The Bacolaodiat is a festival in Bacolod City, Philippines to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It is coined from the words Bacolod and “lao-diat”. Lao-diat means celebration in Fookien. Its main aim is to strengthen the relationship between the Filipino – Chinese communities and to drive away bad luck and let prosperity in.

This year, the festival was from February 15 to 18 to welcome the Year of the Dog. Activities were mainly divided between the Lacson Tourism Strip and the Bacolod City Government Center. There were also events in other venues.

For three days, the Lacson Tourism Strip was mostly closed to traffic. The street was decorated with festive Chinese lanterns. As the sun set, the Strip became a huge party place.

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Spread out in the Lacson Tourism Strip were the illuminated animals of the Chinese Zodiac Signs.

The Chopsticks Alley had Chinese food stalls and cooking demonstrations while the Imperial Village featured Chinese arts and crafts like calligraphy, abacus, palm reading, wishing tree, henna tattoo and face painting among others. There was also a photo booth. Mascots entertained the people along the Lacson Tourism Strip and Imperial Village.

There were also cultural shows performed by the students of the Chinese schools in the city.

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Ten groups joined the Lantern Dance Competition. It was my first time to watch it and I enjoyed all the performances.

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There were nightly fireworks, the Symphony of Lights and Sparks. Unfortunately, I had social engagements and missed to watch them.

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Kiong Hee Huat Tsai (Happy Chinese New Year)! Till next year.