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Tribu Pan-ay wins ‘Dinagyang Tribes’ competition

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Dinagyang has once again proved itself to be the best festival in the country after its successful run this year, gathering thousands of tourists to witness spectacular displays of colors, captivating cultural performances, and a celebration of faith.

The compelling performances of eight school-based tribes during the festival’s highlight on Jan. 28 left spectators in awe as the world-class presentations highlighted the fusion of Ilonggos’ deep cultural tradition and devotion to Señor Sto. Niño (Holy Child Jesus) – making Dinagyang Festival the ‘best of the best’.

Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School won the competition, reclaiming the title after a 12-year drought.

Vibrant performance of Tribu Pan-ay during the 2024 Dinagyang Tribes competition. (PIA 6 photo)

The tribe’s synchronized and clean choreography coupled with its vibrant costumes and lively music as they performed to life how the Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established a settlement when they arrived in Panay Island in the past gave them the edge over the defending champion, Tribu Paghidaet of La Paz National High School, which settled as the first runner-up.

Melanie Tabaculde, principal of the Fort San Pedro NHS, in a media interview, said she was first shocked to hear the announcement of them being the champion as she only expected the tribe to win first or second runner-up.

“Actually nag-expect ako nga magdaog

kami, either second or first runner-up, pero nakibot ako nga gintawag kami [champion]. Nalipay kami and didto ko na confirm nga insakto gid ang nakita ko nga reactions sang crowd during our performances in four judging areas (Actually I expected that we will win first or second runner-up, but I was initially shocked to hear that we were announced as champion. We were happy and there I confirmed that I was right with the reactions of the crowd during our performances in four judging areas), ” the principal said.

When asked about their preparation and secret in winning the competition, Tabaculde shared that they started practicing in October 2023, noting that they were lucky to find the right members, especially their artistic team, who guided the tribe all the way to the day of the contest.

“We stayed humble and we are happy and lucky kay ang composition sang artistic team namon, they have the right attitude, nami ang teamwork. We never had a conflict and we work and talk well together. Naging smooth ang tanan despite financial struggles (We stayed humble and we are happy and lucky that our artistic team has the right attitude. We have good teamwork and don't have conflicts as we just work and talk well together. It all became smooth despite our financial struggles),” she added.

Tribu Pan-ay, being declared as this year’s champion, would take home P25 million worth of school projects from the Iloilo City Government and the Uswag Ilonggo Partylist, and a P1 million cash prize from the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI).

Completing the list of winners for the Dinagyang Tribes Competition are Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni National High School (second runner-up); Tribu Mandu-Riyaw of Mandurriao NHS (third runner-up); and Tribu Salognon of Jaro NHS (fourth runner-up).

All tribes that participated in the comeback of school-based competition would also receive a P5 million worth of school projects.


Tribu Pan-ay, being this year’s champion, will be representing the Dinagyang Festival to the Aliwan Fiesta, according to IFFI Executive Director Joyce Clavecillas, noting that it is already a tradition that the winning group should be the one representing the city on the national scene.

Comes Aliwan, Pan-ay will aim to get Iloilo City’s 8th title as Aliwan Fiesta Street Dance champion, following the success of Tribu Parianon in 2023, which bested other well-known festivals in the country.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, in a press conference on Jan. 29, assured assistance for the tribe, as well

Tribu Pan-ay depicts how the Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established a settlement in Panay in their performance in the Dinagyang Tribes competition. (PIA6 photo)

as the city’s representative in Miss Aliwan, noting that funds will be given to support their needs.

“I assure that there will be funds para sa ila kung magkadto to sila. You know, magdala lang kita didto sa Aliwan, we spend about P6 million, kay dako na pati ang ila props kag costumes kag tanan. So I assure that there will be funds para sa aton champions nga makadto sa Aliwan, for Miss Aliwan, Ati-atihan [Dinagyang] and Kasadyahan tribes (I assure there will be funds for them. We are spending about P6 million because of the costumes, props and all. So, I assure that there will be funds for our champions going to the Aliwan, for Miss Aliwan, Ati-atihan and Kasadyahan tribes),” the mayor said.


Mayor Treñas, in his speech during the highlight of the 56th Dinagyang Festival, stressed that the celebration is getting “better and better every year”, noting that the festivity has come a long way and innovations have been done to gather more tourists.

“I hope you share the same enthusiasm, knowing that you have all come in full force today just to be part of our world-renowned and multi-awarded festival,” Treñas said.

“This fusion of culture and faith is something we Ilonggos should be very proud of. We have elevated the celebration every year, and we never fail to amaze everyone with how we run the festival,” he added.

Treñas also thanked IFFI and the San Jose de Placer Parish, noting that the hard work of everyone involved in the planning, preparation, and implementation of programs and activities assured the success of the Dinagyang Festival. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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John Noel Herrera

Information Officer

Region 6

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