BACOLOD City – The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra opened the Bacolaodiat Festival with an open-air concert at the New Government Center (NGC) on Friday.
The five-day festival – whose name is a word play of “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat” for the Fookien word that means celebration – is now on its 14th year.
It is an annual celebration that welcomes the Chinese New Year in Negros Occidental’s capital city.
The homegrown orchestra of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) aims to “promote music appreciation in underserved communities in the different regions in the country,” according to CCP president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso.
This is the reason that the orchestra agreed to stage a two-night concert in Bacolod this year – one on Jan. 31 and one on Feb. 1.
“This is our mandate – to bring our music to the people,” Lizaso stressed.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, for his part, said that this year’s Bacolaodiat “probably has the grandest opening ever.”
“Just the mere presence of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra is something that makes this a cut above the rest,” he added.
According to the lunar calendar, 2019 is the “Year of the Earth Pig.”
“We wish that this Year of the Pig brings good fortune and good health to everyone,” said Oddette Ong-Gomez, chairwoman of Bacolaodiat 2019.
The ongoing festival features various food stalls serving Chinese cuisine, inasal and lechon at the Imperial Villages.
There are cooking demos and an exhibit of Asian arts and crafts, too.
Today, there will be a cultural show will at 6 p.m. to be followed by the performance of Manila-based Hokkien-style Chinese opera, Kao Ka, and the lantern dance competition.
Tomorrow, the Bacolaodiat street dance competition will start at 3 p.m. while the Parade of Mascots, at 4 p.m. (With reports from the Philippine News Agency/PN)