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Iloilo City is all set for next year’s Dinagyang Festival scheduled on the fourth Sunday of January 2012.
The annual festival, held in honor of the Sto. Niño, also commemorates the arrival of Malay settlers on Panay island and the sale of the island to the Malays by the Atis.
Locals paint their bodies with soot and dance on the streets as “Ati tribes” in a competition.
Iloilo City Tourism Office chief Benito Jimena said the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) and City Hall have invited senators and foreign ambassadors to attend the event.
Organizers have designated the Iloilo Sports Complex, which can accommodate about 10,000 spectators, as one of the performance areas in the festival, Iloilo-based The Daily Guardian reported.
Other performance areas are the Capitol grounds, Luna Street Rotunda in La Paz and the Freedom Grandstand.
Thirteen tribes will be competing in the festival and will perform on parade mode on the streets all the way to the sports complex.
According to IDFI president Ramon Cua-Locsin, these tribes will receive subsidies ranging from P215,000 to P260,000 in consideration of their ranking in this year’s festival. –KG, GMA News