ILOILO City – Today’s 2019 Dinagyang Festival opening salvo is not just a sneak peak of the performances of this year’s participating contingents in the ati-ati tribes competition.
It is also a test on the newly-built Iloilo Freedom Grandstand on Muelle Loney Street facing the Iloilo River.
Eight tribes are participating in the opening salvo in a carousel-type dance parade beginning at 3 p.m.
“Downtown streets will be closed to traffic starting at 1 p.m.,” said Robert Alor, chairperson of the Dinagyang tribes committee.
The parade begins at the new grandstand. The tribes will proceed to the newly revived Sun Burst Park (site of the demolished old Iloilo Freedom Grandstand) on JM Basa Street and towards stage/performance area No. 2 (Iloilo Provincial Capitol).
From the capitol, the tribes will turn left to General Luna Street then turn left again to Quezon Street (for stage/performance area No. 3) towards Ledesma Street, and turn left to Iznart Street towards Ma. Clara Street (for stage/performance area No. 4) then to JM Basa to Plaza Libertad (for stage/performance area No. 5).
“Para ma-feel sang mga tribu ang bag-o nga rota. Ginguba naton ang daan nga grandstand, so nag-rerouting kita kay may bag-o nga stages,” said Alor.
The new Iloilo Freedom Grandstand on Muelle Loney Street is the main performance area. Standing on a 2,600-square meter property acquired for P32 million by the city government from Panay Railways, Inc., it is bigger than the old one that used to stand in front of the Aduana (old Customs house) on JM Basa Street.
The new grandstand has a seating capacity of 4,000 – twice the seating capacity of the old grandstand. Its construction had a budget of P50 million.
Alor said the sequence performances during the opening salvo will also be the same during competition day on Jan. 27.
At the new grandstand, the first to perform is Tribu Panayanon following the guest appearance of non-contesting tribe Bola-bola.
The initial performers in the other stage/performance areas are the following:
* Tribu Miro and Tribu Bariohanon – stage No.2
* Tribu Pan-ay and Tribu Salognon – stage No. 3
* Tribu Paghidaet and Tribu Hugpunganon – stage No. 4
* Tribu Ilonganon and Tribu Dagatnon –stage No.5.
Each tribe has seven minutes to perform.
Meanwhile, as advised by the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the following streets will be closed to vehicles during the opening salvo:
* General Luna Street – from corner Mabini Street until corner Muelley Loney Street
* Delgado Street – from corner Jalandoni Street until corner F. Caram Street
* Ledesma Street – from corner Mabini Street until corner Iznart Street
* J. De Leon Street – from Quezon Street until corner Muelle Loney Street
* Mapa Street – from corner General Blanco until corner JM Basa Street
* Guanco Street – corner Muelle Loney Street until corner Rizal Street./PN