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Monday, October 18, 2010

Dinagyang Festival 2011 Formal Launching

        The Dinagyang Festival 2011 was formally launched last Monday, October 11, 2010 at Moon Café in Robinson’s Place, Iloilo. Spearheaded by Iloilo City government in partnership with Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI), and San Jose Parish, a three-time best tourism event in the country, the festival’s formal launching was highlighted by signing the memorandum of agreement of hosting and handling the week long festivities.
        According to the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI), it needs 14 million pesos to successfully stage the world famous festival. IDFI president and former Iloilo City councilor Ramon Cua-Locsin said the expenses of the event will be both shared by the city government and the private sector to minimize the cost and highlight their partnership. IDFI will monitor the festivities while the private sector will manage some of the major activities of the event including “Miss Dinagyang beauty pageant” which will be organized and handled by certain group. Additionally, some 4.8 million pesos will be allocated for the subsidy of participating tribes in Ati tribal dance competition and prizes.
       As a sweetener to the participating tribes, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog pledge to give 500,000 pesos worth of projects to the winning community or school in the competition. International companies, groups or individual are very most welcome to contribute, solicit or sponsor the event.
       Next year will also be the last time Kasadyahan will be held under Dinagyang shadow and the weaning stage of Kasadyahan competition will feature cultural performances from different schools and towns most especially with significant festivals of their own which means it’s a competition among schools and various festivals in the province. City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena said they will move the Kasadyahan competition to August in time for Iloilo City Charter Day celebration to mount tourism activities in the middle of the year which is considered an off-peak season in the city. Unlike the Dinagyang which focuses on the lives of Ati (indigenous people of Iloilo and Panay) through dance, the Kasadyahan (merrymaking) features Iloilo’s tradition, culture and the arts.
       The 2011 festival will focus on environment-friendly practices such as recycling and waste management. Dinagyang Festival is a religious-cultural event which focused on the aboriginal tribes in Iloilo and Panay (the great ancestors of Iloilo) who converted to Christianity from animism. The event of honoring the Holy Child Jesus started in 1966 but the Ati tribe competition started in 1969 with Madjapahit Tribe of Compania Maritima as the first winner. Since then, the festival has evolved in dance forms, choreography, costume among others and the number of tourists and visitors has increased and it became world renowned ever since. The festival is held every 4th Sunday of January and next year it will happen on January 23, 2011.

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