• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The renowned Bailes de Luces (Festival of Lights) of La Castellana, Negros Occidental, is back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
La Castellana Mayor Alme Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan disclosed that the performance of seven contenders who participated in the December 30 street parade, has leveled up, compared to previous editions.
Mangilimutan admitted that she was amazed by the performances, which she described as “world class.”
In October last year, the Bailes de Luces of La Castellana won the best foreign performer excellence award at the 2022 Chungjang World Festival of Recollection in Gwangju City in the Donggu District of South Korea.
Mangilimutan congratulated the barangay officials and the handlers of the seven groups of contenders, who came from the different barangays of La Castellana, for putting in the effort and who doing their best to improve their performances.
The opening of Bailes de Luces festival on Dec. 30 was attended by thousands of spectators, including foreigners, as estimated by Mangilimutan.
The highlights are scheduled on January 5, where Bailes de Luces participants will perform again during the “arena showdown.”
According to Mangilimutan, prizes for winning contingents will be increased this year, with P200,000 being added by Negros Occidental 5th District Rep. Emilio “Dino” Yulo.
The municipal government of La Castellana previously offered a P100,000 prize for the champion and P75,000 for the 1st runner-up.
Mangilimutan enjoined everyone to come and see the highlight of the festival on Jan. 5, 2023.
The mayor also said that town’s Bailes de Luces will also participate in Cebu City’s Sinulog Free Style Category contest later this month.*