I’m feeling major FOMO because I’m in Manila all week, while everyone flies to Iloilo to join Ilonggos in the annual revelry that is Dinagyang Festival, which is ongoing until January 27, 2019. Except for one year when I finally had the chance to experience Dinagyang, I’ve been missing the grand party because it usually falls close to my birthday, which I prefer to celebrate with family and friends (who are all in Manila).
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t share with you the best ways to enjoy Dinagyang each year! And Ilonggos and partygoers from out of town are in for a treat at this year’s festival, which has all the elements of an epic event: breathtaking tribal dance competitions, colorful street parties, mouthwatering culinary affairs, and grand fireworks displays. Check out the exciting lineup of activities below:
Electrifying parties, live performances, and spectacles
Kick off your Dinagyang experience with a bang at Festive Walk Parade when local rock group Urbandub brings their epic performance to the Iloilo stage on January 24, while local indie band Ransom Collective takes the stage on January 25. Both performances will begin by 11pm.
Also on Friday, January 25, you can party the night away at Atria Park District’s Love Dance 2019, featuring the hottest DJs and MCs from both Manila and Iloilo: Deltrastreet, Jennifer Lee, X-Factor, Victor Pring, Stanley Lorenze, AJ Ferrer, DJ Young, MC Bien, and more.
If you’re into beauty pageants, you can witness the grand coronation night of Miss Iloilo Dinagyang—one of the biggest highlights of the annual festival—on January 25, 6pm, in front of Casa de Emperador along Megaworld Boulevard.
The same venue will also host the Viva Music Festival, an all-night dance and music party from January 25 to 27. Headlining the list of performers during the three-day event are iconic rock group Kamikazee, international DJ Jetfire, and celebrity love team Nadine Lustre and James Reid.
The much-anticipated Dinagyang Lights Parade featuring more than 20 colorful floats will be held on January 26, Saturday, 6pm at Festive Walk Parade. This will be followed by the grand Dinagyang Fireworks Display at 9pm.
The Apartel—headlined by legendary Filipino music icon Ely Buendia—is another highly anticipated act as they perform before the Dinagyang crowd on January 26, while Up Dharma Down adds more to the revelry with a live performance on January 27. Both concerts are at Festive Walk Parade.
Catch the Dinagyang Warriors Parade featuring Tribu Bola-Bola at Festive Walk Mall on January 25, 4pm, and January 27, 7pm. There will also be the Warriors Overload, a costume exhibit, sale, and performance show at Festive Walk Mall/Parade/Annex on the same dates. Interactive Dinagyang Booths will be hosted at the mall throughout the weekend.
Exclusive freebies and big prizes
Globe Telecom brings premium items and freebies to all festivals it participates in, and of course there’s loads at Dinagyang. Visit the #GlobeDinagyang Fair on January 25 to 27 at Festive Walk Parade and the Globe Pop-Up Booths open now until January 27 at Shops at Atria, JM Basa St., Capitol Area, and Socorro Area. Mobile customers may register to GoSAKTO or apply for ThePLAN to get special freebies and movie vouchers. Home broadband customers can get a chance to win a Samsung HD TV and one-year Netflix subscription when they subscribe to a Globe At Home postpaid line, purchase a Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi, or register to HOMESURF999 or HOMESURF1499.
Are you a gamer? Get your game on at the Dinagyang Esports Festival and Convention (DEFCon 2019) from January 26-27, 10am-7pm, at City Time Square Iloilo. Bring your friends along and join the League of Legends Championship. Play your favorite games such as NBA Live and Tekken, plus meet your favorite cosplayers. Just register to GoSAKTO90 or purchase a Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi to get a freebie.
Best of Ilonggo delicacies
Tourists and locals alike can sample the best Ilonggo street delicacies at the strEAT Party Food Festival by the Iloilo Hotel Restaurants Association from January 24 to 27, 4pm onwards, at Festive Walk Parade.
To indulge in the best of the city’s traditional fare, visit the pool deck area on the 7th floor of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo (within Iloilo Business Park) on January 26, Saturday, 6-10pm, for “Tabu-an sa Dinagyang,” a heritage dinner buffet featuring the heirloom dishes of Iloilo’s premier chef, Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza. Expect Chef Tibong’s specialties like roasted lamb, lechon, lengua con setas oliva, tenderloin steak, and more. Richmonde’s very own Chef Jeffrey Ticao and his kitchen team will also showcase delectable treats like kinilaw na isda, paella negra, paella valenciana, pancit guisado, almondigas, and various street food fare. Tickets to the dinner buffet are at P2,000 net per person, which already includes bottles of San Mig Light Beer and bottomless lemonade. From here, you can also catch the fireworks happening at 9pm and enjoy the music spun by DJ Enzo of Fatboidjs as you indulge in the sumptuous dinner feast.
Easy access to the latest updates and events
To stay abreast on the latest Dinagyang updates, download the free Globe Events app from Google Play Store. You’ll find info about the festival, schedule of activities, and exclusive Globe promos.
Make sure to share your #GlobeDinagyang experience in real time when you register to GoSAKTO90. You’ll get 2GB data and unlimited texts to all networks valid for 7 days. GoSAKTO90 customers will also receive additional FREE 2GB data to GoWATCH and PLAY on video streaming sites like YouTube, Netflix, DisneyLife, iflix, HOOQ, Viu, Tribe, Cartoon Network, NBA, One FC, and FOX+, as well as mobile games like Rules of Survival, Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Pokemon Go, and Free Fire. Plus, get a FREE 30-day one-time premium subscription to iflix, Viu, HOOQ, and DisneyLife, as well as in-game items on Rules of Survival and Arena of Valor.
Maybe next time my friends and family should just fly to Iloilo to celebrate my birthday and Dinagyang with me, don’t you think so?