The Dinagyang 360 Tribe Competition held in this city on Sunday served as venue for thousands of revelers to have a glimpse of the various festivals here.
Eight tribes competed for the Dinagyang 360-degree choreography. But apart from the tribes competing, the celebration also featured various festivals of the city.
The festivals included Guimaras’s Manggahan Festival, last year’s champion of the Dinagyang Festival’s Kasadyahan; Paraw Regatta’s Sinamba sa Regatta; and Huasiong College of Iloilo for the Chinese New Year.
The Kasadyahan Festival, from just being a part of the Dinagyang, was moved to August starting this 2020; Paraw Regatta is on last week of February; and the Chinese New Year will be on January 27 to February 2.
The Arevalo Elementary School also performed representing the Tambor, Trumpa, Martsa, Musika.
Meanwhile, Honeylet Avanceña, partner of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who was the festival’s guest of honor, was impressed with what she witnessed.
She said similar to the Kadayawan of Davao City, Iloilo’s celebration is also a form of thanksgiving.
She added that due to “busy lives”, people sometimes tend to forget, such as how to show gratitude.
Avanceña emphasized that there are a lot of reasons to be thankful for.
In her message, she also expressed gratitude that she was invited to be part of the festival.
In his message, Mayor Jerry Treñas agreed with Avanceña that the festival is the Ilonggos’ way of thanksgiving for “all the blessing we have received in the past year”.
Iloilo City was awarded as first place in resilience in highly urbanized city category of the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) Awards 2019; national qualifier of Presidential Award for Child-friendly Cities; and one of the three winners of ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award.
He added that during his last term as a mayor a few years back, the Dinagyang Festival was awarded as the Best Tourism Event in the Philippine from 2006 to 2008, and the first ATOP Hall of Fame Best Tourism Event in 2009 by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).
He also urged everyone not to forget the true essence of the festival.
“Aside from our rich cultural heritage, this is also a celebration of our unwavering faith and commitment and respect to our religious traditions,” Treñas said.
He welcomed tourists coming from the different parts of the country and the world.
“May you have a wonderful experience of the best tourism event in the Philippines. Be amazed with the spectacular performances from our tribes, dance to the festive beats of the drums, take lots of pictures, and fall in love with Dinagyang Festival,” he added.
Also present during the festival were Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros and Imee Marcos, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Congresswoman Julienne Baronda and other national and local officials. (PNA)