SHARING OUR CELEBRATION: MassKara Festival
“The festival first began in 1980 during a period of crisis. The province relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the price of sugar was at an all-time low due to the introduction of sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup in the United States. It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that year, the inter-island vessel 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 in the tragedy.
In the midst of these tragic events, the city's artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles. They reasoned that a festival was also a good opportunity to pull the residents out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere. The initial festival was therefore, a declaration by the people of the city that no matter how tough and bad the times were, Bacolod City is going to pull through, survive, and in the end, triumph.
The word "MassKara" is a portmanteau, coined by the late artist Ely Santiago from the word "mass" meaning "many or a multitude of the people", and the Spanish word cara meaning "face". A prominent feature of the festival is the mask worn by participants; these are always adorned with smiling faces. MassKara thus means a multitude of smiling faces.”—(info frm-wikipedia)
..this month’s highlights..THE MASSKARA FESTIVAL..one reason why the place was traded as the City of Smiles—the celebration opened on d 1st day of October and will soon end on d 19th which is the charter day celebration (a local holiday)..
..the festival celebration 2 years ago was really amazing—compliment for the local gov’t..it started that year(2007), that when the clock strikes 6PM-- the major streets were closed, fireworks, BBQ kiosks and beer everywhere (Oktoberfest), meeting old and new faces, every corner had a live band playing, carefree people dancing on the streets, the greatest street party ever!!..
Last year (2008), I was sickly and so not celebrated the event, all I got are bugging messages from my friends who had gone to night outs…hai……..
This year (2009)..hmmm..few days to go before the event will end..i’ll be meeting my friends tomorrow after work and we’ll have the whole night long, hope the rain won’t ruin the night..can’t wait to buy those lighting lollipops (hehe), getting suffocated on BBQ smoke and drinking sessions everywhere..
I think this is what the festival is all about --“smiling masks behind life’s unending pressures and miseries”