The Negros Cultural Foundation (NCF) Inc., a non-profit foundation taking the lead in promoting culture, tourism, and heritage in the province, Thursday announced the launching of “Pagsaulog: A Celebration of Negrense Culture”, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
NCF President Lyn Gamboa said at the press conference at The Negros Museum in Bacolod City that people should learn to live with COVID-19 and comply with health protocols, but the pandemic should not restrain or stop tourism and culture promotion.
The NCF said that “Pagsaulog” is an integrated cultural development program aimed to benefit Negros Occidental and the Negrense community through activities that provide a venue for artistic expression; cultural promotion and appreciation; and wellness and recovery using the arts.
It is in partnership with the provincial government, and is aligned to respond to the challenge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, under its Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), encouraging provincial, city and municipal governments to promote and conserve cultural heritage through cultural property inventory; and documentation and publication of narratives of history and culture.
This year’s series of activities, under the “Hugpong Dayaw”, will be highlighted by the inter-LGU mural competition and the Cinco de Noviembre short play contests.
Roger Joshua Venzal, who is in charge of the Hugpong Dayaw Inter-LGU Mural competition, said this component was a vision of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who wants a per-LGU mural entry to highlight Negrense history, and promote appreciation and a deeper understanding of the Cinco de Noviembre celebration.
He said they will still meet with consultants to iron out contest details, and then coordinate with the local government units and the muralists.
Venise Buenaflor, who oversees the Hugpong Dayaw Cinco de Noviembre Theater competition, said this component focuses on Negrense stories, and on how extensive research on the culture and history of Negros could be adopted into a play.
“The Cinco de Noviembre short play competition aims to allow the youth of all ages to learn more about the history and the culture of Negros Occidental by enabling them to mount their dramatic concepts and original performances, based on their take or interpretation of the actual historical events that significantly happened in the province, but is reflected and presented through the lens of a Gen Z.”
She said they will coordinate with the Department of Education Division of Negros Occidental to ensure wider dissemination and participation of students.
Hugpong Dayaw also includes the Sine Negrense: Negros Island Film Festival.
Banjo Hinolan, co-festival director, said this year’s theme is “Negros New Wave–Resurgence” and is open to students, under the School category, and to all amateur and professional Negrosanon filmmakers, born and/or currently residing in Negros Island, for the Open category.
Film entries should be submitted on or before Oct. 1, 2022, and must feature Negrense character, culture, lifestyle, beliefs, folklore, superstitions, issues, etc., as a major element. It must be in the official dialect of Negros Island, which includes Hiligaynon and Bisaya, Hinolan said.
Additional details are available via bit.ly/SineNegrense2022.
Provincial tourism officer Cheryl Decena, meanwhile, said the province is fully supportive of the programs and projects of the NCF and The Negros Museum, adding that cultural appreciation through competitions is one way to promote the heritage and culture of Negrenses.
Decena said they also resumed the Negros Culture Hub, which is a walking tour that begins at the Provincial Capitol and Park, to the Provincial Tourism Office, Mambukal Resort Bacolod Office, Negros Forest Park, the Association of Negros Producers Showroom, The Negros Museum, and ends at Ayala Fiesta Market, as one way to revive the tourism industry./CGC