THE City Government of Bacolod will join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Landmark Lighting Ceremonies in a local event to be held at the Bacolod Government Center at 7 p.m. today in celebration of the regional aggrupation’s 50th founding anniversary.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Monday it is such a big honor that Bacolod has been chosen as one of the venues to highlight the 50th Asean anniversary.
He said Bacolod is the first local government unit in the Philippines to have connected with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in line with the campaign to instill awareness on the Asean community.
“For us, this is a very significant occasion because this will formally mark our participation in the Asean community,” Leonardia added.
The celebration will be held simultaneously across the country.
MassKara Festival director Eli Francis Tajanlangit was tasked as director of the Asean celebration in Bacolod.
Tajanlangit said it is the Philippines’ grand celebration to be held in 74 other towns and cities in the country.
In Bacolod, Leonardia and other city officials along with City Schools Division Superintendent Cynthia Demavivas will lead the rites.
The Bacolod Government Center will be lighted up by a six-foot tall fiberglass lantern with incandescent bulbs, featuring the Asean logo and colors, anahaw leaves, and sampaugita flowers.
Tajanlangit said the lantern is similar to all the lanterns that are going to be lighted up across the country.
The local celebration will be highlighted by a 1,000 voice-choir of students from 10 public schools who will sing the Asean Anthem and Asean hymn.
These are the Rizal Elementary School, Luis Hervias National High School, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Elementary School, Montevista Elementary School, Bacolod City National High School, Alfredo Montelibano Elementary School, Lopez Jaena Elementary School, Mabini Elementary School, and Education and Training Center I, II, and III.
“I want them to really feel that they are part of the Asean,” Leonardia said.
“We must position Bacolod to prepare for Asean integration which means a new economic order that could provide us opportunities as well as new challenges. Our people must be made conscious and ready for new realities,” the mayor said.
He added that this will be a double celebration for Bacolod because today is also the 9th anniversary of the Bacolod Government Center.
The city officials will also lead the countdown to a fireworks display at 7:30 p.m., followed by a concert by DJ Leandro Zayco and the Patiqueros until midnight.