Halandumon Festival set on first June 18 Charter Day celebration

THE 1st June 18 Charter Day celebration of Bacolod City will be highlighted by the 1st Halandumon Festival, a streetdancing competition among the city’s barangay festivals.

The city’s newest tourist attraction, showcasing the festivals of Bacolod barangays, will be held at the Bacolod City Government Center Football Field on June 16, Sunday, at 2 p.m.

The Halandumon Festival, conceptualized by Mayor Evelio Leonardia in 2017, was intended to start in 2018 in time for the 80th Year celebration of Bacolod.

“While we were not able to start it in our 80th year, it is now even more fascinating that we are beginning it also at the start of our 1st June 18 Charter Day celebration,” Leonardia declared.

“The Halandumon Festival will actively involve the barangays to make them feel they play this important role in uniting our people and harnessing their potentials while displaying their talents and creativity,” the mayor said.

“Halandumon” is Hiligaynon for “memorable” or “worthy to be remembered.”

This is the most appropriate name when we consider the essence and message that this festival stand for, the mayor added.

As early as when they assumed their 2016-2019 term, Leonardia had suggested to Congressman Greg Gasataya that because of an erroneous belief that October 19 was the birth of Bacolod as a city, the best remedy was to create a new law that will amend and rectify all previous misconceptions.

In an official communication later in 2017, Leonardia conveyed to Gasataya that, “We feel the urgency of this amendment considering that in 2018, Bacolod will commemorate its 80th year of existence as a city.”

In 2018, Leonardia also wrote the senators, including Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, to request for their support for the swift passage of the Gasataya bill that will correct the history of Bacolod.

After Gasataya filed House Bill No. 5875 in 2017, he pursued it, with the support of local officials, in the Lower House and the Senate. Eventually, President Rodrigo Duterte signed it into a law as Republic Act No. 11146 on November 9, 2018.

Thus, RA 11146 now officially recognizes the day when then President Manuel L. Quezon signed into law Commonwealth Act 326 as the day the City of Bacolod was created. It is also now a special non-working public holiday.

The Halandumon Festival is now included as one of the major activities of the “Mga Adlaw Sang Paghanduraw,” the city’s annual commemoration of history, art and culture, from June 12 to 20 as provided in City Ordinance No. 616. (PR)


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