Things to do for the Dinagyang in Iloilo

Jan 12, 2012 by

This year Iloilo City promises to give you the best Dinagyang festival yet. I am optimistic about it because I have faith in our current city officials. I have seen how they have implemented programs in the city and I admire how they pursue these projects despite criticisms by some groups who exist, well, to oppose.

So I have several friends coming over to experience the award-winning festival that is Dinagyang. I enjoy hosting visitors because I cover several areas of goodwill: I nurture our friendship, I give them a good reason to take a break from their usual routines and I get to promote my lovely city — myiloilo.

Come to Iloilo for the Dinagyang festival because — trust me — it’s worth it.

What to do? Oh gosh. So many things happening, but here are some tips to maximize your Dinagyang Festival Experience:

1. Visit old churches. (Molo and Jaro churches)

2. Visit old houses. (There are so many old houses in Molo and Jaro, you can just ask your host or the cab driver to bring you to one.)

3. Lunch by the beach (either Breakthrough Restaurant or Tatoy’s Manokan)

4. Take a nap so you can energize yourself for a long afternoon/night ahead.

5. By 3 PM, check out the main streets in downtown Iloilo. Bring camera and take photos of kiosks, sidewalk vendors selling all sorts of trinkets, eat street foods in small amounts, old buildings at JM Basa and Iznart Streets.

6. Have coffee at Blue Jay Cafe at the Ayala Technohub (Smallville Complex) to give yourself a rest from the hobnob of the crowded city streets. Be warned too, that walking will be a major requirement for most times. Vehicles are rerouted and most of the attractions cannot be accessed by cars, so wear your most comfortable footwear.

7. Have dinner in one of the many foodfests put up in Iloilo. I suggest you try out the old-school food festival in Delgado Street (that is if you still have the energy to walk back to the main thoroughfares).

8. If it’s your first time in Iloilo Dinagyang, watch the Streetdance Competitions, both on Saturday and Sunday. The dancing frenzy starts at 8 AM and by 6.30 the areas would start to fill up with people. It is advised that you come to your viewing area very early. But if you have been here before and have watched the streetdancing, you may opt to stay in your hotel room and watch in on TV at your most comfortable recluse.

9. Watch the Fireworks Competition at SM City on Friday (Jan 20) and Saturday (Jan 21) at 7 PM.

10. Watch our flashmob performance at Robinsons Place Iloilo on Sunday (Jan 22) at 3 PM — or even be part of it.

11. Party at night like you’ve never partied before. There are a line up of parties at Plazuela (Eclipsed by Republiq is one of them), Smallville Complex and practically everywhere.┬áJust be with good company and you’re off to a big-bang-party.


Photo by Jeff Tablante. It's more fun in Iloilo!


  1. pa-share Bobskie!

  2. Will be back here, through hell or high water!

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