TOKEN. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (right) receives a miniature Philippine Airlines aircraft from Lucio Tan III in the presence of Kyle Tan (2nd from left), executive vice president of Tanduay Distillers Inc., and Carlos Luis Fernandez, senior vice president and general counsel of PAL. Tan III and Benitez led the launching of this year’s Bacolod Rum Festival, from August 12 to 20, in a press conference held at the Bacolod Government Center on Friday (July 15, 2022). (PNA photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)

BACOLOD CITY – After a two-year hiatus, the Bacolod Rum Festival will return from August 12 to 20 to highlight the role of the sugarcane industry in rum production and to help spur the economic recovery in this capital city of Negros Occidental.

The announcement of the event’s second edition was led by Lucio Tan III, president and chief operating officer of Tanduay Distillers Inc. and vice chairman of Lucio Tan Group Inc., and Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez in a press conference held at the Government Center here on Friday.

“We are honored to be a part of your initiative in driving business and tourism back in the city as we continue this year the holding of the Rum Festival,” Tan said.

The first Rum Festival was held in 2019 after an ordinance was approved in April of the same year, declaring the third weekend of August as the date of the festivity.

“The week-long festival was a homage to the crop of the province that produced the best raw materials for rum-making. Today, the province is likewise the source of the world’s number one rum, Tanduay. Our proudly Negros-made rum has been declared the world’s number one rum brand by Drinks International Magazine for the fifth consecutive year,” Tan added.

Tan gave Benitez a miniature Philippine Airlines aircraft and a limited edition Tanduay rum as tokens of appreciation.

Organizers said the 2022 Bacolod Rum Festival will include the barrel art, bottle design, and street art competitions; culinaria competition, featuring dishes infused with Tanduay products; and flairtending and mixology contest.

The festival will be capped by a street dance fusion and float competition as well as a rock concert at the Government Center complex.

Benitez said the city government has been coordinating with the Tanduay group to make sure the festival unfolds without any hitches.

“We hope this will gain more confidence from investors and business stakeholders,” he added.

The mayor said Bacolod is now open to tourism, but with health protocols put in place to make sure the visitors are safe. (PNA)