He is no longer the black colored mascot once perceived to be the true color of an Aeta Dagoy, a friendly Aeta kid, a miniature of the Dinagyang warrior is now dark brown. City Tourism officer Benito Jimena, also the executive director of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. explains that dark brown is the authentic color of Aetas. By adopting the actual color, the foundation at the same time corrects the notion that natives are black.
The Aetas are believed to be descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines that arrived through land bridges linking the country to the Asian mainland some 30,000 years ago says one theory. The migration may have happened when the Malay Peninsula was then connected with Sumatra and other Sunda islands.
This suggests that the original inhabitants are not black because the Malayans are not. Jimena likewise opines that the new innovation would create a distinct identity for the Dinagyang Festival and not be classified as a copycat of other festivals that use black warriors like the Ati-Atihan of Kalibo and Sinulog of Cebu. Henceforth Dagoy’s skin color will be dark brown. This will be the same color that Dinagyang warriors will use when they perform during the Dinagyang Festival.