THE STORY OF THE SMILES
This festival was born 25 years ago when Sugarcane prices were crashing and it was crisis in The Philippines. In this hard time, the Bacolod locals as well as government authorities decided to hold a festival of smiles, because at the time also the city was known as theCity of smiles. They also thought that it would be good to cheer everyone up and get them out of the doom through a festival.
In effect to this festival, the people of Bacolod declared that no matter how tough times are, Bacolod is going to pull through and survive and at the end Triumph.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Masskara is a festival for both local and international tourism. It is a venue for activities and cultural expression.
“Mass” means many people and the Spanish word “Kara” means faces.
You will also witness that during the parade, many people are wearing masks which are all smiling, denoting to the meaning of the festival.
Masskara thus means a multitude of smiling faces come together.
WHEN TO GO AND HOW TO REACH THERE
Masskara takes places every third weekend of the month of October that is nearest to the Charter Anniversary.
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (PHP 2500++, Roundtrip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (PHP 75-100 per head), or a cab (Minimum of PHP 400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
Within the festival the things you can see are:
– MassKara Street Dance competition
– Beauty Pageants
– Drum and Bugle corps competition
– Food festivals
– Sports events
– Musical Concerts
– Agri-trade fair
– Garden shows
WHERE TO STAY
- Go Hotels Bacolod (3*)
- L’Fisher Hotel (4*)
TIPS DURING THE FESTIVAL
- Wear comfortable clothes. Avoid wearing heels. Settle down with a pair of flats because there would be a lot of walking during the parade in the festival.
- Do not forget your camera. You’ll never want to miss any photo or any activity that is worth capturing.
- Buy a zip lock bag where you can store or your personal belongings.
- If you’re there before or after the MassKara weekend, then you may visit The Ruins, The famous Negros Museum and some of the beautiful beaches in the city.
- Lastly, do not forget to buy local delicacies like Napoleones, danggit (a dried fish) and Piaya for your loved ones.