MassKara 2017 theme celebrates Bacolod’s role in ASEAN community
The theme of the 2017 MassKara Festival highlights the role and the place of Bacolod in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the theme, “Bacolod: City of Southeast Asia,” means that Bacolod is not just a city of the Philippines; it now belongs to the ASEAN community.
“We will now interact with the rest of Southeast Asia,” he said, referring to the economic integration of the 10-member countries.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has told Leonardia that Bacolod was the first local government to have made moves towards awareness and implementation of the ASEAN integration.
“It is time to think ASEAN when we plan for development,” he added.
Festival director Eli F. J. Tajanlangit said the MassKara theme is also in celebration of the participation of Bacolod to the Philippine hosting of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
Last March 21 to 24, Bacolod hosted the 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information at the SMX Convention Center.
On August 8, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chose Bacolod as one of the 74 local government units to participate in the simultaneous ASEAN Landmark Lighting Ceremonies.
The DILG also chose the Bacolod City Government Center as one of the 50 ASEAN landmarks to be lighted simultaneously along with other landmarks in the country.
At the ceremony held at the Government Center facade, 1,000 Bacolod school children dressed in white and carrying white, lighted balloons sang the ASEAN theme and hymn.
Leonardia had expressed confidence that Bacolod will have brighter prospects with the ASEAN integration.
“The integration of our country with nine other nations will mean that our horizons will widen, the playing field will be expanded, and we will have a new political and economic order,” he added.*