By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Bacolodnons will again witness festival celebrations here with the staging of the 2nd Tanduay Rum Festival next month, as a prelude to the MassKara Festival in October.
In a press conference at the Bacolod City Government Center last Friday, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez and Lucio Tan III, president and chief operating officer of Tanduay Distillers, Inc., and vice chairman of the Lucio Tan Group (LTG), announced their partnership in staging the Tanduay Bacolod Rum Festival from August 12 to 20.
The Tanduay Rum Festival was first staged in 2019 to pay homage to the sugarcane industry of Negros Occidental.
However, it was called off in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
This year, Tanduay saw it fit to hold the Rum Festival again to bring attention back to the sugarcane industry and refuel the city’s tourism economy.
“We are excited to work with the new Bacolod City Government in bringing attention to the important role of Negros Occidental’s sugarcane economy in the steady growth of Tanduay overseas and the international awards it has received,” Tan said.
Tan said that rum-makers owe the province’s sugarcane industry for producing the best quality raw materials for its spirits that are now gaining new followers in different countries.
He added that four of the biggest rum distilleries in the country are located in the province.
Currently, about 60 percent of the province’s land is dedicated to sugarcane farming, and the province is blessed with volcanic soil and elevated areas that are perfect for growing the grass crop and rum-making, Tan said.
The Rum Festival will showcase the craftsmanship, skill, and artistry of Bacolodnons through various events such as the Barrel Art, Bottle Design, and Street Art Competitions.
Bacolod’s famed culinary culture will also be under the spotlight through the highly-anticipated Culinaria Competition. Throughout the festival, there will be a food park for visitors to enjoy various dishes. An exciting Flairtending and Mixology contest will likewise take place.
The highlight of the Rum Festival will close with music and dancing at the Bacolod City Government Center Complex. There will be a Street Dance Fusion and Float Competition and a rock concert to be headlined by a surprise list of guest artists from Manila.
Benitez welcomed such development and assured that the city government will provide any support to Tanduay for the said occasion.