HAPPY 24th birthday Panaad sa Negros Festival! Once again , we are here to showcase the best of Negros Occidental. We will be on cultural-tourism throttle ride for nine days, from April 22 to 30, as we go there to see, to be seen, to enjoy, and to be identified as one Negrosanon in the land of sweet surprises.
We have hundreds of lined-up activities to prove that we are really shining bright, but we don’t miss to thank God who made us shine. A Hiligaynon mass with Msgr. Guillermo Gaston as celebrant will take center stage at the second floor of Panaad Stadium at 8 a.m. on April 22. This will be attended by Governor Freddie Maranon, Vice Governor Bong Lacson, the board members, town and city mayors, tourism officers, and all those who are involved.
Scheduled activities are printed in newspapers, aired over radio stations and television programs, made available in social media, and hard copies could be obtained at the Provincial Tourism Office and Balay Kalamay or media center at Panaad Park. Panaad Festival is the fiesta of all fiestas. Negrosanons and tourists converge at the park to discover what is new and exciting about Negros. The towns and cities are here to showcase their best products based on the Negros First program of the provincial government.
The opening ceremony followed by the festival dances competition is a crowd drawer (4 p.m., April 22). The dances highlight the history, legend, livelihood, and flagship programs of towns and cities through costumes and headdresses depicted by the tribal dancers. Another scene-stealing activity is Lin-ay sang Negros Pageant. We simply want to prove the role of women, who got beauty and brains, in Negros beau monde. We have already produced one Vicky Marie Rushton who was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2011.
The pavilions of towns and cities will take pride in their “Seal of Housekeeping” and “Excellence in Governance” (and other national awards) to simply prove that they are top performers. On the other hand, good services may also include programs to solve poverty, combat illegal drugs and gambling, promote good health, strengthen nutrition program, advance education, support agriculture, sustain infrastructure projects, and create more jobs.
This also proves the team work of Governor Freddie and Vice Governor Bong with the support of the board members in coordination with the mayors and barangay captains. So, Panaad sa Negros is not just about tourism, sports, commerce, trade, industry, culture, and entertainment. This is also about governance and the connectivity of our province to other local government units, government offices, investors, and NGOs (local and international). We thank God for all the blessings.
The nine-day celebration will also give opportunity to local and foreign tourists to explore Negros Occidental, “The Land of Sweet Surprises,” not just sugar and more. The Bacolod-Talisay-Silay Tourism Circuit is ready at all times to accommodate visitors through our local tour operators and tour guides. Outsiders should find out for themselves the best food that Negros can offer.
Panaad Festival is also an opportunity for friends and relatives to go back to Negros. Take pride in meeting your “kasimanwas” in the pavilions. Explore Negros in two hours. You will be fascinated by the seafood restaurants, the peanuts of San Carlos, the hometown delicacies of Silay, the dried fish of Cadiz, the rice cake (puto) of Manapla (with dinuguan), the pineapples of Salvador Benedicto, the woven products of Calatrava, the mountain rice of Candoni, and the “barungoy” of Hinobaan. Other pavilions have more surprises.
In our festival, Negrosanons share. Abundance is not what we gather, but what we scatter … not what we keep but what we share … not what we get but what we unselfishly let go! We have good stories to tell. Come and join us!