A pre-launch event to jumpstart the 2023 BacoLaodiat Festival and the Chinese New Year was held at SM City Bacolod on January 15, attended by Bacolod City officials, members of the BacoLaodiat Inc. and officers of SM City Bacolod.
Mayor Albee Benitez was represented by Councilor Jason Villarosa and City Tourism Officer Tere Manalili.
In his welcome address, Mayor Albee described the BacoLaodiat Festival as one of the two major events in the city along with the MassKara Festival.
He also emphasized that the festival is more than just a celebration of the new year, rather it “symbolizes the strong friendship of the Philippines with the Chinese community.”
“This occasion commemorates the values of hard work, dedication, patience, and family-centeredness that our fellow Filipino-Chinese brothers and sisters share,” Benitez said.
Meanwhile, BacoLaodiat Chairman John Stephen Sy delivered his message and thanked its festival partners, especially SM City Bacolod, for helping ensure the success of BacoLaodiat each year.
“We are grateful that we have several partners that continue to trust us all throughout these years and they are always ready to extend their support in any way that they can for the success of the festival,” Sy said.
A ribbon-cutting was held to signify the start of the festivities at the mall. The symbolic ribbon cutting was led by SM City Bacolod Assistant Mall Manager Julia Javellana along with city officials and BacoLaodiat Inc. board members.
SM City Bacolod is one of the four festival sites of BacoLaodiat this year and will be the venue for the announcement of the winners of the Lantern Dance Competition on Jan. 22, which will also include repeat performances of the top three Lantern dance groups at the mall.
Other activities lined up at SM City Bacolod include a Chinese Calligraphy session and a siopao eating contest on Jan. 20; a digital rabbit hunt, dragon dance, cultural performances and Chinese cosplay showcase on Jan. 21.*