NINE foreign dignitaries have so far confirmed as of January 3, 2023 to witness the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival tribes dance competition at Freedom Grandstand on January 22.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said the ambassadors’ visit to the metropolis to experience the much-awaited comeback of the country’s best tourism event will help in the city’s economic promotions globally.

The diplomats are: Embassy and Consulate General of the Republic of Panama’s Her Excellency (H.E.) Xiomara Perez Rodriguez; Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia’s His Excellency (H.E.) Agus Widjojo; Embassy of Bangladesh’s H.E. Borhan Uddin; Royal Thai Embassy’s H.E. Tull Traisorat; Nigerian Embassy’s H.E. Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye; Royal Norwegian Embassy’s H.E. Christian Halaas Lyster; Embassy of Romania's H.E. Raduta Dana Matache; Embassy of Hungary’s Mr. Peter Laszlo as representative of H.E. Titanilla Toth; and Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Charge d' Affaires Ms. P.G.P. Kaushalya as representative of H.E. Shobini Gunasekera.

Organizer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) vowed that this year’s edition will be brighter, bolder and grander as the spectacular cultural presentation goes back to the streets after two years of being held virtually due to pandemic.

The celebration’s theme centers on thanksgiving and devotion to the child Jesus for the protection during these trying times.

Major events include Opening Salvo on January 13; Miss Iloilo 2023 on January 18; Dinagyang Food Festival from January 19 to 22; Sto. Niño fluvial procession and Solemn foot procession on January 20; Kasadyahan sa Kabanwahanan, Sponsors’ Mardi Gras, Grand Religious Sadsad, and Dinagyang Ilomination and Floats Parade of Lights on January 21; and Feast Day of Señor Santo Niño De Cebu Concelebrated High Mass, Dinagyang sa Barangay Tribes Competition, and Dinagyang Awarding Ceremony on January 22.

Dinagyang won back-to-back best tourism festival awards for 2020-2021 given by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines. (PR)