Iloilo Dinagyang Festival: the Ilonggo cityscape, the deafening sound of drums, the cajoling of street dancers, and the deluge of people from different countries around the globe, all as one to celebrate Señor Santo Niño, the child Jesus.
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival History
The sought-after Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is held every fourth of January every year. It commemorates the arrival of Malay settlers and the barter of Panay Island from the Ati natives. It all began way back in 1967 with the arrival of the replica of Señor Santo Niño, the child saint, from Cebu at the San Jose Parish in Iloilo. Back then, the festival was merely Iloilo Ati-Atihan resembling the other Ati festivals in nearby provinces. The term ‘Dinagyang’ was first coined by Ilonggo broadcaster Pacifico Sudario, which means ‘merrymaking’.
In a bid to make the festival unique, the name was made official. Also, to promote local tourism, the tribal competition was put into play through the effort of the local government and the Ministry of Tourism.
Fifty years later. The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is now a much-awaited, world-class event joined by locals and tourists from around the world. Over the years, the festival flourished. It gained an international following through tribe performances expressed through music and dance.
The festival also contributed to the economic, not to mention tourism, development of the city by pooling tourists and producing entrepreneurial opportunities for locals. Moreover, tribe members were also given the opportunity to perform internationally – in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, to mention a few. Selected tribe members are even flown every year to participate in the annual Philippine Independence Day in the United States.
Dinagyang Festival, a strong contender in Aliwan Fiesta
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is also a frequent winner in the annual Aliwan Fiesta. Dubbed as ‘The Metro Manila of All Fiestas’, Aliwan Fiesta is organized by Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines with prizes amounting to Php 3,000,000. Dinagyang was champion from 2010 to 2013, and 2017. As of date, the festival is a strong contender in Aliwan.
The festival not only highlights the tribal competition but also puts a spotlight on a number of events – liturgical celebrations, fluvial procession, a parade of lights, pageantry, and more. The Kasadyahan Festival preludes the tribe competition and is participated by different municipalities. On Dinagyang’s 50th year last 2018, Kasadyahan was upgraded to Fiesta Filipinas and invited by the Department of Tourism to compete and present provincial and municipal festival performances.
Miss Iloilo Dinagyang is also an addition to Dinagyang’s roster of events – not to mention the parade of brands that sponsor more events along Diversion Road or in the city. Last 2018, the festival’s 50th year, Sarabia Jewelry signed as the official jeweler of Miss Dinagyang, and the pageant was endowed with an official crown.
To further narrate the journey of the festival, the historic Iloilo Freedom Grandstand was taken down after its last Flag Raising Ceremony, February 5, 2018. It was relocated along Muelle Loney Street facing the historic Iloilo River to pave the way for the redevelopment of Sunburst Park.
The new grandstand is named ‘Dinagyang Grandstand’, and later reverted to ‘Iloilo Freedom Grandstand’ and was blessed January 11, 2019 – in accordance with the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Opening Salvo. Sunburst Park, where the former grandstand stood, was turned over by the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority.
Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc.
Newcomer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. takes centerstage. Newly elected officials of newcomer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), headed by then chairman Rito Carlos Peňa, took oath last September 16, 2019 at Hotel del Rio. The duly registered non-stock non-profit organization will oversee major festivals in the city. The event was graced by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treňas, City Tourism Officer Ms. Junel Ann Divinagracia, and Rev. Fr. Raymundo Edsel T. Alcayaga, OSA of the San Jose Placer Parish.
The foundation is set to be the City Government’s partner for Dinagyang 2020 and onwards. With the new administration and partner organization, Dinagyang will be an enhanced and ‘leveled up’ celebration. It can be recalled that a number of consultative meetings were organized in the past weeks to give individuals from different sectors of the community a say in the event. The series of consultative meetings include meeting with stakeholders, a consultative meeting with the mainstream and digital media, and tribe managers.
