Hala Bira Iloilo Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City

Hala Bira Iloilo – It’s the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City this January. 

Iloilo City will be transformed to a jovial mood this first month of the year for the Ilonggos will sing the theme song composed by award-winning musician and lyricist Dante M. Beriong – Hala Bira Iloilo! Sulong sa pagbag-o!, Hala Bira Iloilo! Matahum nga banwa ko!

“Hala Bira, Iloilo! is a song for all of us,” shared by the Antiqueño composer after he played the song during a pre-Dinagyang Festival Media Night in January 2020, organized by Dept. of Tourism-Region VI regional director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas and held at the Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo.

“This is a Panayanon song and this is a song for all of us in Panay (Island),” Beriong emphasized. 

One Dinagyang One Iloilo Halad kay Sr. Sto. Niño

The Hala Bira, Iloilo! theme song is a unifying element among the Ilonggos who are bouncing back from the impacts of the pandemic.

This year’s theme: “One Dinagyang One Iloilo Halad kay Sr. Sto. Niño” depict the spirit of unity and a celebration of the Ilonggo resiliency, which they displayed during the difficult period of the pandemic lockdown. 

A virtual opening salvo set on January 15, 2021 (Friday) will officially kick-off the weeklong festival. The opening salvo will be livestreamed online through the Dinagyang social media pages and also on the social media pages of the Iloilo City Government and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas


Hala Bira, Iloilo! The First Digital Dinagyang Festival

The 2021 episode of the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival will add another historic feather to the more than 50-year old annual religious-cultural-tourism event. It is the first Hala Bira, Iloilo! Digital Dinagyang Festival.

The hybrid celebration will have virtual events through online sites and on social media channel. In addition, related events are also organized on a specific pre-identified sites, but these venues will be highly regulated and monitored for health protocols.

Also read IBS Digital’s Complete Guide to Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2021

Dinagyang Festival 2021 Heath Protocols

Hala Bira, Iloilo! is not only a festival song; it also serves as a reminder of the extraordinary character of the Ilonggos.

The song motivates everyone to innovate a lyric by saying “Hala Bira, Iloilo! Protektahi ang Kaugalingon Mo” or like an advice to enjoy the festival but by strictly observing standard health protocols to protect yourself and the people around you.


Self-protection is highly encouraged by the Iloilo City Government. In case you forget, the Dinagyang Festival 2021 event is organized within the period of an ongoing pandemic. Also, there is no need to emphasize that a new strain of a Coronavirus is hanging above our heads.

In case you missed it, the new strain is dubbed as B.1.1.7 (SARS-CoV-2 VUI 2020/12/01). 

So, wear a face mask and bring an extra just in case you lose one. Wear a face shield. Bring an alcohol or hand sanitizer.

Moreover, you can walk around but observe physical distancing at all times. An important reminder: don’t go out in public places if you’re not feeling well or if you are not allowed to under the current risk-level classification.

Iloilo City is under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) risk-level classification from January 1 to 31, 2021. Hence, it is an MGCQ Digital Dinagyang Festival 2021. 

Also revisit reading: Operationalizing a trash-free Dinagyang


Hala Bira, Iloilo! One Dinagyang Digital Presentation

The Hala Bira Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2021 will be digital, yet you will not be shortchanged.

The tribes will perform Hala Bira, Iloilo! steps with a new visual flavor. The performance, however, will be delivered with a reduced number of tribes warrior. Nonetheless, it won’t be inferior from the performances of previous Dinagyang Festivals.

Quality-wise, it will be the best virtual Dinagyang for the performances were assembled similar to a tribes contingent sent to perform on tourism competitions and festivals abroad. Small in number but solid performance. 

The carefully selected participating tribes were placed under a 10-day bubble environ in a sanitized school within the district of residency last year. It was done to ensure that health protocols are enforced and that the health status of the participants are properly monitored.

A bubble environment is one of the methods being applied by various governments so that transmission of virus is prevented. The bubble system was proven successful in the case of Dinagyang. The filming of 360-degrees tribes performance for the Dinagyang Digital Festival 2020 was completed before the Christmas holiday.

No virus was transmitted among the participating tribes; therefore, Hala Bira Iloilo Dinagyang 2021 proceeded as planned with a 360-degrees pre-filmed performance.

