Bacolod to celebrate 2nd Diwali Festival

THE 2nd Diwali Festival, a celebration of the Indian community in Bacolod, is set Nov. 8-9 at the North Capitol Road.

On Friday, Nov. 7, there will be a preview of the exhibit on the “Different Facets and Faces of India” at the lobby of the Government Center starting at 10 a.m.

The official opening of the festival and the exhibit will be on Nov. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the North Capitol Road, a press release from the City Hall reads.

On the 8th, the Capitol Road will be transformed into the famed ‘Little India’ as kiosks that sell authentic Indian street food, groceries and wares will be opened at 10 a.m., with a culinary competition and film showing of Indian songs and dances, and a Bollywood movie.

Mayor Monico Puentevella, in a press conference with festival director Pushpa Tan, Alejandro Menghnani, Haresh Chugani and Councilor Sonya Verdeflor, expressed enthusiasm that another festival is flourishing in the city.

“Our rising number of festivals and activities are the some of the reasons why tourism in Region 6 is prospering,” he said.

He said the Diwali Festival “brings India closer to Bacolod.”

More than 500 Indians are currently living in Bacolod.

Menghnani, for his part, recognized the City Council for making the Diwali Festival an annual tourism event in the city.

Authored by Councilor Sonya Verdeflor and Councilor Ana Marie Palermo, Wilson Gamboa, Jr. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue as co-authors, the ordinance makes the “Festival of Lights” one of the city’s flagship affair as it supports the city’s aim to be the tourism capital of Western Visayas.

“It (City Ordinance) makes the people understand Indian culture and lets them experience what it feels like to be in India,” Menghnani added.

Last year’s festival director Haresh Chugani said that Bacolod is the only city outside Manila celebrates Diwali Festival.

Meanwhile, eModels Asia will light up the catwalk on the first night with their Indian Fashion, while Electric MassKara dancers, Indian Bangarra and Giddha Belly Dancers will start the party mode at 8:30 p.m.

An-Indian inspired Zumba Dance will start the second day at 8:30 a.m., while an introduction to Ayuverda and yoga will start at 10 a.m.

Tabla beaters will also entertain the crowd while Chai and Indian tea will be served with traditional Indian snacks accompanied by soothing Indian melodies at 2 p.m.

Another catwalk event will be staged by the eModels Asia at the SM Events Center North Wing at 5 p.m., while an Indian Cuisine buffet dinner will be scheduled at the restaurant of Pavilion Hotel starting 7 p.m.

A street party will culminate the 2014 Diwali Festival at the North Capitol Road starting 8 p.m.
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