MABALACAT City has formally opened the first “Balacat Festival,” the most prominent event hosted by the local government unit (LGU) at the Balacat Village – formerly called as Christmas Village on MacArthur Highway, Barangay Mabiga.
Mayor Crisostomo Garbo and Vice Mayor Gerald Guttrie Aquino, along with city councilors, Board Member Winwin Garbo, barangay officials, government employees, stakeholders, residents, and visitors on Monday, joined the grand opening ceremony.
Among the highlighted activities of the festival was the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the 27 Agro-Industrial Trade and Food Expo Pavilions, which were built and designed by the barangay councils.
Apart from representing each barangay, these beautiful pavilions also house the trade and exhibition of products and food native to each village.
This was followed by the lighting of a giant “Balacat Tree” and the official opening of the Balacat Village to the public.
Colorful performances also brightened the evening, including the presentation of the Miss Mabalacat 2023 candidates and the “Sayaw Pinoy,” a dance concert by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Luzon Leg, in celebration of the National Arts Month.
Garbo thanked the local officials, employees, and people of Mabalacat City for successfully launching the Balacat Festival 2023.
“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng bumuo at kumilos para mapahusay at mapaganda ang ating unang selebrasyon ng Balacat Festival. I cannot do it without your help so thank you very much for making our pilot year a successful one. Asahan nyo po na marami pang magaganda at masasayang aktibidad ang nakalaan para sa ating lahat sa linggong ito,” Garbo said.
Some 8,000 people filled the three-hectare open area to witness the festival’s official launch with a grand fireworks display, as estimated by its City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Apart from the week-long display of the Agro-Industrial Trade and Food Expo Pavilions in the Balacat Village, the festival activities also include a four-day “Barangaynihan,” a one-stop caravan offering free government services in different barangays in the city, a Balacat Tree planting program, Balacat Music Festival, a motorshow, a free dance competition and the most awaited pre-pageant and coronation night of the Miss Mabalacat 2023.
The city also honors its culture and heritage through an art exhibit, “Mabalacat of Memory,” which features 59 art pieces by 19 local artists.
The gallery is located at the old municipal building on McArthur Highway, Bgy. Poblacion and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 4.