ILOILO City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas on Monday, January 22, 2024, announced the suspension of all classes in public and private schools on January 26, 27 and 29, due to the upcoming Dinagyang Festival 2024.
Treñas emphasized the need for suspension in Executive Order No. 009 Series of 2024, citing the significant preparation and participation involved in the Dinagyang Festival.
"Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is deemed to be one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines, showcasing the rich heritage, devotion, and fun-loving spirit of the Ilonggo community," Treñas said.
The festival, recognized as one of the Philippines' most prominent celebrations, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, both local and international, to its week-long festivities.
"Dinagyang Festival has since drawn hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists in its week-long festivities, necessitating employment of measures to ensure the orderly observance of public protocols to guarantee the peaceful conduct of the cultural and religious expression of the rich devotion to Senor Santo Niño," Treñas said.
The anticipated crowd of over 40,000 people in various performance areas and parade routes has led to the temporary closure of major city roads.
"The participation of students in the celebration of the Dinagyang Festival can help inculcate in them the culture and values embodied by Ilonggos," Treñas said.
The suspension of classes is a practical measure to alleviate logistical challenges caused by the festival's influx and road closures, ensuring smooth transportation for students and city residents.
The suspension of classes is set for January 26, 2024 (Friday), January 27, 2024 (Saturday) and January 29, 2024 (Monday), the day following the main event of the Dinagyang Festival.
The move is anticipated to streamline the festival's numerous events while ensuring the safety and security of the city's students.
The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, known for its vibrant cultural displays and religious devotion to Senor Santo Niño, plays a crucial role in the cultural identity of the Ilonggo community.
This annual event not only celebrates the rich heritage of the region but also significantly contributes to its tourism and economy. (SunStar Philippines)