Bacolod to honor Gokongwei-A A +A
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said there are plans to adopt business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. as honorary mayor of Bacolod for the duration of the Bacolaodiat Festival.
Like former ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco and Lucio Tan, who were given the same honors, Gokongwei will serve as “Hermano Mayor” during the Bacolaodiat Festival, Leonardia said.
The giving of recognition to Gokongwei is a way of recognizing his contribution to Bacolod as the first big investor who poured in huge investment to the city by building Robinson’s Place Bacolod, the very first big mall in the city which opened in 1997, Leonardia added.
Leonardia said the Chinese community had expressed their gratitude to his administration because he had given much attention to them.
Meanwhile, he expressed confidence the celebration of the city’s own version of the Chinese New Year, popularly known as “Bacolaodiat Festival,” will definitely be continued even if he will no longer be the mayor of Bacolod.
Leonardia said the Bacolaodiat Festival, which he started a few years back, had grown by leaps and bounds. No incoming local chief executive of the city in his right mind will stop it or cut the celebration in his term, he said.
Leonardia said the celebration had involved the Chinese community to the hilt, making the yearly celebration a success.
“The Bacolodiat is here to stay and nobody in his right mind will destroy the celebration. If they do so, they will eventually be up against the Chinese community,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 29, 2013.