Friday, August 26, 2011

4-hour civic-military parade marks Iloilo City’s 74th Charter Day


ILOILO CITY, Aug. 25 (PIA) -- Mayor Patrick Jed Mabilog said that the overwhelming support of the various sectors in Iloilo City in the observance of the City’s 74th Charter signals the unity of the Ilonggos towards the attainment of the goal to make Iloilo City the premier city in the near future.

Mabilog was happy to note that the August 25 civic-military parade, which was participated in by some 15,000 Ilonggos, lasted for almost four hours and was overwhelmingly successful.

He said that the relevance in celebrating the 74th Charter Day has achieved its goals to create awareness among the younger generation the history and development of Iloilo as a city. The other objective of the observance was to arouse community sense of pride of place, and to showcase the celebration as a link to culture and heritage.

“It is with pride and honor as we undertake this great opportunity to showcase our rich Ilonggo history, heritage and culture, and of course, our rapid growth, progress, and sustainable development as an emerging vibrant metropolis.It is very pleasing that the city’s glorious past emblazoned in the pages of history books has come to life once more – as we renew and strengthen our loyalty and dedicate our sense of pride to our homeland,” Mabilog said

Mabilog said that The theme “Dakbanwa sang Iloilo , Bugal Ko” (My City, My Pride) manifests our sense of ownership and love of our place which we will always treasure and be proud of.

Historical accounts had it that Commonwealth Act No. 57 which was later amended by Commonwealth 138, converted Iloilo into a chartered city on August 25, 1937.

The month-long celebration was opened last July 20, 2011 at SM Activity Center, with 41 events and with the highlights on August 25, 2011, which was declared as a special non-working day in the City of Iloilo through Proclamation No. 203.

The activities included the search for Mr. and Miss Iloilo City, Grand Charter Parade, Rigodon de Honor, and search for "Dungog sang Dakbanwa sang Iloilo" and most outstanding City Government employees, exhibits, inter-school newscasting competition, concert, oratorical and extemporaneous speaking contests, food festival, mangrove planting, Barangay Day celebration, bloodletting, folk dances, tourism and historical quiz bee, goodwill basketball games, mass wedding, fashion show, medical and dental mission, Mayor's Ball, job fair, city tour launching, diskwento sale, and dance fest.

Highlighting the 74th Charter Day was the unveiling of the “Lin-ay sang Iloilo” statue on top of the dome of the seven-storey new Iloilo City Hall.

The Lin-ay sang Iloilo statue depicts a “lin-ay” (lady) wearing a traditional “bandana” or a piece of cloth wrapped around her head and worn by farm girls to protect them from the heat of the sun, and the whole figure is highlighted by the “patadyong, ” a native hand-woven wrap-around skirt, for which no other province is better known than Iloilo.

Among other features, the figure’s right arm cradles a bunch of harvested rice, symbolic of prosperity, while the other holds a scythe, which has long been the traditional harvesting implement in Western Visayas.

This was among the description of professor Ed Defensor, an Ilonggo artist who designed the “Lin-ay Sang Iloilo” statue during the unveiling ceremony held after the civic-military parade.

The bronze statue has a height of 19 feet and was donated to the city government, costing more than a million pesos, Mabilog said as he emphasized that the new Iloilo City Hall will be inaugurated on January 2012, but the city government will occupy the building before the year ends.

(JSC/TWV-PIA6 Iloilo)


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