The Masskara Festival: A Tribute to Happiness

What is the Masskara Festival?

Ever heard of a weeklong festivity that gives local and foreign visitors the chance of a lifetime to drink and be merry for twenty days? Nothing beats the Masskara Festival of Bacolod City. Call it a combination of the Mardi Gras and the Oktoberfest where you will find a huge parade and a lot of drinking. The Masskara Festival is a hip escape from the insanity of the world into colorful days of outrageous partying.

Bacolod City is well known all for its Masskara Festival during the month of October. The Masskara Festival is hosted by Bacolod City during the first two weeks of October. A horde of visitors, both local and foreign, enjoys twenty days of beer drinking, dining, and street dancing at the Masskara Festival. Talk about serious Filipino partying.

The Masskara Festival was originally instituted to commemorate the hardships of the people of Negros Province. The original idea behind the Masskara Festival was to promote a time of happiness to a down trodden people.

Masskara Festival has gone a long way since its humble beginnings and is now able to generate revenues for big businesses due to tourism. It has taken its festive spirit through a path that leads to progress for the locals of Bacolod City.

The term Masskara is coined from two words — mass, meaning a crowd and the Spanish cara, the word for face. Masskara has a double meaning, first is “mask” and the second one is “many faces”. Cultural artist, painter, and cartoonist Ely Santiago coined the term in 1980.

The symbol of the Masskara Festival is a smiling mask, which was envisioned to show that the people Negros Province manifests a happy spirit in spite of all the crisis they have gone through.

Throughout the two weeks of the Masskara Festival, the people from other neighboring provinces flock to Bacolod City for the celebrations. Everyone joins in on the round the clock feasts. Colorful and lively parades abound in people wearing masks and costumes representing various organizations from the government and private groups.

If you’re not the into the hype of street dancing why not try the pig catching event which is a sure hit among the locals during the Masskara Festival. A host of other competitions are also held which includes a mask making contest and a disco king and queen competition.

Throughout the two weeks of the Masskara Festival, people strut around in brightly colored costumes vying for the prize to be awarded to the one who makes the best mask outfit. The Masskara Festival boosts Bacolod City’s tourism not only because of the huge flock of visitors it attracts but also for the orchids and handicrafts that are sold on sale during festivities.

The Masskara Festival is a symbol of the Filipino spirit that remembers to be happy in spite of tough times. No wonder Filipinos are called the people of happy smiling faces.

[Tags]Masskara, Bacolod, Negros, Philippines, Masskara Festival, Fiesta[/Tags]

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