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2023
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2023 said to be bigger, bolder, and brighter in 2023: Iloilo’s grandest festival theme for 2023 is “Iloilo Dinagyang 2023: Pasalamat kay Señor Sto. Niño”, highlighting the Ilonggos’ thanksgiving to the Child Jesus for the protection and grace, especially during the midst of the pandemic.
“After two years of not holding a face-to-face celebration, everyone is excited for the comeback of the grandest festival in the country. Our Dinagyang Festival will be bigger, bolder, and brighter in 2023,” says Mayor Jerry Treñas.
“The IFFI and City Government work with other partners to bring the best of Iloilo and the best of the world here in the city,” comments Eric Divinagracia, artistic director. Organizer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. announced an addition to the roster of activities: the Dinagyang ILOmination. Seven tribes will compete in lighted costumes and will be held along Diversion Road on January 21, from 6pm to 9pm.
Other major events include Pamukaw on Dec. 16; Opening Salvo on Jan. 13; Miss Iloilo 2023 on Jan. 18; Dinagyang Food Festival from Jan. 19 to 22; Sto. Niño fluvial procession and Solemn foot procession on Jan. 20; Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan, Sponsors’ Mardi Gras, Grand Religious Sadsad, and Dinagyang Floats Parade of Lights on Jan. 21; and Feast Day of Señor Santo Niño De Cebu Concelebrated High Mass, Dinagyang sa Barangay Tribes Competition, and Dinagyang Awarding Ceremony on Jan. 22.
Mayor Treñas also lauded the virtual celebration in 2021, as it won the ATOP Pearl Awards for Best Tourism Event for the Digital Dinagyang 2021. (Details sourced from Andrea Pearl Fernandez/ Iloilo City PIO)
- Tribu City Proper
- Tribu Jaro
- Tribu La Paz
- Tribu Lapuz
- Tribu Molo
- Tribu Mandurriao
- Tribu Villa Arevalo
ILOmination Ticket outlets
Hotel del Rio – SM City Judging Area
Richmonde Hotel – Iloilo Business Park Judging Area
Seda Hotel – Atria Business Park Judging Area
Dinagyang Competing Tribes
- Tribu Molave
- Tribu Parianon
- Tribu Panaad
- Tribu Familia Sagrada
- Tribu Sagasa
- Tribu Ilonggohanon
- Tribu Kanyao sang Baybayanon
- Tribu Halimau
Tribes Competition Ticket Outlets
- Hotel Del Rio – Freedom Grandstand Judging Area
- GT Iloilo Hotel – Quezon-Ledesma Judging Area
- Richmonde Hotel Iloilo – Rizal-Mapa Judging Area
Iloilo Dinagyang Food Festival
- Valeria Street – Kaon Ta Iloilo
- Contact number: 09388233005
- Arsenal Street – ToLoveBotique and Events
- Contact number: 09507414908 or 09615841057
- Yulo Street – Pentahouse and Fab Events Organizing Services
- Contact number: 09055785957 or 09504472142
- Aldeguer Street – TnD and Juanica and John | Nana Jover
- Contact number: 09084732537
- Delgado Street – IHRRA headed by Ms. Happy Abenir
- (Exclusive for IHRRA members)
Iloilo Dinagyang Events
Viva Señor Santo Niño Dinagyang Religious Events
Iloilo Dinagyang Side Events
Dinagyang 2023: Exceeded Expectations
The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2023 was graced by the First Lady of the Philippines Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos and government officials including House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Jinggoy Estrada, Mark Villar, Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla, former senator Franklin Drilon, among others. YouTube sensation Small Laude, broadcast journalist Karen Davila, lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto Valdez, and television presenter/entrepreneur Tim Yap were also present. They were warmly welcomed by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.
