THE 14th BacoLaodiat Festival kicks off on Friday, February 1 at the Bacolod Government Center (BGC) grounds in Bacolod City with a free open concert of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said on Thursday, January 31, the opening of the festival will be attended by the city officials, Filipino-Chinese community, and other guests.
He said the al fresco concert is a partnership between the Bacolaodiat Festival Inc. and the City Government of Bacolod.
The Philharmonic Orchestra, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, makes Bacolod as one of their concert venues for their 36th season under Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura and associate conductor Herminigildo Ranera.
Familiaran said the organizers will not use Lacson Street, the city’s tourism strip, to avoid traffic congestion in the area, and all the activities will be held at the BGC grounds from February 1 to 5.
BacoLaodiat was coined from the name of the City of Bacolod and the Fookien word “laodiat,” which means happy celebration.
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.
Familiaran said the Bacolod City Police Office is also on full alert status and they will deploy more personnel in the festival site to ensure the safety of the public.
“We should be vigilant and let’s cooperate to our authorities to avoid the untoward incident like what happened in Jolo, Sulu in Mindanao,” he said.
Meanwhile, Familiaran also reminded the festival goers to maintain the cleanliness of the festival site.
“We should keep our garbage, especially plastics and always use a garbage bin to maintain the cleanliness at the BGC. Let’s cooperate for the success of the festival,” Familiaran said.