Algarme: Panaad sa Negros Festival turns 25

BACOLOD. Feast on local food at the Panaad Park.
BACOLOD. Feast on local food at the Panaad Park.

IT’S April once again and Negrenses will be celebrating the Panaad sa Negros Festival for 25 years now. How time flies. From a three-day affair at the Provincial Capitol Park and Lagoon in 1993.

Panaad sa Negros Festival has come a long way into becoming a huge celebration, dubbed as the Festival of Festivals in Negros Occidental.

Often referred to just Panaad, a Hiligaynon word for vow and its fulfillment, the festival has become a yearly spectacle that brings the best of the 13 cities and 19 municipalities of the province.

From the Provincial Capitol grounds, the festival found a temporary home near the Bredco port. However, the hosting of the Palarong Pambansa in 1998 led to the construction of the Panaad Park and Stadium in Mansilingan, which is now the home of the Panaad sa Negros Festival for about two decades.

The 25-hectare Panaad Sports Complex, lined with eucalyptus trees and the 32 attractive pavilions for each local government unit. Each pavilion features the history, commerce, tourism, trade products and services, arts and culture, and food of the particular town or city.

Each year, our family and relatives visit the Panaad Park to check on the plants, fresh produce and other items that are displayed in every pavilion. As part of the province’s priority agenda, each local government unit showcases its Food Security and Agricultural Productivity.

Apart from the sugar industry, Negros Occidental is also honing its livestock and its rice and corn industries.

Several activities and displays will be available at the Panaad Park and Stadium this year, starting April 14 until April 22, as we commemorate the Silver Panaadsa Negros Festival. This year’s theme is “Panaad at 25: The Promise Fulfilled.”

In 2012, the province was regarded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as a leader in organic agriculture in the Philippines. Positioning itself as a major player in organic agriculture, one of the attractions of the Panaad Festival is the Organik na Negros Agri-Fair and Agri-Clinic or the Organic Village.

Other fairs that visitors will find at the festival grounds are the PVO Livestock and Dairy Fair, Panaad Bamboo Village, Eco-Garden Show, Trade Fair and Exhibit, and the Solid Waste Management Advocacy.

Being the mother of all festivals in the province, there will also be a Festival Costumes Exhibit, highlighting the various festivities of the various LGUs.

Another crowd-drawer of the Panaad Festival is the free shows and concerts that are usually graced by popular celebrities and artists.

Guests can also watch the various sports competitions, talent contests and other physical activities happening throughout the festival dates. Visitors enjoy the music and performances while feasting for local food at the Negros First Food Alley.

One will not miss the famed chicken inasal that is popular to Negros. Fresh sea produce, such as local fish and seafood, particularly oysters, scallops, and shellfish, are among the crowd favorites.

For three consecutive years, from 2014 to 2016, the Panaad sa Negros Festival has bagged the national recognition in the Pearl Awards for Tourism Best Practices. As a “Hall of Famer”, the festival is recognized the Best Tourism Event in the Provincial Festival Category by the Department of Tourism–Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines.

Since this is Panaad Festival’s 25th year, expect a huge celebration that will make history. Make your way to the Panaad Park and Stadium and enjoy the food, the displays, and the performances.

Experience the best that the province of Negros Occidental can offer its residents and visitors.

All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.


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