THE City Government of Bacolod held its First Halandumon Food and Trade Fair at the Bacolod Government Center (BGC) grounds as part of the celebration of “Mga Adlaw sang Paghanduraw” from June 12 to 20, the city’s yearly commemoration of history, art and culture as provided in City Ordinance No. 616.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia along with Councilors Em Ang and Lady Gles Gonzales, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, and City Administrator John Orola led the opening of the Halandumon Food and Trade Fair at the back of the BGC Thursday evening, June 13.
Also present were several barangay officials in Bacolod City.
The trade fair features colorful and unique booths of various barangays, where unique delicacies and products, plants, and souvenir items are displayed and sold.
Of the 61 barangays, the barangays that joined the trade fair include Barangays Singcang-Airport, Cabug, Taculing, Pahanocoy, Handumanan, Felisa, Banago and Sum-ag.
There were also a clustering of small barangays in putting up of their booths such as Barangays 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33 as cluster no. 1; Barangays 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27 as cluster no. 2; Barangays 6, 8, 9, 11, and 42 as cluster no. 3; and Barangays 14, 15 17, 18, and 35 as cluster no. 4.
Leonardia said this is historic because June 13, 2006 was also the day that the five hectares land donation, where the BGC is located, was signed.
The mayor lauded the effort of the barangay officials in putting up of their beautiful and colorful booths.
“Truly, we can say now that it’s Halandumon. This is just the opening and this is just the first time ever we’re holding this, so now I can say that there is so much promise in this festival,” he said.
Halandumon is a Hiligaynon word which means memorable or worthy to be remembered.
On June 16, the city held the first Halandumon Festival, the highlight of the first Charter Day celebration, where were participated by the 15 barangays featuring their own festival.
The Halandumon Festival, conceptualized by 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 said.
He said the Halandumon Festival will actively involve the barangays to make them feel they play this important role in uniting the people and harnessing their potentials while displaying their talents and creativity.
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.
“With your support and cooperation and the public as well, I am looking forward that next year this will even be bigger and better just like as the MassKara Festival has evolved, it will keep on just getting bigger and better,” Leonardia said.
He said by next year, they will ensure that Halandumon Festival will be included in the city’s budget.
He added he will ask the City Council to come up an ordinance of this festival.