15 January 2013

Masskara Festival: A Definition of a City

Negros Occidental's most famous festival...the Masskara Festival!

Bacolod City, or otherwise known as the "City of Smiles", surely made people smile every October as they celebrate this festival. This event is one of the factors that defined Bacolod City into what it is right now. They are synonymous with each other:
Bacolod City = Masskara Festival
Masskara Festival = Bacolod City

This is my province and sure am proud of it. I have been here years before during the festival, however, since I was there for work, I did not get to enjoy it. I just stayed backstage during the entire length of the show where the artist that I was handling was a part of.

So last 2012, I sure was happy to finally had the chance to experience this very famous event. I arrived there on the last day, so I knew I was running against time. Luckily, I had enough rest after my arrival then had my kind cousin pick me up and went to the Bacolod Public Plaza where my eventful night started.

Here are my experiences in photos:

The vibrant logo of 2012  made by 9 emerging artists. 
A street parade before the sun sets. 
At the Bacolod Public Plaza
The reason why we left the plaza right away..too many people filled the brim of the place.  I can only hear the activities and the performances but I cannot see them. Well, these people arrived way earlier  than me so I give it to them. Just a bit bitter. Haha!
A group of dancers in their colorful garbs. 
If I can only climb that tree if its not full of people.. I think I would have done it. It woud be fun..and scary! Haha! So since I cannot do exactly that, off we went to the mall..SM Bacolod..to see awesome-looking masks on display

Masks on display at SM Bacolod

These masks are all wonderful. If these were not smiling, I would have been scared of them as I am not really fond of masks. Good thing they are giving a friendly smile. 

Spot the not: Which is real and fake? Left image or the right one? Haha! 

Loved these colorful works of art!

Masks on display at Robinson's Place Central CityWalk
The vibrancy is contagious, I tell you! It's a wonderful time of year to be here in Bacolod City.

That sure is a lot of masks!
Sponsored by ABS-CBN and Robinson's Place Bacolod.. a wide and colorful array of what else..more masks! =)

All are very beautifully made and oh-so-colorful, right?
The Street scene! 
The most fun part! The Bacolodnons converging at the Lacson St.  to  enjoy the sights, shows and the people all gathered in this central location
Free shows like this can be found all around
The beautiful mask parked at the lawn beside my favorite cake shop..Calea! It was huge and so girly and everyone wanted to have their photo taken right beside it. Take me for instance, haha!
I really loved this. 

Electric Masskara

Sponsored Photo Opportunities
Thanks, Merci pasalubong! I will give you a try next time but for now I am still loyal to Bongbong's pasalubong. Peace!
Giant Masskara Puppets
Similar to that of Angono, Rizal's Higantes but the Masskara's puppets are more modern like they have a wide variety of characters derived from Toy Story, Korean icons, robots, etc. 

Majica Masskara 
Per www.themasskarafestival.com, the inspiration for 2012 are figures from the sea and mountain  as it highlights the geographical gift of Bacolod as a city where the mountains and seas meet. 

Before heading home, it sure would be nice to bring some souvenirs of this memorable festival
HISTORICAL FACTS: The festival first began in 1980 during a period of crisis. The province relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the price of sugar was at an all-time low due to the introduction of sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup in the United States. It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that year, the inter-island vessel Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated 700 lives were lost in the tragedy.
In the midst of these tragic events, the city's artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles. They reasoned that a festival was also a good opportunity to pull the residents out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere. The initial festival was therefore, a declaration by the people of the city that no matter how tough and bad the times were, Bacolod City is going to pull through, survive, and in the end, triumph. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MassKara_Festival)

So there, now we have a better understanding and appreciation for this famous festival. I hope to go here again this 2013. Wish me luck! =)


  1. Looks like so much fun! I would love to experience this. Never did. :(

  2. mas naging bongga na ang maskara festival ngayon sa bacolod, sa lahat ng mga festival dito sa pilipinas isa yang maskara festival ang pinakapaborito dahil sa random na mga kulay ng maskara, at attractive kasi they are really using light colors.

    i love bacolod city dahil sa mga taong malalambing magsalita hahaha at sa linis ng city, super green sarap tumira dyan! hehehe

    1. Hi Lala, glad to know na you love Bacolod. It truly is a special place. And their Masskara Festival has evolved greatly over the years. Paganda ng paganda.

      Thanks for dropping by! =)

  3. Such a colorful festival. Really a feast for the eyes. I'd love to be part of that someday.

  4. wow so colourful!! nice maskara fextival! i wish i can go visit someday! xx

  5. This is one of the Philippine festival that I want to witness, it's so fabulous just like the Brazilian festivals!

  6. Cute photos!! Love your maskara there. :)

    I have always wanted to go to that maskara festival.. too bad my schedule and budget doesn't permit me. :( But Im still looking forward to attending to one of their Maskara festivals in the future. :)

  7. It's such a shame that my mom hails from Negros Occidental yet I've never ever witnessed Masskara Festival for myself >.< Hopefully this year we can visit Bacolod City for a vacation and to experience Masskara Festival~


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