MASSKARA FESTIVAL


The Philippines is a country that has a very diverse culture and very rich history. Festivals (or fiestas) are held all over the country. Every ethnic and regional group has its own unique way of celebrating its feast every year.
For Bacolod City, its Masskara Festival was borne when the entire province suffered its worst during the decline of the sugar industry. It seemed then that a dark cloud was hanging above the entire province, and as the capital, Bacolod City was obliged to do something to change the mood, so to speak. The Ilonggos, as optimistic people, decided on a revelry for all to uplift their sagging spirits.
Thus, Masskara came to be. “Mass” means the masses or the people; “kara” means mask. To hide the anguish was the objective behind the happy smile of every mask. It was a huge success, and that’s how it all began.
Essentially, each festival gets grander and grander every year that it became a sensation for the country and to countless tourists. As early as June, all major hotels are fully booked; large establishments prepare for it months ahead.
The first day of October signals the onset of the festival. The entire city plaza transforms into a large beer garden every night. All over the city, heavy drinking is an ordinary sight. There are gigs everywhere; a band here and there, social events at every mall, contests and pageants in the barangays, art exhibits, etc. The major events are usually around the 17th and culminates on the 19th.
The street dancing competitions (in which there are categories) and the electric lights dancing showcase, however, are to watch out for.

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