Celebrating Bacolaodiat 2016!

  • Monday, February 22, 2016

The entire Chinese communities all around the world welcomed the Year of the Wooden Horse last Friday marking the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. It was even declared by the president as a special non-working holiday in support to the Filipino-Chinese community in the country.

Here in Bacolod city, the Bacolodnons celebrated the chinese new year with its yearly Bacolaodiat festival. The name of the celebration was derived from 2 words, "Bacolod" from the name of the city and "Lao Diat" from the Fookien word for celebration according to its official website (bacolaodiat.com).

Now on its 9th year, the festival is celebrated with giant illuminated colorful giant lanterns and lighted floats of Zodiac animals scattered along Lacson Street, dragon and lion dances, fireworks display at the Capitol Lagoon, cultural dances, and Chinese food alley along North Capitol Road.

The festival opened with colorful parade participated by various Filipino-Chinese organizations in the city. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see this event which was held on the afternoon of the eve of the chinese new year.  You see, this was my first time to witness the celebration since this festival started and I wasn’t fully aware of the schedule. Well, you can’t really blame since we are not chinese. Hehehe but I was really looking forward into going and taking some photos. Thinking that the celebration is only about lantern shows, I thought it would be best to go at night when all the lanterns are lighted up, so I did arrived at late in the afternoon only to realize that the festival had already started.  But my effort didn’t go in vain since shortly after the parade a chinese cultural dance program followed at the north capitol road.

The highlight of the celebration was the dazzling latern dance competition held on the 2nd day of the festival where several groups compete to win the grand prize. This year there was a total of 12 competing groups coming from different schools and barangays.  The participants dressed in colorful traditional chinese costumes with flamboyant make-ups carries with them artistically handcrafted chinese lanterns of different colors and sizes taking inspiration from the lotus flower dancing to the beat of the festival chinese-pop themesong. The dances highlights the use of lighted lanterns choreographed to various formations.

And of course, any celebration wouldn’t be complete without food. This year, an array of chinese cuisine and delicacies were featured on the Chopsticks food alley at the North Capitol Road. The alley also features colorful chinese booths with chinese arts and crafts and lucky charms on display. For those who love the famous Bacolod chicken inasal, kiosks were also set up at the venue along Lacson Street where dining out with friends and family is absolutely fun at the festival. My friends and I were craving for fried noodles and siomai so we decided to go to Mai Pao to grab something to eat but due to massive influx of people there were no seats available and since we were too hungry to wait we ended up in a fast food instead.

The celebration ended with a breathtaking musical fireworks display at the grounds of Capitol lagoon that absolutely enthralled the audience that flock the area.

After the New Year’s revelry, Bacolodnons have another event to look forward to, and that is the Bacolaodiat Festival. Through the years this celebration has become a widely celebrated event due to the strong influence of chinese culture in the Filipino culture. It doesn’t only represent the going back to the chinese roots but most importantly the sharing of culture, heritage and history of our chinese countrymen.  

Happy Chinese New Year to all! Wishing you prosperity and good fortune in the coming year! Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed your time here. Please feel free to share, drop a comment and share your thoughts about your experiences in your chinese new year celebration. And if you like, please stop by my instagram @archieoffduty and find more travel ideas for your future travels. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! ;-)>

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  1. wonderful celebration =)

    1. Thank you. Its a yearly celebration here in Bacolod City during Chinese New Year. =)