Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kari sa Bacolod! Masskara Festival 2010

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For more photos of MassKara Festival 2010, pls. visit my Facebook album by clicking this link Kari sa Bacolod! Masskara Festival 2010.

The City of Smiles, Bacolod City celebrates MassKara Festival every month of October. Masskara derived from two words: Mass (which means many) and Kara (a Spanish word for “face”). Tandemed with the smiling masks, MassKara simply means a mass of smiling faces. In addition, MassKara should always be spelled with a capital M and a capital K, making the words two different entities.

Behind the smiling mask that symbolizes the festival lies a deep history of the celebration. We Filipinos have a very exceptional ability to hide feelings. One can always see us smiling amidst of the problem we are facing. This trait has been proven true by our fellow Filipinos in Bacolod where the festival is celebrated. According to an article I read, “MassKara was born because of a depression that befell the sugar industry in the 1980’s. They celebrate the festival as a collective declaration of hope against all odds.”

The festival mirrors the culture of the people of Bacolod City. It is their way of celebrating life. During MassKara, Lacson Street, also known as the Tourism Strip, is turned into a big party place at night. The street party will start around 7pm and will end at the wee hours of the night.

Festival highlights include Majica MassKara, Electric MassKara, and the street dance competition.

Majica MassKara – The Majika MassKara is an installation of different artworks made by different Ilonggo artists. This event usually takes place inside the four walls of a gallery. There’s a different theme every year. Something to watch out for!

Electric MassKara – The Electric MassKara is a distinct event of the festival. For 2 consecutive nights, usually Friday and Saturday night (towards the end of the festival), the entire stretch of Lacson Street (from the 5th St. to North Drive) is transformed into a party place. The entrada of the Electric MassKara marks the start of the night long mardi gras. This event will showcase colorfully "lighted" dancer in their carnival-like featured. The Lacson strip will be illuminated by the Electric MassKaras!


Street Dance Competition - The most anticipated highlight of the Festival is the street dance competition. The competition is divided into two segments, school and barangay category. Dancers dance with the MassKara beat, which I may add has a different tune every year. Every year, the organizers open a song writing competition. The winning piece will become the official MaaKara beat. Dancers dance their way to the plaza where the final showdown will take place.

Come and visit the City of Smiles and enjoy the colorful MassKara Festival! 

Travel and Coverage Tips:
- MassKara is considered one of the major festivals in the Philippines.
- Book your flights and accommodation early. Air fares are expected to rocket weeks or even months before the festival. Accommodations are usually fully booked.
- The airport is located at Silay City, approx. 45 mins. away from Bacolod City. There are vans that will take you to Bacolod. Standard rate is P150.
- Last trip for vans bound to the Silay-Bacolod airport is 7PM.
- The Silay-Bacolod International Airport does not operate 24 hrs. Read my encounter, http://bak-paker.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-unforgettable-encounter-at-bacolod.html
- If you are a party person, find an accommodation along Lacson St. Every night, the entire stretch is
transformed into a big party place. There are a lot of mobile bars around. You can bar hopping with families and friends.
- Getting around Bacolod is easy. You can either ride the jeep, tricycles, or taxi.
- If you are a photographer or journalist, you can purchase a photographer's ID at the Silver MassKara Foundation for P500.
- For more information, you can visit the MassKara Festival website http://www.themasskarafestival.com/

Listen to the MassKara theme, press play!

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