Fiesta Island

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


NEGRENSES are a fun-loving people. Almost every week, there’s a big festival in 13 cities and 19 towns across the province.

And that’s not just in the city or town proper. Every week, there’s a fiesta in any of the 662 barangays in Negros Occidental so we can very well call our province a “Fiesta Island.”

Highlighting these fiestas are colorful streetdance competitions that tell the story of the town or city’s origin, and its lifestyle as a people.

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In terms of origin, our festivals are either born out of faith, legends, history and tradition, or simply, creative frivolity, says festival conceptualist Rudy Reveche. (Tito Rudy, as I fondly call him, has helped in the conception stage of many festivals in Negros Occidental.)

Our festivals are a testament to the good life that we have enjoyed through the years. It also reflects our warmth and hospitality, religiosity, and way of life.

Some cities and towns have two or more festivals for the whole year, drawing foreign and local visitors alike to their colorful fiestas.

Thus the effect of the festivals as a tourism come-on cannot be underestimated.

In fact, it keeps the local economy alive because of the influx of tourists to the place, says Cristine Mansinares, supervising tourism operations officer of the Provincial Capitol.

She adds that tourist arrivals in the town or city increase every time there’s a festival there. The hotels, restaurants, and pension houses are fully booked for a week.

The festivals bring in more money to the LGUs, benefiting more sectors because of the money inflow, she adds.

The festivals are also very important to the people because it develops a sense of pride of their place and they appreciate their culture more, Mansinares says.

Moreover, she shares, it also improves the social aspect of the people because it is often during the festivals where people renew ties, like families getting together, or classmates holding reunions and alumni homecomings.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 05, 2014.

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