Panaad Festival is an annual celebration of festivals every April in Bacolod City. It is a week-long summer event that brings together the towns and cities of the province of Negros Occidental.
Panaad Festival is the mother of all festivals in the place. Panaad is a Hiligaynon word for a “vow” and its “fulfillment”. The festival is a form of thanksgiving to the Divine Providence and commemoration of a vow in exchange for a good life. When people speak of the word “Panaad,” they are referring to a sacred vow, a solemn promise, a hollowed commitment. When one does “Panaad”, one is taking oath like a knight who offers his own life for the sake of the precious stand he made. The Negritos (ati) of Buglas (Negros Island) made a “Panaad” to respect the laws of nature as they hunted for food for their families.
This festival was conceptualized to showcase the festivals of each city and municipalities of Negros Occidental, including their history, cultural heritage, commerce and industry, and tourism potential.
Panaad also features the gains the province has achieved in its diversification efforts and its priority agenda, particularly in Food Sufficiency and Agricultural Productivity. It is seriously developing its rice and corn industries and positioning livestock as its second major industry, next to sugar. The Negros agenda about the festival is this: “We are bringing more festivals, more food, and more fun!”
The festivals features trade and food fairs, garden show, golf tournament, singing and songwriting competitions, beauty pageant, and a fiesta presentation featuring the festival of each town and city in an overjoyed, exciting, colorful, and beautiful presentation like Bacolod City’s famous MassKara, La Carlota’s rhythmic Pasalamat, San Carlos City’s multi-awarded Pintaflores, Kabankalan City’s Sinulog, Bago City’s Babaylan, Escalante City’s Manlambus, Sagay City’s Sinigayan, Cadiz City’s Dinagsa, Mambukal’s Mudpack, San Enrique’s Bulang-Bulang, La Castellana’s Bailes de Luces, and Don Salvador Benedicto’s Kali-Kalihan in a 25-hectare Panaad Park and Sports Complex.
There are also free shows or concerts by popular artist from Manila that add fun and excitement to the festivals. There are also a food and drink alley that offer chicken inasal, grilled fish, and seafood like shellfish, oyster, and scallops. At midnight, there are live bands and parties.
Panaad Festival is a thanksgiving celebration and an exhibition of the best of the province. It is about the local products made possible by the industry and hardwork of the Negrenses. It is about the unity of the people and their vow to confront life with a smile even in the face of adversity and challenges.