Be prepared this weekend to witness the whole City of Iloilo revel during the Dinagyang Festival 2010 and experience an explosion of sound, color, and dance. The Dinagyang Festival is a religious and cultural celebration in Iloilo City held on the fourth Sunday of January, the week after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan. It is held both to honor the Santo Nino and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.
Highlights of the Festival
The religious highlight is the fluvial procession along Iloilo River. Meanwhile, the cultural highlights are the Kasadyahan and the Dinagyang Ati parades and competitions. Over the years, the Dinagyang Festival has made a lot of innovations and this Dinagyang 2010, an international fireworks show, dubbed as “Luces in the Sky” will be lighting up the city’s night sky during the height of the festivities.
- Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika and Salvo of a Thousand Drums. Kick starting the 3-day highlights of the Dinagyang 2010 on January 22 (7-8am, Friday) is the, Salvo of a thousand drums, a spectacular opening of the Dinagyang Festival bringing together the drummers of 16 the tribes joining the Dinagyang Ati Competition and 16 participants of the Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Contest into one synchronized volley of drums. Thereafter, the 16 drum and bugle/lyre and marching bands will be performing in two judging areas for the Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Contest.
- Fluvial Procession and Foot Parade.The Dinagyang Fluvial Procession will start at 3pm on January 22 (Friday) assembling at Fort San Pedro and the going through the course of the procession to Muelle Loney/Iloilo Customs House (Aduana). Enjoining the fluvial procession will be at least 30 decorated pump boats carrying the Sto. Nino. After arriving in Muelle Loney which, a foot procession will start passing all the way through to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and going back to the San Jose Parish church at Plaza Libertad where a mass will be celebrated.
- Luces in the Sky Fireworks Competition. Held on January 22 and 23, 2010 (7pm, Friday and Saturday) night, it is one of the biggest crowd drawer to the Dinagyang Festival. Hundreds of thousands spectators troop to SM City Iloilo during the 2 night event, to witness fireworks display shows from different participating groups from all over the country.
- Kasadyahan Parade and Competition. Also known as the festival of festivals of Iloilo Province, the Kasadyahan Parade and Competition held on January 23, 2009 (8am, Saturday) features the history and culture of the various towns in the province of Iloilo through an extravaganza of choreographed cultural dance drama presentations. This Dinagyang 2010, the Kasadyahan will be .
- Baile de Latino de Iloilo. A lively and exciting street parade of costumed dancers accompanied by colorful floats and musical bands traversing the streets of Downtown Iloilo City. Assembly will be at Rizal Street (infront of University of Iloilo) at 2pm on January 23, 2010 (Saturday). After the parade, a Grand Mardi Gras Ball will be held at the freedom grandstand from 4:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M featuring all-night ballroom dancing with live bands playing samba, reggae, latin and salsa. Only costumed dancers will be allowed to join the the grand ball.
- Dinagyang Ati Parade and Competition. The main highlight of the Dinagyang 2010 to be held on January 24, 2010 (8am, Sunday). During the Dinagyang Ati Parade and Competition, competing tribes composed of dark-brown colored warriors perform highly choreographed dances to the fast paced beat of drums and paying homage to the child Jesus by shouting “Viva, Viva! Senyor Santo Nino!”
- Awarding Ceremony. Announcement of winners of various competitions and contests during the Dinagyang Festival and afterparty capped with a grand fireworks display on January 24, 2010 (7pm, Sunday).
Dinagyang Festival Theme Song – Hala Bira Iloilo!