PEOPLE’S FESTIVAL: #Dinagyang360 returns to roots as it embraces future

Dinagyang 2020 aims to bring back the festival to the people via street dancing even as it returns to its roots while embracing the future through innovations. (Ramil Gorrieza photo)

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

Tribe performances in this year’s Dinagyang 2020 can be viewed in all angles as organizers aim to bring back the festival to the people.

The much-anticipated Dinagyang 360 Tribes Competition on January 26, 2020, will feature an upgraded performance of the eight competing tribes wherein the choreographies should be in 360 degrees and the judges will be seated in different areas.

Artistic Committee and Tribes Committee Head, Prof. Eric Divinagracia of the University of San Agustin (USA) said they wanted to introduce Dinagyang 360 to utilize all space in the performance areas so that more people can see the action.

“One of the reasons why we are doing it is to democratize the space which really means open the space to more people,” he told Daily Guardian.

The concept is not relatively new as Greek and Shakespearian theaters also utilized all angles of their stages, he added.

With Dinagyang 360, Divinagracia said even those seated at the side or the back of the performance area can see a much better view of the tribes’ performances.

Kon galantaw ka Dinagyang sang una kung ara ka sa likod and ara ka sa kilid, likod na lang man ang makita mo, ang makalantaw lang gid ya ang sa tubang,” he explained.

He emphasized that the Dinagyang 360 is a symbol of bringing back the festival to the people.

“It’s part of really opening the festival to the people,” Divinagracia said.

According to Divinagracia, the challenge for the tribes is how they will executive a 360-degree performance with all the transition, choreography, and costume changes.

“It is really a challenge for the choreographers. We expect from all angles and that’s quite a challenge. They really have to make sure nga makit-an sila,” he said.

The concept also revolves around three aspects including the indigenous culture of Ati, devotion to Santo Niño, and dagyang or merry-making.

“We have to showcase Ilonggo values portrayed in bountiful harvest or helping one another, among others. These should be shown in the color and texture used by participants,” he explained.

Nevertheless, Dinagyang spectators can expect world-class performances from the eight competing tribes namely, Tribu Barriohanon of Bo. Obrero National High School (NHS); Tribu Binhi of Melchor L. Nava NHS; Tribu Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña Memorial NHS; Tribu Hugponganon of Tiu Cho Teg-Ana Ros Foundation Integrated School; Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni NHS; Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz NHS; Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City NHS; and Tribu Salognon of Jaro NHS.

Divinagracia said the performances of the eight tribes should depict three things – Ilonggos’ foundation, faith, and future.

“By foundation, we mean ang aton indigenous roots, ang mga Ati. Second our faith and devotion to Sto. Niño and our future which is reflected in our ‘dagyang’ or our march towards the future,” he said.

The Dinagyang 360 Competition will include the “Pasundayag” or the performance at the Freedom Grandstand and the “Sadsad” in the major streets of the City Proper.

“It’s a turnaround as we re-conceptualize for 2020 perfect vision. It is bringing back to the people a festival that is inclusive and open for all. Street-dancing will be participative as we want as many to be part of the celebration. Ilonggo art is expressed by Dinagyang warriors dancing to drumbeats or rhythm of the streets. Art is always in flux and Dinagyang is always changing. Although 360 is not new, it aims to capture today’s generation,” Divinagracia added.

Huge prizes await the grand champion of the Dinagyang 360 which will take home P5 million worth of prizes – P1 million cash, P3 million worth of school projects from the city government plus an additional P1 million worth of projects.

Second and third placers will receive P3.5 million and P2.25 million, respectively.

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