Tuesday, November 3, 2020

While Europe is in Lockdown, The Province of Negros Occidental Opens a Window to the World


Neatly tucked in the center of the Philippine archipelago is a sock shaped island known as Negros.  Negros, known for its vast sugarcane plantations set before scenic mountains as its backdrop is also known as the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines.

I personally call it, The SWEET SPOT of the Philippines.  The term SWEET SPOT has so many connotations to it given the different facets of sweetness this island brings to me.  There are so many sweet stories of Negros to tell - there just hasn't been THE perfect medium to tell it through.

That was then.  This Thursday though, everything is bound to change.  The Angelica Berrie Foundation will be launching a website that hopes to become a global messaging platform to promote Negrense heritage and culture.

The launch aptly falls on November 5, 2020 at 8pm Philippine Standard Time and 7am for those in New York ( and 12 noon for those in London).  November 5 is the day the province of Negros Occidental celebrates its annual Cinco de Noviembre feast to commemorate the day Negrenses revolted against Spanish colonizers and won in 1898.

The November 5 revolt in Negros led by Generals Juan Araneta and Aniceto Lacson.

In the same manner, the launch of the Negros Season of Culture website is a revolution of its own.  The Negros Season of Culture was meant to be an extended slew of on-ground events which would highlight the art, food, heritage homes, people, and handicrafts of Negros.

The pandemic changed all of that as everyone around the world got locked-in by way of quarantine.

The silver lining is found in the fact that as everyone spend more time on the internet, the Negros Season of Culture becomes a window for all the world to discover the beauty and uniqueness of Negrense culture through this online channel.

Its underlying purpose : "to promote the cultural assets of our heritage and traditions, the unique identity of this province and the talent of its people," according to Angelica "Angie" Berrie through a Zoom meeting which took place two weeks ago.

Suffice it to say that the Negros Season of Culture is not just an online platform but an online celebration of Negrense uniqueness neatly stated in the tagline, "Rooted. Taking on the World." 

The Gaston Mansion at Hacienda Sta. Rosalia in Manapla

By threading stories of creativity (for which Negrenses are known for) in a platform that dramatizes a regional narrative, global audiences can discover what makes Negros special.

Personally, what I am excited about is being able to showcase the heritage homes of Negros.  While so much has been said about Negros' food, art, handicrafts, and agriculture, the heritage homes are for me, an item where attention must be drawn to. 

The Ruins - remains of the ancestral home mansion of the family of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and Maria Braga Lacson.

Every other island or province has  their own culinary story, their own art and handicrafts.  But all of these take on a different dimension as the stories are framed within a physical place where the stories are anchored to.  Such is the case with the ancestral homes on Negros Island.  The stories are amplified and emotions are heightened as they are set within an actual place that people can see.

All these stories will be aggregated into that website which will be launched this Thursday with famous Negrense actor, Joel Torre and his daughter Marela.

The Negros Season of Culture, this is Negros Island's Window for the World.

Join the Negros Season of Culture launch this Thursday by tuning in and following the Negros Season of Culture Facebook Page.

Negros Island is the Sweet Spot of the Philippines!

About the Author

Lloyd Tronco

Author & Editor

Lloyd Tronco. Artist. Writer. Entrepreneur. Undiagnosed ADHD. INTJ.


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