BACOLAODIAT: THE COLORFUL LANTERN PARADE
January 22, 4:30PM. Armed with a Camera, I went to the Capitol Lagoon for the Bacalaodiat Lantern Parade. I knew it was too early, but I want to take pictures of participants in the assembly area. I was thinking I might not get a good place in the evening to get a good shot.I was able to get a few shots —got tired , so I went to the Negros Showroom to relax and to take a few shots of the store too.
6:30 PM …It was getting dark and thousands of the red Chinese lanterns adorned the streets became more pronounced…. the street of Lacson is getting filled with people. The chopsticks alley was getting jam-packed and the sweet smell of chicken inasal grilled along Lacon Street somehow had stimulated by appetite. I really wanted to eat on the sidewalk as it looked very festive — but I was alone and still waiting for my siblings to arrive.
The Lantern Parade Competition was about to start. Dancers started to arrive by the group; more exciting lights were added and more people were coming into the street–mostly wanted to take their pictures with the dancers. I took pictures of the participants in their colorful costumes and lanterns which was getting better each year. The use of LED lights made their costumes more festive and so appealing to the eyes. I am a big fan of Bacolod Masskara Festival being the biggest Festival in the province of Negros Occidental. But now I see how the Bacalaodiat festival is fast becoming like the Masskara Festival. The Programs were getting better each year, showbiz personalities do grace the event and the fireworks display every night were truly amazing.
My siblings have finally arrived along with our niece and 2 nephews. We are a family who loved festivals and photo ops so I dedicate that moment to take their pictures. Besides, that was also our “send off” activity for our sister who will be going back to the US after a month long vacation. After an hour or two of walking in the street, the kids requested to visit their favorite fast food, unfortunately, from afar we can already see that all the fast food restos were too crowded. So we went to a pizza parlor at 6th Street instead . To compensate the kids fancy we ordered for a double XL Pizza though we knew we can’t finish it. The kids were so happy seeing how the pizza was being prepared and seeing a giant pizza in their table after a while .
After our Pizza Dinner, we have to go to Chalet (L Fisher) to meet a friend. We have no choice but to go back to Lacson and walk all the way to L Fisher. We though people were fewer as the Lantern Parade was over but we’ve just realized that more people were in the street and this time, they were partying. To my mind where did these people came from?
We were able to reach L Fisher but opted not to go back to Lacson St anymore. We went home enjoyed especially the kids.
With the fun we’ve witnessed every day (since the opening of the festival); with the support of the local government units and big corporations ; peaceful merry making and; more people gracing the festival—no doubt this year’s celebration of Bacaladiat — a big success; truly a HAPPY TRIP!
One of the newest, most colorful and getting bigger each year festival in Bacolod is the Bacalaodiat Festival which is being celebrated as a way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The word Bacalaodiat was derived from the words Bacolod and Lao diat which is a Fookien word for Sinadya (Ilonggo) meaning, big celebration.