Iloilo City will be a festive destination as it opens the 2019 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival today with an opening salvo featuring different tribes that will be participating in the event highlights two weeks from now.
In 2001, I was tapped by then-Iloilo City Councilor Rolando Dabao and Larry Jamora to serve as festival manager and introduce innovative ideas for the annual celebration. That year, I organized the Iloilo Dinagyang Friendship Golf Tournament with Lito Doran, a beauty pageant with Ted Mino, and the Dinagyang Corporate Parade.
I also initiated several rules that year, including the controlling and monitoring tarp installations.
Several years later, the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival remains an institution of revelry and fun, where thousands gather in Iloilo City to witness the drumbeating days and nights of food and festivity.
The festival is still successfully managed by the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc., which establishes viewing stages across the city for revelers to view various performances.
In addition, with elections this May, candidates will be flooding the festival, making sure they are seen.
This year, Department of Tourism-Region VI (DOT-6) director, Atty. Helen J. Catalbas, announced she will bring together DOT-accredited establishments to join the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival for the “Saturday highlights” as a way to boost camaraderie across the department.
I salute the festival organizers and all those supporting the event in making it a fruitful tourism promotion opportunity for the Western Visayas.
This column greets Matin Arandez-Perez, Boyet Ortaliz, Francis Chu, Robert Alor, Phoebe Mamon, Arlene Florete, Troy Camarista, Mikmik Jimenez, Marlon Navarro, Armand Agdon, Emmanuel Tiples, Ariston Minez, Jr., and Panoy Gonzalez./WDJ