The last quarter of the year opens with a big celebration in the City of Smiles! Bacolod City, the central hub of sugar and sweets all over the country, celebrates the world-renowned Masskara Festival. Everyone’s excitement in the province of Negros Occidental, especially in Metro Bacolod, is in high bars for a different kind of entertainment every year.
To give you a backgrounder, the festival started in 1980 amidst the period of crisis in the sugarlandia (a term which refer to the island of Negros). It was the time when the sugar industry was in its lowest point; and the tragedy when Don Juan (an inter-island vessel) which carriers hundreds of Negrenses (most belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City) collided with a tanker in Tacloban City. Despite of the tragic loss and recession; local artist, city officials and concerned organizations had conceptualized a festival of smiles. It was then when Masskara (“many faces” in Spanish) emerged as the scapegoat of the people, and yet a better diversion for the aim of rising up again.
This year’s theme is about celebrating the Icons of the city itself. Thus, it’ll stage numerous events every night starting at the 1st of October all the way up to the City’s charter day celebration. It has opened last Saturday along with the unveiling of the SM City Masskara Village in the carnival site. October 2nd marks the 15th Massmaking Competition of ABS-CBN Bacolod. Yes, you already missed three Masskara days in your calendar but don’t fret, there are more to come because the main attractions are not yet over. So here are the best events to catch in the festival:
Majica sa Masskara
One of the most talked about event this year is the Majica sa Masskara, wherein floating artworks will make a spectacle in the lagoon area of the City’s Government Center, on the 7th of October.
The Electric Masskara
if you’re looking for an experience of a lifetime, don’t miss the Electric Masskara happening on the 15th and 16th. It’ll be the 4th Electric Masskara this year. This Mardi Gras has earned its distinction apart from the Street Dance Competition; it is done in night-time because it showcases masks of lights with fully lit dancers and carnival-like features. This will be held at the tourism strip (along 5th Street until North Drive).
Masskara Queen Pageant Night
“Ikaw na Ayhan?”, is the famous tagline question for this beauty pageant happening every year; it’s a vernacular sentence asking if you are the next one to be crowned as Bacolod City’s Queen. Catch it on October 17th La Salle Coliseum.
Street Dance Competition
The highlight of every Masskara Festival is the Street Dancing Competition wherein every representative from the barangays (district) of the city competes to gain the most sought after title. This will be on the 16th along Rizal Street, Public Plaza and Old City Hall.
The closing program will be on the 19th, it’ll be graced with fireworks, concerts and awarding rites. These schedules are subject to change, but be sure to tune in for updates. Plus if you want to wander around Bacolod and nearby tourist spots or find something taste-bud friendly, check these stuff.