The 12th edition of the “Lights of Bago,” the annual musical fireworks show of Bago City, Negros Occidental held every first of January, will highlight the need for awareness on human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
“There seems to be an alarming trend of the disease affecting also the youth so an increased awareness is needed,” Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo said yesterday.
Negros Occidental is reported to have one of the highest cases in the country, and Bago ranks second in the province, he noted.
Health records show the Philippines has become the country with the fastest-growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific, one of eight countries that account for more than 85 percent of new HIV infections in the region.
In Western Visayas alone, one HIV case in every nine hours is being recorded.
Yulo said the city government has thought of using the popularity of the annual event for this cause as he expressed optimism that the musical fireworks show will convey the message to the audience.
The show’s latest edition, themed “A Rhapsody of Colors and Diversity,” will still be held at Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Complex, and will feature nine greatest hits of British rock band Queen during the 26-minute fireworks display.
Queen vocalist, songwriter, and record producer Freddie Mercury died due to AIDS complications.
The show is expected to draw at least 30,000 people from Bago and other localities in the province as well as foreign tourists.
Yulo said that aside from providing entertainment and putting Bago on the tourism map, the “Lights of Bago” also symbolizes hope for a brighter year awaiting every Bagonhon.
“The event has brought positive impact to the tourism and economy of the city,” he added. (PNA)