This highly urbanized city in Western Visayas proved to the world that a festival is still possible amid the threat of the health pandemic.
“The Dinagyang Digital 2021 is one of the best Dinagyangs in our festival history. Despite the strict health protocol being followed by everyone due to the pandemic, we showed the whole world that Ilonggos are one as we celebrate the biggest feast of the city, the feast of our patron saint, Señor Sto Niño,” said Mayor Jerry P. Treñas in an official statement released on Sunday evening.
During the regular flag-raising ceremony on Monday, the mayor said that it was only Iloilo that was able to come up with a virtual ceremony of a big festival.
He gave credits to the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), student- “warriors” and -dancers from various schools, members of the media, and the sponsors.
Organizers of this year’s festival only selected activities to highlight the celebration.
All events were streamlined via social media platforms to avoid the influx of spectators.
The virtual performance during the highlight on Sunday was pre-filmed and shot in different locations to include the church, city street, freedom grandstand, plazas, and Esplanade.
Only 30 performers with additional musicians were tapped to perform for seven tribes to represent the seven districts of Iloilo.
Lawyer Jobert Peñaflorida, IFFI president, said the celebration “is a modest testament to the resiliency, ingenuity and the unity of all Ilonggos”.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. also attributed the success of the festival to the Ilonggo resilience.
“Dinagyang Festival has shown to the world that it can survive the challenges that come along the way. This is because Dinagyang Festival is not just about fun and revelry, but a testament of our devotion to the Child Jesus,” he said.
Special awards were given to tribes — People’s Choice Award to Tribu La Paz; Best in Choreography and Best in Production and Costume Design to Tribu Lapuz; Best in Music to Tribu Molo; and Best in Performance to Tribu Jaro. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.iloilocity.gov.ph