Bacolaodiat Festival returns on Jan. 20-22

By Nanette Guadalquiver

January 3, 2023, 5:34 pm

<p><em>(Image courtesy of Bacolaodiat Inc.)</em></p>

(Image courtesy of Bacolaodiat Inc.)

BACOLOD CITY – This city is gearing up for the return of its largest and most colorful Lunar New Year celebration, the Bacolaodiat Festival, on Jan. 20 to 22 after a two-year respite following the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Bacolaodiat Inc. board member Mimi Chua said on Tuesday this year's festival will be held at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) grounds and the adjacent The Upper East township of Megaworld Corp. in the eastern part of the city.

The last face-to-face festival here was held in February 2020 also at the BCGC grounds, and the Lacson Strip, just weeks before the pandemic lockdown, but already with fewer revelers compared to celebrations in the prior years.

"Among the Filipino-Chinese families, we celebrate the first new moon of the year. The celebration is based on the Chinese calendar and this year, it's going to be on Jan. 20," Chua said.

The popular Chopsticks Alley, a food walk and night market that typically features Chinese culinary delights and Filipino street food favorites, will be set up at The Upper East during the three-day festival.

Showcasing the harmonious merging and co-existence of both Chinese and Filipino cultures, Bacolaodiat presents cultural performances, lantern dance parade, dragon and lion dances, Chinese food fests, fireworks display, zodiac sign parade, and live bands.

"We are delighted with our partnership with Megaworld and the city government," said Bacolaodiat Inc. chair John Stephen Sy in a statement.

Another partner, SM City Bacolod, will host the awarding rites and the repeat performance of lantern street dance competition winners on Jan. 22.

Now on its 18th year, Bacolaodiat derived its name from two words -- “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat,” a Fookien word for celebration.

Based on the Chinese zodiac, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, a tame creature that represents hope and life. (PNA)