Visit Negros Occidental, Kapampangans urged
CITY — Governor Alfredo Marañon has urged Kapampangans to visit Negros Occidental province, now that it is easily accessible via onehour flight from Clark International Airport.
The Negrense chief made the statement during the 25th Panaad sa Negros Festival which kicked off over the weekend.
Marañon highlighted that with the new convenient route, local and foreign visitors coming from Pampanga and Central Luzon can take advantage of what the “land of sweet surprises” has to offer.
“These past months, we’ve seen that the number of tourists coming from Luzon significantly grew and we consider the Clark to Bacolod flights as a big factor. With the two provinces now closer than ever, we can actively promote Negros Occidental as a travel destination to Central Luzon residents,” he said.
Marañon shared that the province is home to an interesting array of historical places as well as islands with pristine white beaches, diverse marine biodiversity, and sustainable tourism practices.
Moreover, he added that Negrense cuisine and warm hospitality are also one of the top reasons to visit the province.
“Just like Pampanga, we also have a rich history and fascinating tourist spots waiting to be explored. I believe these are the reasons why Pampanga and Negros Occidental is definitely a match, given that aside from our sugar industry, we also share the same culture and way of life,” he noted.
Marañon furthered that he is confident that with the existing sisterhood pact between Pampanga and Negros Occidental, the two provinces will continue their favorable partnership and cooperation that would also translate to both counterparts’tourism gains.
Last December, the provincial head and Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda led the signing of memorandum of agreement which solidified the two provinces’sisterhood.
The agreement eyes the promotion and expansion of each party’s capabilities in tourism, as well as arts and culture, livelihood and employment, economic enterprise, education, environment protection, and disaster response, among others.
Aside from mutual interests, the sisterhood agreement was also fuelled by the opening of ClarkBacolod flights by Philippine Airlines launched late last year. The flag carrier, which flies four times a week from Clark to Bacolod, departs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7:00 am, arriving at the “City of Smiles” at 8:15 am. Return flight leaves at 8:55 am and touch down at Clark at 10:10 am.
Panaad sa Negros Festival @ 25
Over 15,000 Negrenses on Saturday convened at the Panaad Park and Stadium to commence the 25th year celebration of the Panaad sa Negros Festival, touted as the “Festival of all Festivals” in Negros Occidental. Panaad, which means promise in Hiligaynon, is an annual celebration participated by all 19 towns and 13 cities of the province, including its capital Bacolod City.
The nine-day festival’s opening program was highlighted by welcome remarks from Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri who came as representative of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Echiverri said that the he sees the Panaad as a way to gather the people of Negros as one, as he relayed that “When we unite, we become powerful as a society.”
Other highlights of the first day of the event included the Festival Dances Competition, GMA Kapuso Fiesta, and RMN’s Panaad Hip Hop Challenge 2018.
Marañon, for his part, noted that he is delighted with the outcome of the Panaad sa Negros Festival after more than two decades.
“It really has exceeded our expectations. As you’ve seen earlier, punong puno ang ating stadium. This goes to show that this affair is now being accepted by the whole province and tourists coming from all over the country and abroad,” he shared.
“This is a very distinct celebration for us and we really prepared for this gathering which sets us apart from other festivals, because we made sure that each of our local government units have their permanent home here at our Panaad Complex,” he added.
The Panaad sa Negros Festival which carries this year’s theme “Panaad @ 25: The Promise Fulfilled” features a total of 32 unique themed pavilions where Negrenses showcase each of their municipality’s delicacies, fresh produce, and handcrafted products. The festival will run until April 22.