Iloilo awards P1 million to Santa Barbara for winning float

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. turns over a P1 million cash prize to Mayor Dennis Superficial of Santa Barbara on June 24, in recognition of the “Cry of Santa Barbara” float’s grand champion victory at the Parada ng Kalayaan 2024 on June 12.

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Iloilo provincial government, led by Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., ceremoniously turned over a P1 million cash prize to the local government unit of Santa Barbara, headed by Mayor Dennis Superficial, on June 24.

The recognition came after the “Cry of Santa Barbara” float was declared the grand champion at the Parada ng Kalayaan 2024 held on June 12 at Rizal Park, Manila.

The event featured the illumination of the float, now displayed at the Capitol lobby, and a performance by Tribu Kahilwayan, who reenacted their dance-drama presentation from the flag-raising ceremony.

Certificates of recognition were also awarded to individuals who contributed to the float’s success.

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. highlighted the importance of the achievement in placing the province prominently on the national map of cultural celebration, further underscoring the economic prospects following it.

“Winning the grand prize at the Parada ng Kalayaan has brought Iloilo into the spotlight of this historic event, showcasing our profound cultural heritage to the entire nation,” he said.

The governor emphasized that this recognition will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the region, projecting increased business activity that will eventually lead to the creation of livelihood opportunities for residents.

Looking forward, he pledged continued support for initiatives aimed at boosting tourism, particularly those centered around Iloilo’s rich history and cultural heritage.

He affirmed his commitment to preserving and promoting these assets, ensuring that Iloilo remains a vibrant destination for tourists and a source of pride for its residents.

In a separate interview, Mayor Superficial stated that the prize money would be used to enhance the town’s cultural heritage, specifically to improve the local church, a significant historical landmark in the municipality.

“Hopefully, we can improve it [the church]. There are still certain areas that can be utilized and developed,” he said.

The “Cry of Santa Barbara” float bested nine other entries from various provinces during the Parada ng Kalayaan, celebrating the 126th Philippine Independence Day. Its intricate design was a product of collaborative effort, highly praised for showcasing the rich history and heritage of the province.

The province invested a total of P2 million in the creation of the float. The financial breakdown previously presented by Defensor detailed the expenses as follows:

– P867,755 for the delivery of supplies and materials

– P800,922 for fabrication and installation, including carpentry, logos, signage, artwork, and electrical components

– P143,463.92 for equipment rental for transporting the float

– P270,000 for dismantling the float post-event

The float will be turned over to the municipality of Santa Barbara.

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