Home Culture Iloilo’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy Shines in Dinagyang Festival

Iloilo’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy Shines in Dinagyang Festival


ILOILO CITY — Against the vibrant backdrop of the Dinagyang Festival, both local and international attendees are invited to immerse themselves in the culinary marvels that have earned Iloilo City the distinguished title of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) City of Gastronomy.

Commencing on January 25, the official launch of the food festival promises an extensive showcase of Ilonggo cuisines, seamlessly intertwined with the annual revelry of Dinagyang. Iloilo City Executive Assistant Jay Treñas, presiding as the chair of the food festival committee, elucidated, “If you’ve attended our gastronomic celebration, it feels as though you’ve traversed the city and province of Iloilo. This promises to be their most comprehensive epicurean encounter.”

Running through January 28, the event will span the city’s downtown area and Mandurriao district, boasting no less than 700 kiosks and establishments. Locations include Bonifacio Street, Muelle Loney behind the Provincial Capitol, the Provincial Capitol grounds, Solis Street, Valeria Street near the Atrium, Marymart Delgado Street at the Amigo and SM Delgado sides, and Iznart Street in the downtown area.

Karmela Jesena, General Manager of Festive Walk Iloilo, emphasized the diversity of Ilonggo dishes, delicacies, and street food at the Java Road and Festive Walk Parade of the Megaworld in Mandurriao district. More than 200 participating merchants will elevate the festival into a culinary spectacle.

“Dinagyang celebrations wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the best Ilonggo dishes. Local and foreign tourists will get a gastronomic treat at the Dinagyang food festival, which is set to be the longest strip in the city with more than 200 merchants,” Jesena remarked.

Rachel Nufable, Officer-in-Charge for Western Visayas at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), underscored the festival’s substantial impact on food micro-entrepreneurs. With stalls lining the streets, these entrepreneurs find a platform to establish their market.

“As fun-loving people, the allure of food is a constant draw for us. Especially since Iloilo City was designated as UNESCO’s gastronomic city, we anticipate an influx of tourists eager to savor our culinary offerings,” Nufable stated.

Having earned the distinction of Creative City of Gastronomy last year, Iloilo City proudly joins the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) alongside 350 cities in over 100 countries. This recognition spans various creative fields, including crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music. (R. Canete)