HIMAMAYLAN CITY – For the first time, the dances of two separate Chinese civic groups in Bacolod City performed in the streets here.
Together. Eighty kilometers away from home.
And this was made possible by the First Lantern Festival, a celebration for the Chinese New Year conceived by Mayor Raymund Tongson who is now rolling out events as part of attracting businessmen to this awakening young city among which are the two dances.
Lions, according to Chinese legends, symbolized power, majesty, and courage while Chinese dragons stand for luck, power, and nobility.
With a population of more than 100,000, the third class city is finding its way out of what some say the economic doldrums from which it has stayed for quite a time.
“Growth, prosperity, development,” these are what the Metal Rat indicates to us,” Tongson told the crowd that gathered at the city plaza here to witness the dance.
It is the first time that this city marked the Chinese New Year, a one-day event that came on the heels of the Spring Festival and the BacoLaodiat in Bacolod City.
Tongson said the Chinese believe the metal rat is a positive sign for the rest of the 11 animal signs.
“It is the first of the 12 signs,” he said.