The Iloilo 2024 Dinagyang Festival would benefit not only this city but the whole province in terms of tourism, business and arts and culture.
In a press conference Monday, Allan Ryan Tan, president of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), the private sector partner of the city government in managing the celebration, said that once the “Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan”, which for the first time was handled by the provincial government, is sustained, it is not only the city that would benefit but also the province of Iloilo.
He cited for instance the “Tultugan Festival” which won the Kasadyahan and heightened public curiosity about their bamboo products.
The festival of Maasin town showcases various products made out of bamboo, the main source of livelihood for the locality.
“We will try to come up with that study for us to measure the contribution of the festival to claim that Dinagyang is sustainable and can help the economy, and not just the economy but promote Iloilo,” he said.
Prof. Eric Divinagracia, artistic director, said that for the academe, the festival can be a possible research topic to look into its music, choreography and local economy, among others, to see where Dinagyang will bring Iloilo.
With more tribes joining the various events, he said, it has also created opportunities for local choreographers.
“Hopefully, we can train more artists; we can widen the base for more choreographers,” Divinagracia said.
He envisioned an academy that would teach Dinagyang steps, conduct research and codify dance lexicons, place them in the literature of folk dances, and teach them in schools.
If not a physical academy, it can be similar to the School of Living Tradition or dance and movement conferences, he said.
On the other hand, Velma Jane Lao, Iloilo City Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (LEDIP) office head, said they are still in the process of quantifying the economic impact of the festival.
The weeklong events of the festival, which is held every January in honor of the Señor Santo Niño, culminated over the weekend. (PNA)