The MassKara Festival is an annual celebration by locals in Bacolod, Philippines. It is the most anticipated festival in the country held every 3rd week of October in the "City of Smiles" where thousands of tourists flock.
The name of the celebration is obtain from the words "mass" for many, and 'kara', a local word that meant 'face'. Furthermore, local people use the name as a play on words for the local word that means 'masked'.
The festival traces its beginnings to the early 1980s during a period of crisis. When Negros Navigation’s luxury liner MS Don Juan collided with a tanker then sank, and the same year when the city experienced severe economic crisis due to the downfall of the sugar industry. The city of Bacolod is known as the "Sugar Bowl of the Philippines" and locals relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural harvest.
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In the midst of these tragic events, the city government and artists banded together to find ways to lift the locals’ spirits and decided to hold a festival of smiles to hide the sufferings of the Negrenses.
The festival features a street dance competition where different types of people gathered to the streets to see colorfully masked dancers battle to show their showmanship and creativity. Major activities include the MassKara Queen beauty pageant, food festivals, musical concerts, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, sports events, garden shows, agriculture-trade fairs, and other special events.
The Masskara Festival maybe a fun time to others but it is the symbol of determination for locals. It uplifts Negrenses to keep on smiling no matter what crisis comes their way. If you happen travel to the Philippines in October, check out the festival in Bacolod and experience the fun at the happiest celebration in the country. For more information, visit http://www.philippinestravelhub.com/events/masskara-festival/