By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The 100-day countdown of the Dinagyang Festival 2024 took an unexpected turn due to the presence of a Bacolodnon content creator whose “cursing” antics stirred controversy.
The incident prompted apologies from organizers and top officials of the city following varied reactions from the public.
Kalinti by TBON or simply “Kalinti” was among the content creators who headlined the kick-off of the much-anticipated Dinagyang Festival at SM City Iloilo on October 20.
Kalinti by TBON is popularly known for his antics using the dialect “kalinti,” in which the Bacolod-based vlogger even refers to his audience as “Mga Kalinti.”
“Linti” in Hiligaynon originally refers to “lighting” or the brief flash of light before thunder, but the term takes on a coarser connotation when expressed in a mocking, angry, or emotionally charged context.
Several Ilonggos stressed that the vlogger’s cursing antics during the countdown were “inappropriate” and “disrespectful for a religious and cultural event that pays homage to the Santo Niño (the Holy Child Jesus).
The Dinagyang Festival 2024 theme is “Pagdayaw kay Señor Santo Niño, Padayaw sang mga Ilonggo.”
During the event, the content creator made statements on stage, including one where he remarked, “Kita nga mga Ilonggo wala ta gapamuyayaw. Gin*g* yah ang pamuyayaw. B*l*tib*y, father.”
The Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) said that they invited content creators to highlight the Dinagyang countdown and for the event to reach a wide audience.
“Basically, ang role ni Kalinti by TBON amo ang i-feature and mga ginkadtuan niya sa Iloilo […] kag mag-create content about sa countdown […] Gin-interview man sila short and brief kon ano ang mga Dinagyang experiences nila sang iban pa nga vloggers,” said IFFI Executive Director Joyce Clavecillas in an interview with RMN Iloilo.
In the publication material that featured Kalinti with a larger face than the image of Santo Niño, Clavecillas said they acknowledge the public’s feedback and have already discussed the matter with their marketing team.
“It is a learning process man for everybody, especially sa amon working committee,” the IFFI executive director added.
Fr. Angelo Colada, Social Communications Director of the Archdiocese of Jaro, emphasized that the IFFI needs to be sensitive to the feelings and to respect the faith of the devotees of Santo Niño.
Colada stressed that the controversy highlighted the necessity of understanding the true essence and purpose of celebrating the Dinagyang Festival.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas expressed his apologies to those who were offended and assured that the city government is closely coordinating with the parish.
“On behalf of the organizers of the Dinagyang 2024, I would like to offer my apology since sensitivities were affected during the countdown. Stronger coordination with the parish will be made so that Dinagyang 2024 will properly be promoted,” the city mayor said in a statement on Monday.