Known as one of the biggest and world-class festivals in the Philippines, Iloilo Dinagyang Festival is back to showcase the rich heritage, colorful history, passionate devotion , and fun-loving spirits of the Ilonggos.

Indeed, our faith is deeper than covid in this unprecedented time, as the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI) launches the first-ever digital dinagyang on its 53rd year with the theme: “One Dinagyang. One Iloilo. Halad kay Señor Sto. Niño.”

The performances will be pre-filmed under a bubble environment, to prevent the transmission of the virus, where 360-degree chorepgraphy of the performances are being shot. The performance will not only show off colorful costumes and masterful dance routines but showcase the different scenic spots and iconic landmarks from the different districts of Iloilo as the performances will be filmed in the respective districts of the participants.

Hosting the event is Miss Iloilo and Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Occeña Mateo kag Kapuso artist Mr. Rocco Nacino. The Digital Dinagyang 2021 events and activities can be streamed LIVE officially from this page, the Iloilo Dinagyang, Iloilo City Government, and Jerry Treñas official facebook pages and GMA Regional TV on January 24, 2021 at 7-10 AM.

Hala Bira! Dagyang ‘ta!

#IloiloDinagyang2021 #DigitalDinagyang2021 #OneDinagyangOneIloilo

Schedule of Dinagyang 2021 activities

First ever Pinta sa Kapiestahan for Dinagyang 2021

Dagyang sa Social Media entries are extended until Jan 10ILONGGO FOOD FESTIVAL

Patisoy ni Nonoy Extended Until January 8

MARTSA Going Back in Time Extended Until Jan 10

Merry Making it Real Time extended until Jan 10

Dinagyang Market Market 2021


Among the popular devotion of our country none is more significant to our people than the devotion to Sto.Niño. This is a devotion with a national spirit, not based on pious traditions and miraculous accounts, but authenticated by history and projected into the birth and socio-political development of the nation. The devotion to the Christ-child may have originated in Spain at the beginning of the 16th century and usually it emphasized kingship.

It must have been popular in Belgium by the beginning of the century since the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu seemed to have come from Flanders. And from Europe – it spread to the other parts of the world. Saturday, March 15, 1521, the ship of Ferdinand Magellan reached Samar, Unlike other people who were fearful of the white men, the Visayans approached them their  own accord. After the encounter, Magellan sailed to other island Limasawa. They were welcomed by Rajah Awi, Chief of the island. On March 31, 1521, the first mass was celebrated on Philippine soil. The Spaniards then sailed to the harbor if Cebu. They were accompanied by Rajah Awi.


The Rajah of Cebu, who is accustomed to foreign traders from Asia, was prepared to deal with the Spaniards as traders. The warning of the traders concerning the might of while visitors disposed Humabon to make peace with them. To visitors of his ship, Magellan gave a brief catechesis of Christian faith through an interpreter.

One week after the Spaniards landed in Cebu, the first to be baptized was Rajah Humabon. In the afternoon, it was the turn of the Queen and the ladies. Before baptism, the Queen was shown an image of the cross, the statue of the Mother of God Sto. Niño. After her baptism, the Queen asked for the image of the Santo Niño and it was entrusted to her keeping. She was given the name Doña Juana. Magellan became the champion of Rajah Humabon. He ordered all the chiefs to surrender and meet the king.

Lapu-Lapu, King of Mactan, was no coward. Overconfident and wanting to reach Lapu-Lapu a lesson and at the same time to impress to Rajah Humabon, Magellan sailed to Mactan. A fierce battle ensured, and Magellan was hit and he commanded his men to fail back to their boats. They could not save Magellan who was wounded again. The Spaniards fled to Matan while the lifeless body of their fallen leader was brought to Lapu-Lapu. Aboard the ship, Rajah Humabon and the Spaniards moumed for Magellan.

Forty-four years later, the Spaniards returned to Cebu headed by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, they were met with resistance and hostility and Legaspi had to resort to force. Meanwhile, Juan de Camuz, a sailor from Bermio, Viscaya headed towards the native houses. He founded a box and wondered what it contained. Upon opening it, he saw that it had an image of Santo Niño, the one given to the Queen of Cebu by Magellan.

The image was presented to Legaspi. The finding of the statue caused a sensation among the Spaniards. They considered it as an omen to eventually convert to natives to Christianity and went about building a camp and a temporary chapel. The enthronement of the statue in the temporary chapel was held with solemn ceremonies. Attracted by the rites and because of a strong curiosity, the Cebuanos emerged from their hiding places and joined.

The Augustinian priest, Fr. Andres de Urdaneta, enthroned the image of Santo Niño. Then, the Spaniards organized the confraternity of the Holy Child, or the Confradia del Santo Niño Legaspi and his officials made a solemn vow. The enthronement of the Sto. Niño was the first crack in the hostile relations between the natives and foreigners. Rajah Tupas was informed of the Legaspi’s intention to speak of peace. The Spaniards also demanded for a tribute. A church was constructed in honor of the image of the Holy Child.


The Spaniards called the Church of Santo Niño and it was the first house of worship ever constructed in this country. Later, it was ruined due to fire. Another church was built, and this time it was more solid and made of timber – only to be burned down once again.

The present building of the Church and monastery where the Santo Niño is kept and venerated was built about 1750. By that time colonial government and Motherhouse of the Augustinians had been transferred to Manila but wherever the friars went they made it a point to spread the devotion of Santo Niño was brought to San Jose Parish while a cofradia was organized by Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez OSA, parish priest of San Jose and enshrined thereat. It is because of this devotion that the Dinagyang was born and has become a joyous religious and socio-cultural celebration held every 4th Sunday of January annually.


The replica of the image of Sr. Sto Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo City by Fr. Sulpicio Enderes, OSA., with a delegation of Confradia de Santo Niño de Cebu, San Jose Parish priest, Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, OSA, former Iloilo  City mayor Renelrio Ticao and devotees of Sr. Sto Niño welcomed the image at Iloilo airport.The image was enshrined at San Jose Parish Church, where the Novena in his honor is held every Friday.

The confradia del Sto. Niño de Cebu-Iloilo  Chapter was organized with the election of first set of officers. The officers who pioneered “Ati-atihan” in Iloilo City were the following; Fr. Ambrosio Galindez, OSA parish priest; Fiscal Vicente Gengos, the first President of the Confradia; Felecisimo Almalvez; Aurelio Deriada; Tommy Panaguiton; Doroteo Fuentez; Mr. & Mrs. Espridion Alcubilla; Dominador P. Rivera Jr.; Mrs. Rosa Olondriz Caram, Hermana Mayor, 1969-76; Mr. George Bucana; Mr. & Mrs. Fermin Zapanta Jr.; and Francisco Ravena.

Source: From the files of the Cofradia del Sto. Niño, Iloilo Chapter