It's about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party.
Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone!
MassKara Festival Legend
Bacolod City has long been the hub of the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines, where sugarcane is King and is grown all over the province. Sugarcane made many people rich but around 1980, the world sugar market crashed and the good times in Negros Occidental soon became hard times. The provincial economy was in crisis. The people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental were still reeling from the sinking of the ship, MV Don Juan, taking the lives of more than 700 people. Aboard the ship were members of the more prominent families in Bacolod and in Negros Occidental. It was a terrible tragedy.
The first MassKara Festival was organized in 1980 with the intentions of brightening the dreary mood of the people, which surrounded the city and province like a mist. The people needed to be revitalized, energized and reminded that no matter how bad things appear, they can overcome the hardships facing them. The idea of the MassKara Festival was an innovation that has lasted for decades and it will continue onward in the hearts and lives of the people, as this annual event grows more elaborate each year.
The Main Events
The vibrant and pulsating celebration of the MassKara Festival is far reaching and involves many aspects of the community. There are job fairs, trade days, occupation recognitions and seminars, golf tournaments, other various sporting events and competitions and celebration of the actual Charter Day of the City of Bacolod. The Philippine national soccer team, the Azkals, will be playing a game at Panaad Stadium. There will be medical and dental missions in the city for those who cannot afford health care. There are also religious and praise services held everyday.
Entertainment during the MassKara Festival rocks the entire city! On a smaller scale, there are karaoke singing contests, cooking competitions and art exhibitions. On a major scale, everyone is getting ready to party down at the street dancing competition and exhibitions, the battle of the bands, the light shows, fireworks displays, the beauty pageants, mask and costume competitions and special appearances by some of the most famous Philippine entertainment stars of music, TV and cinema.
Once the festival ends and all the cleaning up is finished, guess what? The very next day, the organizers and planners of the MassKara Festival begin making preparations for next year's festival! It is a year round affair. MassKara Festival 2013 will be my 5th one since my family and I moved here in 2009. No doubt, this year's festival will be as refreshing as that first one I attended years ago!
If you are in the Philippines in October, the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City is one event you will not want to miss! Even if you can only attend one day of the events, you should try to be here.