Masskara Festival 2011

August 5, 2011


Masskara Festival celebration highlights the Charter Day anniversary of Bacolod City, Philippines every 19th day of October. It started way back in 1980 when this activity was created and it was inspired by wearing masks hiding the Bacole├▒os grief over the lose of their loves ones on the worst MV Don Juan's tragedy which was crashed with a tanker in 1979. On the other side, the festival instills among the locals who experienced exploitations and oppressions of their landlords the culture of escapism from the practice of preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known.

A painter, cartoonist and cultural artist named Ely Santiago coined the term Masskara which is taken from the words "mass" meaning crowd and "cara", an Spanish word for face.

Years had passed and the festival has been a part of the progress of Bacolod City. It invites people from all walks of life and from different places to witness the 20 days festivity of merry making and drinking at the heart of the city. Local establishments, private firms, NGOs, private and public schools and government agencies participate in the parade that took some hours to end while the residents are enjoying watching, merry making and dancing to the beats and sounds of the loudspeakers that abounds in the roads and at the plaza. The highlight of the parade is the colorful masks and costumes of the participants dancing and strutting in the streets. Big prizes are at stake for the group dance competition winners which is performed at the public plaza.

At night time in the center of the festivity, the public plaza, you will have a hard time looking for available kiosks because as early as 5pm people had a great time eating and drinking with family and friends.

This activity benefits the City of Bacolod's tourism because of the tourists flock and gives the opportunity to promote the local handicrafts, foods and delicacies and even flowers and orchids.

The following masks designs are courtesy of Jojo Vito. Click here to visit his site.

Recent update on Bacolod City's Charter Day:
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said, "we are not recognizing October 19 as charter day, because in the Archives of the Congress of the Philippines, the law establishing the charter day of Bacolod was signed June 18, 1938, and states that it shall take effect immediately. Since the date of signing was June 18, 1938, the celebration must be June 18 also."

This means that Bacolod City will no longer hold its charter day every October 19, and October 1-19 will be purely for Masskara Festival.


 

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