THE City Government of Bago is planning to institutionalize the annual Lights of Bago as one of its major tourist attractions.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who led this year’s staging of Lights of Bago at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Complex Monday night, said he will ask the City Council to pass an ordinance, making it an annual tourism event.
Yulo said the Lights of Bago, now on its ninth year, draws about 50,000 people every year.
“It has put the city on the tourism map and is contributing a lot in developing the local economy,” he said, adding that the Lights of Bago is the first synchronized fireworks display in the province that gathers the most number of spectators.
The mayor recalled that the idea of staging the annual event every New Year’s night was started by European Raymond Stoffel, a retired international corporate lawyer from Luxembourg, whose wife is from Barangay Poblacion in Bago City.
Stoffel, however, had to go back to Europe which paved way for the city government to assume the hosting of the musical fireworks display since its second year.
This year, the local government allocated P500,000 for the event, Yulo said.
Themed “Heal the World,” the 9th Lights of Bago was a tribute to the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Featuring a medley of Jackson’s greatest hits, the 15-minute fireworks display amazed thousands of spectators from Bago and other cities and towns in Negros Occidental.
“We are paying tribute to Michael Jackson whose songs like Heal the World have inspired us to unite, be more resilient, and continue moving forward,” Yulo said.
The colorful lights in the sky also symbolize the city’s brighter aspirations this year, he added.
To further spur local economy, the City Government put together within the venue other segments like live bands and food kiosks that enabled resident-entrepreneurs to earn.