The Negros Oriental provincial government is all set for this year’s Buglasan Festival, that will start Friday and end October 20, and has allocated P3.7 million as subsidy for contingents in the booth fair and the street dancing and showdown.

The Negros Oriental Culture and Arts Foundation Inc., chaired by Board Member Mariant Escaño Villegas, will manage premier socio-cultural showcase of the province in coordination with the Negros Oriental Tourism Council, headed by Nick Elman.

Activities for this year’s festival, on the theme “Sustaining growth through unity among the Oriental Negrenses”, will be staged at Freedom Park, the Sidlakang Negros Village and the Kasikas sa Rizal Boulevard, all in Dumaguete City.

The towns and cities of Jimalalud, San Jose, Sta. Catalina, Bais City and Bayawan City, that is still reeling from the recent flood devastation, have signified their intention to join the festivity.

Villegas said each contingent in the streetdancing and showdown competition will receive a subsidy of P50,000, and those taking part in the booth fair, P1000,000.

An ecumenical service will open the Festival at the Capitol grounds.

Gov. Roel Degamo said yesterday he hopes that the number of tourists, both domestic and foreign, will increase during the week-long festivity.

He added he is waiting for President Benigno Aquino III to declare October 18 as a special non-working holiday in Negros Oriental so that Negrenses can watch and experience the showcase of festivals of each town and city in the province.

Activities include socio-cultural presentations and contests, “Lutong Garbo” cookfest, awarding of Ten Outstanding Oriental Negrenses, photo contest, fireworks competition and sporting events, and the search for Miss Negros Oriental Tourism 2013.

Kagawasan Avenue fronting the Capitol at the Freedom Park will be sealed off for the entire festival duration and some other streets will be closed during the grand civic parade and the streetdancing competition.*JFP