Iloilo Guide

Guide to Iloilo Summer Arts Festival

Note: The Iloilo Summer Arts Festival is postponed as a precaution to the recent Covid-19 outbreak. President Rodrigo Duterte declared a State of Public Health Emergency after the Department of Health reported the very first local transmission of Covid-19 in the country. 

“Through the arts, we invest in Iloilo’s future”, is the mantra of newly spawned Iloilo Summer Arts Festival. The festival aims to promote local art and culture, as well as bring locals together and attract visitors to the City of Love. It was launched December 11th in Iloilo and is part of the vision of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas’ to make Iloilo the arts capital of the Philippines.

The Iloilo Summer Arts Festival will feature Ilonggo artists in all forms of art: visual art, music, dance, film, theater, and literature, as well as culinary, horticulture, and culture in living museum. It is said to be the biggest and longest art festival in the country.

“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,” states Iloilo Summer Arts Festival Committee Member Leny Ledesma.

The City of Love becoming the center for culture and arts. It can be recalled that the art industry is slowly booming in Iloilo – murals being crafted as local attractions, public places being adorned with unique creations, and even bridges are being painted on.

“That is one of our dreams even before. We want to be the center for culture and arts, slowly we are going there,” states Iloilo City Tourism and Development Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia, in an article by the Philippine News Agency. Moreover, Divinagracia appends the growing trend to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and his wife’s love for art. “They pushed for public art. The mural was first done in Sambag (Jaro district),” adds Divinagracia.

“We want them to be more creative because of the colors, the paintings inspire our children to be more creative and to find other sources. In the future, when they take over, they will find more creative responses to the city’s problems,” states Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, in the same article.

“Ibalik ang pagbun-ag, pagtukib, kag ang kapagsik sang taliambong sang Iloilo,” is this year’s theme for the Iloilo Summer Arts Festival. The event will run from April to May and will highlight all forms of art – visual art, music, dance, film, theater, and literature, as well as culinary, horticulture, and culture in living museum.


Schedule of Activities

Visual Arts

  • Generations Exhibit – April 16, 6pm, Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts (By invite only)
  • Generations Exhibit – April 17 to May 17, Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts (Open to the Public)
  • Artsplanade – April 17, 7am to 5pm, Iloilo River Esplanade
  • Art Talks in the Box – April 18, 25, and May 2, Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts
  • On the Spot Painting Contest – April 20 to 26, SM City Iloilo
  • Photography Exhibit – April 20 to 26, Robinsons Place Iloilo
  • Iloilo Summer Arts Fair – April 24, 4pm, Festive Walk Mall
  • Art in the Square – April 30 to May 1, Park Square Megaworld
  • Mural Design Art Contest – May 1 to 17, Atria Park District

‘Artsplanade’ highlights an On the Spot Art Contest along the Iloilo River Esplanade, a 2.2-kilometer walkway that runs along the Iloilo River. The event will also highlight Landscapes of the Iloilo River, Photography of Wildlife, Nature Scenes by Esplanade, and Art Installations. The event is set to happen on April 17 from 7am to 5pm.

Art Talks in the Box is a series of art forums and highlights the following topics: Artists and Production Design on April 18, Tukibasa 2020: Celebrating the Joy of Discovery through Reading on April 25, and Art and Advocacy on May 2. The event will be held at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts nestled within Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao.

Dance and Music

  • La Via Dolorosa in Dance – April 8, 5pm, SM City Iloilo
  • La Via Dolorosa (Repeat Performance) – April 11, 5pm, SM City Iloilo
  • Opening Iloilo Summer Arts Festival – April 17, 5pm, Esplanade 2
  • Dance in Jeans in all Forms – May 8, 5pm, SM City Iloilo
  • Children’s Musical Concert – April 26, 4pm, Libertad Park
  • Philippine PhilHarmonic Orchestra – April 26, 4pm, Sunburst Park

La Via Dolorosa artistically reenacts the ‘Way of the Cross: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ’ in dance and motion. The event is a first of its kind in the city and in the country. It is set to happen on April 18, 5pm, and will have a repeat performance on April 11, 5pm, at SM City Iloilo.

