The festival is known for itsparticipants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes that reflectIlonggo ingenuity, craftsmanship and artistry. In fact, said Abenir, some IHRRA members already reported being fullybooked weeks before the Dinagyang highlight on Jan. 26 (ati tribes competition). “We have lots of hotels,” said Abenir. “We understand that the TaalVolcano eruption is something beyond anyone’s control but our hotels andrestaurants are making sure visitors will be comfortable and well taken caredof.” A view of Taal Volcano from Tagaytay, Batangas as it spew thick clouds of ash on January 13, 2020. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler The booking cancellations were results of airlines cancelling theirManila – Iloilo City flights due to the eruption, she explained. “We hope Taal Volcano will continue to quiet down. But we here inIloilo City are not as adversely affected unlike our counterparts in TagaytayCity. We have lots of visitors from all over Visayas and Mindanao,” saidAbenir. “We will be putting our best foot forward. We will give the bestservice. When they leave after the festival, we want our guests to bring withthem beautiful memories of their stay in Iloilo so they would keep on comingback,” said Abenir. This year’s Dinagyang will be thefestival’s biggest edition in years, according to Mayor Jerry Treñas. Dinagyang Festival started in 1967.A replica of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought from Cebu to the San Jose dePlacer Church. The image was enthusiastically received by the Ilonggos whodanced on the streets of Iloilo City./PN “We will be pleasantly surprised.The Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI) has lined up a lot of excitingactivities,” said Treñas. Dinagyang is the Hiligaynon word forrevelry or merrymaking. ILOILO City – The eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas province won’tadversely affect hotel bookings here for the Dinagyang Festival, according tothe Iloilo Hotels Restaurants & Resorts Association (IHRRA). It has been voted the “best tourismevent” three times in a row – 2006, 2007 and 2008 – by the Association ofTourism Officers in the Philippines. The IHRRA expects a bigger number of Dinagyang visitors this year. They have so far counted less than 20 cancellations of hotel roomreservations since the volcano erupted on Jan. 12, said Happy Abenir, IHRRAspokesperson. The city government tapped the newlyorganized IFFI – made up of prominent Ilonggo businessmen – to handle thisyear’s Dinagyang. But she assured tourists there are sufficient rooms to accommodatemore visitors as the festival highlight draws near. IHRRA has 75 member hotels, restaurants and resorts. Abenir, however, noted that airlines have started to normalize theirflight schedules a week after Taal Volcano became restive.
This may be one for the future but the speedy Gray has bags of potential and should work well in Leicester’s counter-attacking system. At 19, the Foxes could easily recoup the £3.75million they parted with to get him and it will probably be another success story for a recruitment team that has been granted plenty of love of late. SAM BYRAM – LEEDS TO WEST HAM Midfielder Byram had looked all set for Roberto Martinez’s Everton until the Hammers swooped in to pluck him from under their noses. The ex-Leeds man created a plethora of chances in the Championship and, with his contract expiring in the summer, this could turn out to be a cut-price deal for Slaven Bilic’s outfit. GARY HOOPER – NORWICH TO SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY Perhaps the most significant move outside of the top flight came when Sheffield Wednesday turned Hooper’s loan into a permanent acquisition. The striker, who has an excellent track record in the second tier, had scored six times in as many games prior to putting pen to paper and followed that up with another goal against Reading. The January transfer window shuts on Monday following a quiet month of trading between English clubs. Easily the deal of the month so far. Saints landed a 26-year-old English striker, who scored 18 top-flight goals last term, for a comparatively meagre sum of £4million from Sky Bet Championship outfit Rangers. Austin delivered immediately with the winner at Old Trafford on his debut. STEVEN NAISMITH – EVERTON TO NORWICH Norwich’s patience in trying to land Naismith was rewarded when they eventually got their man this month. A versatile player with a recent Barclays Premier League hat-trick against defending champions Chelsea on his resume, Naismith had a positive effect on the Canaries front line in the recent 5-4 loss to Liverpool. EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR – UNATTACHED TO CRYSTAL PALACE Adebayor typically flourishes in his first few months at a new club and Palace are in desperate need of a forward to score goals, so on paper this looks like a match made in heaven. However, the onus is on Eagles boss Alan Pardew to get the best out of a player who has failed to find a home for long with numerous other teams. JONJO SHELVEY – SWANSEA TO NEWCASTLE Eyebrows were raised when Newcastle splashed out on midfielder Shelvey, who had lost his way in his last few months in south Wales. It weakened a possible relegation rival, though, and the four-capped England international reminded everyone he still has plenty of quality with an exquisite raking pass which led to a goal on his first appearance. DEMARAI GRAY – BIRMINGHAM TO LEICESTER Press Association Here, Press Association Sport details the seven shrewdest moves of the window to date. CHARLIE AUSTIN – QPR TO SOUTHAMPTON