By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc (IDFI) is confident that the construction of the new Freedom Grandstand in Muelle Loney, City Proper, Iloilo City will be finished in time for the Dinagyang Festival in January 2019.
IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin said Mayor Jose Espinosa plans to inaugurate the new Freedom Grandstand before the festival.
“I think wala na problema aton Freedom Grandstand. I heard the mayor is also preparing already and daw may plano siya nga inagurahan or blessingan ang Freedom Grandstand before the Dinagyang but indi ko pa bal-an kon san-o ang date,” Locsin said.
The project, which commenced in April 2018, was supposed to be finished in November 2018, according to the city government, but the construction is still ongoing.
The new Freedom Grandstand can hold more or less 2,000 persons.
Recently, Locsin announced that 400 seats in the new Freedom Grandstand are reserved for Japanese tourists who will witness the highlights of the Dinagyang Festival. They will arrive on a cruise ship that will stop by Iloilo City.
As of December 28, 2018, the IDFI ticket committee announced that tickets for the Freedom Grandstand are already sold out.
Only tickets for the three stages – Quezon, Maria Clara and Plaza Libertad – left for sale.
Quezon main stage costs P1,600 while the left and right wings are P1,200 apiece. Ticket price for Plaza Libertad and Maria Clara main stage is P1,600 and the Plaza Libertad Left Wing extension is P1,200.
Eight tribes will compete in the Ati-ati dance contest on Jan 27, 2019.
IDFI Tribe Committee chairperson Robert Alor announced earlier that Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School, Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School, Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni National High School, Tribu Dagatnon of Ramon Avanceña National High School, Tribu Hugponganon Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School, and Tribu Barriohanon will vie for the Ati-ati dance contest crown.