Iloilo Summer Arts Festival Opening Salvo features live statues, dance performances, and surprise numbers. It will also highlight the lighting of Paraw and the Esplanade. The event is set to happen at the Skateboard Area of Esplanade 2 on April 17. 

Literature, Film, and Theater

  • Poetika Open Mic/Contest – April 18, Book Latte
  • Amba Ilonggo – April 24, 4pm, Molo Mansion
  • Cinekasimanwa – May 1, SM City Iloilo
  • Basura Busters – May 1 to 17, Central Market and Brgy. Bolilao
  • Film Showing of Indie Film – May 8 to 15, SM City Iloilo
  • Film Showing – May 15, Sunburst Park

Cinekasimanwa is the official film festival of Region VI, Western Visayas and is the largest regional film festival in the Philippines. Now on its 7th edition, Cinekasimanwa films made their Philippine/World premiere last December 2019 at the SM City Iloilo Cinema 6, and all are proudly made by filmmakers from Western Visayas.

Culinary Arts

  • Savores de Visayas Ciudad de Iloilo with Chef Tibong – April 18, Nelly Garden
  • Ilonggo Street Hawkers and Night Market – April 30 to May 3, 4pm to 12mn, Esplanade

Horticulture

  • Jaro Plaza Garden Show – April 3 to May 17, Jaro Plaza

Habul 2020: The Modern Filipiniana Fashion Show. One of the concluding events of the Iloilo Summer Arts Festival includes Habul 2020: The Modern Filipiniana Fashion Show. The event highlights Ilonggo Crafts and Art Stalls including the Living Museum of the University of the Philippines Center of Western Visayas Studies. The event will be held at the Casa Real – Provincial Capitol. The closing program of the Iloilo Summer Arts Festival will be held on May 17 at Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park.


Museums and Galleries in Iloilo

All in all, there are 13 galleries and museums fully operational in the City of Love. These galleries include the Art Deck Gallery by the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU); Ceramico Arts and Crafts by Nerissa Luger; Cinematheque Iloilo, Film Development Council of the Philippines; Et Nos Gallery, Angelicum School Iloilo; Galerie De Arsie by Arsenio Rafael III; Gallery-I; Guevarra Gallery Arts and Antiques; UPV Cinematheque Film Museum by the University of the Philippines –Visayas; Mamusa Art Gallery; Omriel Art Gallery; Molo Mansion Gallery by SM City Iloilo; Museo Iloilo Art Gallery Section and the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art by the Megaworld Corporation.

There is so much beauty in the City of Love. Iloilo, aside from its rapid economic development, is still the Iloilo lined with preserved heritage sites, strong Ilonggo culture, and the undying patronage to local – be it locally grown talents or products. Apart from that, Iloilo is still the Iloilo that has high regard for artistry – grandiose architecture, cultural festivals, visual arts, photography, literature, and so much more.

Cinekasimanwa is the official film festival of Region VI, Western Visayas and is the largest regional film festival in the Philippines. Now on its 7th edition, Cinekasimanwa films made their Philippine/World premiere last December 2019 at the SM City Iloilo Cinema 6, and all are proudly made by filmmakers from Western Visayas.

Culinary finds in the City of Love. Batchoy is a noodle soup made with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, chicken stock, beef loin, and round noodles. The origin of batchoy is traced to the district of La Paz, Iloilo City and is often referred to its iconic name, La Paz Batchoy. Tracing the roots of batchoy, it came to existence in 1938 when Federico Guillergan Sr. concocted a dish made by mixing noodles, broth, beef and pork. When asked for the recipe’s name, the inventor would usually say ‘Bats’ and, later on, appended ‘-choy’ from chop suey, a popular vegetable dish. Moreover, another origin came into play when the first batchoy shop was put up in the district of La Paz by Teodorico Lepura in 1945. Back in the 1930s, Lepura concocted his own version of batchoy while working for a Chinese merchant. The earliest price of batchoy was 20 cents a bowl.

Iloilo, a center of culture and arts\

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