Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan 2024 ushers in Dinagyang with grand opening salvo

Kasag Festival of Banate, Iloilo perform the unity dance during the kickoff of the Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan. (Mariela Angella Oladive photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan of the 2024 Dinagyang Festival kicked off on January 5 at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand in Iloilo City Proper and culminated at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol for a “Fun, Foodie, and Friendly” cultural showcase.

Known as the ‘Festival of Festivals,’ this year’s Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan began with a dazzling unity dance by nine tribes hailing from various municipalities in the Iloilo province.

The participating tribes include the Katagman Festival of Oton, Saad Festival of Leganes, Pantat Festival of Zarraga, Cry of Jelicuon Festival of New Lucena, Kaing Festival of Leon, Tultugan Festival of Maasin, Hirinugyaw-Suguidanonay Festival of Calinog, Banaag Festival of Anilao, and Kasag Festival of Banate.

The opening ceremony was led by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., who, together with Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon and Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) Chairman Judgee Peña. They marked the occasion with a symbolic rice-tossing rite, signifying abundance and prosperity for the province.

Defensor thanked Iloilo City and everyone supporting the province in hosting the Kasadyahan, and further highlighted the significance of the event, saying “… nga mapakita ang aton pag-ugyon kag paghugpong sa syudad sang Iloilo kag sa tanan nga kabanwahanan kag sa iban pa nga syudad kag probinsya.”

(“…to demonstrate our unity and solidarity with the city of Iloilo and all the municipalities and other cities and provinces.”)

In his message, Uswag Ilonggo Partylist Rep. Jojo Ang revealed that the town that will be hailed champion in the Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan 2024 competition on January 27 at the same venue will be win P10 million worth of infrastructure.

Hosted for the first time by the Iloilo provincial government, the opening salvo treated hundreds of spectators to a sneak peek of the upcoming vibrant and colorful performances by the participating tribes.

The event promises to be a unique blend of tradition, creativity, and community spirit, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the Ilonggos.

The opening salvo also included the “Magsinadya Kita” Community Dance and a foam party at the Capitol grounds, providing both participants and onlookers with a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.

Additionally, the Dinagyang-themed lights were unveiled at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, adding a dazzling touch to the city’s landscape and setting the stage for the exciting events that will unfold in the coming weeks.