NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN ATTRACTS THOUSANDS OF BACOLODNONS
Mayor Evelio Leonardia (2nd from right) and daughter Kara, with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran (right) and Councilor Em Ang (left), lead the New Year’s Eve countdown with a community fireworks display at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds on Monday night. (Photos courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)
BACOLOD CITY — About 16,000 residents here flocked to the New Year’s Eve countdown organized by the city government to welcome 2019 Monday midnight.
The gathering, held at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, was capped by a grand fireworks display, which was sponsored by call center firm, Panasiatic Solutions.
“We can be proud of 2018. Many, many things happened in Bacolod and I assure you that Bacolod today is one of most progressive cities in the Philippines,” Leonardia said in his message before the countdown.
“Let’s look forward to 2019 with enthusiasm and optimism,” he added.
The mayor noted that the New Year’s Eve countdown was conceptualized by his administration in 2011 and was patterned after the popular event in New York City.
“We intend this to eventually become a tradition and a tourist attraction,” he said.
The program, which started at 6 p.m., featured live band performances, a singing competition, and a raffle draw before the countdown.
Leonardia said with many great things that happened to Bacolod last year, the grand New Year’s Eve countdown was a very fitting conclusion to a great year.
In 2018, Bacolod marked its 80th year as a chartered city, highlighted by the celebration of 39th MassKara Festival in October.
The 21-day festivities, themed “Happy Birthday, Bacolod”, were capped by the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte, who graced the MassKara for the third consecutive time since he became Chief Executive in 2016.
Leonardia described the event as a “MassKara for the books,” with the biggest crowd ever, highlighted by the presence of the President and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte.
In the first week of December, the Malacañang Records Office informed Leonardia that Duterte had signed Republic Act 11146, declaring June 18, 1938 as the day Bacolod was created.
The new law corrected RA 7724 that initially set October 19 as the date for the celebration of the Bacolod City Charter Day. Starting next year, Bacolod will mark its Charter Day every June 18 as a special non-working holiday. (PNA)