Bailes de Luces: The Dancing Lights of Negros Occidental

, Negros Occidental,

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Dec 18, 2015

La Castellana is a first class municipality in Negros Occidental. The name of the town is after Spain’s “Paseo de La Castellana" in Madrid. It is located at the base of Kanlaon Volcano. Aside from its picturesque and beautiful tourist spots, the town is also known for its festivals. One of the festivals of La Castellana is the vibrant and lively Bailes de Luces.

Bailes de Luces during Panaad Festival via panaadfestival.negros-occ.gov.ph

Bailes de Luces literally translates to “dances of lights” in English.

In 2012, the Bailes de Luces of La Castellana, Neg. Occ. was recognized for its unique lights show performance during the inter-town finals competition of It’s Showtime.

Bailes de Luces during It’s Showtime 2012 via lacastellana-negocc.gov.ph

Bailes de Luces or the Festival of Lights is a thanksgiving celebration of the townspeople for all the blessings they received during the year. It also serves as an expression of hope for the coming year to be prosperous.

The festival is also a relevant event in La Castellana as the culmination of the Christmas season. The annual festival celebration peaks on January 5 which is the town’s Charter Day.

Bailes de Luces; photo by Arthur Ang | CCN

What’s unique about the festival is that it uses “luces” or lights as the main props. Different activities are held in the evening to showcase the participants' coloful costumes.  

The barangays of the municipality participates in the festivities. The main highlight of the Bailes de Luces Festival is the street dancing competition.

Bailes de Luces; photo by Arthur Ang | CCN

Participants now use LED during their entire performance to project brighter and colorful lights. Street performers dancing in Latin beat wear bright-colored costumes with light-emitting designs and props.

The night-long merriment is capped off by a grand fireworks display. Vamos a bailar en La Castellana!

Bailes de Luces; photo by Arthur Ang | CCN

How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (PhP 75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of PhP 400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.

From Bacolod, ride a bus at the south terminal going to La Castellana (1.5 hours).

More January Festivals and La Castellana, Neg. Occ.
1) Dinagyang: The Grandest Festival in the City of Love

2) Sinulog Festival 2016: Cebu's Grandest Cultural & Religious Festival
3) The Mother of All Philippine Festivals: Kalibo Ati-Atihan

4) Where Can You Find the Philippines’ Very Own Bigfoot?

5) The Legend of Kanlaon: A Visayan God Who Smokes Tobacco

6) The Highest Peak in Central Visayas


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