THE NEW Freedom Grandstand in Muelle Loney, Iloilo City would be completed in time for the 2019 Dinagyang Festival in January, the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) said. IDFI president Ramon Cua Locsin said the City Engineer’s Office informed him that the construction work is on schedule. “I have talked with Engr. Bobby Divinagracia and so far he told me that the accomplishment of the contractor is on time. So they are 100% sure that when the Dinagyang Festival comes, we will have a grandstand in Muelle Loney,” Locsin said. The main events for the 51st Dinagyang Festival will be on Jan 25-27. Mr. Locsin noted that it will be a problem if the new venue is not completed, as they need a bigger space next year because 400 Japanese tourists have already reserved their tickets at the main stage for the festivities. Department of Tourism-Western Visayas Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas earlier said MV Pacific Venus, a cruise ship from Japan, will be visiting Iloilo City in January. Meanwhile, IDFI also announced that the “Iloilo Dinagyang Festival” brand is now patented through its registration with the Intellectual Property Rights Office of the Philippines. IDFI member Joy de Leon said the proprietary rights over Dinagyang-related elements like its logo and name are now under IDFI. “Any use or advertisement of the word Dinagyang should have prior approval of IDFI. Iloilo is not a patented word. Festival is not a patented word. It is the word Dinagyang that is patented, like the font and logo,” she said. — Louine Hope U. Conserva