This year’s edition of Iloilo City’s Dinagyang Festival marks the return of school-based tribes to the competition after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight tribes will compete on Sunday, Jan. 28, for the grand prize in the Tribes Competition, the highlight of the world-renowned festival.

“Dinagyang is back to its form and we can really expect an exciting performance from our fellow Ilonggo artists, from our Dinagyang warriors,” said Eric Divinagracia, artistic director of Dinagyang.

The competing tribes are Tribu Ilonganon  of Jalandoni Memorial National High School (NHS), Tribu Mandu-riyaw of Mandurriao NHS, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz NHS, Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro NHS, Tribu Salognon of Jaro NHS, Tribu Sigabong of Ramon Avanceña NHS, Tribu Silak of Iloilo City NHS, and Tribu Taga-Baryo of Bo. Obrero NHS.

They will perform in four judging areas: Freedom Grandstand, Iloilo Provincial Capitol, Mabini-Delgado, and Quezon-Ledesma.

“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).

IFFI is the main organizer of the Dinagyang Festival.

The grand winner of the Tribes Competition will take home a cash prize of  P1 million and school projects worth P25 million from USWAG Ilonggo and the city government.

The celebration this year is anchored on the theme, “Pagdayaw kay Señor Sto. Nino, Padayaw sang mga Ilonggo!”

The theme sums up the unwavering faith and devotion of Ilonggos as well as showcasing their culture, talent, food, and the city’s scenic beauty, among others.IMT

Photo by Arnold Almacen/CMO