By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
WITH bigger budget and cash prizes, expect a grander and more spectacular staging of the world-famous Dinagyang Festival 2020.
In a press conference on Monday, Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), the new organizer of the festival, gave a sneak preview of what spectators can expect from Dinagyang Festival 2020.
Mayor Jerry Treñas said that the city government has allotted a P25-million budget for the much-anticipated festival.
“I have already met the city treasurer and members of the City Council, we are ready to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the IFFI for an assistance of a total of P25 million,” he said.
The P25-million commitment of the city government is on top of another P25 million budget pledged by the IFFI.
The budget is bigger compared to the P18-million assistance from the city government for the 2019 festival.
According to the mayor, the first P15 million will be released to the IFFI between October and December this year.
“Another P10 million will be released in January (2020),” he added.
More than the budget, bigger prizes await the winners of the Dagyang Tribes Dance Competition.
IFFI president Jobert Peñaflorida announced on Monday that the grand champion of the Dinagyang Festival 2020 will receive a whopping P5 million.
“The champion will receive P1 million cash prize, P3 million worth of school projects from the city government plus the additional P1 million worth of school project committed by the mayor to all the participating tribes,” he said.
The second and third placers will receive P3.5 million and P2.25 million, respectively, he added.
Peñaflorida said that all participating tribes are each guaranteed with P1 million worth of school projects.
“We can really expect a great performance from all our participating tribes since the prices are huge chunk compared to the previous Dinagyang,” he said.
For its 52nd year, Dinagyang Festival 2020 will also reintroduce new activities to amuse the guests and tourists such as the Iloilo Arts Festival 2019 from January 18-25, 2019; Miss Iloilo 2020 on January 20, 2019, and Dagyang sa Calle Real from January 25-26, 2019.
Dagyang sa Calle Real will replace the Kasadyahan Festival which will be moved to another month, while Miss Iloilo 2020 will replace Miss Iloilo Dinagyang.
“This ‘Dagyang sa Calle Real’ is a new event that stemmed after consulting our stakeholders. More than 80 percent of the stakeholders agreed that we give Kasadyahan its own festival,” Peñaflorida said.
The highlight of the festival, the Dagyang Tribes Dance Competition, will be upgraded to Dinagyang 360 degrees which will do away from the usual theater performance.
Tribes will instead perform in an arena type sequence where judges will be deployed in various areas.
Treñas said he is confident that IFFI will bring the festival to the next level.
“I am certain, we will bring the festival into the next level. Let us all help that this Dinagyang will be far better than the previous Dinagyang,” he said.
The mayor also administered the oath taking ceremony of the members of the IFFI on Tuesday.
The new group is headed by businessmen Rito Carlos Peña and Felipe Uygongco as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The other officials are lawyer Jobert Peñaflorida (president), Dr. Ronald Raymond Sebastian (vice president), Angel de Leon Jr. (corporate secretary), Roland Uy (treasurer), and Ivy Gurrea (assistant treasurer).
The board of directors include businessmen Philipp Chua, Honorato Espinosa, Rogelio Florete Sr., Molly Grande, Jose Marie Layson, John Alexander Que, Allan Ryan Tan, and Luis Tinsay.