The Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is a showcase of the rich heritage, colorful history, passionate devotion, and fun-loving spirit of the Ilonggo people. The festival traces its roots as a thanksgiving celebration in honor of Senyor Santo Niño, the child Jesus. Today, it has grown to be one of the Philippines’ most spectacular religious and cultural festivals.
The highlights of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival are scheduled on the fourth weekend of January in addition to many exciting activities happening all throughout the month. This year, the main events of the Dinagangyang Festival will be held on January 24 to 26, 2014 (Friday to Sunday). The religious highlights of the Dinagyang include the fluvial procession along the Iloilo River and the Dinagyang Ati cultural parade and competition.
Fluvial Procession (Friday)
Dinagyang Ati Competition (Sunday)
Street Dance Parade Route
The parade route of the Dinagyang Festival passes through the main streets of the Iloilo City Proper. Certain sections of the Dinagyang parade route are designated as performance stages where spectators can watch the 15-minute choreographed street dance of competing tribes. There are four performance stages, namely: (1) Freedom Grandstand, (2) Iloilo Provincial Capitol, (3) corner Quezon-Ledesma Sts., and (4) Maria Clara Monument beside the Iloilo Central Market. Access to the performance stages are limited to visitors with tickets purchased from the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc.
Outside the stages, everyone can enjoy the colorful costumes, thundering drum beats, and energetic dances of the Dinagyang performers. The tribes perform streetdance routines along the entire parade route. Vehicles are prohibited to enter the parade route and nearby streets. Walking is the prime mode of transportation within Iloilo City Proper during the festivities.
Where to stay during the Dinagyang Festival
Hotels in Iloilo with rooms that are still available for the Dinagyang weekend (as of December 14, 2013):
- Fleur de Liz Inn (Santa Barbara, Iloilo; 25 minutes away by car from Iloilo City Proper)
- Anhawan Beach Resort and Spa (Oton, Iloilo; 25 minutes away by car from Iloilo City Proper)
- Bearland Paradise Resort (Tigbauan, Iloilo; 35 minutes away by car from Iloilo City Proper)
- Sheridan Botique Resort (Oton, Iloilo; 25 minutes away by car from Iloilo City Proper)
Most, if not all, of the hotels within Iloilo City are likely to be fully booked weeks before the Dinagyang Festival. For inquiries, contact the hotel directly. See our list of Hotels in Iloilo.
Dinagyang Parade Route
If you want to stay in a hotel along or within a stone’s throw away from the parade route, here’s a list of accommodation options that are near specific performance areas:
- Freedom Grandstand area (performance stage#1): City Corporate Inn, Harbor Town Hotel
- J.M. Basa and Iznart Sts. (in between stages #1 and #2): Amigo Terrace Hotel, Iloilo Midtown Hotel
- Iloilo Provincial Capitol area (stage #2): Days Hotel, Grand Tower Suites, Century21 Hotel
- Quezon-Ledesma area (stage #3): Ong Bun Pension House, One Loudres Dormitel, People’s Hotel, EON Plaza Centennial Hotel, Fine Rock Hotel
- Maria Clara monument area (stage #4): Iloilo Grand Hotel, Circle Inn Iloilo
Other hotels within or near Iloilo downtown area: Hotel del Rio, Sarabia Manor Hotel, Highway21, Villa Sagrado, Riverside Inn, Arthur Suites.
Smallville / Diversion Road
The hotels in Smallville or Diversion Road are convenient choices for those who would like to stay near the parties in Smallville Complex and SM City Iloilo or at a convenient location where vehicles are allowed entry. Be advised that this area is noisy at night and experiences standstill traffic during the fireworks competition (friday and saturday night).
Hotels in Smallville / Diversion Road: Westown Hotel, Smallville21 Hotel, Iloilo Business Hotel.
Iloilo Hotel Search
Ticket rates for the Dinagyang Ati performance stages:
- Stage 1 (Freedom Grandstand):
- Center stage: P1, 400
- Side Stage 1, 200
- Stage 2 (In front of Old Iloilo Provincial Capitol Bldg)
- Reserved for guests of Iloilo Provincial Government
- Stage 3 (Quezon-Ledesma Streets)
- Center Stage: P1, 200
- Side Stage: 1, 000
- Stage 4 (Iznart Street beside Iloilo Central Market)
- P1, 000
Limited number of tickets are available depending on the capacity of the performance stages. Online booking or advanced reservations are not available. Tickets should be purchased at the office of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, Inc (IDFI). Contact details are provided at the bottom of this post.
The Dinagyang Festival is one of the most photographed festivals in the country. Thousands of professional photographers and hobbyists go on a pilgrimage to Iloilo for the chance to capture the perfect postcard photo of the Dinagyang warriors and other scenes during the festivities. The annual “Iloilo Dinagyang Photo Contest” organized by the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) gives recognition to the best photos and photographers. There are spaces allocated for photographers, bloggers, and the media in each performance stage. Interested parties should coordinate with the Dinagyang Foundation to secure a media pass.
Dinagyang Ati Grand Champions
Kasadyahan Grand Champions
“Hala Bira, Iloilo!” Official Theme Song
Dinagyang Festival Photos
What’s Next After the Dinagyang?
Living up to Iloilo’s title as the festival capital of the Philippines, the fun and merrymaking in Iloilo does not stop with the Dinagyang Festival. The festivities continue during the Jaro District Fiesta (Fiesta de Nuestra Seniora de la Candelaria), Chinese New Year, and the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival.
City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO)
- Address: Dinagyang Lounge (Freedom Grandstand), JM Basa St., Iloilo City, Philippines
- Landline: (+63)(33) 336 3439
- Contact: [email protected]
- Website: http://www.dinagyangsailoilo.com