‘Dinagyang’ exceeds expectations

Photograph COURTESY OF sm Philanthropist and fashion icon Tessa Prieto (left), eventologist Tim Yap (second from left) and veteran broadcaster Karen Davila (second from right) grace the Dinagyang exhibit at SM City Iloilo recently with SM Supermalls president Steven Tan (right).

ILOILO City — The return of the Dinagyang Festival to the streets has seen thousands of domestic and foreign visitors packing various festival activities which exceeded the expectations of the local government here, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said that the festival — which was held face-to-face for the first time in two years — was a complete success.

“Everyone wanted a strong comeback, it was a complete success and this showed that Dinagyang and our Sto. Niño are beyond politics,” Treñas said.

To recall, the Dinagyang Festival is known far and wide for its participants’ impressive choreography and striking costumes that reflect Ilonggo ingenuity, craftsmanship and artistry.

Treñas congratulated the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc., organizer of Dinagyang 2023, the participating tribes and corporate sponsors, among others.

“I acknowledge all our sponsors from the private sector for their significant contributions in the success of Dinagyang. Of course, your strong support in all our activities played a meaningful role in the overall success of the festival,” Treñas said.

The festival’s top sponsor was SM City Iloilo as it served as venue for many Dinagyang activities, including the first-ever Dinagyang Ilomination on 21 January, Batchoy Festival, festival costumes exhibit, and concert of various performing artists including Asia’s Pop Heartthrob Darren Espanto, among others.

The festivities were graced by no less than First Lady of the Philippines Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos and some prominent government officials including House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Jinggoy Estrada, Mark Villar, Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla, former senator Franklin Drilon, among others. YouTube sensation Small Laude, broadcast journalist Karen Davila, lifestyle columnist and philanthropist Tessa Prieto Valdez, television presenter and entrepreneur Tim Yap were also there to join the festivities.

They were warmly welcomed by Treñas and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.

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