MORE than two million people are expected to see and enjoy the highlights of Dinagyang Festival, which is slated on January 23 to 24.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said the number of spectators and revelers of this year's celebration is beyond his expectations, as all hotels and pension houses in Iloilo are fully booked and paid in advance.
Treñas said that beach resorts, lodging houses, and hotels in the first and second districts of Iloilo have reported full reservations for guests and revelers of Dinagyang.
The mayor also said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could not visit Iloilo for the celebration since she has prior commitments. “But this should not dampen the spirit of Dinagyang as more dignitaries have signified their intentions to come,” he added.
Among those who earlier confirmed attendance to the celebration are the Ambassador of Norway HE Knut Solem and wife, Chairman Francisco Eizmendi Jr. of the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), Chairman Hans Juergen Springer of the Cities Development Initiative Alliance (CDIA), Chinese Consul Wang Jinyan, and Chinese Consul Liu Jinrong.
Also expected to come are several senators and vice presidential bets. Those who confirmed their presence are former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando; Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Richard Gordon; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director General Augusto Syjuco and wife Congresswoman Judy Syjuco; Congressman Saturnino Ocampo, Congresswoman Liza Maza, Mayor Amelita Navarro of Santiago City and Presidential Assistant for Religious Affairs Silvestre Bello III.