Organizers of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival are hoping to rouse the interest of those who have yet to witness the tourism event with its three-year winning streak in various categories of the Pearl Award given by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).
Joyce Clavecillas, executive director of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI), said the festival was judged the grand winner for Best Cultural Festival under the city category during the recognition ceremony that culminated the 2023 ATOP National Convention in Boracay Island on Oct. 5.
“I think this recognition will also help us to market the Dinagyang Festival, especially for those who have not joined or those who wanted to witness what Dinagyang looks like,” she said in an interview on Monday.
She said people will become more curious about the multi-awarded festival, adding that joining different award bodies is an added marketing strategy.
In 2021, the digital version of the festival won the Best Tourism Practice during the Pandemic Award, the only recognition given by the ATOP of that year, while in 2022, it was the Best Tourism Event for the contemporary/non-traditional expression category.
“We cannot technically say it’s a grand slam because it’s from different categories. We are happy because in whatever category we fall we won. It proves that Dinagyang Festival is really one the best festivals in the country,” she added.
Clavecillas said more than the challenge, they will be more inspired to do good and think of innovations they can implement to improve and make the festival more enjoyable for spectators.
The annual festival, held every fourth week of January, is organized by the IFFI, Iloilo City Government, and the San Jose Parish. (PNA)