A week after Panaad Festival

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Saturday, April 20, 2013

PANAAD Festival 2013 was not just a showcase on tourism and culture but a celebration of Negros Occidental as the Philippines’ leader in organic agriculture. Gov. Lito was invited by Gov. Freddie to refresh the mind of the Negrosanons on how Panaad Festival took its gradual shape and substance as the Mother Festival of the province.

In this celebration, the farmers are the modern time heroes. They have found the means of producing more food while still protecting the habitat of our flora and fauna. Farmers in a province like ours dominated by huge sugarcane plantation have learned to group themselves and increase food production by growing combination of crops using compost fertilizer. This method in agriculture protects the land by putting nutrients back into the soil thus enhancing our environment. Non-chemical fertilizer and pesticides help propagate frogs needed by the farmers to control slugs.

Home-grown farmers allow a wide band of natural vegetation along the edge of their farms to provide food sources and shelter for birds, insects and animals. Farmers raise animals and spread their manure on the land to enrich the soil with nitrogen. Soil fertility can also be improved by growing a mixture of crops in a rotation system through vivid study of the dry and rainy seasons in the province. Farmers can also develop poor soils by intercropping which means growing one crop alongside a different crop. Organic farming is the best way to prevent environmental destruction.


Advocacy at the Organic Village also touched on changing climates. Important topics for discussion covered by the resource persons include natural climate change, global warming, signs of change, rising sea level, greenhouse effect, pollution of the near future and the toxic time bomb. Water and the perfect balance in the habitat were given serious consideration for the survival of men and animals. That could be the possible reason why DENR took action in running after those who engaged in pet trade at Panaad grounds. Airport authority confiscated also beautiful shells bought by visitors from Panaad shell vendors.

The festival was a grand showcase of the productivity corners of towns and cities. Silay City got the championship trophy for the three consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013). That simply goes to show that this is the second ‘Hall of Fame’ for Silay. The first was in the ‘City Pavilion Category’ (2009, 2010, 2011). The best foods of Negros Occidental were sold in the pavilions of towns and cities. The price was high! Negros media men noticed that very well. The best seller, of course, was the ‘One Town, One Product’…the edible peanut of San Carlos, the sweet pineapple of Don Salvador Benedicto, the puto-dinuguan of Manapla, the kitchen-made piaya of Silay, the royal bibingka of Hinigaran, the guinamos of Pulupandan, the seafood of Cauayan, to name a few.

The Lin-ay Pageant Night was the biggest crowd drawer. Few mayors, vice-mayors and board members were there. Probably, most of them were in the campaign trails. For the first time in 20 years, the naughty rain cut the pageant in the middle. The emcees just went back on stage to pick out the winners from the five finalists. The ‘lin-ays’ of Bacolod, Sagay and Silay outsmarted the other beautiful ladies. The catch question for the finalists was for them to explain what invention was useless. The judges made their decision but the Negros crowd that early morning went home with their own theories in mind. The art of naughty argumentation focused on flavored water as an invention and the belief that time machine was already invented.

Week after, social media is still blaring on the real ‘WHO’ of the Lin-ay Sang Negros Pageant. That makes Panaad Festival 2013 an explosive event. All these will come to a gradual slow down as we focus on Election Watch 2013.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 20, 2013.


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