With 1,000 children singing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Theme and Hymn, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia expressed confidence that Bacolod will have brighter prospects with the Asean integration into one large regional economy.
“The integration of our country, together with nine other nations, will mean that our horizons will widen, the playing field will be expanded, and we will have a new political and economic order,” Leonardia said at the Asean Landmark Lighting Ceremony at the Bacolod City Government Center on Aug. 8.
The BCGC was one of the Asean Landmarks chosen by the Department of the Interior and Local Government to be lighted during the simultaneous nationwide Landmark Lighting Ceremonies, in celebration of the Asean ’s 50th Founding Anniversary.
“I believe the Asean will expand our territories, and will enhance our culture, customs and traditions. That, for sure, will bring about opportunities, as well as challenges for everyone,” Leonardia said.
“So while we prepare our city for the future, and as we join the rest of the nation, we would like to see to it that the massive information and education campaign is launched in our city,” he said.
“We will see to it that our consciousness of our participation in the Asean is heightened,” he added.
Bacolod was one of the 74 local government units chosen by the DILG to participate in the Asean Landmark Lighting Ceremonies.
The ceremony also featured the 1,000-voice choir composed of young children from the city’s public elementary and high schools. The children were dressed in white and carried 1,000 helium balloons with LED lights.
The ceremony was capped with a fireworks display and a street party. About 5,000 people witnessed the event.
Leonardia said the reason they chose the children to perform is that they represent the future of Bacolod. “Most likely they are the ones who will experience what it would be like when the Asean is totally integrated,” he said.
“Perhaps, our generation will pave the way for them, but in the end, they are going to reap the benefits of the Asean integration and that is why we believe their presence here today will prepare them for the future,” Leonardia said.
Leonardia said Bacolod is proud and honored to participate in this historic event, more so that the Department of Foreign Affairs has acknowledged that it was the first LGU to declare interest on Asean integration.
"We must position Bacolod to prepare for Asean integration which means a new economic order that could provide us opportunities as well as new challenges. Our people must be made conscious and ready for new realities," the mayor stressed.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said they are glad the BCGC is now considered as a landmark of the Philippines.
The mayor said they are proud of the BCGC, which incidentally celebrate its 9th year of existence on Tuesday, after having been officially completed on Aug. 8, 2008.
Leonardia added that the BCGC is now the most popular landmark in Bacolod and the most photographed City Hall in the country.
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