Sunday, October 21, 2012

Masskara Festival


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It’s October once again and it’s time for me to witness the grandest festival of the year, The Masskara Festival in the city of smiles.




Once again the Bacolenos celebrated the much anticipated Masskara Festival. Though the weather is unpredictable where scattered rain showers poured the city downtown, people from all walks of life troop to the streets eager to see colorful masked dancers dancing to the rhythm of modern musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination, and stamina. A huge number of local and international tourists also flock on streets of Araneta, Hernaez (formerly Libertad), and Rizal to witness the competition without minding of the hard rain pouring in.

Masskara is Bacolod City’s official reason to party non-stop in October which begun in 1980.  As huge crisis happened in that year where a wild fluctuations in the sugar industry which is the main source of income of the city after the introduction of the US sugar products in the Philippines and tragedies like the collision of luxury liner MS Don Juan and Tanker Ship Tacloban City which cost hundreds of lives. The local government decided to start a tradition that would give the people something to smile about. As the local government, civic society groups, and local artist reasoned that having a festival in Bacolod would “Give an opportunity for the residents and businesses to pull out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere and will therefore showcase that the people of Bacolod no matter how tough and bad times were, they will going to pull through, survive, and in the end, triumph. In this year’s theme “Life is Good in Bacolod”, the lives of every Bacolenos has been even better today which symbolizes they can withstand any shortcomings of life.

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Fully sponsored, well-organized and really quite overwhelming, street dancing competition is truly more fun to witness. The dance competition was divided into two categories which is the Barangay and the School Category where each will compete and show off their own creativity and ingenuity which was rehearsed by many participants since July.

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In this years competition was participated by 11 contingents from school category and 15 groups that represented the barangay category where the champions take home Php100,000 cash for the Barangay and Php50,000 for the school category.

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We were given the chance today to see and experience the celebration.  I have booked this flight since January. My curiosity started last October 2011 when I saw the colorful Masskara Festival in a news event. Since then I said I will witness that myself on 2012, so when I saw a promo fare last January I immediately took the chance. I have witnessed the fun and colors of festivities last May when we celebrated with the Lucbauenos in Pahiyas Festival.  Starting then, I have vowed to partake in the celebration of different Philippine festivals.

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Masskara Festival is truly an overwhelming sight to behold. This year as I have witnessed it, it has become more challenging for the participants since in spite of the sweat and rain combined, you can see the that they are very eager  and energetic, optimistic perhaps.  Anyway, this is  Masskara is all about, isn’t it? To instill in our mind and hearts that we can go on through life no matter how bad our losses.  See you again in a more colorful Masskara 2013.