MASSKARA FESTIVAL 2016 -Bacolod City

Kari na sa Bacolod kag magsinadya kita sa MassKara! (Come to Bacolod and let’s have fun at MassKara Festival!)

Bacolod City  the gateway to Negros Island Region, 65 minutes air travel from Manila the capital city of the Philippines, with Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific Air providing daily flights. Bacolod, a highly urbanised city, known from being a relative friendly city, tagged as “The City of Smiles”.

THE MASSKARA FESTIVAL

Bacolod City  notable for its Masskara Festival held during the third week of October. Masskara derived from the word ‘mass’ meaning  (many) and the Spanish word  ‘kara’ meaning ( face).  The festival features street dance competitions wherein street dancers from different barangays or villages, participating schools , civic associations, commercial establishments, private and government organisations, and government agencies wear carnival-like  costumes made with fabrics of different vibrant colors and patterns, adorned  with  feathers and flowers,  sheen sequins, with kaleidoscopic stones and beads,paired with a smiling masskara attached to the  towering colorful festival headdresses.

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colorful smiling masskara
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colorful costume with towering headdress adorn with feathers and sequins

HISTORY OF MASSKARA

Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental, known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines”. Sugar is the main livelihood of the province, so when the city was swiped  by major crisis in 1980’s and  the price of sugar dropped due to introduction of sugar substitute like the High Fructose (Corn Syrup) in the United States. On April 22 of the same year, the inter-island vessel MV Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated 700 lives were lost. Because of the devastated tragedy the city local government officials, artists, and civic organisations conceptualised the Masskara Festival to boost the spirit of the Negrenses despite of the economic tragedy and forlorn atmosphere caused by  sickening incidents life must go on and  continue to strive with patience and perseverance in achieving the triumph at the end. The smiling massakara used to hide the suffering of the Negrenses and became the symbol of the people  unwavering character and sunny spirit.

Over the  years  The Masskara Festival became one of the popular attractions in Negros, enticing  thousands of people, within and outside the country.  This annual festival, which has become one of the Philippines best known tourist attraction able to attract locals and foreigners alike, being judged as the most beautiful and colorful festival among the various contingents from other countries. It is also the time where Bacolodnon able to showcase local products and customs. Major activities include the Masskara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events. organised by Masskara Festival ad-hoc committee.

With the beating of the drums, the  rhythm and energy of Latin and carnival  music would induce the urge to move your body into the groove. So just shake your hips and you’ll set for the street dancing. Whether you go by yourself or with a friend, the shared experience of street dance will give you an enormous buzz. Just wear your best smile and be merry and enjoy the fun.

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Photo not mine.

Masskara Festival conquers the heart of locals and visitors alike.  People go out in the streets  dancing into the beat enjoying the celebrations and festivities, a whirlwind of celebrations and get together that interests everyone.

 

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Travelista Journal

I want to travel the world and I want to feel the anonymity of being in a foreign city and being surrounded by hundreds of people who are going in a hundred different directions.