Several dignitaries from foreign embassies attended the festivities as well: Romanian Ambassador to the Philippines HE Raduta Dana Matache with Mr. Constantin Matache ; Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines HE Agus Widjojo and his wife, Mme. Ranny Agus Widjojo; Royal Thai Ambassador to the Philippines HE Tull Traisorat; Royal Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines HE Christian Halaas Lyster; Hungary Ambassador to the Philippines HE Titanilla Toth; Embassy of Polland Ambassador to the Philippines HE Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz ; Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Ms. P.G.P. Kaushalya; Consul General of Japan in Cebu Hideki Yamaji; and Embassy of the United States in the Philippines Chief Consuls Kristofer Graf and Leo Balantac. (Article via Panay News)
“Everyone wanted a strong comeback. It was a complete success and this showed that Dinagyang and our Sto. Niño is beyond politics,” says Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on the success of the recently concluded Iloilo Dinagyang, “I acknowledge all our sponsors from the private sector for their significant contributions to the success of Dinagyang. Of course, sa inyo tanan, mga pinalangga ko nga Ilonggo. Ang tanan nga ini bangud sa inyo kag para man sa inyo. Your strong support in all our activities played a meaningful role in the overall success of the festival,” he added.
Treñas congratulated the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), organizer of Dinagyang 2023, the participating tribes, and corporate sponsors, among others. The festival’s top sponsor was SM City Iloilo, also served as venue for Dinagyang activities, such as the first-ever Dinagyang ILOmination last January 21, Batchoy Festival, Festival Costumes Exhibit, and concerts of performing artists including Asia’s Pop Heartthrob Darren Espanto, among others.
For more information:
Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc
G/F Ker Building, Iloilo City
(033) 3207581 | email@example.com
Hotel Accommodations in Iloilo
Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo
Address: Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 330 7600
GT Hotel Iloilo
Address: 15J Majestic Building, De Leon St, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 335 3254 | Cel No. 0917 654 8885 / 0998 967 7609
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Hotel del Rio
Address: M.H. Del Pilar St, Molo, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 335 1171 to 75 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo
Address: SM City Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 500 0001
Richmonde Hotel Iloilo
Address: Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 328 7888 | Email: email@example.com
Seda Atria Hotel
Address: Atria Park District, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Tel. No. (033) 506 8888 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2022
For the second year in a row, the sought-after Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is a go but will be compliant with health and safety protocols. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treňas, in a social media post, reveals that despite being in the midst of a pandemic surge, the local government, the San Jose Parish, and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc., decided to push through with the celebration, virtually.
His statement: “While we are in the midst of a surge of cases, the City Government, together with our partners, the San Jose Parish, and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. decided to go on with our celebration in honor of our patron saint, Seňor Sto. Niňo to ask for his intercession for Iloilo City and its residents.”
Treňas assures that all recordings were done prior to the surge of cases in January.
“All recorded Dinagyang tribe activities were done in December and with strict observance of health protocols. Let us all ask for the intercession of Seňor Sto. Niňo for our affected Ilonggo brothers and sisters during these most difficult times. Viva Seňor Sto. Niňo!”says Mayor Treňas.
