By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas slammed the security personnel of some very important persons (VIPs) that prompted him to make a fuss during the Ati tribes competition on Sunday, January 28.
“Kagamo sang mga security. Napunggan ko lang to lawas ko. Ang security may ma saka. Kulbaan gid sila kung ano matabo sa ila principal. Ginhawa ko lang ka pugong to kay damo gatan-aw,” the city mayor said in a press conference on Monday.
[The security personnel are chaotic. They are causing disruptions. They get nervous about what might happen to their principal. I only managed to control it because many were watching.]
It can be recalled that during the celebration, Treñas made acerbic remarks before delivering his speech at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand in the presence of several senators, lawmakers, celebrities, and country ambassadors.
The city mayor reminded spectators to refrain from moving back and forth and to listen attentively to the person speaking in front.
Following the incident, Treñas said he would personally handle the committee responsible for the security personnel of VIPs in the next Dinagyang Festival.
“Ang security sang mga VVIPs (Very, Very Important Persons), wala kamo yah labot da sa babaw. May ma tindog sa atubangan ko, may ma paypay diri,” he added.
[The security of the VVIPs, you should not be in the seats intended for the spectators. Some of them are standing in front of me, and some are waving here and there.]
The city mayor also pointed out that their behavior ruins the experience for spectators watching the performances of the eight school-based Ati tribes.
On his intention to handle the security committee, the city mayor said he is yet to discuss the matter with the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Incorporated.
Meanwhile, Treñas mentioned that he had already given marching orders to study how the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, on a more or less 2,600 square-meter property, will be expanded.
He added that he is also considering adding a “second floor” to increase the grandstand’s current seating capacity of 4,000.
“We need a bigger area because these children prepare so much dasun pila man lang ka libo ang makatan-aw, if we have a bigger stage daw ndi man bala mausikan ang ila kabudlay,” he added.
[We need a bigger area because these children prepare so much and only a few thousand can watch. If we have a bigger stage, their hard work won’t be in vain.]
The city mayor’s statement comes after House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, in a short speech during the Ati tribes competition on Sunday, expressed his willingness to assist in sourcing funds for the expansion of the “congested” Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.
The House Speaker emphasized the necessity of expanding the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, especially for the world-renowned festival that attracts thousands of local and international tourists.
It can be noted that the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand serves as the main stage for key activities of the Dinagyang Festival, such as Kasadyahwan sa Kabanwahanan and the Ati-atihan tribes competition.