by Ben Jimena, Hala Bira!, The Daily Guardian
IN a strategic planning by the core group of the festival triumviri, Dinagyang was given a makeover – a distinct character, truly symbolic of her most recent accomplishments and indicative of her prescient image as the country’s most important tourism event.
The session was done Saturday last week and attended by representatives of the Iloilo City Government, the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI), and the San Jose Parish. It started with a module on getting everyone’s perception of what is Dinagyang – how one looks at the celebration based on personal biases and actual experiences.
They listed down every input and they agreed to a definition that Dinagyang is a “celebration showcasing Ilonggo culture in honor of Senor Santo Nino, the Child Jesus”.
The new definition was indeed a simplified and integrated version of the previous four-pronged description – a religious celebration of the devotion to Senor Santo Nino, a showcase of Ilonggo culture of excellence, a promotional vehicle for Iloilo, and a unifying element for the community to work together for the common good.
Since all participants have long been immersed in the conduct of the celebration, the module on the history of the festival was skipped to give way to a more important process of setting up the objectives for next year’s edition. Using beta cards to encode their individual propositions, the ideation activity resulted in seven specific objectives.
They set direction for the 2010 event to make the festival a cultural menagerie and exhibitory occasion, to get global attention, to live up to being the best tourism event in the hall of fame, to maintain its religiosity, to reach out for the marginalized and less privileged sectors, to continue as an economic driver of the City and to attain financial sustainability.
Objective 1-To make the festival a cultural menagerie and exhibitory occasion. Strategy formulation became a handy endeavor after setting up the seven objectives. It was easy for the group to think of ways to achieve the goals for next year. There were suggestions to underscore the gastronomic facet, the local foods – the gustatory attractions of the place; and the terpsichorean skills through new events like a culinary fest and dance competitions, respectively. The concept of a culinary festival would include cooking demonstrations and product exhibitions.
A Dinagyang arts festival is in the pipeline not only for dance but for other arts as well. There shall be a cheer dance or pep squad contest, dance sports, classical ballet exhibition, and contemporary hiphop/breakdance. A choral competition among local parishes is in the offing.
Objective 2 – To get global attention. The optimal use of the web was taken up making use of the website, and other internet facilities like the YouTube, Facebook, Twitters, etc. Partnership with the tri-media, networking with the Ilonggo communities abroad and the expat officials in foreign embassies were identified as effective exposures.
Objective 3 – To live up to being the best tourism event in the hall of fame. The installation of Dinagyang to the Hall of Fame of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) is a big challenge for the festival to show that she deserves the honor. Thus, it is imperative that Dinagyang lives up to expectations as benchmark and model for a well-managed event. It shall continue to be a trailblazer of innovations and active partner of development. It shall continue to be involved in advocacies such as the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) fight against poverty, global peace, climate change and other environment issues.
Objective 4 – To maintain its religiosity. There is a move to preserve her religious color by way of strengthening the liturgical organization through collaboration with other parishes, and enhanced conduct of the fluvial procession and other religious activities. A grand fluvial procession, which will start from several points of origin and converging in the city, to meet the embarking Santo Niño image will make the celebration a big community affair.
Objective 5 – To reach out for the marginalized and less privileged sectors. The corporate social responsibility was tackled with a planned outreach program which would mount the “Palamahawan ni Senor Santo Nino sa Dinagyang”, a feeding program for the poor children in various venues around the city. This is one way of reaching out for the marginalized and underprivileged sectors. There is a plan to provide scholarships for the Atis, the indigenous Ilonggos who were one of the primary inspirations of the festival. Tribe members shall be taught how to prepare for and respond to emergency and disasters calls. First aids and evacuation trainings shall be in the capacity building seminars.
Objective 6 – To continue as an economic driver of the City. The festival shall continue to be the breeding ground for young entrepreneurs by way of the Estudyante Negosyante event. Now on its 2nd year, the program encourages young students to set up small business enterprises selling marketable products such as souvenir items, t-shirts, foods, etc., during the festival and learning the ropes of running a business. There shall be a modified guideline for kiosk operation to incorporate additions provisions of garbage segregation. The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Iloilo Business Club, and the Department of Trade and Industry shall be invited to sponsor trade fairs and exhibits and media promotions.
Objective 7 – To attain transparency and financial sustainability. The festival committee shall pursue various activities which would generate more revenues – more aggressive marketing of Dagoy dolls, selling of stage tickets and souvenirs, sponsors mardi gras, food festivals, leasing of kiosks, etc in order to sustain financial viability.
Official Name. The official name of the event is: 2010 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival. Take notice that the year precedes the title of the festival to distinctly standardize and differentiate her from the other festivities. The font used for the Year 2010 is Jokerman. The zero figures appear like wheels to represent the festival as an economic driver; on closer look the same figures are like eyes to indicate that the world is watching!
The font for the word ILOILO is Cooper BT, Dinagyang is mistral, and Festival is Algerian.
The Tagline. Tagline for 2010: “intheHallofFame”; font is Cataneo BT. It describes and exemplifies Dinagyang as a model example of a premier festival – a grand slam winner of ATOP’s Best Tourism Event – being the consistent top pick since the Best Tourism Practices Awards started in 2006 to the present. Most recently, Dinagyang was installed in the Hall of Fame during the 10th ATOP National Convention in General Santos City last October 3, 2009.
Two days later, Iloilo City became the first and the only LGU from the Philippines to be inducted into the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy in the Palladium Asia Pacific Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is a singular honor for Iloilo City for attaining landmark achievements in using the balance scorecard in its governance system.
The Palladium Group Inc. and the Harvard Business Publishing are the major proponents of the Hall of Fame awards – an international recognition for both public and private enterprises which show breakthroughs in their operations after using the BSC system.
The honor was made possible by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia after it has elevated Iloilo City in the institutionalized status of the public governance pathway – a program with the city pursued to achieve its vision of becoming A Premier City by 2015.
Just a day apart, these double honors were earned by both Dinagyang and Iloilo City because of the successful partnership between government and the private sector. It is only fitting that the phrase be used as brand tag of the highest quality, “primera clase.” The phrase is interconnected without space between words to represent the bonded relations and partnership of people working together.
Colors for 2010 are Lavender and Gold – Lavender is a pale hue of Purple; while Gold is a deep rich Yellow. Purple is the symbol of imperial, royal or other higher rank; as an adjective it means elaborate in style.
Gold is a symbol of high quality or achievement. The two colors are visual complements which best represent Dinagyang as a highly acclaimed world-class festival.
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