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Face-to-face Dinagyang Festival 2023 Exceeded Expectations

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Just like the rest of the world, The City of Love didn’t have any special gatherings that would draw in crowds during the two-year pandemic. But this year, they are back with the grand celebrations for the Dinagyang Festival 2023. With thousands of domestic and foreign visitors packing various festival activities, Dinagyang’s return to the city’s streets exceeded expectations, according to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.

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~ House Speaker Martin Romualdez, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan, First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas during the Dinagyang Dance Competition at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand. ~

The Success of Dinagyang Festival 2023 in Iloilo City

A “complete success” was how Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas described the festival’s return to a face-to-face celebration. It happened this month after two years of restrictions due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.

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~ Like a family sharing batchoy. Illustrious guests at the Dinagyang Festival share this warm soup at the Batchoy Festival. Pictured here are City Mayor Jerry Trenas, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan, lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto, TV personality Tim Yap, veteran broadcaster Karen Davila, Manila Bulletin’s Arnel Patawaran and renowned Iloilo Chef, Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza Jr. ~

With a very high turnout of vaccinations in Iloilo City, Ilonggos deserve to celebrate after a long wait. “Everyone wanted a strong comeback. It was a complete success and this showed that the Dinagyang and our Sto. Niño are beyond politics,” added Treñas.

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~ Jollibee is Dinagyang Festival 2023 Sponsors’ Mardi Gras Competition Festive Parade Grand Winner. Plus, they also won Best Festive Mascot, Best Festive Choreography, and Best Festive Headdress. ~

The Dinagyang Festival is known all over the world for the performances that stand out. You can witness the participants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes that reflect Ilonggo ingenuity, craftsmanship, and artistry.

Treñas congratulated the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), organizer of the Dinagyang 2023, the participating tribes, and corporate sponsors, among others.

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“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,” said Treñas.

The festival’s top sponsor was SM City Iloilo, which served as the venue for many Dinagyang activities, including the first-ever Dinagyang Ilomination on Jan.21. The Batchoy Festival, festival costumes exhibit, and concert of various performing artists including Asia’s Pop Heartthrob Darren Espanto, among others, were also held there.

It is no wonder why Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, which is located within the SM City Iloilo Complex, was fully booked for the long festival weekend.

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~ Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo. ~

Illustrious Guests in Iloilo City

The festivities were graced by no less than First Lady of the Philippines Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos and some prominent government officials including House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Jinggoy Estrada, Mark Villar, Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla, former senator Franklin Drilon, among others.

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~ The special guests were seen enjoying the Ilomination night at SM City Iloilo with Mayor Jerry Treñas,  SM’s SVP for Operations Bien Mateo, Talent Manager Jojie Dingcong, Youtube celebrity Small Laude,veteran broadcaster Karen Davila, former senator Franklin Drilon, SM Supermalls president Steven Tan, philanthropist and influencer Tessa Prieto, eventologist Tim Yap, Manila Bulletin’s Arnel Patawaran, and Chef Tibong Jardeleza, Jr. ~

Meanwhile, YouTube sensation Small Laude, broadcast journalist Karen Davila, lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto Valdez, and television presenter and entrepreneur Tim Yap were also there to join the festivities.

They were warmly welcomed by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.

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~ Youtube star Small Laude with Talent Manager Jojie Dingcong enjoying a bowl of Batchoy at SM City Iloilo. ~

Several dignitaries from foreign embassies attended the festivities as well. There was the 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.

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~ Darren Espanto wowed the audience with his song and dance performances. ~

What is the Dinagyang Festival?

Dinagyang is the Hiligaynon word for revelry or “merrymaking.” The festival is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-atihan celebrations widely observed not only within Panay Island but also in other parts of the country.

Two of the many foreign dignitaries who graced the festival were full of praises with the celebrations as well as the organizers.

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1 thought on “Face-to-face Dinagyang Festival 2023 Exceeded Expectations

  1. Ang sayang event naman po eto -Dinaguang Festivel. After 2years na walang ganap eto na back to normal na. Madamai ng festival ang nagaganap. Ang saya saya..

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