Expect a levelled-up Dinagyang 2020

(Photo by Ricky Alejo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE new organizer of Dinagyang Festival 2020, the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), promised spectators and visitors a “levelled-up” staging of the world-renowned festival with new set of activities to watch out for.

In a press conference on Wednesday, IFFI director Jose Marie Layson said 10 barangay-based tribes already signified their intention to participate in the new “Dagyang sa Calle Real” on January 25, 2019.

On Thursday, IFFI and the Iloilo City government led the official 100-day countdown to Dinagyang, which is now on its 52nd year.

“The tribes that have already confirmed their participation are Aninipay, Molave, Hamili, Panaad, Angola, and Milagrosa among others,” Layson said.

The Dagyang sa Calle Real will replace the usual Kasadyahan Festival in response to the clamor of the stakeholders who wanted Kasadyahan to be a stand-alone festival.

The new activity will bring back the usual merrymaking practice or “Dagyang” to give way to a more experiential Dinagyang Festival.

“Our plan is to commission a set of drummers, each set wearing unique costumes but attuned into the festival. It will start at 7 am with a religious mass to be followed by the actual ‘Dagyang sa Calle Real’ and religious sadsad at 7 p.m.,” Layson said.

Layson said the “Dagyang sa Calle Real” will be staged at the historic J.M. Basa.

“We are banking on the art decos of J.M. Basa. We will light it up and after the religious sadsad there will be bands from Manila who will be performing,” he said.

Aside from the new ‘Dagyang sa Calle Real’, the tribe competition of Dinagyang Festival will be upgraded into a 360-degree performance.

Artistic Committee and Tribes Committee Head, Prof. Eric Divinagracia of the University of San Agustin said the tribes will perform in an arena type sequence where judges will be seated in different areas.

Makita na ang bilog nga judging area. All of the judges will be seated in different areas,” he said.

Atty. Jobert A. Peñaflorida, IFFI president, declared that eight national high schools from Iloilo City have confirmed their participation on the 360 Dinagyang Tribes Competition.

The schools are: Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School, Tribu Barriohanon of Bo. Obrero National High School, Tribu Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña Memorial National High School, Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School, Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni National High School,  Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School, Tribu Binhi of Melchor L. Nava National High School, and Tribu Hugponganon of Tiu Cho Teg-Ana Ros Foundation Integrated School.

IFFI announced that the grand champion of the tribe competition will take home P5 million worth of prizes:P1 million cash prize, P3 million worth of school projects from the city government plus an additional P1 million worth of school.

Meanwhile, the second and third placers will receive P3.5 million and P2.25 million.

Each of the participating tribes will also receive P1 million worth of school projects courtesy of the city government.

Apart from the prizes, the city government also committed P25 million for the festival on top of another P25 million budget which IFFI aims to raise.

New events will also be introduced in Dinagyang Festival 2020 such as the Iloilo Arts Festival 2019 from January 18-25, 2020; Miss Iloilo 2020 on January 23, 2020, and Ilonggo Food Festival on January 23-26, 2020.

Another new event to look out for is the Iloilo Dinagyang Arts Festival that will open on January 10, 2020 and will run until January 26, 2020.

Councilor Jay Treñas, Chairman of the Committee of the Iloilo Dinagyang Arts Festival, said the new event will feature exhibitions of all forms of local Ilonggo art.

“Same with the thrust of IFFI that Iloilo Dinagyang 2020 will be inclusive, we will have all mediums of arts to be showcased in the Ilonggo Arts Festival,” he said.

According to Treñas, the arts festival will highlight Ilonggo artists from visual, musician, performing arts, film and fashion.

“We will have stage plays, fashion shows, and a ‘Dinagyang Film Festival’. We also want to take advantage of our infrastructure like the Esplanade and we will make other parts of the city Instagrammable,” he said.

Apart from the above-mentioned activities, other events to look out for in the upcoming Dinagyang are
Ilonggo Food Festival (January 23-26,2020); Miss Iloilo 2020 (January 23, 2020); Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika, Fluvial & Solemn Foot Procession, Floats Parade of Lights, Fireworks Display (January 24, 2020); and  Dinagyang Festive Parade (Sponsors Mardi-Gras) on January 25, 2020.