Sunday, January 29, 2023

Dinagyang Festival's Comeback Exceeds Expectations: A Complete Success with Impressive Choreography and Striking Costumes


Mayor Jerry P. Treñas of Iloilo City was over the moon with the return of the Dinagyang Festival to the city's streets, describing it as a "complete success." With thousands of domestic and foreign visitors flocking to the festival's various activities, the Mayor said everyone wanted a strong comeback and it was a triumph, showing that Dinagyang and their Sto. Niño are beyond politics.

“Everyone wanted a strong comeback…It was a complete success and this showed that Dinagyang and our Sto. Niño are beyond politics,” added Treñas. Dinagyang Festival is known far and wide for its participants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes that reflect Ilonggo ingenuity, craftsmanship and artistry.

Conversation over Batchoy with Iloilo 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. 

Darren Espanto wowed the audience with his song and dance performances

The Dinagyang Festival is known for its incredible choreography and stunning costumes that showcase Ilonggo creativity, craftsmanship, and artistic flair. Mayor Treñas took the opportunity to congratulate the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), the participating tribes, corporate sponsors, and all the Ilonggo people, who made the festival a success with their strong support.

“I acknowledge all our sponsors from the private sector for their significant contributions in 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.

Hala Bira! Lifestyle columnist Tessa Prieto, TV Personality Tim Yap and broadcaster Karen Davila at the Dinagyang Exhibit with SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.


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

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

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, and former senator Franklin Drilon. YouTube sensation Small Laude, broadcast journalist Karen Davila, lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto Valdez, television presenter and entrepreneur Tim Yap were also in attendance, and they were warmly welcomed by Mayor Treñas and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.

(From left to right) 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 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. 


Several dignitaries from foreign embassies were also in attendance, including Romanian Ambassador to the Philippines HE Raduta Dana Matache, Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines HE 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 Poland 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.

Dinagyang is a Hiligaynon word meaning revelry or merrymaking. The festival is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-atihan celebrations that are widely observed not only in Panay Island but also in other parts of the country. Two foreign dignitaries who attended the festival were full of praise for the festivities.

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