Miss Iloilo 2022 Winners
- Miss Iloilo 2022 Universe – Dorothy Marie Gemillan
- Miss Iloilo 2022 World – Blessie Jay Villablanca
- Miss Iloilo 2022 Binibini – Elisha Lorraine Abella
- Miss Iloilo 2022 1st Runner Up – Tsina Jade Chu
- Miss Iloilo 2022 2nd Runner Up – Erica Doronila
Dinagyang 2022 Tribe Competition
- Tribu Villa – Arevalo – Pagsinadya (Celebration)
- Tribu Molo – Pag-amliganay (Nurturing)
- Tribu City Proper – Paghigugma (Love)
- Tribu Mandurriao – Pagpahanggud (Growth, Development)
- Tribu Jaro – Pagtililipon – (Gathering)
- Tribu LaPaz – Paghirupay (Closeness)
- Tribu Lapuz – Pag-intindihanay (Understanding)
Dinagyang Drumbeats Competition Winners
- Champion – Tukar Ilonggo
- 1st Runner Up – Ilonggo Patik
- 2nd Runner Up – Panay Musikero
Dinagyang 2022 Tribe Competition Winners:
- Champion – La Paz
- 1st Runner Up – Lapuz
- 2nd Runner Up – Molo
- 3rd Runner Up – Jaro
- Best in Discipline – Tribu Molo
- Best Choreographer – La Paz
- Best Musical Director – La Paz
- Best Production Design – La Paz
- Best Costume Designer – La Paz
- Best Videographer – La Paz
- People’s Choice Award – La Paz
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2021
The sought-after Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is a go but will be compliant with health and safety protocols. Moreover, the event itself will be made digital. Prior to the decision, a consultative meeting was held with stakeholders and it was made apparent that there will be no mass gatherings, thus the move to go digital. Dinagyang 2021, the first-ever digital Dinagyang, is themed “One Dinagyang. One Iloilo. Halad kay Señor Santo Niño”.
The 2021 celebration is geared to help festival artists especially the Iloilo Artists Festivals Association (IAFA) group of festival performers, choreographers, designers, as well as other live artists that were badly affected by the pandemic. Virtual event highlights include the following:
- Virtual Opening Salvo
- Dagyang sa Calle Real
- Holy Mass
- One Dinagyang
- One Iloilo Virtual Program/Tribe Contest
- Virtual Awarding Ceremony.
According to Prof. Eric Divinagracia, Chair of the Digital Production Team, the 360 degrees concept will be approached in a different way: digital/shot in film; 360 degrees view, different angles; global – as the performances can be seen all over the world; putting the districts at the forefront, highlighting city landmarks.
Dinagyang Festival 360°
The Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc, to further thrust the city’s ‘level up’ promise, will highlight a 360° performance or an ‘arena’ type of performance. Consistent competing tribes include the following:
— Tribu Panayanon, Iloilo City National High School
— Tribu Barriohanon, Bo Obrero National High School
— Tribu Dagatnon, Ramon Avanceňa Memorial High School
— Tribu Salognon, Jaro National High School
— Tribu Ilonganon, Jalandoni National High School
— Tribu Paghidaet, Lapaz National High School
— Tribu Binhi, Melchor L. Nava High School
— Tribu Hugponganon, Tiu Cho Teg – Ana Ros Foundation
The digital production will showcase the landmarks of Iloilo and the Panay Bukidnon story. Award-winning video production team Mayad Studios will be the official video editor. Moreover, the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. assured the public that the performers were placed in a bubble with swab tests prior to practices and observed health and safety protocols prescribed by the government.
Furthermore, according to Gab Umadhay, Vice Chairman of the Dinagyang 2021 Steering Committee, although mass gatherings are not allowed, there will be some economic activities like trade fairs, food fests, and the like. As a safety measure, compliance teams will be deployed in the venues.
Pinta sa Kapiestahan. The Pinta sa Kapiestahan, an initiative by the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc., is the 1st Dinagyang Mural Painting Competition with activities set to happen from January 10 to 17, 2021. The competition is open to any interested group – each will be representing one of the seven districts of Iloilo City. The event will be held at the Atria Park District in Iloilo City.
Iloilo Dinagyang Market Market 2021. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Iloilo Chapter, Inc. will mount the 5th year of its annual Dinagyang Trade Fair to continue its support to businesses, esp. our MSMEs. The Iloilo Dinagyang Market Market 2021 is scheduled to happen from January 18 to 24, 2021 at the SM City Activity Center (beside SM Supermarket).
Miss Universe Ph Rabiya Mateo and Kapuso Artist Roco Nacino to Host Dinagyang 2021. Miss Iloilo and Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Occeña Mateo and Kapuso artist Mr. Rocco Nacino will be the hosts for Digital Dinagyang 2021. The Digital Dinagyang 2021 will be live-streamed in the following digital channels: