Internationally-acclaimed Iloilo Dinagyang Festival once again awed global audiences as it showcased its wares in Manila 2012 ADB (Asian Development Bank) 45th Annual Meeting’s Host Country Reception at SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia, Pasay City May 4.

Dinagyang champ Tribu Pan-ay of Fort San Pedro National High School was chosen by organizers as one of the world renowned Filipino performers who took the center stage showcasing why it’s more fun in the Philippines!

Some 4,700 international delegates were treated to a taste of the famous Dinagyang revelry dances.

It also saw traditional Southern parade-like dance known as Kariala Tausug; musical take on Global Filipino performed by top Filipino singers Leo Valdez, Bituin Esacalante and The Company; and ballet reinterpretation of traditional “Pangalay” by internationally-renowned choreographer Max Luna.

Some of the country’s premier dancers, singers, fashion designers, artists, choreographers, and directors presented the best of the Philippines in one of the most important international events to happen in the country this year, making it memorable for ADB meeting delegates. 

Beyond featuring the country’s best artists and performers, the host reception also attested to the Philippines’ vibrant sense of hope, renewal, and optimism. 

The affair featured distinct performance suites which revolved around the constructs of tradition and innovation and how they meld seamlessly to create the Philippines of today.

Exhibiting local talent and visual artistry renowned the whole world over, the occasion was a statement on the wealth of tradition and more importantly, the diverse directions that the Filipino people have taken as the nation moves forward.

A resort wear collection featured a selection of indigenous textiles was also highlighted.

How Dinagyang catches ADB’s interest?

Dinagyang Festival, the premier celebration in the metropolis in January helped boost the business climate of Iloilo City, according to ADB.

Dinagyang is cited as one of the best practices in managing cities, particularly in “effective public-private partnership.” The citation is contained in ADB’s book entitled “Managing Cities in Asia” published in 2006.

“Dinagyang continues to provide enormous benefits to Iloilo by showcasing the Ilonggo’s culture of excellence and unifying the community to work for the common good,” the ADB book stated.

Dinagyang particularly established “workable partnership” among the City Hall, government agencies, San Jose Parish church and private sector-led Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI).

It also involves a multi-stakeholder participation of large corporations, civic organizations, civil society, youth, professionals and the media.

The city’s grandest fiesta was also hailed for its hospitality to guests foreign and domestic alike.

“Dinagyang has been creating goodwill for the city by providing entertainment to tourists and visitors resulting in the doubling of tourist arrivals for the past three years as well as promoting international friendship by having foreign dignitaries as special guests.”

“Over the long-term, the Dinagyang has created more jobs, increased income for the business sector and accelerated investments,” ADB stressed.

Dinagyang basically means fully-booked hotels and other accommodation facilities, increased sales from small vendors to large business establishments as well as its “multiplier effect” to related industries and heightened promotions of giant companies.

Dinagyang has become a medium for the local arts community to exhibit their talents and gain recognition.

Dinagyang’s “social artistry” was proven after the United Nations supported the festival to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to alleviate poverty.

“It has also instilled the value of discipline among members of the community who exert effort to keep Iloilo City very livable by maintaining cleanliness and continuous greening of the environment.”

Dinagyang success is due to its extensive promotions, larger community participation, greater global exposure and improved reporting mechanism while the city government provides financial assistance and support services like police, health and sanitation.