Dinagyang is the biggest festival in Iloilo. With its major events happening from January 25 to 27, it is a celebration of the devotion to Sr. Sto. Niño, as well as the commemoration of the legendary barter of Panay Island, where 10 datus led by Datu Puti were said to have escaped the tyranical Sultan Makatunaw to find new land. Coming in peace, the Datu offered a golden salakot and other treasures to the Ati Chief Marikudo, who allowed them to settle. [via Philstar]

The peak of the festival is jam-packed with events, so you may want to plan your itinerary accordingly. If you and your BFFs are making that last-minute decision to fly to Iloilo, then here are five things to do:

Book in a nice, comfortable hotel

Dinagyang attracts thousands of tourists and the activities you'll be enjoying will sure to have big crowds, so you might want to come home to accommodations that have a nice, relaxing vibe. Richomonde Hotel Iloilo is a good option because many of the celebrations are just walking distance from it. Prices start at P 8,500 net for two people which includes breakfast buffet for up to two adults and two children age five and below.

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Enjoy authentic Ilonngo cuisine

If you decide to book at the Richmonde, then you shouldn't miss Tabu-an sa Dinagyang (Meet up at Dinagyang), a culinary extravaganza featuring heirloom dishes prepared by Iloilo's premiere chef Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza on January 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the pool deck. This will be highlighted by the Festive Walk Mall's fireworks display at 9 p.m. 

You'll also want to head out to enjoy the strEAT Party Food Festival at Festive Walk Parade, which showcases many local restos and their delicacies. 

Get your beauty pageant feels on with the Miss Iloilo Dinagyang Coronation Night

If you and you BFFs are into pageants, then you wouldn't want to miss this. Happening on January 25 at Casa de Emperador in Megaworld Iloilo Business Park, 14 hopefuls will compete for the crown to represent Iloilo. Miss Dinagyag will be tasked to promote the city's history and traditions, while helping develop local communities. 

See the Floats Parade of Lights

Now on its second year, the Floats Parade of Lights happening on January 26 will feature an array of beautifully-made installations that will definitely glow up your evening. It will be moving through Infante Street to the Iloilo Business Park, so best know where to position yourselves!

Get into the groove of the Dagyang Tribes Competition

Considered to be the biggest thing of the festival is the Dagyang Tribes Competition. Get ready for loud drumbeats and beautiful performances to blow you away as each tribe does their best to tell Iloilo's history through chants and dances.

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Remember to secure your tickets for these events beforehand! Visit the official website of Dinagyang 2019 for more details.

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