Celebrating the gains it has reaped since its formation as a city 58 years ago, Bago is once again celebrating its charter anniversary with month-long activities seen to further ignite the sense of pride among its people, the Bagonhons.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who will lead the opening ceremony of the Agro-Industrial, Cultural and Educational Trade Fair at the Bantayan Park today, Feb. 12, said it is important to reflect on the works that the city had done in the past.
Yulo said the 58th Charter anniversary celebration is also the city government’s tribute to the Bagonhons for helping the government expand and develop as a progressive city.
“We have to celebrate whatever gains we had through the years,” he said, adding that the people of Bago deserve to enjoy the festivity, considering that they have been the partner of the city government in its growth and development.
Themed “58 Years of Cityhood: Greener Horizons, Empowered Communities and Service Excellence”, this year’s celebration is scheduled on Jan. 25 to Feb. 29, including pre- and post-charter activities.
Yulo said that this year’s theme is centered on the message that we cannot proceed to progress without an empowered citizenry, aware and contributing to the development.
“Our development should be inclusive, it should be sustainable. We owe it to our people to constantly give them excellent public service,” he stressed.
The opening ceremony of the seven-day Agro-Industrial, Cultural and Educational Trade Fair at 4 p.m. today also signals the official kickoff of the charter anniversary celebration.
Prior to this, the city already conducted the “Sagip Mata Program: Free Cataract Operation” at Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center (MYTMCCC) Jan. 25; Farmers Weekend Market and National Arts Month opening at the Bantayan Park Feb. 5; and OFW Family Day at MYTMCCC Feb. 7.
Other pre-event activities included Responsible Pet Ownership Program at the Bantayan Park Feb. 8; Charter Anniversary Job Fair at MYTMCCC Feb. 9; Diwata sang Bago pre-pageant Feb. 10; and SK Night Feb. 11.
On Feb. 13 and 14, the city will hold the Employees Day Awarding and Recognition Ceremony and LGU Employees Day 2024 at MYTMCCC, respectively; Livelihood Skills Olympics and Comedy Night at Bantayan Park on Feb. 15; and the Mini Sound Exhibition and Jazz Night, also at the Bantayan Park, on Feb. 16.
Also on Feb. 16, the city will crown the Diwata sang Bago 2024: The Festival Queen during the grand pageant night at MYTMCCC.
The activities on Feb. 17 include the Mayor Nikko Yulo MTB Challenge 2024, Farmers and Fisherfolk Day at the Bantayan Park, opening of the three-day Charter Anniversary Bazaar at the Bantayan Park, RTNHS High School Day at Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center, and ZumBago: Unity Zumba Party at the Bantayan Park.
On Feb. 18, the Gawad Bagonhon 2024 will be held at MYTMCCC, Best Product search judging at Bantayan booths, and Fantasia sang Bago 2024 at MYTMCCC.
On Feb. 12 to 18, revelers will be treated to live band performances at the Bantayan Park via the “Party at the Park” from 7 p.m. onwards.
Mayor Yulo recalled that 2021 and 2022 were the peak of COVID-19 while 2023 was the banner year for recovery thus, most of the resources were used to address the unprecedented health crisis.
In 2024, he said the city increased its budget for the fiesta in order to honor the people and celebrate its achievements even in the last five years.
On Feb. 19, the highlight of the celebration, Yulo and Vice Mayor Ramon Torres will lead the annual flag raising in front of General Juan Araneta Monument at 7:30 a.m. It will be followed by a civic military parade in major city streets.
In the afternoon, six groups composed of four barangays each will compete in the Babaylan Festival street dance and stage competition at MYTMCCC, along with the awarding ceremonies for the Clean and Green Contest, Agro-Trade Fair, and Best Product Search.
In the evening, thousands of Bagonhons and Negrense fans are expected to flock to the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center for the grand anniversary free concert, featuring Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo and Filipino Rock Icon Bamboo Mañalac.
Right after the concert, dubbed “Sarah Geronimo X Bamboo Live”, revelers will be treated to a grand fireworks display.
“This is really for the people of Bago, we really want them to enjoy. All together, we will continue to say Go Bago,” the mayor added in a press release Feb. 11.
The post-charter events include the DepEd Promenade at MYTMCCC on Feb. 21, and the National Arts Month culmination and Sugilanon sang Barangay at the Bago City College AVR on Feb. 29. ||