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2:57 pm on 9 January 2023, Monday
By Romeo Braceros Jr.
Photo: Filipino Roots
Nine foreign dignitaries have committed to attending the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival tribes dancing competition on January 22 at Freedom Grandstand.
The ambassadors' trip to the city to take part in the eagerly anticipated return of the nation's best tourism event, according to Mayor Jerry Trenas, will aid in the city's economic promotion abroad.
The diplomats are the Embassy and Consulate General of the Republic of Panama’s Xiomara Perez Rodriguez; Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia’s Agus Widjojo; Embassy of Bangladesh’s Borhan Uddin; Royal Thai Embassy’s Tull Traisorat; Nigerian Embassy’s Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye; Royal Norwegian Embassy’s Christian Halaas Lyster; Embassy of Romania's Raduta Dana Matache; Embassy of Hungary’s Peter Laszlo as representative of ambassador Titanilla Toth; and Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Charge d'Affaires P.G.P. Kaushalya as representative of ambassador Shobini Gunasekera.
The spectacular cultural display returns to the streets after two years of being held virtually due to the pandemic, and organizer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) has guaranteed that this year's edition will be brighter, bolder, and bigger.
The celebration focuses on expressing thanks to and devotion to the infant Jesus for his protection during these challenging times.
Major events include Opening Salvo on January 13; Miss Iloilo 2023 on January 18; Dinagyang Food Festival from January 19 to 22; Sto. Niño fluvial procession and solemn foot procession on January 20; Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan, Sponsors’ Mardi Gras, Grand Religious Sadsad, and Dinagyang Ilomination and Floats Parade of Lights on January 21; and Feast Day of Señor Santo Niño De Cebu Concelebrated High Mass, Dinagyang sa Barangay Tribes Competition, and Dinagyang awarding ceremony on January 22.
The Association of Tourist Officers of the Philippines has given Dinagyang two consecutive best tourism festival awards for 2020–2021.