By Mariela Angella Oladive
The Dinagyang Festival Monument, officially unveiled to the public last April 2022, targets to commence construction this year, as announced by Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne Baronda, during a site visit on Saturday.
The monument will rise at Iloilo River Esplanade 4 with an initial funding of PHP40 million.
As a symbol of cultural pride for Ilonggos, the project will be implemented in collaboration with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the University of San Agustin (USA), Zonta International, and DPWH-6.
The structure aims to commemorate the rich history and beginnings of the recently culminated Dinagyang Festival, celebrated annually in the city.
Baronda said the monument be made of brass and will depict the arrival of the Sto. Niño to showcase the Ilonggo’s devotion to the Holy Child.
The monument is based on the winning design of Architect Adonis Canonicato after a contest mounted by the USA in 2022.
During the project unveiling ceremony, Canonicato said the monument’s design comprises three “tableaus” illustrating the giving of the image of the Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu in 1521, the rediscovery of the Sto. Niño image in 1565, and the birth of the Dinagyang Festival in 1968.
He said his influences in his projects are mostly his knowledge, combined with his talent in the arts.
Canonicato explained that the competition presented a unique challenge, pushing him to create a concept that could effectively express how Dinagyang evolved with the introduction of Christianity in the country. This involved delving into the historical roots of the festival and capturing its essence through artistic representation.