ILOILO CITY—Organizers of the Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo’s top tourist attraction, have barred campaign materials of candidates in the May elections in judging areas.
“We would like to ensure that the Dinagyang festival is nonpartisan and we are calling on candidates and their supporters to respect this,” city tourism officer Ben Jimena told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Monday.
Jimena said the campaign materials would not be allowed in the four judging areas during the Kasadyahan contest on Jan. 26 and the Ati tribe contest on
Jan. 27. These include flyers and paper fans with images and names of candidates.
The Dinagyang, held every fourth Sunday of January, is among the festivals held in honor of the Child Jesus Señor Sto. Niño. It comes a week after the Sinulog Grand Parade, Cebu’s biggest and grandest celebration.
Ten Ati tribes are expected to compete during the contest highlighting the weeklong festival. At least P1.35 million in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Kasadyahan and Ati contests.
At least 142 contingents, from dancers to puppeteers, paraded around Cebu City’s major streets in a 6-kilometer carousel route during the Sinulog, which drew an estimated 12,000 people. Final judging was made at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Two out-of-town contingents won the top prizes and received P1 million each.
Tribu Sinanduloy of Tangub City topped the Sinulog-based (SB) category while defending champion Tribu Lingganay of Alang-alang, Leyte, maintained its reign in the free interpretation (FI) category.
“The judges felt that (Tribu) Lingganay was a visual feast like no other. The discipline of the dancers and props holders were so evident in the way the sequences transposed from one to the other,” said Nestor Jardin, chair of the FI board of judges and former president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
The Leyte contingent was the most applauded among the 40 dancing groups, said Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros.
Introduced as the dancing pilgrims of Tangub, Tribu Sinanduloy also won Best in Musicality and Best in Costume.
“This year’s performances focused on rituals and historical details. They were well- researched… the silhouette of costumes, movements. They went out of the way to look for Philippine rituals closely connected with the Sto. Niño [dance] ritual,” said Chris Millado, CCP vice president and artistic director, who heads the SB board of judges.