Pasalamat Festival 2012
La Carlota City in the southwestern part of the central Negros Island lies at the foot of sacred Mt. Kanla-on, the highest peak in Central Visayas. It is home to one of the oldest and most prominent sugar mills in the province, producer of the fierce fighting cocks, a dreamland for nature lovers, and a birthplace of the three world boxing champions.
The rich cultural heritage of La Carlota is manifested through the celebration of the Pasalamat Festival, which falls every last week of April nearest to Labor Day.
Pasalamat Festival is based on the tradition of giving thanks to gods of elements after a bountiful harvest by the ancient of Buglas. The city takes on a festive atmosphere during the week-long celebration, which culminates with a Mardi Gras-like parade of floats and caricatures. Dancers flirtatiously move to the rhythm created by the drumbeaters using carabao leather drums and percussion instruments made out of indigenous materials.
The festival was first staged on May 1, 1980, after a series of calamities fall in Negros Occidental, particularly in La Carlota. The fire gutted the commercial district of the city, the Don Juan tragedy, the labor problem that triggered the workers of Central Azucarera de La Carlota to go on strike and eventually paralyzed the sugar company, and some other uncertain conditions prevailing in the early 80s.
Conceptualized by the late Mayor Luis “Nonoy” Jalandoni Jr., who himself composed the “Sambita” - the original Pasalamat Beat, the festival started in just a simple merrymaking and street dancing to mark the end of the milling and harvest season to thank the Divine Almighty for His blessings.
The Pasalamat Festival has gone a long way and it is not merely a thanksgiving event but an affirmation of the indomitable spirit of La Carloteños.
Outside Negros and Iloilo, the group has performed in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan in Mindanao, and in several hotels and NN sponsored activities in Manila. The group was the featured performer in Florikultura'98.
The Department of Tourism also brought the Pasalamat Drumbeaters as part of the Philippine Delegation to the opening of the world exposition 2005 last April 25-30, 2005 in Aichi, Japan.
Here is the list of some hotels and inns that can be found in the province where tourist can enjoy and stay overnight when touring the province of Negros Occidental. Enjoy your vacation and happy trip!
- Nature's Village Resort
Talisay City, Talisay City, Bacolod / Negros Occidental, Philippines 6115
- L’ Fisher Hotel
14th Lacson Sts., Bacolod City
- Hotel Pagcor Bacolod
Goldenfield Complex, Bacolod City
- Business Inn Hotel
28 th South Lacson St. , Bacolod City
- Bacolod King’s Hotel
San Sebaslian-Gatuslao Sts , Bacolod City
- Regency Tourist Inn
Lacson Ext. Bacolod City
- Pearl Manor Pension
North Drive-Lacson St. Bacolod City
Negros Occidental can be reached through its capital, the highly urbanized City of Bacolod, which is 55 minutes from Manila and 30 minutes from Cebu by air. By sea, it is an 18-hour cruise from Manila and one hour aboard sea crafts from Iloilo. By land-and-sea travel, it is seven hours from Cebu. From Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Bacolod is 5 hours away via Mabinay in the south, and via San Carlos City in the north: 6 hours via the coastal road and 5 hours via the Translink highway in Don Salvador Benedicto.
Big and medium-sized buses, both aircon and non-aircon, ply the northern and southern parts of the province, with terminals in Bacolod. Car rental services are available for travel to any point of the island. Air-conditioned, metered taxis are numerous in Bacolod, but the jeepney is still the most common means of transport among the towns and cities.