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Monday, October 19, 2009


How MassKara came about
By Christine Mae Pelayo

THE MassKara Festival began in 1980 amid an overwhelming crises aggravated by the downfall in the prices of sugar in the world market, the heart-breaking mv Don Juan sea tragedy, and the worsening peace and order situation that threatened not just Negros, the Philippines' sugar capital, but the whole country as a whole.
Pictures of malnourished children in Negros, the "Batang Negros," were flashed in magazines and newspapers all over the world. 

It was when the situation was so dire and hopeless that the indomitable spirit of the Negrenses emerged, galvanizing the people to overcome the gloom and celebrate life!
Happy grins were then carved in paper mache to hide the despair and grief behind the masks.
Thus, the hope for a brighter tomorrow was born.

MassKara Festival is the biggest annual tourism event in the province that coincides with Bacolod City's Charter Day celebration.

The term 'Masskara' was derived from the word 'Mass,' which means a multitude of people and the Spanish word 'Kara' which means face. Thus, Masskara means the "face of the masses."
The happy masks underscore the Bacolodnons' special zest for life and for fun. Inspired by the Mardi Gras celebration of New Orleans in the US and of Rio de Janiero in Brazil, the festival is highlighted by a dance parade of masked dancers, swaying and dancing to the infectious rhythm and beat of Latin music. Spectators are usually caught up in the exuberant gaiety of this explosion of colors, spectacular revelry and fabulous costumes.

Various sectors in the community have participate in the week-long celebration.
Dancers from neighboring cities participate as guest performers in the street dance parade.
Aside from the street dancing competition, with 20 barangays participating, the Masskara Queen pageant, Little Mutya ng Bacolod, fun rides, food festivals, sports events, kiosks and several musical concerts and gimmicks, are also held during the week.

This year's festival is being organized by the Masskara Foundation Incorporated.
(With reports from the MassKara Foundation)


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