Once again, this year’s edition of the Tanduay Rum Festival 2023 proved to be a major success!! It’s becoming as exciting as Bacolod’s world-famous Masskara Festival. People from nearby places and even other islands joined in for the fun with art, music, and of course, rum-infused food and drinks. Bacolodnons also awaited to see their favorite celebrities in person. Derek Ramsay, Tanduay’s Brand Ambassador once again came to Bacolod to connect with his fans. Another brand ambassador who was also greeted with cheers and excited screams was former Miss International Kylie Verzosa. Both were at the motorcade held August 19.
Ending the celebration with a bang is Ely Buendia’s concert drawing crowds of all ages. The legend can still rock the night away!!
Rum may be at the center of this celebration, but the true stars of this event, however, were the attendees. The people of Bacolod and Negros showed that we can really party! The Tanduay Rum Festival 2023 is making Bacolod City truly shine on the map of festivity and culture.
Mr. Garry Homer Ong, Tanduay Distillers’ National Marketing Manager, thanked everyone for their support during the festival’s closing event. The crowd estimate during the closing event was pegged at 27,000!
A Testament to Unity and Success
It was not just a celebration of the world-renowned Tanduay label but also Bacolod’s love for merrymaking. Bacolod Councilor Em Ang authored this festival through City Ordinance No. 898 and made it into an annual extravaganza that brings both locals and visitors together.
It poured heavily during the opening of the Tanduay Rum Festival 2023. But the drenched Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez along with other city officials, lifted the mood with their exciting words. And thanks to the resilience of Bacolodnons, we enjoyed the events and the Food Park, where more than 40 food stalls participated.
Mayor Albee and the Bacolod City Police, led by Col. Noel Aliño, made sure security and protocols were in place, the festival just went on, leaving everyone with fun memories. Through constant reminders that minors were not allowed to consume the celebrated drink, families still got to enjoy dining together and enjoying the revelries at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.
From Humble Beginnings to Great Heights
The Tanduay Rum Festival may have started small in 2019, but Bacolod and Negros Occidental still missed the event when the rum festival was paused for two years because of the pandemic.
But Bacolod City came back stronger last year, using the festival to kick-start tourism after the COVID break. As this year’s festival concluded, the resounding success was evident.
Each year, it just gets better, not only boosting tourism and the economy but also celebrating art and culture. Councilor Ang was on point when she said, “We are happy that the festival is creating not only tourism and economic activities but promoting art and culture as well.”
Stunning Showcase of Artistry: Rum-Based Contests
The heart of the Tanduay Rum Festival 2023 was its exciting contests, showing off Bacolod’s creative side. At Ayala Malls Capitol Central, the Barrel Art, Flairtending, and Mixology Competitions drew talents from near and far.
The Barrel Art Competition
The Barrel Art Competition brought a burst of creativity. Tanduay picked Philip Aldrin Nalang as 1st Prize for his masterpiece “Weaving Friends into the Ultimate Barkada.”
Psyche Amor Distor‘s “Tanduay Kasangga sa Buhay” and Rainier Coas‘ “Wala Sing Pangabuhi nga Mabudlay sa Tanduay” claimed 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.
The top winners brought home P20,000 for 1st prize, P15,000 for 2nd place, and P10,000 for the 3rd place winner. Along with their cash prize, they also got certificates and gift packs.
Other winners whose artwork also shined were Israel Arabia with “Saya sa Gabing Tanduay” and Renmar Baring with “Mix of Great Moments.” They were awarded PhP2,500 each, a Tanduay gift pack, and certificates.
Flair and Flavors: Culinaria Contest and More
No rum festival is complete without the perfect pairing of delicious food and drinks. People got to experience the perfect fusion of entertainment and taste at the Tanduay Rum Festival 2023. From bartending skills to tasty rum-infused food, this festival had it all.
Flairtending Excellence Took Center Stage
The flairtending competition was a dazzling show. Bartending became an art, with competitors from different cities showing off. These contenders were like artists with drinks. The flairtenders put on a show and come up with their version of favorite bar drinks…rum-based drinks, of course.
Gemoel Guanzon from Bacolod City claimed the coveted Flairtending Grand Champion title. Guanzon’s victory earned him PhP50,000, a Tanduay gift pack, and a spot representing the Philippines and Tanduay at the Bar Convent Singapore.
Simon Eday of Iloilo City and Earl Hambre of Cagayan de Oro City secured 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. Eday received PhP20,000, while Hambre got P10,000. Given with the cash prizes were Tanduay gift packs and certificates.
The flairtending competition celebrated the fusion of skill and creativity, making it a highlight of the Tanduay Rum Festival 2023.
Culinaria Delights: Tanduay Rum Creations at Bacolod Festival
Bacolod is well known as a food destination, so new savory masterpieces that are enhanced with rum will not be absent. Timplada, a Bacolod restaurant, won hearts with their Tanduay rum-infused creations, Nilasing na Manok and Karnegrito de Rumma, securing the 1st and 2nd prizes. Meanwhile, KKD dazzled with their Paklay dish, securing the 3rd place.
The Timplada team went home with PhP20,000 and PhP15,000 and got Tanduay gift packs and certificates. KKD also received the same Tanduay gift pack, a certificate, and the 3rd place cash prize of P10,000.
Ely Buendia Wows the Crowd Under the Stars!
Or under the clouds, quite aptly. Despite the drizzle, local bands set the stage before the rock legend and his band graced the scene.
The festival hit its peak with an electrifying performance by the one and only Ely Buendia. The former Eraserheads lead singer was the most anticipated star of the festival, getting everyone hyped. Ely Buendia’s famous songs echoed with the crowd singing along, and his unforgettable hit “Ang Huling El Bimbo” left the crowd mesmerized.
A Glimpse into the Future
This year’s success has set the bar higher. The Tanduay Bacolod Rum Festival 2024 promises even more, introducing new activities and experiences. Councilor Em Ang is planning a MICE event, bringing experts, distillers, blenders, and consumers in the spirits industry together. Seminars, tastings, and more will bring excitement to Bacolod.
This year’s Rum Festival wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of partners like Philippine Airlines, Asia Brewery, Seda Capitol Central, Victorias Milling, Ayala Malls Capitol Central, and Hanabishi Appliances. Their contributions added a special touch to the festival’s success story, symbolizing unity and shared achievement.