By Adrian Nemes III | Visayan Daily Star | October 19, 2010
A magnificent display of fireworks last night lit up the skies above the Government Center for about 20 minutes to usher in the 72nd Charter Anniversary of Bacolod City today.
The countdown started at 11:58:48 p.m. or 72 seconds to October 19, and at exactly 12 a.m., city officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson led the singing of “Happy Birthday” while the fireworks flared and lit up the sky.
Bacoleños gathered around a huge stage in front of the Bacolod City Government Center where the Manila-based bands Sugar Free, Calla Lily, 6 Cycle Mind and Sponge Cola performed their hits.
Aside from the merry-making at the government center, people also gathered at the Bacolod public plaza for the simultaneous countdown sponsored by DYWB Bombo Radyo Bacolod.
The crowd at the public plaza was entertained by Manila-based singers Blakdyak and Maricar Dela Fuente, the comedians from the Black Velvet comedy bar and some local bands.
The events at the government center were also witnessed by the audience at the public plaza through giant television screens.
Eli Tajanlangit, MassKara Festival director, placed the crowd estimate for the countdown at 30,000.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the 2010 Bacolod Charter Day countdown, dubbed the biggest ever since it started, is the only one of its kind that comes closest to that of the New Year’s Eve countdown at the Times Square in New York.
Leonardia said the countdown has developed through the years and was embraced by the people since it was first conceptualized in 2004. More innovations were introduced for the next celebrations of Bacolod’s charter day anniversary, including the Electric MassKara at Lacson Street now known as the Tourism Strip, he added.
Bacolod representative Anthony Golez said that the city has changed a lot all throughout the years and still continues to evolve. He said that the city residents who have transferred to other provinces and outside the country are surprised at the improvements they see every time they come home to witness the MassKara festival.
Bacoleños can now boost of the improved infrastructure, health care, education and basic social services programs and job opportunities, he added.
The countdown 2010 is in partnership with Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines and Globe Telecommunications.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III and several councilors from Iloilo City were present at the countdown last night. They were in the city for the twinning rites of Iloilo and Bacolod today at the government center.*APN