ILOILO City – Mayor Lina Montilla of Tacurong City and Mayor Peter Miguel of Koronadal City were bestowed the title “Punong Hangaway” during the Dinagyang Festival ati tribes competition at the Freedom Grandstand.

The guests of honor from Iloilo City’s sister cities were dressed in green-feathered vests and headdresses by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog himself. They were also given a plaque and a trophy depicting an Ati warrior yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mindanao gongs met Iloilo’s drums as dancers and musicians from Talakudong Festival of Tacurong City and Hinugyaw Festival from Koronadal City perform at the Freedom Grandstand.

The Tacurong City performers showcased their fuchsia-and-gold colored talakudong, a traditional hat. From time to time, the dancers would shout praises to their city and ultimately, the Dinagyang of the Ilonggos.

Maguindanao’s malong, patadyong and T’nalak brought out the uniqueness in the performance of the Hinugyaw Festival dancers from Koronadal City. The beaded and brass T’boli belts chimed with every sway of the females’ hips.
Each of the tribes featured 120 performers including musicians, props men and musicians.

Montilla considered it a “milestone” to be invited to the Dinagyang which she said draws in a worldwide audience.
As a 13-year-old city, Tacurong is being helped by the Iloilo City government especially in terms of promotion and attracting investors, she said.

Meanwhile, Miguel described his Dinagyang experience as “very fabulous.” He said he was happy that “the people of Koronadal we’re given a chance to showcase their talent, culture, music, and tribe.”

“Puerte kami kasadya, puerte kami ka kalipay nga gin taga-an kami ti-on nga makilala ang siudad namon (We’re very happy to have been given the chance to promote our city),” he said.

Miguel said his parents were from Capiz and he himself had stayed in this city’s La Paz district for some time.
Miguel considers sending a competing group to next year’s Kasadyahan regional cultural competition of the Dinagyang Festival. [ROMA R. GONZALES/PanayNews]