First Iloilo Eyeball during Dinagyang last January 2006...
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

If your main goal for your Philippine visit is to witness local festivals, then travel during January.  Why? Because, it is during January that major festivals are held in the country specifically in the Visayas region. And one of the highly-anticipated events is the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo.

Dinagyang is held every third Sunday of January along with famous Visayan festivals like Cebu’s Sinulog and Kalibo’s Ati Atihan Festival. Why do they occur simultaneously? It’s because these festivals pay homage to the  Child Jesus or the Santo Nino whose feast day is on every third Sunday of January.

A celebration of both religion and local culture, Dinagyang fever is simply inevitable. Orchestrating drum beats, fancy costumes and frenzy energy – no wonder Iloilo’s Dinagyang has been recognized by the local tourism agency as the Best Tourism Festival.

The main event of Dinagyang is the Ati Street Competition which is participated by “tribes” formed by local high schools in the city. Jumpacked are spectators in the city proper section of Iloilo which is also one of the most historical places in the country. Then, all are ushered to go with the beat, enjoy the sun and be merry. After all, the word Dinagyang comes from the Hiligaynon word ” dagyang” which means ” to be happy”.

A month-long celebration, come to Iloilo and enjoy the once “Queen City of the South”. Meet some friends  ( old and new) and party around the city. Dive in to culinary treats with various food festivals in the city. Take this opportunity to explore the city and its neighboring town. The province of Iloilo is home to colonial and heritage churches. Fro the fashion savvy, check out their local weaving industry.

Have fun. Iloilo is one of the safest cities in the country. Experience Iloilo’s Dinagyang and see for yourself why this celebration is one of the most highly-anticipated and popular events in the Philippines.