Join the awesome celebration at Dinagyang Festival

SM Prime

Posted at Jan 20 2023 09:48 AM

Photo source: ABS-CBN News Facebook [LINK OUT 'ABS-CBN News Facebook':
Photo source: ABS-CBN News Facebook

Every year on the fourth Sunday of January, Iloilo City holds a colorful festival for Sr. Sto Niño, a religious image of child Jesus. The festival known as Dinagyang Festival, from the Hiligaynon word dágyang which means merrymaking, also celebrates the arrival of Malay settlers and the legendary bartering of Panay Island from the natives called Ati.

It is one of the few festivals around the globe to get recognized by the United Nations for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals, and cited by the Asian Development Bank as Best Practice on government, private sector and NGO cooperatives, according to its local government unit

In this year's festivities, SM City Iloilo co-hosts the celebration bringing an awesome Dinagyang Festival experience while promising a livelier, bigger, bolder, and brighter festival while also bringing the hospitality Ilonggos are known for to everyone joining the festivities. In the past, SM has been one of the major locations for the festival's activities, but this year is made extra special as the mall will also special festivities that will elevate the experience of locals, balikbayans, and visitors, moreover, a Dinagyang Festival Sale will also be held at the mall along with the festivities from January 16 to 22.

To kick off the celebration last January 14, a poster-making contest with the theme Iloilo Dinagyang Pasasalamat kay Señor Sto. Niño at the mall's event center was held.

Earlier on the same day, the 1st Mayor Jerry P. Treñas Dinagyang Half Marathon 2023 took place, categories included a 21K, 10K, and 5K run together with the different local running teams in Iloilo City along with invited running enthusiasts from other regions took part in this sports event. 

A special day was also held for fur parents as they joined the AweSM Iloilo Dinagyang Dog Pawrade at SM Southpoint last January 15 followed by the AweSM Iloilo Dinagyang Furtastic Dog Fashion Show 2023 where fur babies along with their fur friends and fur parents took on the center stage showcasing bright-colored and grand costumes.

The grand opening ceremony of the ILOmination Floats Parade will also take place at the SM City Iloilo façade with vivid, eye-catching, and brilliant designs where participants can show off their creativity, alongside the traditional dance competition by different tribe groups – to make the event even more grand and picturesque.
SM City Iloilo will also bring back the Batchoy Festival setup now on its third year, from January 19 to 22, where key guests and locals can enjoy a hot bowl of batchoy made by both aficionados and merchants who hold the title in making the best-tasting batchoy, making the merry event warmer and cozier.

Batchoy, which originated from the district of La Paz in Iloilo City in the Island of Panay, is a noodle soup dish with pork neck, innards, and miki noodles. 

Visitors, locals, and even foreign tourists can also take home Ilonggo products as well as products from all over Western Visayas because of the partnership with Fiesta! Favorite Souvenirs. All you have to do is to visit the AweSM Iloilo tourism booth and photo booth beginning January 19 onwards to take home beloved local products and art. 

Visitors may also inquire at the tourism booth to find out the best places to visit in the region. Plus, a photobooth will also be available, so that visitors may keep a captured memory of the 2023 Dinagyang Festival. 

At SM, there are Instagrammable spots you can visit. A wall mural located at the huge wall facing SM Southpoint will also be available, so everyone may take photos with family, friends, loved ones, and their fur babies wearing creative and colorful attires. Or you can also take photos at the Northpoint Event Center where the one-of-a-kind designed costumes of Dinagyang Festival dancers will also be on display from January 16 to 22.

Dinagyang Iloilo Business Expo (ILOBEX) will also take place from January 18 to 22 – co-produced by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Iloilo Chapter and Obra Ilonggo, will feature world-class products for tourists to bring home as souvenirs.

An Ati Warrior Meet and Greet Parade with human statues and face painting sessions will make the event delightful and interactive for everyone.

While the Miss Iloilo winners will also have a sashing ceremony at the mall on January 19 at 4 pm. Revealing the winners for Miss Iloilo Universe, Miss Iloilo World and Miss Iloilo Binibini, who will join the national competition and could possibly take home the crown to the town.

The Dinagyang Viva Music Festival will also bring more joy and harmony to the celebration on January 20 to 22 at SM Southpoint grounds as visitors, locals, and foreign tourists can sing along and dance to the music of different artists.

The Himbon Contemporary Artists Group, in partnership with SM City Iloilo will also be putting up a Handumanan Kag Palanublion exhibit at the Northpoint (near David's Salon) on January 19 to February 13, which will feature artworks on Iloilo's Cultural Heritage. 

Lighting up the night will be a grand fireworks and drone display happening on January 21 at 9 pm at the SM City Iloilo's Southpoint.

Tech enthusiasts, creators, and gamers should also watch out for the AweSM Dinagyang Online and Creator Fest, happening on January 21 to 22 at SM Cyberzone.

While on January 22, BDO Remit will join Dinagyang as they bring Darren Espanto to the Northpoint Event Center at 3 pm to join the fiesta.

Freebies will also be given to new BDO Kabayan Savings account holders, as they come to the set-up booth from 10 am to 5 pm at the lower ground floor near Toy Kingdom from January 16 to 21, and at the Foodcourt Hallway from January 23 to 28.

If you think that your eyes and hearts are full of excitement, wait until you hear the distinct beats of the drum at the Dinagyang Festival on January 22 where a competition of several groups featuring Dinagyang-inspired drumbeat sounds will complete the festive experience.

While keeping the traditions alive, SM City Iloilo adds a new flavor, and exciting events and activities, to the beloved Dinagyang Festival. 

Key personalities and honorable guests will also be attending the festival, including: Jerry P. Treñas, Iloilo City's Mayor accompanied by his wife; First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.

The host aims to make this year's Dinagyang Festival an unforgettable and joyous occasion for everyone.

To top it all off, aside from the bright-colored designs, the grand events and activities, thanks to its partners and host, may be the highlight of the occasion - but for Illongos they believe that it is their love for the Catholic faith and their history and culture that keeps Dinagyang a genuine traditional festival that will continue on for the years to come.

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