The city of Iloilo, on the island of Pany, the sixth largest in the Philippines, organizes the Dinagiang Festival every year. The festival, which usually takes place on the fourth week of January, attracts thousands of locals and tourists from all over the world who come especially to be part of this unique cultural experience.
Thousands of people, local and tourists pour into town and the demand for accommodation is higher than usual, therefore it is advisable to check hotel prices and make reservations ahead of time.
The festival has two main motives:
The first motive is of Roman Catholic significance, when the celebrants pay homage to Santino Nuevo de Cabo, the holy child based on baby Jesus of Cebu City.
The second motive of the festivities is a historic signalization celebrating the beginning of the settlement on Pany Island and the sale of the island to the new settlers by the Aeta’s tribe.
During the festival days, local residents are dressed in colorful costumes and masks dancing to the rhythmic noisy music. There are also three major events at the Dinagyang Festival where traditional competitions are held:
- Ati Tribe Competition
- Kasadyahan – Cultural dance competition
- Miss Diengyang competition
Visiting the festival promises the visitor cultural experiences that are all exotic beauty, color and sound.