EARLY CALL FOR VISITORS: Iloilo Summer Arts Festival 2020 launching

Guests were treated to an opening teaser musical treat by the Iloilo River at the Esplanade Park where some events of the Iloilo Summer Arts Festival (ISAF) 2020 will be held.

Committee members and artists PG Zoluaga and Miguel Antonio Davao both performed with Zoluaga playing his guitar and singing his original composition Suba or river while Davao accompanied him on violin. It was an apt song to play by the river.

The Festival aims to promote the arts and culture of the Ilonggo people to both locals and tourists alike.  It also is part of the vision of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, to make Iloilo the arts capital of the Philippines.

The Festival will mainly feature Ilonggo artists and all forms of art from visual arts, to music, dance, film, theater, literature, aside from culinary arts, horticulture, and culture in living museum.

The Committee launched ISAF formally with a sneak peek through the musical performance while the winners of the logo and jingle making contests that started the event were presented to the public.

The new logo, by winning contestant Vladimir Jay Guanzon, used the seven waves and winds representing seven districts of Iloilo City, and a uniquely Ilonggo feature, the Dinagyang headdress.

The jingle “Experience Iloilo” by Charmaine Garay promotes the arts and culture of Iloilo, with an invite to visitors to come to Iloilo, and will be launched in a music video form in various social media channels.

First Lady Mrs. Rosalie Treñas welcomed all the guests and discussed the difficulty in launching a very big city-wide event, and shared that “the success of the event will happen due to everyone’s cooperation” from the City Government to the private sector, such as the MICE Alliance, corporations and foundations, and the general Iloilo populace who will be attending and patronizing the artists’ works and shows.

Committee member Leny Ledesma presented the various art forms, activities, and venues for the month-long celebration of the ISAF from April to May, which will pose a very exciting and dynamic festival from the beginning.

Starting with workshops for artists with renowned Singapore Biennale artistic director and curator Patrick Flores, and workshops for students and the public with senior artists in schools with Special Arts Program on Arts Month in February.

The first La Via Dolorosa (the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ) in dance during Holy week, art exhibits and for the first time Ilonggo families will share their art collections that will be exhibited for a month at Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts (ILOMOCA) in Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, an art fair for old and new collectors alike with a wall presenting affordable art aside from the real art exhibitions of the artists.

For musical concerts, Mrs. Treñas mentioned that Sen. Franklin Drilon will be bringing in the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra to play on April 27, aside from theatre performances or zarzuelas at the parks.

These activities all coincide with the theme of the event for 2020 which is:  Ibalik ang Pagbun-ag, Pag-tukib, kag ang Kapagsik sang Tali-Ambong sang Iloilo (Rebirth, Rediscover, and Revitalize the Arts of Iloilo) because the Renaissance in arts and culture is happening right now with the support of the City Government. It can be seen in the murals being done all over the city.

Ledesma stressed: “launching the arts festival is for the future generation of Iloilo wherein knowledge, creativity, and innovation will be encouraged through this project.  It is not exclusive or elitist, but will be inclusive as most venues will be public.  Anyone and everyone can see and appreciate art.”

The venues and activities will be mounted in different areas all over the city – from Esplanade to give extra emphasis on the river which gives identity and uniqueness of Ilonggos, heritage parks such as Plaza Libertad, Jaro Plaza, Molo Plaza, and Sunburst Park, and malls. Truly, something Ilonggos and guests can look forward to.

This is an ambitious project of the Ilonggo artists together with the First Lady, and its success rests on collaboration, linkages, and cooperation of all Ilonggos, from the artists to the public.

The Committee encouraged everyone to help spread the word so that interested visitors can already book their tickets going to Iloilo as there will be events every weekend to look forward to in April.

The committee is chaired by Mrs. Treñas.

The core of advisors and members include artists, cultural workers, and academics such as Manny Garibay, Raisa Treñas, Rose Arenas, Leny Ledesm, Melanie Padilla, Elisa Baliao; Jennifer Palmares-Fong of Megaworld, ILOMOCA manager Allyn Canja, musical artists PG Zoluaga and Miguel Antonio Davao, Daniella Caro for film, Eric Divinagracia for theatre, Annie Sartorio for dance; and Chef Tibong Jardeleza for culinary arts.

The festival’s message is that it is time to show the world the Ilonggos’ arts and culture which is very unique, as most of the firsts were here in Iloilo as per the academe in the committee, and that Ilonggos are more than just food, they also have very rich and diverse arts and united as one, they can show what they are really all about.

Ilonggos must be proud of their heritage and what they can offer to the world.