ILOILO City – “Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand.” This is the temporary name of the new grandstand that replaced the demolished old Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, according to Mayor Jose Espinosa III.
There is a process to follow in officially naming the new grandstand, he stressed, and public consultations are crucial.
Under Section 13 (Naming of Local Government Units and Public Places, Streets and Structures) of the Local Government Code, it is the Sangguniang Panlungsod which has the authority.
According to Espinosa, he thought of temporarily calling the new grandstand along Muelle Loney Street “Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand” to focus the public’s attention to the upcoming Dinagyang Festival.
The highlights of the Dinagyang – the Kasadyahan cultural contest on Jan. 26 and ati-ati tribes competition on Jan. 27 – would be staged at the new grandstand.
Yesterday, the Dinagyang opening salvo was held at the new grandstand.
Espinosa said several suggested grandstand names reached his office. Among these were “Muelle Loney Grandstand” and “Graciano Lopez-Jaena Grandstand”.
There were previous suggestions to just keep the name “Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.”
Espinosa said the new grandstand’s name “should have relevance” and “something that reflects the history of Iloilo City.”
There was a proposal, too, to name the new grandstand in honor of the late Ilonggo senator Rodolfo “Roding” Ganzon.
The old Iloilo Freedom Grandstand was a memorial to the Iloilo City Freedom Law or Republic Act 1209 that Ganzon authored in 1955 empowering the people of Iloilo City to elect their own leaders. Prior to the law’s enactment, officials of Iloilo City were appointed by the President.
According to Espinosa, every proposal would be considered.
“I’m open to suggestions. I will not impose my own preference,” he stressed.
Last year, Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, son of the late senator, sought to delay the demolition of the old Iloilo Freedom Grandstand which he said had historical significance. He suggested that it be demolished only after the new one had been completed.
He also pressed that the new grandstand keep the name Iloilo Freedom Grandstand and requested that a plaque bearing his father’s name be put on the new grandstand./PN