Dinagyang is one of Iloilo’s biggest events celebrated every third week of January. It is the time of the year when Ilonggos enjoy the festivities on the streets, not to mention the mouth-watering foods being everywhere you look. And oh, it is not only the locals, tourists around the globe are spending not only their money but their time just to join the Dinagyang Festival.
For the past couple of years, Dinagyang has made Ilonggos proud by showcasing the unique skill in tribal streetdancing not only in the Philippines but also internationally. The prestigious awards and titles had boost up the local tourism making Iloilo the next big thing. Because of the reputation Dinagyang has established, investors and businessmen are taking part on the big improvement of the city and the province as a whole.
Merry-Making, Ati-Ati Competition, and Food Festival
Every year, people anticipate the different activities that Dinagyang offers, but the most anticipated day is the “Dinagyang Ati-Ati competition” — where different Ati-Ati tribes compete depicting the history of how Santo Niño was brought in Iloilo.
The frantic loud beat of the drums puts people in a trance in the streets of Iloilo and it seems nothing can stop them. And hey! It’s not just a one-day celebration; it’s a full 3-day celebration where downtown Iloilo is surrounded with food kiosks. It seems like a never ending pig out of food, booze, and cheers.
To compliment the enticing food, Iloilo also offers band shows, featuring not only local bands but also popular bands of the country. During these days, the busy streets of Iloilo are transformed into a Food Fiesta, serving different types of delicacies mostly barbecue—Filipino-style. Different types of personas are chilling out in downtown Iloilo enjoying the festivities which only happens once a year. Many of these food kiosks also offer liquor, not to minors of course. You really can see the delight in the faces of the people enjoying the food, music and drinks.
What to Expect During Dinagyang
As the years go by, the Dinagyang celebration had flourished from a simple traditional and historical event into something that made Iloilo known all over the world. The celebration has established its name all over the globe making it as one of the most visited event in the Philippines. If I have to compare the Dinagyang celebration ten years ago, I am proud to say that Ilonggos had made a big change. It has not only improved in terms of its festival highlights but it has bloomed into something profitable for the city. The festival has also made a lot of changes for the better, more venues that tourists will definitely enjoy and something that they would want to enjoy again year after year. This year’s celebration will definitely be extravagant and enticing to the public. Saying that it is an event to watch out for is an understatement.
Dinagyang will always be Iloilo’s pride. It has been reigning as champion for four consecutive years now in the Aliwan Festival, known as “Mother of all Festivals”. It only means one thing, Dinagyang is an event to look forward to and Iloilo is the place to visit when you want a unique festival experience.
So, don’t miss the fun for this year’s Dinagyang celebration and shout Hala Bira Iloilo!