The Grand Diamond Jubilee civic parade Aug. 25 highlighting Iloilo City’s 75th Charter Day celebration will gather participants from the City Hall, national government agencies (NGAs), schools, non-government organizations (NGOs), barangays and festival contingents from Luna La Paz to Freedom Grandstand.

“We are enjoining everyone to celebrate our Diamond Jubilee Charter Day. This affair is part of our identity and pride as Ilonggos,” stressed Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

This year’s participants are expected to match or even surpass last year’s 16,000 attendance.

The biggest parade in the city will kick off 8AM in front of Western Institute of Technology in Luna St., La Paz and will snake through Bonifacio Drive, Iznart St. and JM Basa St all the way to the Freedom Grandstand for a program to be capped by colorful and lively performances of Dinagyang Festival and Paraw Regatta.

City Government employees and festival tribes comprising Division 1 will assemble starting 6AM in La Paz at St. Clement’s Church; Division 2 including other LGUs, NGOs and NGAs at Magsaysay Village; Division 3 including private sector and private schools at Arroyo-Magdalo Sts.; and Division 4 including city schools at Hechanova-Nabitasan Road. The parade route will be expected to be closed to vehicular traffic from 6AM until 12NN.

Adding sights and sounds to the parade are various drum and bugle corps from city schools.

Mabilog first institutionalized the Charter Day celebration when he became mayor in 2010.

Iloilo, as a chartered city, was formally inaugurated on August 25, 1937 after the surrounding municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo and Arevalo were merged with the progressive town of Iloilo on July 16, 1937, by virtue of Commonwealth Act No.158.The inauguration 75 years ago was highlighted by a grand civic parade.

“As we commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, we are presented with many possibilities and opportunities. We get support for our infra projects, recognition for our social programs and favorable citation for good governance,” stressed City Tourism Officer Ben Jimena who oversees the celebration program.

“Major property developers have laid out ground works for mega-constructions and airline companies are scheduling international connections before the yearend. All these make Iloilo City an interesting and exciting place,” he exclaimed.

“What could further bolster interest on Iloilo City are stories that connect it with history, make it relevant with culture, and underscore its social significance. The tales make the imagery more colorful, more attractive, and more interesting,” said Jimena.

“The big events showcase the positive things about our way of life, our history and heritage, our festivals and foods, our people and places – these are intended to underscore the many facets of urbanization of Iloilo City,” he noted.

The events include environment, culture and the arts, civil service, tourism, education, medical, sports, business, religious, and city concerns in a fusion of colors, sights, sounds and stories of Ilonggos’ rich heritage and cultural excellence.

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