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Loren lauds Dinagyang festival

January 25, 2010

ILOILO CITY – SEN. LOREN LEGARDA TODAY HAILED ORGANIZERS OF THE DINAGYANG FESTIVAL IN ILOILO FOR MAKING THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION “A CELEBRATION OF THE FILIPINO SPIRIT AND A SHOWCASE OF FILIPINO PRIDE IN OUR OWN CULTURE.”
“Dinagyang is a major religious and cultural festival in the Visayas and has become a major tourism attraction, generating more visitors to Iloilo every year,” Loren said.
“With more tourist arrivals from this event, the province can generate more resources that it can use for social and economic development,” Loren said.
“But the significance of the Dinagyang festival lies beyond its capability to boost tourism and development,” according to the senator.
“We must restore pride in our culture. We need to instill a better appreciation, particularly by young people, of our rich history, arts and culture. This, to me, should be a priority thrust of our leaders. And the Dinagyang offers a unique opportunity for us to showcase the exceptional creativity and artistry of Filipinos,” Loren said.
The Dinagyang, one of the country’s more popular festivals, is held in honor of the Santo Niño and to commemorate the arrival in Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent sale of the island to them by the Atis.
The Dinagyang is divided into three major events: Ati-Ati Street Dancing, Kasadyahan Street Dancing and Miss Dinagyang. Performers paint their skin brown and use only indigenous materials for their costumes, with all dances performed to drum music.
The Dinagyang was voted as the Best Tourism Event for 2006, 2007 and 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines. It is also the first festival in the world to get the support of the United Nations for the promotion of its Millennium Development Goals. It has been cited by the Asian Development Bank as a Best Practice in government, private sector and NGO cooperation.
Loren said that aside from joining Ilonggos in this much-anticipated festival, she would also take the opportunity provided by the event to reach out to more people and urge them to play a more active role in protecting the environment.