The annual Dinagyang Festival will be held in the city of Iloilo from Friday, January 24, through Sunday, January 26. Dinagyang is one of the most popular religious and cultural events in the Philippines and a significant increase in visitors is anticipated in Iloilo. The first main event of the festival, the Fluvial and Solemn Foot Procession, will start at 15:00 (local time) on Friday at Fort San Pedro. Images of the Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus) will be carried on boats down the Iloilo River to Muelle Loney Street, before being carried by a foot procession to the San Jose Parish Church. On Saturday, January 25, a parade will start at 14:00 from the Iloilo Grandstand and end at the Central Market. Road closures and traffic disruptions are expected around all festival events.
A heightened security presence and restrictions will be in place around all associated events. An additional 4000 security personnel have deployed to Iloilo during the festival to maintain order and enforce regulations. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and weapons are banned from festival areas and will be confiscated by police officers. Security checkpoints will also be erected at event entrances and throughout the city as a precaution. Police officials said that mobile phone service will be temporarily suspended within a 3 km (2 mi) radius of the festival judging and performance areas on Sunday, January 26, for security reasons
Iloilo hosts the Dinagyang Festival every year on the fourth weekend of January.
Individual in or traveling to Iloilo are advised to keep abreast of the situation, anticipate increased travel times due to severe traffic and increased security measures, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Be alert and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the local authorities.
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