15th Bacolaodiat fest to be held after Chinese New Year


The 2020 Bacolaodiat Festival in this city will be held on January 31 to February 2, a week after the Chinese New Year’s Day on January 25.

In a press statement, Bacolaodiat Festival chair Oddette Ong Gomez said it will be the first time since 2006 that the highlights will be held after the actual day of the New Year.

The members of the Bacolaodiat Inc. decided on this but the annual welcoming of the Chinese New Year will still proceed, she said.

Gomez said the festivity from January 31 to February 2 is still within the 14-day Chinese Spring Festival, which is one of the several Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia.

The year 2020 will be the Year of the Rat, which will highlight the metal rat believed to possess positive, confident, and adaptive characteristics.

Now in its 15th year, the Bacolaodiat is the city’s version of the Chinese New Year celebration led by the local Filipino-Chinese community.

The festival’s name, Bacolaodiat, was coined from “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat”, which is a Fookien word for celebration.

The three-day event will be held in two festival sites — the North Capitol Road at the Tourism Strip on Lacson Street and the Bacolod Government Center in the eastern side of the city.

It will start with the traditional Dazzling Grand Motorcade and Parade participated by Tsinoys in their Chinese-inspired costumes. They will be joined by city officials and students of Chinese schools.

Also to be featured are the nightly fireworks display accompanied by the official Bacolaodiat music in a Symphony of Lights and Sparks.

Once again, the Bacolaodiat Imperial Village will showcase the Asian arts and crafts such as calligraphy, wishing tree, and palm reading, and the Chopsticks Alley will offer Chinese food and cooking demos.

Last year, the Bacolaodiat Festival, a brainchild of Mayor Evelio Leonardia, was held at the Bacolod Government Center for the first time, and on opening night, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) performed before thousands of Bacolodnons.

Leonardia said the presence of the PPO in Bacolaodiat is most symbolic for the city, as it reminds the people of being united, with only one purpose, which is to play beautiful music together.(Nanette Guadalquiver ndb via pna)