My Experience During the Panaad Festival

Negros Occidental is one of the Philippines’ recognizable provinces. It is made up of different municipalities and every year, a festival is held in my city, Bacolod, to showcase what each municipality can offer. The festival is called “Panaad sa Negros” or “Panaad Festival”. During the festival, you’ll be able to see creatively constructed attractions and booths so you can take a sneak peek of what a certain municipality is all about.

Sounds like a good festival to go to, right? I thought so too and so one night, I and the other members of my family decided to visit. Here’s what went down during our visit:


Getting There

It did not take long for my dad to drive to Panaad but there were several cars already in queue to get to the festival. If we hadn’t taken a short-cut, it would have been sitting inside the car, stuck in traffic, for hours. We didn’t visit the festival during the day time, so I’m not sure if the traffic was as bad as when we went there.

Parking

This was the tough part. Finding a parking space during the festival was very tricky. There wasn’t a designated area for parking or maybe it was already full. You’ll be able to see a lot of cars parked on the side of the road, in front of people’s houses and etc. What people do is park their car way back (where there’s lots of space) and then walk from there to the actual festival. Unfortunately, a lot of people have already done this when we arrived so it took a while.

Finally, Were Able to Get in

When we went inside, we saw several booths that sold toys and street food. There were also other booths (several) that served different alcoholic drinks. There was music, dancing, and all kinds of merry-making happening.

We also saw a lot of people and I really do mean a lot. My city’s small but I had no idea it had that much people in it. Expect that you’ll be walking alongside several strangers. It looked like a sea of people, all moving in one direction — forward. You can stop and move to the side but you cannot move backward unless you want someone from behind to get mad at you for holding up the motion. That’s how dense the crowd was.

And so, we did. We moved forward and we went passed several booths for eating and drinking. Several of them served “barbecue” which is a general term in Negros that refers to barbecued animal parts or animal innards. We actually walked for 15 minutes before we could get to the attractions.

First Attraction Visited

Don Salvador Benedicto was the first attraction that we came across and went into. The place is known for their flowers, pineapple, natives and etc so that’s exactly what we saw in their display. The name from the outside was made of flowers and…

inside, they had a waterfall and rice field display, complete with 2 natives (just actors) that carried tools. There were other stuff going on inside but what I liked most about their display is this:

The mini-zipline that they had for both kids and adults. They’re promoting the new zipline they have. I forgot what resort it was on but it’s the longest, they said.

A Blur of Displays and Attractions

After Don Salvador, I didn’t really keep track. It was a blur of displays and attractions.

We went passed food booths that offered some of our favorite Filipino food and treats. We bought dried fish that was made to taste like processed meat (personal fave) and it didn’t cost much. I bought three packs of dried fish which cost me around $3 USD.

My mother bought several fruits and sweet potatoes in one of the fruit stands that we saw. She bought it from a half naked fruit vendor from Murcia. His fruits and vegetables were also from his municipality and my mom said that the best sweet potatoes come from this place.

Capping the Night

After insane amounts of walking, we capped the night off with cotton candy, made Filipino-style. Overall, the experience was fun but it would have been more fun if there weren’t that many people around. There was also more drinking (much more) than what I remember from last year.

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