This city will hold the Bacolaodiat Festival, one of the country’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations, from Feb. 9 to 11, with the main festival site returning to the Lacson Tourism Strip.
Poised to be the grandest so far, the staging of this festivity, which will usher in the Year of the Wood Dragon, received financial assistance of PHP5 million from the city government led by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.
Bacolaodiat Festival chairman John Stephen Sy said they look forward to staging the significant event as he acknowledged the strong partnership between the city government and the local Chinese-Filipino community over the years.
“We aspire for this year’s Bacolaodiat to surpass all previous editions fueled by the unwavering support of our partners, especially the local government unit of Bacolod. Their enduring commitment has played a vital role in shaping Bacolaodiat into the grand cultural event it is today,” he said in a press conference.
Already on its 19th edition, the festival got its name from the words “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat,” a Fookien word for celebration.
On Feb. 10, Bacolaodiat Inc., together with the Office of the City Mayor, will confer the title of honorary mayor on retail tycoon Lucio Co, who will also be named the adopted son of Bacolod upon the endorsement of the City Council and the request of Benitez.
Co, the owner and chairman of Puregold and S&R Membership Shopping, and the chairman and owner of Cosco Capital Inc., has been recognized as he “brought a significant contribution to the business and investment landscape of the City of Bacolod and has led an exemplary yet low-keyed lifestyle worthy of emulation of the future generation.”
Bacolaodiat Inc. board member Michelle Chua said the logo for this year, featuring the Chinese dragon, incorporates the Chinese coin, which means prosperity and good fortune.
“This is going to be bigger than last year. This time, it’s the Year of the Wood Dragon, an important character in the Chinese community. It’s the most famous, the most powerful among the 12 animals in the zodiac. It brings so much abundance,” she added.
Bacolaodiat Inc. vice president Bobby Cordova said the festival will still feature the traditional Imperial Village and Chopsticks Alley along the North Capitol Road and the annual cultural show, which will now be named “Night in the Middle Kingdom.”
Six contingents will join the Lantern and Street Dance competition and the Lunar Music Festival this year in Bacolod City to stage a ‘bigger’ Bacolaodiat Festival.
The Bacolaodiat Festival returned in 2023, after a two-year respite due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, with a modest celebration that skipped its original venue, the Lacson Tourism Strip. (PNA)