Bago celebrates 125th Al Cinco de Noviembre

The 12th Bago City Invitational Fancy Drill Competition is among the highlights of the 125th Al Cinco de Noviembre celebration in the city on Sunday, November 5. It makes a comeback after a few years of hiatus due to the pandemic. (Bago City Information Office Photo)

Now on its 125th year, the City Government of Bago is again celebrating the Al Cinco de Noviembre with various activities to be highlighted on Sunday, November 5.

This is the second physical celebration of Al Cinco de Noviembre after two years of hiatus due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. This year’s theme is “Honor, ingenuity and service on with the revolution of progress.”

Al Cinco de Noviembre, also known as Negros Day, is celebrated every November 5 to commemorate the Negrenses’ revolt against the Spanish colonizers in 1898.  It was declared as a non-working holiday in the province by virtue of Republic Act 6709.

Mae Ann Furtos, senior tourism operations officer of Bago City, recalled that the very essence of Al Cinco de Noviembre is the ingenuity and bravery of the valiant hero, General Juan Araneta, and his Bagonhon troops together with the forces from the north led by General Aniceto Lacson.

This is also called as a historical bluff as Bagonhon troops used nipa (coconut fronds) as “rifles” and amakan (rolled bamboo mats) as “cannon” that seemed to be believable from a far that led to the surrender of the Spaniards, Furtos said.

“It was a bloodless revolt, and through which, Negrenses were freed from the 300-year Spanish tyranny,” she stressed. The city will start tomorrow’s event with a thanksgiving mass at the St. John the Baptist Church at 7 a.m.

Local officials headed by Mayor Nicholas Yulo and Vice Mayor Ramon Torres will lead the wreath-laying ceremony at the General Juan Araneta Monument at 7:30 a.m. to be followed by the Civic Military Parade at the city streets at 8 a.m.

The city is also staging the 25th Sigabong sang mga Kanyon where revelers can witness the parade of cannons at the major streets going to the Bantayan Park.

Yulo said Bagonhons will commemorate and celebrate anew the heroism that General Juan Araneta and his troops showed for the people of Negros to stand up against the tyranny of foreign colonizers who ruled the Philippines for over 300 years.

“May we all remember the history that transpired centuries ago,” the mayor said, underscoring that the lesson of the Al Cinco de Noviembre should still be learned today and apply to our modern world. Moreover, the Bago City Invitational Fancy Drill Competition is also back this year after several years of pause also due to the pandemic.

Now in its 12th edition, five schools from various localities in Negros Occidental are competing for the coveted title. These are the Enriqueta Montilla De Esteban National High School in Pulupandan; Lopez Jaena National High School and Minoyan National High School in Murcia; and M.G. Medalla Integrated School and STI-West Negros University in Bacolod City.

There will be a street performance in the morning and arena competition at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center (MYTMCCC) in the afternoon. Other activities on November 5 include the Clean and Green Awarding Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. and “Party at the Park” at 7 p.m., both at the Bantayan Park.

Today, November 4, the city will host the 1st Mayor Nicholas Yulo Taekwondo Championship at the St. John the Baptist Church Covered Court at 8 a.m. It will be followed by the Cooperative Day at the MYTCCC at 9 a.m.; Diwata sang Bago Screening at the Community Center at 2 p.m.; and “Party at the Park” at 7 p.m.

On November 7, there will be a job fair at the MYTCCC starting 8 a.m while a two-day ALSingko: An out-of-school youth and ALS activity will kick off at the Buenos Aires Mountan Resort. Earlier, the city government had already hosted various activities as part of the 125th Al Cinco de Noviembre celebration.

The Ramon Torres National High School United Nations Day was conducted at MYTCCC on October 31; Kustora Bagonhon Runway Fashion at the MYTCCC on November 2; and Bago City Elementary School Day at the MYTCCC, Sigabong Bago Eagles Club Derby at the Bantayan Park, 1st Mayor Nicholas Yulo Taekwondo Championship at the St. John the Baptist Church Covered Court, Praise and Worship at the Bantayan Park, and “Party at the Park” at the Bantayan Park on November 3.