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Dinagyang day one: Kaladlawan, este, Kasadyahan competition

Mayor Jedd Patrick Mabilog’s kilometric welcome remarks prolonged the agony of viewers at the Iloilo Sports Complex

The first day of the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City, the kasadyahan competition today (21 January 2012), was impressive. The competitors and non-competing participants were champions in their respective territories — Negros Occidental, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras and Iloilo, giving the fete the character of being Western Visayas-wide.

However, for the two thousand or so viewers at the Iloilo Sports Complex, a facility owned by the Provincial Government and used by the City government as stage four of the performances, it’s just not their day, the kinddest that I could comment on management, the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI).

There are four judging areas or stages in the competiton: at the Freedom Grandstand or stage one, at the Capitol stage two, at La Paz and the last, the ISC.

The show was supposed to begin at 8:30 am. but sloppy time management, kilometric introductions by the emcees, and lengthy speeches dragged the opening ceremonies till past 9 am. 

I should mention Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as premier example of politicians who need to go back to elementary school to distinguish a scheduled cultural presentation from a flexible political rally. His welcome remarks dragged for more than 15 minutes.

IDFI organizers should be sent back to grade one section 10. They may have the intelligence to assimilate knowledge, they may have the touch of Midas, but they lack one think that Midas missed when he prayed to have a pair of hands that turned everything to gold — they and Midas lacked it — common sense.

First off, they already knew ahead that the parade-type of sending performers to individual stages demanded longer time than the usual carousel-type, the latter, where performances were done in each judging area by different competitors who would later transfer to their respective assigned judging stations later.

At the ISC, the viewers viewed nothing. They only heard from the sound system the Dinagyang jingle and the voices of a male and female announcers thanking this sponsor-who and donor-what, and recognizing this honorable public official-which and honorable-whoseever-whom.

By 11:30 am the show finally unreeled but it with another opening ceremonies, first, with the march of colors by ROTC cadets, followed by a doxology and another flag raising, all time consuming. The most infuriating part came when one named Jed Patrick Mabilog stood at the podium to parrot the same kilometric speech he delivered in an earlier opening ceremoney but he made it lengthier this tiime with ad libs not found in the prepared speech — by identifying each VIP at the balcony and those at the blitzers.

He talked for more than 15 minutes and when he finished, it was 15 minutes to 12 and the microphone was so heated up (nagbagang sa diskurso nya) that the next speaker, Gov. Arthur D. Defensor Sr, dared not hold it. He ended his delivery in less than three minutes which could be interpreted as a slap on Mabilog’s face.

We have smart alecks stacking the IDFI and a local chief executive who loves to hear his own voice and deaf to the rumblings of the stomachs of the audience many of them missing their breakfast and lunch, we can say we have a right to shout: “Hala Bira!”

We had our lunch at past 2 pm.

Hala Bira (at their empty heads that justifies their re-enrollment in grade one section 10 if only to teach them common sense).


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