Bacolod after the MassKara Festival-A A +A
By Ver Pacete
As I See It
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS Bacolod! It was fun at MassKara! That was a wonderful fete champetre. MassKara Festival is good tourism, good business, good income, and it was good for the organizers and for Mayor Bing. The officials and members of the League of Cities who were in Bacolod had a good time away from hometown politics.
I knew all these because I was at the airport together with my staff and the world-renowned Kabataang Silay Rondalla for two days to offer MassKara visitors a kind of Silaynon cultural welcome courtesy of Mayor Jose Montelibano. From the early morning flight up to the last evening arrival of all airlines, I saw excited young and old, beautiful and not-so-beautiful passengers having the enthusiasm of thinking that Silay is already Bacolod.
That was so because after their descent from the escalator, they saw the WELCOME TO BACOLOD signage of Smart. It caused the distortion of geography. It is sad to note that a big company does not know where Bacolod is. The airport is in Silay, not in Bacolod. Probably, CAAP can make a correction on this.
Our porters are courteous and have applied what we told them about tourism ethics. The Aviation Command and Silay PNP tourist policemen were making themselves very visible. The joint forces of Provincial Tourism Center and Silay Tourism Office were perfectly manning the Information Center. It was the Information Center wherein the staff member greets the passengers, "Maayong hapon./Maayong aga." Most of the passengers were not responding. The greeting guy, by the way, is Raymund Bayot.
MassKara Festival was over. Again, we go back to Planet Earth from Cloud Nine. If we believe that MassKara Festival was able to bring unity, faith, understanding, cooperation, excellence, artistry, good business and the innovativeness of our leaders, organizers and participants then let us sustain the spirit of MassKara in our daily undertakings. I am sure that Bacolod can afford to do it being a multi-awarded city.
Visitors could be amused that when they go back to Bacolod, they will find peace and order, streets are clean (no vending in the middle of the street), traffic is in order (with all traffic lights functioning), the plaza will be in glamour, our tourists can just loiter without the intervention of pickpockets and snatchers, our markets are orderly, our tourism-oriented establishments are still sporting the MassKara fun, and our garbage is collected and disposed properly.
Our barangays are fun-filled because they can now boast of the cottage industry and they are proud to present innovations in their other livelihood program. If we sold MassKara Festival so well, there is no reason why we cannot sell Bacolod well now and in the future. Media men were in unison in the marketing of MassKara. Probably, they can be more united in the publicity and promotion of Bacolod after the festival.
We are here already. We cannot afford a complete U-turn. I hope-we hope-that politics will not ruin the spirit of MassKara. Politicians who are battling for Bacolod should not ruin Bacolod. We expect Bacolod politicians to be tamed in selling themselves. We cannot afford to destroy the very foundation that we have helped to establish.
Bacolodnons and Negrosanons, Bacolod is ours. It is the capital of Negros Occidental. We send our children in colleges and universities here. We do business in Bacolod. We want to see a Bacolod living up to its many good names. Watch for the deeds of our leaders. Those who do what we expect from them shall live after the 2013 elections. Our watch machine starts now.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 24, 2012.