EditorialBuglasan Amidst ‘Paeng’

Buglasan Amidst ‘Paeng’


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Despite the political changes that have caused a change in priorities of the provincial administration, we are again celebrating the Buglasan Festival after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of Negrenses have been flocking to the Benigno Aquino Jr. Freedom Park to sample the food and marvel at the booths, exhibits, and best of all, enjoy live entertainment from the country’s most popular performers, no less.

The Buglasan Festival, celebrated annually since 2002, is the Festival of Festivals of the Province. While then Gov. Emilio Macias II wanted to celebrate it to coincide with the founding of Negros Oriental on Jan. 1, 1900, it was difficult to gather everyone to celebrate an event that coincided with the Yuletide season.

The organizers had to find a time where the Buglasan would fit. November is reserved for the Dumaguete fiesta; December and January were also ruled out as almost everyone prepares for the yuletide season and the new year; Holding the event in the summer would miss out on the student crowd; then there are already too many fiestas in the month of May; families and businessmen were always busy in June and July for the school opening; August seems almost sacred for the Silliman Founder’s Week….

So October had to be the month. But there is also the more established Masskara Festival in Bacolod every October. To solve the possibility of competing with the big festival in Occidental, the organizers thought of holding the Buglasan after the Masskara Festival. That way, tourists and other guests could attend to both festivals in the same island, if they wanted to.

Tropical Storm ‘Paeng’, however, (with ‘Queenie’ following closely behind) has dampened the Buglasan event this year by causing many Negrenses to go hungry and homeless, at a time when people are supposed to be celebrating.

At this time, our wish is for our fellow Negrenses, who have to put up with the floods and landslides in the northern and southern parts of the Province, to recover swiftly.

As we also hope for the authorities to show the same concern and enthusiasm in helping them, as they have demonstrated in preparing for the Buglasan.

The Buglasan, after all, is not just a time for merriment. It is a showcase of Negros Oriental at its best, and how we relate to each other, in good times and in bad.

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