The Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo is celebrated every 4th Sunday of January. A week after the Sinulog Grand Parade In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.
This festival, just like the Sinulog is inspired on the Ati-Atihan, which it’s the source of both festivals.
Although it doesn’t have the magnitude of Sinulog, which attracts people from all over the country, the Dinagyang Festival is absolutely not to be miss, due its tribal dances.
Each participant group has a very colorful costume, completed with make-up that defines a certain topic. Most topics represented are tribal, but there a few that are more futuristic.
The festival starts around 9AM, and continues until noon.
Most of the dance performances are done only in front of the tribune, which requires you to buy the tickets in advance.
In general those tribunes are fully covered to prevent non-paying viewers to watch the performances.
But if you feel the moving itch and don’t want to spend the whole festival sitting down watching the performances. You can move around Quezon Street (near General Luna Street), where they also do dance performances and play music while fast forwarding to the next tribune.
This way you can still move around, and have the opportunity to watch performances and take good shots. Just get ready to move fast.
Getting ThereIloilo is quite well served, with flights coming from the biggest cities in Philippines.
There are also boats from Cebu, Manila, Dumaguete, but if you book in advance it’s preferable to fly, since it will be cheaper and far more faster then traveling by boat.
Budget AccommodationI don’t have knowledge of budget accommodation in Iloilo (although it might exist). But whatever exists, it will be highly inflated during the festival.
An option can be to sleep in Bacolod, where exists cheap accommodation, and do a day trip to Iloilo.