By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The local government here has increased the financial assistance in the staging of this year’s Bacolaodiat Festival next month.
Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, in a press briefing yesterday, said that P5 million was allocated for this year’s event.
It increased by P2 million from P3 million in the previous year, because the city has been slowly adjusting and coping with the effects of the pandemic.
This year, the festival will usher in the Year of the Wood Dragon, showcasing the auspicious Chinese zodiac animals and emphasizing the harmonious relationship between the Tsinoy community and the Negrenses.
It is poised to make a grand return to the streets of Lacson and North Capitol Road from February 9 to 11.
One of the highlights of the occasion is the conferment of the honorary mayor title this year to business tycoon Lucio L. Co, who will be named the adopted son of Bacolod, following the endorsement of the Sangguniang Panglungsod.
Co is the chairman of Cosco Capital, Inc., Puregold, and S&R Membership Shopping.
“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,” said Bacolaodiat Festival Chairman John Stephen Sy.
Their enduring commitment has played a vital role in shaping Bacolaodiat into the grand cultural event it is today,” he added.
Returning the festivities to Lacson Street, festival-goers will have the opportunity to witness six contingents participating in the annual Lantern and Street Dance competition and the Lunar Music Festival up close.
Prizes at stake are P100,000 for the champion, P80,000 for the first runner-up, P60,000 for the second runner-up, and three consolation prizes at P15,000 each.
Other prizes include Best in Costume – P20,000, Best in Lantern – P20,000, and Netizen’s Choice Award – P10,000.
The famous Imperial Village and Chopsticks Alley will be situated along the North Capitol Road for revelers to try a variety of dishes.
Michelle Chua, treasurer of the organization, said that a partial road closure will be implemented from the Dunkin Donuts in front of the Capitol Lagoon until the L’Fisher Hotel on the 13th Street.
Three stages will be put up along Lacson Streets for entertainment.
“This is going to be bigger than last year since Dragon is a famous, powerful, and very important character in the Chinese community,” Chua said, adding that it brings so much abundance.
The main festival site is Lacson Streets, but they are also negotiating with Megaworld Upper East for another venue.
In the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is believed to be the luckiest, and the Year of the Dragon is predicted to bring luck, wealth, and power.
The Dragon Year also promises to be a year full of possibilities, creativity, and opportunities.