‘Pamukaw’ marks resumption of in-person Dinagyang Fest in Iloilo City
ILOILO CITY — Ilonggos on Friday marked the return of the Dinagyang Festival with the “pamukaw” or wakeup call, which showcased the resilience of people in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holding varying sizes and colors of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, or the child Jesus, people from different walks of life gathered at the vicinity of the San Jose de Placer Church in this city for a Mass and program highlighted by drum beats and lively music.
The parish houses the official replica of the Señor Sto. Niño, which was brought to Iloilo from Cebu in 1967.
The “pamukaw” aims to foster awareness of the Dinagyang Festival, which is held every fourth Sunday of January.
In his message, City Mayor Jerry Treñas promised a “bigger, bolder, and brighter” Dinagyang 2023 after two years of celebrating it in virtual platforms due to the pandemic.
“Dinagyang is more than just an event that can be captured by the lenses and seen in the photos. It is a must, a must-feel, a must-see. It is an experience of culture, heritage, faith and devotion, and most of all, an expression of love,” the mayor said.
Fr. Vicente Senoro, OSA, parish priest of San Jose Placer Church, called on people not to lose hope amid struggles.
“The Sto. Niño holds the world in his hand. He holds your life and mine, and the history of our country in his hands, which, though little, are the hands of God. We must never lose hope, no matter what happens, and we should always work to make things better because we are the hands of God,” he said.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. issued a statement read by his wife Michelle, saying the celebration is a testament of the Ilonggos’ faith amid the pandemic.
“We are here today, we continue to thrive, [and we are] ready to mark the start of the Dinagyang Festivities because we strongly fought the battle. We never wavered until we reached where we are now,” the governor’s message read.
The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) earlier petitioned the Iloilo City Council to allow the jamming of mobile signals during the festival.
The Iloilo City Council held a public hearing on ICPO’s request on Dec. 15, where the local police said the blocking of mobile signals in key areas during the festival would beef up security measures to ensure the safety of residents, workers, and tourists.
Police Major Garry Nee Tungala, chief of the Iloilo City Explosive Ordnance Division K9 Unit, appealed to the public to understand the need to shut down mobile signals during the festival.
He cited the possibility of a New People’s Army attack using a command-initiated Improvised Explosive Device, which may be activated via non-smart phones.
Based on their request to the National Telecommunications Commission, cellular phone signals would be shut down from 6 a.m. of Jan. 21 to 2 p.m. of Jan. 22.
“This is between convenience and security. So what must we sacrifice? It’s only within a certain period of time,” said Tungala.
No major crimes during Dinagyang ‘Pamukaw’, ‘Simbang Gabi’ – ICPO
In the Know: Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival | Inquirer News
‘Virtual’ Dinagyang Festival highlights resilience amid pandemic
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