THE 14th BacoLaodiat Festival will kick off on February 1 at the Bacolod Government Center grounds in Bacolod City.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the organizers will not use Lacson Street, the city’s tourism strip, to avoid traffic congestion in the area.
In the previous years, the opening rites of BacoLaodiat Festival was held on Lacson Street, which led to the closure of some streets in the area.
The City Council earlier approved P5 million financial assistance for the BacoLaodiat Festival on February 1 to 5.
BacoLaodiat was coined from the name of the City of Bacolod and the Fookien word “laodiat,” which means happy celebration.
“What will make the BacoLaodiat unique among others is that this will be the first BacoLaodiat that will be opened by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO),” he said.
The PPO is the country’s leading symphony orchestra and a resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Leonardia said the PPO will hold a free two-night outreach concert on January 31 and February 1.
“Bacolod has to grow in all aspects, including culture. We are also inviting the barangays to watch this concert,” Leonardia said.
Among the highlights of the festival is the BacoLaodiat Lantern Dance Competition, which will be participated by Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-Alijis, Balow Dance Group, Granadianz, Double J Full Force, Choi Force, and Rustylian, as well as last year’s champion, BMD, and first runner-up, Jojaju.
They will also hold a Lighted Giant Pig Lantern Contest for students.
The contest is open to groups of high school students, college students, and those taking vocational courses in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.
The group of school-based artists must have a recommendation from the principal or head of the institution. (MAP)