It was a blend of revelry, fun and a burst of colors – the MassKara 2010! Despite witnessing only ONE day (in the 20-day extended fiesta) … it was well worth the day trip from Roxas City to Iloilo and then the ferry ride from Iloilo to Bacolod. And the “Amazing Race” back to Iloilo, catching the last ferry out of Bacolod …
The MassKara (note the correct spelling: capital M and K – coined from the words “MASS“, meaning “crowd” and “KARA“, spanish term for “face” – thus the entendre for “MASKS” and “MANY FACES”) festival was first celebrated in 1980 to add color and life to Bacolod City’s celebration of its Charter Day anniversary on October 19 – the same year that their province experienced the tragedy of the M/V Don Juan sinking and the progressive decline of the sugar industry.
The smiling mask was a way of putting on a happy face despite all the gloomy events that the Negrenses have experienced. And since 1980, the festival has grown into a huge celebration of FUN and FESTIVITY – a “major, major” tourist destination.
This year, one particular tribe tried to be different by wearing masks that were clearly not smiling at all!
But aside from this tribe, all the rest were in full regalia – outdoing each tribe in terms of flamboyance, colors and accessories. It was indeed a sight to behold. Bacolod City is ALIVE and WELL – and they sure know how to celebrate!
We will be back next year. So mark your calendars – the street dancing will be on October 15-16, 2011. Hope to see you there!
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