THE rains did not stop the official opening of Iloilo Dinagyang 2024 from happening on January 12.
No less than Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas led the opening salvo where he declared the official start of the world-class and Philippine's best festival.
"Without doubt, Dinagyang is the best festival in the Philippines. As a three-time Best Tourism Event in the country, it has been known on the national and global stage, making Dinagyang one of the most highly anticipated events for visitors and tourists," the proud mayor told the crowd at Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.
He expressed his appreciation to the partners of the City Government -- the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) and San Jose Parish Placer -- for ensuring that the Ilonggos.do not lose their love for local heritage, culture and tradition, most especially the reverence to Sr. Sto. Niño.
The mayor also announced that this year's champion in the Dinagyang Tribes Competition will get a total of P25-million as an additional prize.
He thanked Uswag Ilonggo Partylist Rep. Jojo Ang for the additional P10 million worth of projects while another P15-million worth of projects will be given by the City Government.
Treñas noted that this is the first time that additional prizes of the said amount will be awarded.
Meanwhile, aside from bombastic performances from the eight competing schools for the tribes competition and from four tribes joining the Sadsad sa Calle Real, the seven tribes vying in the Dinagyang ILOmination also gave a glimpse of their fantastic performance through a Dinagyang Unity Dance.
"In Iloilo City, we have proven that faith and devotion, and the artistic expression of our culture and tradition, can go hand in hand," Treñas said.
The opening salvo was also joined by the IFFI officials led by their chairman, Judgee Peña, and president, Allan Ryan Tan; San Jose Parish Placer headed by Rev. Fr. Renchie Vicente T. Senoro; and other local city officials. (PR)