The Bacolaodiat Inc., organizer of the Lunar New Year events in this city, has expressed optimism on Bacolodnons overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic as the local Filipino-Chinese community welcomed the Year of the Water Tiger yesterday.
This is the second year Bacolod has missed the grand celebration of the Bacolaodiat Festival after the onset of the global health crisis in early 2020.
In a statement, Bacolaodiat Inc. chair Oddette Ong-Gomez said they cannot let the people’s spirit be dampened by the challenges brought by the pandemic and hoped the new year brings healing and hope to everyone.
“Even as we remain sensitive to the times, and very much aware of the threat of the COVID-19 with its mutating variants affecting not just our beloved Bacolod City, but the entire world, we bring you our meaningful display at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds,” she added.
Ong-Gomez said despite the simple presentation, they hope to draw meaning and inspiration from it to show that the Chinese New Year and the 17th Bacoloadiat Festival remain alive.
She noted that “true to the Filipino-Chinese cultures,” the new year celebration is meant to be spent with family and loved ones.
“As we celebrate the Lunar Year of the Water Tiger, we fervently wish that like the Tiger, our 2022 will give us the strength in the calmness of our hearts to expel all the evils of the world, including this pandemic,” Ong-Gomez added.
She urged Bacolodnons to do their share in “the healing process of mankind just like the traits of the tiger,” which is “courageous and assertive in times of adversities”.
“Tigers are also natural leaders so let’s be like the tiger in our communities and bring our flock towards health and economic survival,” she added.
The last time the city was able to hold the Bacolaodiat Festival with all its traditional events was weeks before the lockdown in March 2020, but with a lesser crowd compared to the previous years.
The festival’s name has been coined from “Baco” for Bacolod and “Lao Diat,” a Fookien word for celebration.*PNA