ANOTHER week has ended, fireworks everywhere to signify the success of the Panaad festival. A festival dubbed as the “Festival of All Festivals.” Panaad is the Hiligaynon word for "vow" or "promise" coming from the root-word saad; the festival is a form of thanksgiving to the divine providence and commemoration of a vow in exchange for a good life (wikipedia.com). This festival is participated in by the 13 cities and 19 towns of the province of Negros Occidental with this year’s theme “Beyond a Promise..A Legacy.”
What makes Panaad sa Negros unique? It is an all-around package. May it be in culture, arts, sports, dances, plants, animals, crafts, beauty pageants, foods, etc., name it you have it. The Panaad sa Negros festival only shows that there is more to offer than just sugar.
In my case I was able to experience the Panaad festival every year for a fact that the location is just a stone’s throw away from my humble abode. I got to see the spectacular fireworks during its opening and closing programs. Loud sounds echoed through the walls, people passed by from all walks of life.
I was able to appreciate the beauty of the flowers and plants, the freshness of the vegetables, the fierceness and gentleness of the animals and the delicious delicacies offered from San Carlos City to Hinobaan. It was as if I had toured Negros Occidental for a day.
It also helped me remember the dancing prowess of my students, NIELBETH; when they had performed on stage it was indeed a night worth remembering. Furthermore, the gracefulness emanated by the performers during the best of festival dances, folk dance, and ball room dance competitions. In addition, never forget also the stamina and endurance of those who participated in Hataw sa Panaad where sweat and heat met to achieve a healthy body and a sound mind.
Likewise, people enjoyed the night especially when their favorite actors and actresses performed at the Panaad Stadium.
Moreover, the sportsmanship and discipline exuded by the athletes during the different sports competitions made me wonder on the trainings that they had to endure just to be physically fit and give their best knockouts, kicks, punches and jumps. I, for one had witnessed to this entire durability of performance when my son, Joshua got to compete and won in the taekwondo competition by representing the municipality of Murcia.
Most of all, Panaad Sa Negros would not be complete without the beauty and brains oozed by the candidates of Lin-ay sang Negros. The candidates showcased their prowess on stage that made me realize that the ladies of Negros do not only radiate beauty but also brains and talents as well. This further shows that the Negrenses believed in the support system by flocking to the stadium to give their support to their candidates for Lina-ay sa Negros.
Lastly, Panaad sa Negros may be a simple term but it inculcated the values of St. Augustine, unitas (unity), caritas (charity) and veritas (truth). Unitas, in the sense that the Negrenses gathered together as one to show the world that amidst all diversities they are united to make this festival of all festivals successful. Caritas, in the sense that because of love, the Negrenses were able to showcase the fruits of their harvests and share it to the people, and Veritas because we have to face the truth that the bountiful blessings that the Negros Occidental province offered in this festival are gifts blessed by the Heavenly Father.*