By Lydia C. Pendon 

ONLY Hiligaynon words and lyrics will dominate the first Ilonggo Arts Festival slated on January 17-22, 2010 as a special event of the main Dinagyang Festival on the fourth week of January.

This was announced by festival artistic director Annie Divinagracia Sartorio after meeting with all the coordinators of the arts event that will add color to Iloilo City’s premier tourist attraction.

Sartorio said the festival will comprise competitions in Cheer Dance, Theatre Poetry in Motion, Folk Dance, Choral Singing, Dance Sports and On- the-Spot Painting contest.

What is unique in this special event will be the use of the Hiligaynon dialect in all poems, songs, paintings and dances depicting what is truly the Ilonggo language. It is also a perfect venue for the Ilonggo artists to show their talents and expertise in the field of arts and culture, Sarotrio said.  

The festival will likewise encourage artists to compose more Hiligaynon songs or the songs tune to be used might be copied from other foreign songs. But the lyrics must be in Hiligaynon, Sartorio added.

Launching of the first Ilonggo Arts Festival will be held on Sunday, January 17, 2010 at the SM City Activity Center while the first competition will be on January 18 at the SM City carpark for the Cheer Dance at 10am with coordinator Momo Cablas and the Theatre Poetry in Motion with coordinator Edison Sicad 5:30pm at the SM City activity center.

Folk Dance with coordinator Annie Sartorio is on January 19 at 5:30pm and the Choral Competition with coordinator Arne Lubasan is on January 20 at 5:30pm.

On January 21, a dance sports competition will be held at the same venue starting at 5:30pm while On-the-Spot Painting contest coordinated by Marzz Capanang will be held on January 22 at the Museo Iloilo.