Dinagyang 2019 launched; P18-M budget okayed

Dinagyang 2019 MOA signing
A memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the staging of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2019 was signed on October 8, 2018. (Photo from the Iloilo City Government’s Facebook page)

The Iloilo City Government has alloted P18 million for the staging of the 51st Dinagyang Festival.

The bulk of the amount approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod will go to subsidies for competing tribes.

Each tribe will get P1.2-million subsidy, higher by P200 thousand than it received in the previous celebration of the festival.

The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2019 was launched on Monday, October 8.

Part of the ceremonial launch was the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

The MOA was forged by Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) president Ramon Cua Locsin, Mayor Jose Espinosa III, and San Jose de Placer Parish Priest Fr. Raymundo Alcayaga.

Department of Tourism (DOT-6) Director Helen J. Catalbas, IDFI vice president Marissa Segovia, City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia, and  city councilors witnessed the MOA signing.

“This is the start of colorful and vibrant celebration to be staged in January. All the blessings that we received and soon be receiving, we owe it all to Senior Sto. Niño,” Espinosa said.

The 51st Dinagyang Festival is themed “Connecting Communities Thru Culture and Faith.”

Locsin said next year’s festival would focus on the strength of Ilonggo artistry and cultural expression to create a meaningful celebration.

Last month, the IDFI organized the 1st Iloilo Dinagyang Rhythm and Vibes Conference for choreographers, musical directors, dancers and tribe managers, among others.

Robert Alor, chairman of the IDFI tribes committee, said eight schools have so far confirmed to take part in the Ati Tribes Competition.These are Iloilo City National High School, Ramon Avanceña National High School, Jaro National High School, Mandurriao National High School, Fort San Pedro National High School, La Paz National High School, Bo. Obrero National High School, and Jalandoni National High School.

The Search for Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2019 will be handled by international lifestyle designer PJ Arañador.

The festival’s highlights are slated on January 25-27, 2019.

Dinagyang started when the replica of the image of Sr. Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to San Jose Parish Church in Iloilo City by Fr. Sulpicio Enderes, O.S.A.., with a delegation of Cofradia de Cebu in 1968.

“Because of this devotion, Dinagyang was born and has become a joyous religious and socio-cultural celebration held every 4th Sunday of January annually.” IMT