Local and foreign guests joining this year’s Dinagyang Festival can see or taste for themselves why Iloilo City is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) City of Gastronomy.
A wide selection of Ilonggo cuisines will be featured when the food festival officially begins on Jan. 25, highlighting the annual celebration of Dinagyang.
“If you’ve gone to our food festival, it seems like you have already visited the city and province of Iloilo. This will be their most complete gastronomic experience,” Iloilo City Executive Assistant Jay Treñas, who sits as chair of the food festival committee, said Wednesday.
The event which will run until Jan. 28 will have at least 700 kiosks and stores spread in the city’s downtown area and Mandurriao district.
These included one side of Bonifacio Street, Muelle Loney at the back of the Provincial Capitol, Provincial Capitol grounds, Solis Street, Valeria Street at the side of the Atrium, and Marymart Delgado Street at the Amigo and SM Delgado sides, and Iznart Street at the downtown area.
Karmela Jesena, Festive Walk Iloilo general manager, said the food festival at the Java Road and Festive Walk Parade of the Megaworld in Mandurriao district offers a diverse range of Ilonggo dishes, delicacies, and street food, and others with their more than 200 participating merchants.
“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,” she said.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officer-in-charge for Western Visayas Rachel Nufable said the food festival is a big help to food micro-entrepreneurs who will put up their stalls in the streets to have their own market.
“Because we are fun-loving people, the food is always one of the attractions that we go to. And especially since Iloilo City was declared as UNESCO’s gastronomic city so we are expecting more tourists coming in to taste the food that we have,” Nufable said.
Iloilo City was named the Creative City of Gastronomy last year, joining 350 cities in more than 100 countries listed on the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the fields of crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music. (PNA)