Mayor lauds success of Bacolaodiat fest-A A +A
Monday, February 7, 2011
BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia said the holding of the 6th Bacolaodiat Festival, which highlighted the city’s Chinese New Year celebration, last February 3-6 was successful.
“This is definitely a resounding success,” Leonardia said Sunday during the Champions Night at SM City Bacolod where the winners of the lantern dance contest rendered their winning performances while the festival committee also awarded the winners of the giant rabbit lantern competition.
“The North Capitol Road and the Tourism Strip along Lacson Street were filled with people who truly enjoyed the Bacolaodiat festival. All this is because of the cooperation of the Chinese and Filipino communities,” the mayor added.
For his part, festival director Leonito Lopue said that this year’s Bacolaodiat festival is the best in its six-year history as “we have kept on improving every year.”
He said that this year’s official song was composed by Carole Ong, a graduate of St. John’s Institute, one of the Chinese schools in the city. She presently works in Shanghai but she came home to Bacolod for the festival.
Leonardia recalled that when he first proposed the holding of the Chinese New Year celebration six years ago, Bacolod’s Chinese community responded positively.
“They have made an impact in our community and they are here to stay,” he said of the city’s Filipino-Chinese community as he pointed out that the peoples of the world are mixtures of the cultures of the world.
MassKara in the making
“With our kind of celebration, we can therefore claim that Bacolod is among the cities with the biggest celebrations in the country. This is another MassKara festival in the making,” Leonardia said referring to the city’s yearly festival held every October.
Bacolaodiat is now on its sixth year while the famous MassKara festival has been running for 31 years.
“We are the only city in the Philippines which had two major festivals. Long live Bacolaodiat and mabuhay Bacolod City!” Leonardia declared.
The mayor said this year’s Bacolaodiat festival has become “bigger, more colorful and much better.” It has shown its full potential this year, showing that it has ripened through the years and has matured as a festival, he added.
Bacolaodiat has become a tourist attraction and, in the near future, when the Chinese go out of their country to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Bacolod might be considered as among their destinations, Leonardia said.
He said that he is glad that the people of Bacolod have accepted this festival.
Lopue, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude to the pedicab drivers for their contributions in showing their artistic skills in crafting the giant Chinese zodiac sign animals.
The costumes of the Chinese ethnic groups depicted by the lantern dancers had a very close semblance of authenticity as the materials were directly bought from China, Lopue said.
He also expressed his gratitude to the companies, which set up their stalls in the Chopsticks Alley, the bands and all the sponsors who contributed to the over-all success of this year’s festival.
Meanwhile, the group WSWG (Walk Straight with God) received P60,000 for being the champion in this year’s lantern dance competition.
The first runner up went to Dance World Company, while the second runner up went to Double J Full Force. Both winners received P40,000 and P20,000 cash prizes, respectively.
Both special awards for Best in Costume and Best in Lantern went to Dance World Company. Each special award carried a cash prize of P10,000.
Twelve groups vied for the championship in the lantern dance contest. The groups which did their best but did not make it to the top three were given P8,000 cash each from Bacolod’s Chinese community.
For the giant rabbit lantern contest, Bago City’s entry was adjudged the champion. First runner-up honors went to Silay City.(Carla N. Canet)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 07, 2011.