In a dazzling display of cultural preservation and craftsmanship, Iligan City celebrated its enduring symbol of heritage, the humble tartanilya, during the 6th Tartanilya Repair, Painting, and Beautification competition held as part of the grand Diyandi Festival 2023.

Despite its rapid modernization, Iligan City has held steadfast in honoring its cultural and historical roots, with the tartanilya, a traditional horse-drawn carriage, serving as a living testament to the city’s rich past. These quaint carriages, often seen gracefully navigating the bustling streets, offer a stark and charming contrast to the towering skyscrapers that now punctuate Iligan’s skyline.

The Tartanilya Repair, Painting, and Beautification program, a highlight of the Diyandi Festival, paid homage to this cherished cultural symbol while also showcasing the talents and dedication of Iligan’s residents who ensure the continued operation of tartanilyas within the city.

The event commenced on September 26, 2023, at the picturesque Children’s Park in Barangay San Miguel, attracting participants and spectators alike. Notably, Department of Tourism Region 10 Director Marie Elaine Unchuan was among the esteemed judges for the competition. She expressed the Department of Tourism’s unwavering commitment to supporting tartanilya operators, recognizing their pivotal role in preserving this traditional mode of transportation.

The move aligns with the DOT’s broader mission to bolster the conservation of traditional practices in the Philippines, emphasizing that only Iligan and Vigan cities continue to embrace tartanilyas in a contemporary world increasingly dominated by modern transportation methods.

As the Diyandi Festival 2023 unfolds, it serves as a poignant reminder of Iligan City’s dedication to its heritage and the enduring spirit of its people. The tartanilya, once a common sight in the past, now stands as a cherished symbol of tradition, craftsmanship, and the vibrant culture of Iligan.

Photo Credits: Department of Tourism – Northern Mindanao Office