Senator Cynthia Villar lauded Negrenses for continuing to showcase the best of Negros Occidental in the 26th Panaad sa Negros, which runs until April 14, at the Panaad Park and Stadium in this city.
“Panaad has really made its mark, if we talk about festivals. It is one of the major festivals in our country. That’s why people come to watch it. This is a good opportunity to showcase the best of your province,” said Villar, guest of honor and speaker at the opening ceremonies of the week-long festival, on Monday afternoon.
The senator added that Panaad sa Negros Festival has been “getting bigger, better and grander each year”.
“Your rich culture and tradition as well as your people’s talents are really the main reason why this festival is getting more popular each year and is drawing an increasing number of tourists,” she added.
Villar pointed out that festivals like the Panaad sa Negros are “much more than merry-making and festivities”.
It is also a good venue for the younger generation to take part in traditional activities and for them to realize that they have so much to be proud of, she added.
Citing this year’s theme “Beyond a Promise…A Legacy”, the senator said the Negrense culture and tradition should continue with the young people taking the lead.
“We want the young ones to take the lead in the future. You have so much to celebrate and be proud of. Your culture, heritage and history — then and now — as you have showcased in various products, performances and highlights of this celebration,” she added.
Villar also underscored the importance of the products displayed and sold during the festival as these provide livelihood opportunities to many Negrenses.
The Panaad Festival’s major feature is the showcase of 32 themed pavilions of each city and municipality of the province, including the capital Bacolod City.
The Panaad sa Negros Festival is a Hall of Fame awardee of the Pearl Awards after being named the national winner for three consecutive years — 2015, 2016 and 2017 — in the Best Tourism Event-Provincial Festival Category.
Meanwhile, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who declared the festival officially open, said the 26th edition is one of the most successful celebrations of the province.
The governor thanked God for the rain shower just before the program started amid the dry spell experienced by Negros Occidental due to the El Niño.
He also expressed appreciation to Villar and Senator Nancy Binay for gracing the event.
Marañon said more exhibitors and new products are being showcased in this year’s festival and he expects sales to increase further.
Meanwhile, Murcia’s Tinabuay Festival took the championship trophy in the Best of Festival Dances competition held after the opening ceremonies.
Silay City’s Kansilay Festival was adjudged first runner-up; Kabankalan City’s Udyakan Festival, second runner-up; La Castellana’s Bailes de Luces, third runner-up; and Bago City’s Babaylan Festival, fourth runner-up. (PNA)
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