Whenever I check out my website (which I rarely do), the most searched term in my blog is ‘masskara’ or the phrase ‘masskara festival’ even when it’s not time for the festival in the city.
Well, here are some interesting things about the masskara festival:
1. MassKara festival was created at a time when Bacolod City, the sugar capital in the Philippines, experienced a fortune reversal. The time was 1980 and the market for Philippine sugar in the world dropped. In the same year, a tragedy at sea claimed the lives of many Negrense. It was in this dire circumstances that the local government thought of creating a festival that would reflect the resiliency of the Negrense people.
2. Masskara is a combination of the words- mass and cara . The former signifies many or mass of people while the latter is a Spanish word for face. Hence, Masskara literally means mass of faces.
3. To celebrate this festival, dancers gyrate in the streets wearing crafted paper mache masks of smiling faces.
4. The festival is held every October and has since then serve as a major tourist attraction for Bacolod City.
I had my first masskara festival about four years ago. The air was very festive and one can sense how people in Bacolod continue to be resilient and happy despite difficult times. Every year, I got to experience how my second home celebrates this festival and bear witness to the resiliency of Filipinos. I hope you too could come and visit Bacolod and witness firsthand how the city of smiles celebrate life.