Dinagyang whirlwind weekend

What a fun Dinagyang weekend! As a local, I realized weekends in the City of Love can be doubly fun if you pretend you are a tourist or a tourist guide. I spent the weekend with my sister from Manila who was in  town to attend an important family affair. It was great timing as the Dinagyang festival was in full frenzy and there were lots of sights and sounds to enjoy. Amid the throbbing of sound systems blaring everywhere and the beat of warrior drums, exploring your own city through the eyes of a tourist can make you appreciate your own fishbowl.

From happy holidays to Dinagyang daze! The Iloilo Provincial Capitol threw a big visual bash with its Dinagyang themed light display.  What a wonderful way to soak up the Dinagyang spirit with a stroll along the capitol grounds amidst the cool, Amihan weather.  Please leave the lights on until Valentines, pretty please? We'd love a Valentine's themed light display. 

Dinagyang colors in full bloom showcasing the inherent creativity of Ilonggos. 

The Food Festival at Megaworld Iloilo was the kind of al fresco set-up we wanted. The food choices were great! We discovered Mong's Kitchen and their delectable, tongue curling dishes like Tikka Masala. The British/Indian dish of super tender grilled chicken in spicy, aromatic tikka masala gravy served on basmati rice was absolute perfection. 

For hearty breakfast fare, we headed to Cafe Augusto for their big boy servings of Full English Breakfast and Classic Pinoy Breakfast plates. The rosemary scented homemade sausages were amazing. As Ilonggos would say, halamdumon nga sabor. 

K-Town in Festive Walk Parade is a must-see. So many snacks, food and drinks to try. It's a mini Korean town with amazing restaurants and coffee stands. 

We are not big fans of sinugba or inihaw dishes so we headed to Balay Remedios to try other dishes we haven't tried before like the Chicken Binakol, Lumpiang Hubad and Ceviche with a tasty twist. 

When in Iloilo, you gotta have a bowl of heartwarming Pancit Molo from Kap Ising's. Truly Iloilo's best, Kap Ising's pancit molo (and other dishes like Dinuguan with puto)  feels like a warm welcome hug if you've missed Iloilo City long enough. 

What better way to burn off the calories after 2 days of non-stop eating and feasting than a brisk walk at  Iloilo River Esplanade. The cool January breeze complemented the serene river scenery.

Dinagyang is the perfect time for a relaxing staycation in an accommodation that's right smack where the festive attractions are. SEDA just beside Atria Ayala Mall is a great choice!

Lastly, there's the super fun Uno Cat Cafe that's perfect for cat themed coffee and cuisine.  We had to try the hamburgers that were whimsically presented. I can absolutely say the juicy burgers were complete with all the works-pickles, caramelized onions , tomatoes in a soft bun. Hamburger cravings satisfied! I hope they have a plan-based version though. 

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