The second placer in the tribes competition will get a total prize of P3.5 million – P500,000 for the contingent,P2 million worth of projects for the school, plus the guaranteed P1 million school project participation prize.
The third 3rd place will have a total prize of P2.25 million – P250,000 for the contingent, P1 million worth of projects for the school, plus the guaranteed P1 million school project participation prize.
Dinagyang is the Hiligaynon word for revelry or merrymaking. The festival is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-atihan celebrations widely observed not only in Panay Island but also in other parts of the country. It may not be as ancient as the one in Kalibo, Aklan but it is known more for its participants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes that reflect the ingenuity, craftsmanship and artistry of the Ilonggos.
As of this writing, eight contingents have confirmed their participation in the Dinagyang 360°, said IFFI president Atty. Jobert Peñaflorida.
Why Dinagyang 360°?
In line with the city government’s vision to take the Dinagyang to the “next level”, Peñaflorida said contesting tribes would be required to choreograph their presentations in such a way that the dancers face the spectators from all angles during their performances.
“We have talked to all the school principals already and they have accepted this challenge. Kaya nila i-choreograph ang performances 360 degrees,” said Peñaflorida.
The main performance area is the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand on Muelle Loney Street facing the Iloilo River.
Peñaflorida said the tribes’ choreography mush be such that their performances should face not only the grandstand but also the river.
“We will take advantage of the river, a potential area for additional seats from where more spectators could watch the presentations. The judges will be posted in all angles,” said Peñaflorida.
He also bared the 11 IFFI Dinagyang 2020 activities:
* Iloilo Dinagyang Art Festival – Jan. 18 to 25
* Ilonggo Food Festival – Jan. 23 to 26
* Miss Iloilo 2020 – Jan. 24
* Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika – Jan. 24
* fluvial and solemn foot procession – Jan. 24
* Floats Parade of Lights – Jan. 24
* fireworks display – Jan. 24
* Dinagyang sa Calle Real – Jan. 25
* Festive Parade Sponsors Mardi Gras – Jan. 25
* religious sadsad – Jan. 25
* Dinagyang 360° – Jan. 26
The city government has allotted P25-million assistance to the IFFI, said Treñas.
“Let us help to make sure Dinagyang will be far better, hopefully with unity and cooperation,” Treñas stressed.
He said P15 million will be released to the IFFI between October to December this year.
The P10 million will be released in January 2020.
Treñas also announced that President Rodrigo Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña will be the guest of honor during the Dinagyang highlight (tribes competition) Jan. 26, 2020.
This is early, he added, some 30 congressmen already expressed interest to attend the festival.
Also yesterday, Treñas inducted the IFFI officers. They were:
* Chairman – Rito Carlos Peña
* Vice Chairman – Dr. Felipe Uygongco
* President – Atty. Jobert Peñaflorida
* Vice President – Dr. Ronald Raymond Sebastian
* Treasurer – Roland Uy
* Assistant Treasurer – Ivy Gurrea
* Corporate Secretary – Angel de Leon Jr.
* Board of Directors – Philipp Chua, Honorato Espinosa, Rogelio Florete Sr., Molly Grande, Jose Marie Layson, John Alexander Que, Allan Ryan Tan, Luis Tinsay
The Dinagyang Festival started in 1967. A replica of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought from Cebu to the San Jose de Placer Church. The image was enthusiastically received by the Ilonggos who danced on the streets of Iloilo City.
For next year’s Dinagyang Festival, the city government wants people to be more involved.
“Dinagyang will now be more experiential, (there will be) more people involvement. Indi pareho sa una nga gabantay ka lang. I-push ta gid nga experiential Dinagyang,” said former Tourism undersecretary Salvador Sarabia Jr./PN