Dinagyang Festival is opening Iloilo’s doors to the world as it is strongly promoting city’s tourism internationally – where Iloilo is reaching out to the world, stressed Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

He was referring to Dinagyang champ Tribu Pan-ay’s performances during Guam Liberation Day festivities in the US territory over the weekend.

Filipinos on the island and Guam residents witnessed three Dinagyang performances that can only be described as “fantastic” by those who watched, the Philippine Embassy in Guam said in a statement.

“All Dinagyang performances were well-received by Filipinos and Guam community in general. Guam government officials expressed their delight especially for the Ilonggos’ participation during the parade. Many have also expressed interest to visit Iloilo to witness Dinagyang Festival,” the Embassy noted.

Tribu Pan-ay performed July 20 at the University of Guam Fieldhouse organized by Iloilo International of Guam as the event well-attended by close to a thousand, including prominent government officials Senators Dennis Rodriguez, Jr.; Tony Ada; Chris Duenas of the 31st Guam Legislature; and Pedro Martinez, deputy executive director of Guam International Airport Authority.

Dinagyang also participated in Guam Liberation Day Parade July 21 as the biggest event on the island attended by highest officials of Government of Guam and US military, through the invitation of the Mayors’ Council of Guam.

Some of dignitaries in attendance included Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo and First Lady Christine Calvo, Cong. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Joint Forces Marianas Commander Admiral Paul Bushong and members of the Consular Corps on Guam.

Mayor Mabilog presented a beautiful tribal headdress to Gov. Calvo as a token from the City Government.  The Mayors’ Council of Guam also presented a Resolution thanking the City of Iloilo, Mayor Mabilog and Tribu Pan-ay members for accepting their invitation for Dinagyang to perform during the parade.

Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian and vice-consul Maria Paz Cortes representing the Philippine Consulate General were also present at the parade grandstand to witness Tribu Pan-ay’s splendid performance.

Tribu Pan-ay also performed July 22 at the at the center court which was filled to capacity as others also lined the second floor of atrium in order to catch a glimpse of the show at the Micronesia Mall, the biggest mall on the island owned by Filipino business tycoon Lucio Tan.

Consul General Bayani Mangibin graced the event which was also attended by Senators Rodriguez, Jr. and Shirley Mabini of 31st Guam Legislature.

Filipino Community of Guam president Leah Beth Naholowaa as well as other Filipino community leaders also supported the event.

The project Dinagyang Guam 2012 was spearheaded by the Iloilo International of Guam in cooperation with the Mayors’ Council of Guam represented by Executive Director Angel Sablan; Mayors Melissa Savares of Dededo, Carol Tayama of Agat, Dale Alvarez of Sta. Rita and Paul MacDonald of Agana Heights, in cooperation with Iloilo City Government, Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. represented by Felipe Uygongco.

The project was also supported by the offices of Sen. odriguez, Jr. and Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo and Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam.

Tribu Pan-ay is composed of students from Fort San Pedro National High School accompanied by Schools Division Superintendent Nelly Valerio; Blesilda Floro, and FSPNHS principal and tribe manager; Eduardo L. Peñaredondo, executive assistant to the mayor; and Iloilo City Tourism Officer Benito Jimena, among others.

Photo credits: Rommel Flogen