MODEST CELEBRATION: Dengue, sea mishaps tone down Charter Day bash

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THIS year’s celebration of the Iloilo City’s Charter Day will be a modest one, following the series of unfortunate events that beset and challenged the Ilonggos.

Mayor Jerry Treñas announced on Monday that the 82nd Charter Day celebration in the city has been toned down.

According to the mayor, there are other responsibilities and duties that should be prioritized particularly the dengue patients in the city that must be taken care of.

Ang aton selebrasyon sang Charter Day, gintone down naton. Ngaa gintone down naton, ga-atipan pa kita sang dengue patients naton,” he said.

The city has been placed under a state of calamity due to dengue on July 23, 2019. As of August 23, 2019, there are 2,247 recorded dengue cases in the city with 14 deaths.

Aside from this, Treñas reiterated that the city should sympathize and unite for the victims of the recent Iloilo Strait tragedy that claimed the lives of 31 people.

Bag-o gid lang natabo ang Iloilo Strait tragedy, daw indi manami nga nagakalipay kita nga ang iban nagakalisod. We will have some celebration but it will be toned down, I hope you understand. It is not because we don’t want to celebrate Charter Day but we want to tone down the celebration because gusto man naton magbuylog sa kalisod sa iban ta nga utod,” he explained.

The almost one-month celebration kicked off on July 22, 2019 with a volleyball tournament, followed by the inauguration of the Iloilo River Esplanade on July 27, 2019, series of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Program in the various districts in the city, and other sports program and activities organized by offices in the City Hall and private stakeholders.

Partner stakeholders also organized music shows like the 1st Iloilo Jazz Festival on August 23, 2019 at the University of the Philippines (UPV) Auditorium and the four-day workshop of the Jovita Fuentes & Jose Contreras (JFJC) Music Institute of the University of San Agustin (USA) from August 20-24, 2019 at the USA Campus and Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA).

The usual showcase of local products or the “Produkto Lokal” was also part of the celebration. The three-day fair which features the best of the Ilonggo products can be availed at the Festive Walk Mall in Mandurriao district from August 23-August 25, 2019.

However, the usual civic parade of schools, government agencies, and private stakeholders was not staged in this year’s 82nd Charter Day celebration.

Instead, the event will cap off with a mass at the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand on August 25,2019 and will be followed by a program.

According to Official Gazette of the Philippines, the Commonwealth Act No. 57 known as the Charter of Iloilo City was enacted into law on October 20, 1936.

The act established the City Government of Iloilo with the Mayor as an appointed position of the President.

On August 20, 1937, then President Manuel Quezon signed Proclamation No. 172, setting August 25, 1937 as the inauguration of the City of Iloilo and declared it a public holiday.

Elpidio Quirino who was Secretary of the Interior swore Dr. Ramon Campos to become the first mayor of Iloilo City on August 25, 1937.

Then, President Quezon inaugurated the city, thereby, August 25 became the Charter Day of Iloilo City.

Former Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog upon his assumption to office in 2010 started the annual Charter Day celebrations in the metro to commemorate its historic past. The very first celebration was held last August 25, 2010. (With a report from the Iloilo City Public Information Office)