Dinagyang Arts Fest highlights local artists

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

Local artists in Iloilo will finally have their own spotlight in the first ever Hala Bira Dinagyang Arts Festival.

The new Dinagyang event which kicked off last Friday will feature all forms of art from visual, dance, music, theater, film, and fashion that is all thriving in Iloilo City.

According to the chairman of the event, Councilor Jay Treñas, the Iloilo Dinagyang Arts Festival was conceptualized way back in 2014 with an aim to highlight local artists in Iloilo that are usually in the backseat during Dinagyang celebration.

“It was conceptualized in 2014 but materialized now with a budget through Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI). Ang aim naton gusto mahatagan ang local artists sang stoplight. Dinagyang has been the biggest the festival yet ang aton mga artists naging opening lang sila and they have taken the backseat,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Seeing the influx of guests during Dinagyang, Treñas said they want to grab the opportunity to showcase and promote the rich Ilonggo culture and arts.

“Gusto naton ishowcase naton ang aton culture and arts that have developed through the years that is why we have tapped all groups and committees that are also respected in their fields,” he said.

Last Friday, the Iloilo Dinagyang Arts Festival kicked off with the Hala Bira Cinekasimanwa Dagyang Edition Premiere Night, Hala Bira Rampa and Hala Bira Banda at the Festive Walk Mall Activity Area.

From January 11-25, 2020, the Hala Bira Cinekasimanwa Dagyang Edition will showcase Ilonggo films in selected malls for free.

Meanwhile, the Hala Bira Dinagyang Week Opening which will feature the Ilonggo Arts Community is scheduled on January 18, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the SM City Southpoint.

Ilonggo artists have also prepared musical, theatrical and dance performances in the Hala Bira Drama Saot kag Kanta on January 20-21, 2020 at SM City Iloilo and Robinsons Place Jaro Iloilo.

The Hala Bira Drama Saot kag Kanta will feature the groups namely, the USA Little Theater, Iloilo Theater Festival Community, Iloilo Choral Groups and the Iloilo Dance Community.

Aside from this, there will also be art installations in the Iloilo River Esplanade from January 22-24, 2020 for the Hala Bira sa Esplanade. It will also include performances from Ilongggo music artists.

Promising young Ilonggo designers will also showcase their designs in the Hala Bira Rampa on January 23, 2020 at 4 p.m. in Robinson’s Place Jaro.

The Hala Bira Dinagyang Arts Festival will culminate with performances from Ilonggo bands in the Hala Bira Banda at 5 p.m. at Calle Real in City Proper district.