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Bago celebrates 58 years of cityhood

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Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo (third from left) and Vice Mayor Ramon Torres (second from right) with Senior Tourism Operation Officer Mae Ann Furtos (right), judges and winners of “Kurit Baylan” art competition at the Bantayan Park on February 5, which is part of the city’s National Arts Month and 58th Charter Anniversary celebration* Bago City Information Office photo

Celebrating the gains it reaped since its formation as a city 58 years ago, Bago is celebrating its charter anniversary with month-long activities seen to further ignite the sense of pride among Bagonhons.

Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who will lead the opening ceremony of the Agro-Industrial, Cultural and Educational Trade Fair at the Bantayan Park today, said it is important to reflect on the works that the city had done in the past.

Mayor Yulo said the 58th Charter Anniversary celebration is also the city government’s tribute to the Bagonhons for helping the government expand and develop as a progressive city.

“We have to celebrate whatever gains we had through the years,” he said, adding that the people of Bago deserve to enjoy the festivity considering that they have been the partner of the city government for the development.

Themed “58 Years of Cityhood: Greener Horizons, Empowered Communities and Service Excellence,” this year’s celebration is scheduled for January 25 to February 29, including the pre and post charter day activities.

Mayor Yulo said this year’s theme is centered on the message that we cannot proceed to progress without the citizenry who are empowered, aware, and contributing to the development.

“Our development should be inclusive, it should be sustainable. We owe it to our people to constantly give them excellent public service,” he stressed. The opening ceremony of the seven-day Agro-Industrial, Cultural and Educational Trade Fair at 4 p.m. today also signals the official kickoff of the charter anniversary celebration.

The city had already conducted the “Sagip Mata Program: Free Cataract Operation” at Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center (MYTMCCC) on January 25; Farmers Weekend Market and National Arts Month opening at the Bantayan Park on February 5; and OFW Family Day at MYTMCCC on February 7.

Other pre-event activities included Responsible Pet Ownership Program at the Bantayan Park on February 8; Charter Anniversary Job Fair at MYTMCCC on February 9; Diwata sang Bago Pre-Pageant on February 10; and SK Night on February 11. On February 13 and 14, the city will hold the Employees Day Awarding and Recognition Ceremony and LGU Employees Day 2024 at MYTMCCC, respectively; Livelihood Skills Olympics and Comedy Night at the Bantayan Park on February 15; and Mini Sound Exhibition and Jazz Night at the Bantayan Park on February 16. Also on February 16, the city will crown the Diwata sang Bago 2024: The Festival Queen during the grand pageant night at MYTMCCC.

The activities on February 17 include Mayor Nikko Yulo MTB Challenge 2024, Farmers and Fisherfolk Day at the Bantayan Park, opening of the three-day Charter Anniversary Bazaar at the Bantayan Park, RTNHS High School Day at Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center, and ZUMBAGO: Unity Zumba Party at the Bantayan Park.

On February 18, the Gawad Bagonhon 2024 at MYTMCCC, Best Product Search Judging at Bantayan booths, and Fantasia sang Bago 2024 at MYTMCCC will be held.

On February 12 to 18, revelers are treated to live band performances at the Bantayan Park through the “Party at the Park” from 7 p.m. onwards.

Mayor Yulo recalled that 2021 and 2022 were the peak of Covid-19 while 2023 was the banner year for recovery thus, most of the resources were used to address the unprecedented health crisis.

In 2024, he said, the city increased its budget for the fiesta in order to honor the people and celebrate its achievements even in the last five years.

On February 19, the highlight of the celebration, Mayor Yulo and Vice Mayor Ramon Torres will lead the annual flag raising in front of General Juan Araneta Monument at 7:30 a.m. It will be followed by the Civic Military Parade at the major city streets.

In the afternoon, six groups composed of four barangays each will compete in the Babaylan Festival Street Dance and Stage Competition at MYTMCC, along with the awarding ceremonies for the Clean and Green Contest, Agro-Trade Fair and Best Product Search.

In the evening, thousands of Bagonhons and Negrense fans are expected to flock to the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center for the Grand Anniversary Free Concert, featuring popstar royalty Sarah Geronimo and Filipino Rock Icon Bamboo Mañalac. Right after the concert dubbed “Sarah Geronimo X Bamboo Live,” revelers will be treated to a grand fireworks display.

“This is really for the people of Bago, we really want them to enjoy. All together, we will continue to say Go Bago,” the mayor added.

Meanwhile, the post-charter events include the DepEd Promenade at MYTMCCC on February 21, and National Arts Month Culmination and Sugilanon sang Barangay at the Bago City College AVR on February 29, a press release from the Bago City Public Information Office said.*

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