By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Lacson said that 30 years after its inception, Panaad continues to be the embodiment of unity among Negrenses and the 32 Local Government Units (LGUs).
Lacson underscored this point in his welcome speech during the opening ceremony of the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2023 Monday afternoon.
Lacson further said that “more than anything else, we are grateful to GOD for allowing us to gather once again to celebrate our Panaad sa Negros Festival – the first Panaad under the present Provincial Administration.”
He said that 30 years ago, an idea was hatched to showcase the festivals, history, cultural heritage, commerce, industry, and tourism potential of all the cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental.
This year’s Panaad sa Negros presents a deeper meaning in light of what we went through the past three years, which caused us to abandon this yearly celebration, he added.
“Ang Panaad sa Negros Festival sini nga tuig, indi lamang isa ka okasyon ukon fiesta, ini selebrasyon sang aton dedikasyon, kabakod, kag pagtuo bilang isa ka probinsya,” Lacson said.
He stressed “Naga-pamatuod ini sa aton tema nga, ‘The Promise Renewed’.”
Lacson said that after the crises the province went through “our promise to the Negrenses and the province must necessarily be renewed as circumstances continue to change and evolve.”
Lacson said the success of the festival is attributable to the unequivocal support of the mayors and all the local officials.
He added that without the LGUs’ active participation, Panaad will not be the renowned festival that it is.
“As governor, it is with great pride that I share with our esteemed guests and to everyone present, that Panaad sa Negros Festival is the only one of its kind in the country,” he said.
He also said that there are other festivals that are being participated by different provinces, towns, and cities, but it is only Panaad that boasts of a permanent venue, with permanent structures showcasing the best of each and every Local Government Unit of the province.
Panaad sa Negros Festival was a Hall of Fame Awardee in the 2017 ATOP Pearl Awards after being hailed as the Best Tourism Event in the country for three consecutive years by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines.
“Acknowledging the substantial contributions of our MSMEs to the local economy and nation-building, and the severity of the economic blow of the recent crisis on their sector, I encourage everyone to shift their buying patterns towards the consumption and purchase of locally manufactured goods that we have in abundance in the Panaad Park and Stadium, ” the governor further said.