495 cops securing Bacolaodiat, road closures at festival sites

Bacolaodiat officials Bobby Cordova, Jennifer Gochangco-Ong, Odette Ong-Gomez and John Stephen Sy with Councilor Jason Villarosa at a press conference at the Bacolod City Government Center on Thursday.*CPG photo

The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is fielding 495 policemen to secure the 2024 Bacolaodiat Festival, the annual celebration of Bacolod City to usher in the Chinese New Year on February 9 to 11.

The festivities that will signal the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon will return to the “tourism strip” at Lacson Street and the North Capitol Road, where road closures will take place.

Capt. Joel Portos, deputy chief of the Bacolod police operations management unit, said the security forces will be deployed starting February 8 until, the festivities are over.

Security and safety preparations are in place for the festivities, guns and bladed weapons will not be allowed at the festival sites, he said.

Force multipliers to augment security forces will also be fielded for the Bacolaodiat, he said.

There will be no phone signal jamming during the Bacolaodiat, he assured.

Jose Antonio Robello, deputy officer-in-charge of the Bacolod Traffic Authority, said Lacson Street from 5th Street to 15th Street will be totally closed from 4 p.m. of February 9 to early morning of February 12 for the Bacoloadiat festivities.

There will also be temporary closures of those roads starting Monday to Thursday, February 5 to 8, to allow the entry of trucks for the setting up of the tents and booths, he said.

Pre-festival events will start with a Bacolaodiat launching at the SM City Bacolod North Atrium 4 p.m. on February 4, Bacolaodiat Inc. board member Odette Ong Gomez said.

On Feb. 6 and 7, the Bacolaodiat 2024 Table Tennis Tournament will be held at Ayala Malls Capitol Central, while the Dragon Lantern Making Contest and judging will be staged at the Megaworld’s The Upper East on Feb. 8.

The festival will officially start on February 9 with the Bacolaodiat Street Dance Competition at 4:30 p.m. Featuring six contingents dancing along 13th to 5th-Lacson streets, followed by the opening of the Chopsticks Alley and the Imperial Village at 5:30 p.m. at the North Capitol Road, Gomez said.

A cultural show dubbed “A Night in the Middle Kingdom” at 6:30 p.m. and a Lunar Music Fest at 9:30 p.m. will also be held at the North Capitol Road.

At midnight of February 9 there will be the Hitting of the Bell to usher in the Chinese New Year at the Yuan Thong Temple and a Symphony of Lights and Sparks at the North Capitol Road.

The conferment ceremony designating tycoon Lucio Co as the adopted son and honorary mayor of Bacolod City will be held at the Bacolod City Government Center at 10 a.m. February 10, and the Bacolaodiat Lantern Dance Competition in the evening at Lacson Street and North Capitol Road.

A GMA Kapuso Artist Night will also be held at the North Capitol Road at 8 p.m. February 10.

The winners of the street and lantern dance competition will be announced at the North Wing Atrium of SM City Bacolod 4 p.m. February 11, and the awarding ceremonies for special events will be held at 6 p.m. at the North Capitol Road.

It will be followed by the San Carlos City Chamber Orchestra and Vocal Ensemble performance at 7 p.m. and a Lunar Music Fest at 8 p.m. at the North Capitol Road.

Councilor Jason Villarosa, Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Tourism chairperson, urged Bacolodnons and Negrenses to join the Bacolaodiat Festival and have fun.*

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