Monday, April 13, 2015

Experience All of Negros Island in One Place - The Panaad Festival

The Panaad sa Negros Festival, also called the Panaad Festival, is a festival held annually during the month of April in Bacolod City, the capital of the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. Panaad is the Hiligaynon word for “vow” or “promise”; the festival is a form of thanksgiving to Divine Providence and commemoration of a vow in exchange for a good life. The celebration is held at the Panaad Park and Stadium, which also houses the Panaad Sports Complex, and is participated in by the 13 cities and 19 towns of the province. For this reason, Negros Occidental dubs it the “mother” of all its festivals.

The theme for this year is “Organik na Negros: Rising to the Challenge of Globalization in 2015″.

The first Panaad sa Negros Festival was held at Capitol Park and Lagoon in a three-day affair in 1993 that started April 30. The festival was held at the lagoon fronting the Provincial Capitol for the first four years. As the festival grew each year, it became necessary to locate a more spacious venue. In 1997, the festival was held at the reclaimed area near where the BREDCO Port is located today.

The construction of the Panaad Park and Stadium paved the way for the establishment of the Panaad Park as the permanent home of the festival.









Related Posts :

Discovering "Millionaire's Row" In Bacolod City

Wander in the part of Bacolod City which is not usually written about in tourist guidebooks or travel blogs and discover the charm of Old Negros Island.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bacolod City Will Be First In Using Hummers as Jeepneys

Hummer Jeepney : Ready for rollout in Bacolod City by end of 2015

The Filipino Jeepney has for many years been a symbol of Filipino ingenuity being the most popular means of public transportation in the country.  Often known for their kitsch decorations, which have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art, jeepneys are now ready for a new image in Bacolod City.

Originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II and improvised and refitted through Filipino resourcefulness, the jeepney will take on a new shape this year when ingenuity meets the legendary decadence of Negros Island. 

Bacolod City will be the first city in the Philippines to see the rollout of the new generation of jeepneys using GM Hummers as its platform.  The project is spearheaded by a visionary from Bacolod who requests to be made anonymous at this time. 

The visionary sugar baron relates, "There is really nothing new about this except the new platform using Hummers.  Jeepneys are here to stay.  The "Humjeep" project is faithful to the original intentions of the of the jeepney, and that is to convert a military transport vehicle into a form of public conveyance".  He adds, "My close friends who know this project tell me I'm nuts, but I tell them that you're the ones who don't know what legacy is all about. Years from now, tourists in the Philippines will go to Bacolod just to ride one of the five Hummer jeepneys I'm deploying by end of the 2015".

"Love it or hate it, the Jeepney will never go away.  All that's needed is a new platform for which the Hummer is perfect.  The fact that the Hummer was also a military vehicle adds to the novelty". 

A look at the current "Humjeep" hidden in a Negros gamefarm shows that it has been modified by eliminating the rear side doors and creating a single rear door which is typical of regular jeepneys.

The Bacolod-based visionary adds, "For the additional Humjeeps, we will be sourcing two more from Port Irene and we are eyeing to buy Piolo Pascual's H3 and Angel Locsin's H2."

Soon, riding a jeepney will really be more fun in Bacolod.

Visual peg of the interiors of the Bacolod "Humjeep" project (source : PDI)








Friday, March 27, 2015

Philippine 1D Fans Were First To Preview "1Deduction"

Manila, Philippines - With the news that 1Direction's Zayn Malik has gone solo, and breaking away from the phenomenal boy band, last weekend's 1Direction concert in Manila was the preview to the "new 1D".

The Philippines is blessed to have been the first to have a glimpse and feel of the 5 kit band minus Zayn Malik.

With the official announcement this week that Zayn will be doing things on his own now, there is no confirmation yet if the remaining four would still bear 1Direction as a name.  1Deduction could be a good alternative for a start.





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Discovering "Millionaire's Row" in Bacolod City

Heritage conservation advocates are totally aghast at the ongoing demolition of the Carlos Palanca mansion in Pasay.  This comes just a few months after the Army and Navy Club and the Admiral Hotel fell prey to the wreckers of Manila's historic architectural icons.  To those who remember the wonderful edifices of Manila's glorious past, the current spate of demolitions are really a nightmare.

One cannot say the same though of Bacolod City, the premier city in the Philippines' Sugar Bowl.  This summer of 2015, tourists from Metro Manila and all over the country will visit Negros Island, the Sweet Spot of the Philippines and have a glimpse of Bacolod's fabled glory days.  This is due to the revitalization of a small strip of houses known back in the 1930s as "Millionaire's Row".

For those who arrive in Bacolod City and follow what is usually written on travel books and blogs, the usual stops are the Negros Museum, the Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental, and the Ruins (Mariano Lacson Mansion) which is technically located in the next city of Talisay.

What is often missed in Bacolod is a street which was once known as Millionaire's Row.  This street is hardly publicized because most tour guides can only reach back to Bacolod's glory days of the 1960s and the 1970s.  The importance of this street goes back to the pre-war decade of the 1930s.


It was back in the 1930s when Generoso M. Villanueva, a prominent sugar planter, and his wife Paz, built the first art deco  structure in Bacolod City. Designed solely by the owner, the three-story, poured-concrete steel reinforced building with graceful curved balconies, parapets, and porthole steel-cased windows looks like the Titanic on land. It was known among the locals as the Boat House. Among family, though, it was simply called Daku Balay (the big house).

On the same street, another similar daku balay (big house) also shows the glorious past of Negros and Bacolod City.  This is the house of Don Mariano Ramos.

Mariano Ramos was among the first Presidente Municipals appointed in Bacolod City.  At that time, Bacolod was not yet chartered as a city and thus did not have any mayor yet.  Mariano Ramos was a former classmate of Manuel L. Quezon in Letran and the late president did stop by this house often during his many trips to Negros Island.

Between the two mansions mentioned are other houses which are resplendent of Bacolod's decadent pre-war past.  It is of little wonder then that during the Japanese occupation in World War 2, the head of the Japanese Imperial Army, headed by General Takeshi Kono, took over the houses in Millionaire's Row as these two houses had the tallest miradors (viewing towers) to observe the city from all directions.


The Japanese Imperial Army commanded all forces occupying Negros from Millionaire's Row until the surrender in August 1945.

The street known as Millionaire's Row is commonly known today as Burgos Street.  In the same manner that one visits Lombard Street (the most crooked street in the world) in San Francisco, or the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, or Las Ramblas in Barcelona, one should not miss Burgos Street when in Bacolod City.

All mansions can be viewed from the street as these are all still closed to the public, except one which is the currently run as a museum, the Dizon-Ramos Museum.




Photo credits to Voltaire Siacor (Villanueva Art Deco House) and Lloyd Tronco (Mariano Ramos House)