Dinagyang 2013: A Fusion of Boom and Grandeur

Dinagyang Festival 2013 Official Poster

Dinagyang Festival 2013 Official Poster

SEVERAL one-liners came to mind in the process of selecting a tagline for the 2013 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival:  World-class!, Over the top, Societal Responsibility and Social Artistry, Festival with a Heart, A Fusion of Boom and Grandeur, Exceeding Expectations, etc.  We were then looking for one that captures the essence of the event, one that defines the dreams and aspirations of the Ilonggos.

Through the years, Dinagyang has become synonymous with Iloilo City.  The City’s glorious past, the present progress and development and the bright prospects for the future are all defined by the phrase “a fusion of boom and grandeur”.  A mix of the blessings of the present and the valuable legacy of the past, allow hopes to spring and dreams to blossom.  Dinagyang is the pride of Ilonggos.

It has become a trailblazer in tourism promotion and event management.  In 2011, it brought the homeland to the USA.  Tribu Pan-ay danced its way to the heart and psyche of the multitude of people, Filipinos and all, lining up the streets of Manhattan during the Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City.  They presented the spectacle of street dancing to the unique beat and rhythm of the Dinagyang drums.

Last July, the group participated in the Guam Liberation Festivities – parade in the streets of Agana, charity show in the University of Guam Field House, and public presentation in Micronesia Mall created a lot of nostalgia and goodwill with the Filipinos in Guam.

It has continually set trends in performance and choreography.  Its achievements have been recognized here and abroad.  It brings honor and pride for the Ilonggo for the awards of excellence in social artistry and good governance.  There were recognitions from the Aliwan Fiesta, the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Asian Development Bank, Galing Pook Awards Foundation, and Liveable Communities.

Aside from the Guam visit, this year’s promotional exposures include Pasinaya 2012, the annual Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Open House Festival where Dinagyang was privileged to be the first regional cultural group to be featured as the principal guest with all the CCP’s resident artist groups for the smorgasbord of cultural performances.

There was a week last April when the Tribu Pan-ay had to mount two groups for simultaneous presentations in three different major events – the ASEAN Board of Governors Summit, an international conference of government and business leaders at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City; the Grand Finals of ABC 5’s Talentadong Pinoy on national television covered live at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Cubao; and the Pattarraday Festival Parade in Santiago City, Isabela. The same tribal group provided a special entertainment during the celebration of the South African Independence Day at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay.

The 2013 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival was officially launched with a Thanksgiving Mass at the San Jose Church and Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the Penthouse, Iloilo City Hall last Monday, September 24, 2012, exactly 125 days away from the main event, the Ati Tribe Competition on January 27, 2013.

The highlights will be on January 25 to 27.  DepEd’s Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika kicks off Thursday, January 25th with a drum and bugle parade from the Provincial Capitol to Freedom Grandstand; the Fluvial Procession follows in the afternoon with the river segment starting from Fort San Pedro and disembarking in front of the Aduana, then the land route passing the river bank along the Muelle Loney towards the Arroyo Fountain and back to the San Jose Church.

On Saturday, January 26th, the Kasadyahan Regional Cultural Competition takes the morning schedule and the Sponsors Mardi Gras follows after lunch.  The Dinagyang Ati Contest starts right after the Sunday morning mass.
This year’s parade route is reverted to carousel around the City Proper Circuit Eight with its four judging areas: Freedom Grandstand, Capitol, Quezon-Ledesma, and Iznart-Ma. Clara. This used to be the parade route until last year when it was brought to the Iloilo Sports Complex.  The festival management looks at carousel as the better option at the moment, it allows other events to be presented at the sports oval and parade crowd control becomes more manageable when concentrated in the City Proper.  Besides, carousel enables the spectators a more intimate experience with the performers, the festival being a streetdance presentation.

The ticket for the Freedom Grandstand (Stage 1) costs P1,400 for the left wing.  The center and the right wing are for complimentary tickets given to VIP guests of the City Government. The extension bleacher seats on both sides are sold at P1,200 each.

Stage 2 at the Provincial Capitol is operated by the Iloilo Province and seats are reserved for the LGU officials and guests.  The Quezon-Ledesma (Stage 3) center seats are sold at P1,200 each, the side bleacher seats at P1.000 each. For Stage 4 at Iznart-Ma. Clara area, each seat is at P1,000. All these prices are already good for  the two-day highlight, on Saturday and Sunday, January 26th and 27th.

For enterprising businessmen, rental for a street kiosk during the festival is pegged at P1,500 for four days, Thursday to Sunday in all designated venues on a first-come-first served basis.

Pamukaw is set on December 14, at 2:00 PM.  It’s a drum call that signals the start of the festival season where tribes in contention will be seen first in the parade from the Capitol to the City Hall.  It’s a momentous beginning when drums could already be heard nightly on the City streets and in the village centers.

The Opening Salvo is on January 18. The Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament is at the Iloilo Golf and Country Club in the town of Sta. Barbara on January 19 and 20.  The 1st Iloilo Travel Mart is set on January 19 to 25.  Miss Dinagyang finals is at the University of San Agustin Gym on January 23.  January 24 is the arrival of the image of Nino de Cebu at the Iloilo Arrastre.

The fireworks show, Luces in the Sky is on January 24 and 25; the food festival by the Iloilo Hotels Restaurants Resorts Association (IHRRA) starts January 24 until January 27; the Religious Sadsad is in front of the San Jose Church at seven in the evening of Friday, January 25; awarding night is January 27; and the thanksgiving mass on January 28 at 5:30 PM.

For more information log on to www.dinagyangsailoilo.com and for inquiries email to:   dinagyang2013@gmail.com or call +63(908)8954702, or +63(33)3363439

Article written by: Benito Jimena, Iloilo City Tourism Officer

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