FIRST Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos will witness the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2023 cultural presentation at Freedom Grandstand on Sunday morning, January 22, 2023.

Famous entrepreneur-vlogger Marissa “Small” Laude will also be in town to join the merrymaking, which might get featured in her popular vlogs.

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

The spectacle will see energetic performers donning colorful costumes and dancing with excellent choreography to thundering drumbeats.

Dinagyang sa Barangay Tribes Competition will feature eight groups: Tribu Molave, Tribu Parianon, Tribu Panaad, Tribu Familia Sagrada, Tribu Sagasa, Tribu Ilonggohanon, Tribu Kanyao sang Baybayanon, and Tribu Halimau.

As of January 5, Senators Maria Imelda Josefa Remedios “Imee” R. Marcos, Jose “JV” P. Ejercito, and Francis Tolentino have also confirmed their attendance during the festivity.

Thirteen diplomats will also arrive in the metropolis including: Her Excellency (H.E.) Xiomara Perez Rodriguez of Embassy and Consulate General of the Republic of Panama; His Excellency (H.E.) Agus Widjojo of Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia; H.E. Borhan Uddin of Embassy of Bangladesh; H.E. Tull Traisorat of Royal Thai Embassy; H.E. Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye of Nigerian Embassy; H.E. Christian Halaas Lyster of Royal Norwegian Embassy; H.E. Raduta Dana Matache of Embassy of Romania; H.E. Kazuhiko Koshikawa of Embassy of Japan; H.E. Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz of Embassy of Poland; Peter Laszlo as representative of H.E. Titanilla Toth of Embassy of Hungary; P.G.P. Kaushalya, Charge d' Affaires as representative of H.E. Shobini Gunasekera of Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; and Chief Consuls Kristofer Graf and Leo Balantac of US Embassy.

Organizer Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) promises this year’s edition to 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 the 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 (ATOP). (PR)