I was excited to learn that this 2023, Dinagyang Festival was filled again with thousands of visitors. Dinagyang’s return to the city’s streets exceeded expectations, according to Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.
A “complete success” was how the Mayor described the festival. We have returned to a face-to-face celebration after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic.
“Everyone wanted a strong comeback. It was a complete success and this showed that Dinagyang and our Sto Niño are beyond politics,” added Treñas.
Known for its participants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes, Dinagyang Festival reflects Ilonggo’s ingenuity, craftsmanship, and artistry.
Treñas congratulated the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), organizer of Dinagyang 2023, the participating tribes, and corporate sponsors, among others.
“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. In addition, it served as the venue for many Dinagyang activities such as the Dinagyang Ilomination, Batchoy Festival, and festival costumes exhibit. Moreover, there was a concert of various performing artists including Asia’s Pop Heartthrob Darren Espanto, among others.
First Lady of the Philippines, Atty Liza Araneta Marcos, graced the festivities. Joining her are House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Jinggoy Estrada, and Mark Villar. Adding to the list are Senators Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla, and former senator Franklin Drilon.
YouTube sensation Small Laude and broadcast journalist Karen Davila were there. Joining the festivities is lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto Valdez and entrepreneur Tim Yap. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan warmly welcomed them.
Other dignitaries from foreign embassies attended the festivities as well. They are:
- 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
- Embassy of the United States in the Philippines Chief Consuls Kristofer Graf and Leo Balantac.
Dinagyang is the Hiligaynon word for revelry or “merrymaking.” The festival is Iloilo City’s version of the Ati-atihan celebrations widely in other parts of the country.