Summer arts festival in Iloilo launched

The Iloilo Summer Arts Festival 2020 was launched last December 11, 2019 and guests were treated to an opening teaser musical treat by the Iloilo River at the Esplanade Park, the same venue where some events of the festival will be held.

The committee chairman, First Lady Mrs Rosalie Treñas, welcomed all the guests and discussed the difficulty in launching a very big city-wide event. She also emphasized that “the success of the event will happen due to everyone’s cooperation,”  from the LGU to the private sector, such as the MICE Alliance, corporations and foundations, and the general Iloilo populace who will be attending and patronizing the artists’ works and shows.

The Festival aims to promote the arts and culture of the Ilonggo people to both locals and tourists alike.  It also is part of the vision of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas to make Iloilo the arts capital of the Philippines.  The Festival will mainly feature Ilonggo artists and all forms of art from visual arts, to music, dance, film, theatre, literature, aside from culinary arts, horticulture, and culture in living museum.

During the launching program, committee members and artists PG Zoluaga and Miguel Antonio Davao both performed, with Zoluaga playing his guitar and singing his original composition SUBA while Davao accompanied him on violin.  It was an apt song to play by the river.

Committee member Leny Ledesma presented the various art forms, activities, and venues for the month-long celebration of the ISAF from April to May, which will pose a very exciting and dynamic festival from the beginning.

Line-up of activities include workshops for artists with renowned Singapore Biennale artistic director and curator Patrick Flores; workshops for students and the public with senior artists in schools with Special Arts Program on Arts Month in February; the first La Via Dolorosa (the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ) in dance during Holy week; and art exhibits.

For the first time, Ilonggo families will share their art collections that will be exhibited for a month at ILOMOCA, an art fair for old and new collectors alike with a wall presenting affordable art aside from the real art exhibitions of the artists.

There will also be musical concerts. Mrs. Trenas mentioned the Sen. Franklin Drilon will be bringing in the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra to play on April 27, aside from theatre performances or zarzuelas at the parks. 

These activities all coincide with the theme of the event for 2020 which is:  Ibalik ang Pag-bunag, Pag-tukib, kag ang Kapagsik sang Tali-Ambong sang Iloilo  (Rebirth, Rediscover, and Revitalize the Arts of Iloilo) because the Renaissance in arts and culture is happening right now with the support of the LGU.   It can be seen in the murals being done all over the city.

As per Miss Ledesma, “launching the arts festival is for the future generation of Iloilo wherein knowledge, creativity, and innovation will be encouraged through this project.  It is not exclusive or elitist but will be inclusive as most venues will be public.  Anyone and everyone can see and appreciate art.”  

The venues and activities will be mounted in different areas all over the city –Esplanade; heritage parks such as Libertad Plaza, Jaro Plaza, Molo Plaza, and Sunburst park; and our malls. Truly something Ilonggos and guests can look forward to.

This is an ambitious project of the Ilonggo artists together with the First Lady, and its success rests on collaboration, on linkages, and cooperation of all Ilonggos from the artists to the public.   The Committee encouraged their guests during the presscon to help spread the word so that interested visitors can already book their tickets going to Iloilo as there will be events every weekend to look forward to in April.

Committee members were as follows: Advisors are renowned artists Manny Garibay and Ed Defensor, with the Mrs. Treñas as the chairperson, together with members Raisa Treñas, Rose Arenas, Leny Ledesma; from the academe Melanie Padilla and Elisa Baliao; from Megaworld  Jennifer Palmares-Fong and ILOMOCA’s Allyn Canja; Music heads PG Zoluaga and Miguel Antonio Davao, Daniella Caro for film, Eric Divinagracia for theatre, Annie Sartorio for dance; and Chef Tibong Jardeleza for culinary arts.

The message in the end of this festival is that it is time to show the world the Ilonggo’s arts and culture which is very unique, most of the firsts were here in Iloilo as per the academe in the committee. It will show that there is more to Iloilo than just food.

We also have very rich and diverse arts and are united as one, and we can show what we are really all about.  We must be proud of our heritage and what we can offer to the world.