Artworks highlight significance of Negros’ Bago River

BACOLOD CITY: Young artists in Bago City just south of this provincial capital are showcasing their artworks, highlighting the significance of Bago River, which is considered the "lifeblood" of Negros Occidental province.

"Art by the River" is being featured in line with National Arts Month, and the city's 57th Charter Anniversary celebration, which kicked off Tuesday afternoon and will run until Feb. 19.

The winning artworks, in the form of supersized canvas paintings, are displayed at the Bantayan Park along the banks of Bago River.

"In this month-long celebration of the arts, we highlight the word 'galing' which means excellence," Mayor Nicholas Yulo said.

This refers to "an excellent form of art as an allusion to artistic excellence that underscores the capacity of the arts to heal, rebuild and restore in a post-pandemic setting."

Winners included Albert Magbanua of Barangay Ilijan, first place; JB Maridable of Barangay Caridad, second place; and Jullienne Castillo of Barangay Calumangan in third place.

According to the city government, Bago River provides water to some 19,000 hectares of agricultural areas and serves as the recharge area of underground aquifers tapped to support more than 10,000 households for domestic and industrial water usage.

The National Irrigation Administration's Bago River Irrigation System serves farmlands also in this city, La Carlota City, and Murcia, Pulupandan, San Enrique and Valladolid towns.

Bago City itself is dubbed the "rice bowl of Negros Occidental" for its vast rice plantations, making it the province's top rice producer.

The Bago River Watershed spans four cities, the three others being San Carlos, Talisay and La Carlota as well as four municipalities, Murcia, Don Salvador Benedicto, Calatrava and Pulupandan, and empties into the Guimaras Strait.

It also covers portions of the two protected areas -- the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park and Northern Negros Natural Park.

"The biggest portion of Bago River is of course in Bago City. It has a heritage story after winning a spot in the Green Destinations list," Yulo said.

For its story, "Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed", Bago was included in the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list and was awarded during the Green Destinations and Future of Tourism Summit held in Athens, Greece last September.

This year, Bago has also been selected as one of the finalists in the Environment and Climate Category of the Green Destinations Story Awards at the ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse), the world's leading travel trade show, set in Berlin, Germany on March 7.

Source: Philippines News Agency