ILOILO City – For the second straight year, couple Rito Carlo and Sarah Peña are serving as hermano y hermana mayor of the Dinagyang Festival.
As “elders” of the devotees of the Santo Niño (Cofradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu), they will help in the activities of the Parish of San Jose de Placer in line with the religious aspect of the 2019 edition of the festival.
“They dispense advice and extend moral and financial support,” said Reverend Father Raymundo Edsel Alcayaga, O.S.A., of the Parish of San Jose Placer.
Dinagyang Festival started in 1967 when a replica of the image of the Santo Niño was brought from Cebu to the Parish of San Jose de Placer at Plaza Libertad here.
The image, accompanied by devotees from Cebu, was enthusiastically received by the Ilonggos who danced on the streets of the city to the tune of rumbling drums.
Since then, the Parish of San Jose de Placer became one of the three organizers of the yearly event. The two others are the city government and the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc.
As hermano y hermana mayor of the Dinagyang Festival this year, the Peñas would be leading novenas to the Santo Niño from Jan. 16 to 26.
The Peñas were also the hermano y hermana mayor in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, and 2018.
On Jan. 16, the Peñas would be formally installed as 2019 Dinagyang hermano y hermana. The ceremony will be at the San Jose de Placer Church.
The first Dinagyang hermano y hermana mayor were couple Dr. Antonio and Rosa Caram. They served up to the 1975 edition of the festival./PN