The Iloilo City Government will announce soon the Dinagyang social media pages where the performances can be viewed.


Dinagyang Festival 2021 Schedule of Events

  1. Hala Bira, Iloilo! Schedule of Virtual Events:


Date Where to see


Virtual Opening Salvo January 15 Dinagyang Social Media Pages Eric Divinagracia
Dagyang sa Calle Real Time  January 23 Dinagyang Social Media Pages Rotary Club of Iloilo South
Virtual Religious Sadsad 2021 January 24 (Morning) Dinagyang Social Media Pages Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. & San Jose Parish Church
One Dinagyang Digital Presentation January 24  (Morning) Dinagyang Social Media Pages & Official TV Channel Iloilo City Government, Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. & Ilonggo Artists Festival Association
Virtual Awarding Ceremony January 24 (Afternoon) Dinagyang Social Media Pages Iloilo City Government, Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc.

2. Hala Bira, Iloilo! Schedule of Live Events:

Event Date Venue


Pinta sa Kapiestahan Jan. 10-17 Atria Park District JCI
Dinagyang Fun Bike Ride Jan. 17 Iloilo Business Park Megaworld
Dinagyang Trade Fair Jan. 18-24 Festive Mall & SM City Iloilo Phil. Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Dinagyang Costume Exhibit Jan. 18-24 SM City North Wing SM City Iloilo
Dinagyang Fantasy Make-up Contest Jan. 18 Robinson’s Jaro Activity Center Robinson’s Iloilo
Dinagyang Drumbeats Jan. 20 Robinson’s Main Iloilo Robinson’s Iloilo
Sto. Niño Religious Motorcade Jan. 22 San Jose Parish Church and to Iloilo City main streets Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. & San Jose Parish Church
Dinagyang Food Festival Jan. 22-24 Iloilo Convention Center  Merkado & IHRRA
Gaisano Capital Kaon Ta, Iloilo!
Batchoy Festival SM City Iloilo
Tienda Atria Park District
Dinagyang Warrior Fashion Show Jan. 23 Festive Mall Activity Center Megaworld

Updated schedule can be viewed at the Iloilo City Tourism and Development Office

Dagoy to dance Hala Bira, Iloilo! 

Dagoy, the official Dinagyang Festival mascot will be dancing with the dagyang beat and Hala Bira, Iloilo! tune during the Digital Dinagyang Festival 2021.

The 17-years old six-feet mascot was publicly introduced in December 2004. He instantly became the face of the Dinagyang Festival and the Ilonggos are looking forward to see him perform during the festival.

Dagoy is described as a symbol of friendship, revelry, celebration, and unity among Ilonggos. 

Wherever you are situated, you can enjoy the world-acclaimed and award-winning Iloilo Dinagyang Festival this year. Start by singing the theme song written by composer Dante Beriong. Follow the lyrics below. 

Hala Bira, Iloilo! Theme Song

Hala Bira Iloilo! Ipabugal ang ngalan mo!
Sa tanan nga panahon ikaw ang palanggaon!

Sa paglakat sang malawig nga tinion
Nakilala ka sa madamong bulohaton
Ang imo nga dinagyang kag imo nga kasadyahan
Padayon nga ginapasidunggan!

Himuon ko ang tanan nga masarangan
Isinggit ko sa bilog nga kalibutan
Kita mga Ilonggo tunay nga Pilipino
Mapisan kag dungganon nga mga tawo!

Repeat chorus 2x

Hala Bira Iloilo! Negosyo kag probinsya!
Hala Bira Iloilo! Napun-an ka sang kasadya!
Hala Bira Iloilo! Itib-ong ang kalinungan!
Hala Bira Iloilo! Padayon sa kauswagan!

Repeat chorus 2x

Hala Bira Iloilo! Viva Senyor Santo Niño!
Hala dagyang Iloilo! Viva Senyor Santo Niño!
Hala dagyang Iloilo! Viva Senyor Santo Niño!
Hala Bira Iloilo!

Learn more about the composer of Hala Bira, Iloilo! here: https://iloveiloilo.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/dante-m-beriong-an-antiqueno-music-prodigy/

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