NEGROS Occidental Governor Bong Lacson and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer on Friday, November 5, 2021, led the celebration of the 123rd Cinco de Noviembre, held at the Provincial Park and Lagoon in Bacolod City, with the theme, “Pasidungog sa mga Bag-o nga Baganihan.

The day’s activity, attended by provincial officials, Capitol employees, national government agencies, and non-government organizations, started with a prayer and flag-raising ceremony led by the Negros Occidental Singing Ambassadors.

The Masskara Theatre Ensemble of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod presented a Tableau of the Negros revolution and independence, and a Culture Hub Tour was launched as part of the program.

Lacson said the story of revolutionaries carrying fake arms out of nipa stalks and canons made of bamboo mats, of gaining victory with a bluff and bloodless revolution never gets old.

“The patriotism, bravery, and courage of Gen. Juan Araneta, Gen. Aniceto Lacson, and thousands of Negrenses who fought for freedom is a story that is truly ours,” said he said.

“As your governor, it is my ardent hope that as we celebrate today the victories of our past, we find renewed meaning, resolve and inspiration to unite and work together to achieve our common goal,” said the governor.

He said that in this time of pandemic, the struggle does not require rising in arms but must be faced nevertheless with equal unity, fervor, determination, and boldness as the heroes of Cinco de Noviembre did in the past.

Lacson also urged everyone to obey the safety and health practices required in the community and to remain mindful and vigilant in the fight against a virus that threatens people’s existence.

Present in the activity were Board Members Tinto Bascon, Pal Gaunzon, Rita Gatuslao, Jeffrey Tubola, Juvy Pepello, Ryan Gamboa, and Miguel Alonzo, and Provincial Administrator, lawyer Rayfrando Diaz.

Negrense patriots led by Generals Juan Araneta and Aniceto Lacson, both classmates of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, obtained the freedom of the Negros Island and its people from the 377-year Spanish control in the Philippines that dates back November 5, 1898.

The Negrense patriots and revolutionary leaders have displayed ingenuity with the use of the Amakan, which they rolled to appear as cannons.

The Province of Negros Occidental celebrated this historic victory on its 123rd year Negros Day due to Negros-staged revolution that climaxed on Cinco de Noviembre (November 5), 1898.

The plan to stage this revolution was done in an underground political movement led by sugar barons and well-off Negrenses and their supporters who privately contributed funds and planned out their schemes in the guise of social gatherings.

General Juan Araneta led his army to march from Bago to Bacolod, where the seat of the Spanish government is situated.

In Northern Negros, General Aniceto Lacson, a wealthy landlord from Talisay with Nicolas Gólez as deputy commander and in Central Negros led by Rafael Ramos of Himamaylan as deputy commander staged the uprising against the Spanish Government.

The Amakan made cannons with their false explosions, making the Spanish Governor of Negros Island Isidro de Castro surrender to the forces of Generals Araneta and Lacson in Bacolod City on November 6, 1898.

That feat led to the creation of the Cantonal Republic of Negros with Aniceto Lacson as its President from November 27, 1898, until March 4, 1899.

But three months after, the Negros revolutionaries surrendered to the United States General James Francis Smith.