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BACOLOD, Philippines – The Bacolaodiat Festival will make its grand return in Bacolod City next month.
Organizers said the 19th Bacolaodiat Festival, heralding the Year of the Wood Dragon, would focus on the enduring and harmonious bond between the Chinese community and Negrenses throughout the years.
The festival derives its name from the root word “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat,” Fookien for celebration.
Chinese immigrants who had worked as sugar workers to assist Filipino laborers in producing muscovado sugar began to settle in Negros dates back to 1900.
Since then, Chinese and Filipinos have forged strong alliances in a variety of settings, including the formation of joint ventures in the province.
The Bacolaodiat Festival will light up the streets of Lacson in Bacolod, and the North Capitol Road on February 9-11.
The organizing group, Bacolaodiat Incorporated, said the festival will not only showcase the wood dragon as a lucky Chinese zodiac animal but will also emphasize the harmonious relationship between the Tsinoy (Chinese-Filipino) community and the Negrenses.
Bacolaodiat Festival Chairman John Stephen Sy expressed his optimism about staging larger-scale events during the event compared to previous years, citing the robust partnership with the city government and the local Chinese community.
The organizer has also officially unveiled the official festival logo, soundtrack, and anticipated competitions during the weekly press briefing of Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez on Monday, January 8.
This year’s Bacolaodiat Festival logo features a roaring dragon, the zodiac animal of the year. It also depicts power and strength, embodying the auspicious energy associated with the legendary creature.
“Clutching a gleaming coin in its formidable claws, the dragon symbolizes prosperity and good fortune, inviting abundance into the upcoming year,” read a statement from the organizers.
The city government has committed a P5-million fund to support all the three-day festival events.
The Bacolaodiat Imperial Village, which will showcase different collections of arts and crafts, is expected to be a major festival attraction, including the Chopsticks Alley, where Chinese cooking demonstrations, and food will be set up.
Six groups are also expected to join the annual Lantern and Street Dance competition and the Lunar Music Festival, where revelers can enjoy and immerse themselves.
“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,” Sy said. – Rappler.com