Festivals: Dinagyang Festival 2016, Iloilo City

Beyond Fun, Fame & Borders

Hello readers! We wonder how many of you have already enjoyed Dinagyang? Because this was our first time, and definitely won’t be the last! Travelling to Iloilo City was a breeze, we booked our plane tickets ahead of time, 3 months ahead to be exact when an airline company gave out a big sale to their local destinations (we are budget travellers, well aren’t we all? lol) and we must say how excited we were to witness the much anticipated yearly festival which showcases talent at its best, vibrant eye-popping colors and eclectic cultural heritage of all participants in its major events coming from different schools and tribes from all over the region.

Did you know that Iloilo City is the Most Livable City in the Philippines in 2015?

For starters, Dinagyang is celebrated every fourth weekend of January to commemorate the Christianization of the natives and to honor the Holy Child Jesus. It is a very colorful parade coupled with a dramatization in honor of the patron Saint Sto. Niño as the object of dramatized offerings and prayers amidst the cracking of drums and shouts of “Viva Señor Santo Niño.¹

Mag exercise tayo tuwing umaga, Pintaflores style!

But before every main act, there’s always an opening which in this festival sums to what they call Kasadyahan Cultural Competition. This event is held on a Saturday prior to the main event the next day. A showcase of talents from students in Iloilo, promoting its rich cultural heritage.

Below are photos and videos we took from the streets and the competitions, but please note that we were not able to take videos of all participants since we were only spectators of the events.

Tribu Pintaflores from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental wowed the crowd with their colorful and very well designed props, cheerful chants and great routine:

Tribu Bantayan from Guimbal, Iloilo showcased their culture by a memorable performance mixed with eyepopping colors everywhere:

Tribu Pantat from Zarraga, Iloilo presented its viewers a colorful dance interpretation bearing Iloilo’s local catfish as the main star:

Tribu Igbantog from the Island of Guimaras shows off their pride of world class sweet mangoes through jumps and rythmic dancing:

Tribu Tatusan from Caluya, Antique made sure their performance oozed that wow factor! from the colorful props, to the cheerful smiles of the dancers. They won the Championship title in the Kasadyahan competition this year:

Tribu Padagyaw from Dumarao, Capiz gave thanks and praise to Senyor Santo Niño for their bountiful land and sea harvest and sea 

Tribu Maskarra from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental didn’t only show their big colorful smiles, but also their talent with their very creative and lively performance: 

Tribu Ilonganon from Iloilo’s Jalandoni National High School jumped and shouted for joy as they showed fierceness and color with their tribe’s performance. They won 1st runner up in the Ati tribe competition this year: 

Tribu Dagatnon from Ramon Avanceña National High School in Iloilo City showcased their performance using the waters and bounty of the sea as their inspiration: 

We absolutely enjoyed watching all participants from their never ending spirit through dance, colorful props and wild imaginations. We were instantly hooked and promised ourselves to come back next year for another dose of fun and color. We would try our best to get more coverage next year, and/or hopefully get a media pass so we can give you guys better videos and/or photos! In the meantime, please forgive me for these photos I took using only my smartphone, I don’t have a DSLR yet.:

Iloilo International Airport
The plane we rode going to Iloilo (and my personal favorite airline) CEBU PACIFIC!
Tribu Panayanon’s Headdress displayed inside the airport where people can actually put them on their heads for photo souvenirs.
Very colorful costumes from dancers to drummers
All the chants and drum beats for our Senyor Santo Nino!

We were both astounded and thrilled to witness the “Mother of all Philippine Festivals” with our very own eyes.

Iloilo City was also referred to as “La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciuded de Iloilo” in Spanish which means “Most Loyal and Noble City

Above all the fun and excitement of all the festivities during Dinagyang, one must not forget the main reason why there is such celebration, and that is Senyor Santo Niño. We should do our very best to attend masses from Opening Salvo, Sto. Niño Mass and Thanksgiving Mass.




Opening Salvo Awards

  • Best in Costume: Tribu Salognon
  • Best in Discipline: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best in Overall Performance: Tribu Panayanon

Special Awards

  • Best Choreographer: Tribu Salognon
  • Best Costume Designer: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best Headdress: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best Musical Director: Tribu Panayanon

Minor Awards

  • Best in Discipline: Tribu Ilonganon
  • Best in Music: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best in Costume: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best in Street-dancing: Tribu Panayanon
  • Best in Choreography: Tribu Salognon
  • Best in Performance: Tribu Salognon

Major Awards

  • 4th runner-up: Tribu Baybayanon
  • 3rd runner-up: Tribu Paghidaet
  • 2nd runner-up: Tribu Pan-ay
  • 1st runner-up: Tribu Ilonganon

GRAND CHAMPION: Tribu Salognon


  • Best in Costume: Tribu Kasag
  • Best in Music: Tribu Kasag
  • Best Musical Director: Tribu Kasag
  • Best in Street-dancing: Tribu Bantayan
  • Best Choreography: Tribu Tatusan
  • Best Choreographer: Tribu Tatusan
  • Best Performance: Tribu Kasag
  • 4th runner-up: Tribu Patabang
  • 3rd runner-up: Tribu Pintaflores
  • 2nd runner-up: Tribu Bantayan
  • 1st runner-up: Tribu Kasag




  • Best in Music: San Matias Elementary School (Dingle, Iloilo)
  • Best in Costume: Sambag Elementary School (Jaro, Iloilo City)
  • Best in Performance: San Matias Elementary School
  • 4th runner-up: Mandurriao Elementary School (Iloilo City)
  • 3rd runner-up: Arevalo Elementary School (Iloilo City)
  • 2nd runner-up: Iloilo Central Elementary School
  • 1st runner-up: Sambag Elementary School (Jaro, Iloilo City)

GRAND CHAMPION: San Matias Elementary School

High School

  • Best in Music: Dingle National High School
  • Best in Costume: Dingle National High School
  • Best in Performance: Iloilo National High School
  • 1st runner-up: Dingle National High School

GRAND CHAMPION: Iloilo National High School


  • Best Float: Nature Spring
  • Best in Music: University of San Agustin
  • Best in Costume: STI College of Iloilo
  • Best in Choreography: St. Therese-MTC Colleges

OVERALL CHAMPION: St. Therese-MTC Colleges

¹ http://www.nscb.gov.ph/ru6/dinagyang_festival.htm
Competition results from: http://panaynewsphilippines.com/2016/01/24/2016-dinagyang-festival-competition-results/

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