The 2024 edition of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival will bring in major innovations, including the comeback of school-based tribes competing for the Ati Tribes competition following their hiatus due to the health pandemic.

“We can consider the highlight for 2024 the comeback of the schools. The last time they took part in our Dinagyang Festival was in 2020, before the pandemic,” said Joyce Clavecillas, executive director of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), one of the organizers of the Dinagyang Festival, in an interview on Monday, Oct. 23.

The foundation, together with the Iloilo City government and the San Jose Parish, launched the “100-Day Countdown to Iloilo Dinagyang 2024” on Friday (Oct. 20) evening, where selected members of eight participating tribes had their initial performances.

Clavecillas said the Dinagyang “ILOmination” would already become a parade-type street dance competition to allow more spectators to witness their performances, unlike last year when they performed in stages.

The Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan will be handled by the provincial government to allow them to highlight the festivals of various municipalities.

They will also bring back the “Sadsad (merrymaking) sa Calle Real” that will allow spectators to watch, mingle and have their pictures taken with participating tribes.

There will be five barangay tribes leading the merrymaking in the downtown area.

“We will officially open the festival on Jan. 12, a Friday, through our opening salvo,” Clavecillas said.

The festival culminates on Jan. 28 with the Dinagyang Tribes competition.Perla Lena/PNA