By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
The newly-constructed Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand welcomed locals, tourists and guests during the opening salvo of the 51st Dinagyang Festival on January 11, 2019.
During the blessing ceremony of the new grandstand, Mayor Jose Espinosa III said he coined the name, “Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand” temporarily to highlight the much-anticipated Dinagyang Festival 2019.
“By authority of the mayor, itawgon lang ni naton siya anay nga Iloilo City Dinagyang Grandstand for the mean time para mas klaro ang aton focus which is the Dinagyang Festival itself especially for the national and international media,” Espinosa said.
But Espinosa assured that he is well aware that an ordinance needs to be passed to officially name the new grandstand.
He said he is open to suggestions and emphasized that research and consultation will be undertaken before the formal naming.
“Damo ang proseso and whatever will be the name of this, it will go through research and pamangkuton ang pumuluyo thru consultation. Sa subong kadamo gani sang suggestions but kinahanglan based man siya sa history and may meaning,” he emphasized.
In her speech, Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) vice president Marissa Segovia extended her gratitude to the city government for the successful construction of the new Dinagyang Grandstand.
“We would like to congratulate Jose Espinosa III because now we can have a grander view of the Iloilo River and a more photogenic background for the Dinagyang performances especially in the social media sites,” Segovia said.
DINAGYANG SEASON IS ON
Meanwhile, eight competing tribes signaled the official opening of the Dinagyang season on Friday.
Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School, Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School, Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni National High School, Tribu Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña National High School, Tribu Hugponganon Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School, and Tribu Barriohanon teased the crowd with a glimpse of their performances during the opening salvo.
This year, the Dinagyang Festival is themed “Connecting Communities Thru Culture and Faith”.
Segovia said that the theme is a fitting message that sees through beyond the first 50 years of Dinagyang Festival.
“Our theme, is a fitting message that sees us through beyond the first fifty years of Dinagyang. On this 51st year, let’s make Dinagyang another special experience for everyone to enjoy the festival and for beautiful memories to be made here in the city,” she noted.