Masquerades.

More fun in the Philippines

By Jojie Alcantara

Masquerades.

More fun in the Philippines

By Jojie Alcantara

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental — What makes a masquerade party fun? It’s in the smiles, of course, and Bacolod folks do it so well.

The Masskara (a combination of the English word “mass” and the Spanish “kara,” meaning “face”) is a Festival that started in the early 1980s, when world prices for sugar plummeted; and Bacolod City, the country’s sugar capital, was hit by a major crisis.

The city government and artists banded together to find ways to lift the people’s spirits (not to mention their deteriorating economy), so they decided to throw a party!

Held every third weekend of October or on the closest weekend to October 19, it dramatizes the steadfast character of the Negrenses and symbolizes what the people of the City of Smiles do best: putting on a happy face when confronted with challenges.

When you go to the Masskara Festival, the fun pageantry will give you several days of visual overload. People garbed in elegant and ingenious costumes dance on the streets, their masks reflective of the jovial Negrense spirit. Costumes are made with fabrics of different colors and patterns, embellished with exotic feathers, shiny sequins, multicolored beads and paired with towering headgear.

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental — What makes a masquerade party fun? It’s in the smiles, of course, and Bacolod folks do it so well.

The Masskara (a combination of the English word “mass” and the Spanish “kara,” meaning “face”) is a Festival that started in the early 1980s, when world prices for sugar plummeted; and Bacolod City, the country’s sugar capital, was hit by a major crisis.

The city government and artists banded together to find ways to lift the people’s spirits (not to mention their deteriorating economy), so they decided to throw a party!

Held every third weekend of October or on the closest weekend to October 19, it dramatizes the steadfast character of the Negrenses and symbolizes what the people of the City of Smiles do best: putting on a happy face when confronted with challenges.

When you go to the Masskara Festival, the fun pageantry will give you several days of visual overload. People garbed in elegant and ingenious costumes dance on the streets, their masks reflective of the jovial Negrense spirit. Costumes are made with fabrics of different colors and patterns, embellished with exotic feathers, shiny sequins, multicolored beads and paired with towering headgear.

It’s a sea of vibrant colors, eclectic patterns, and huge smiles. And then of course, there’s the Masskara Queen - the girl with the most beautiful smile, epitomizing the spirit of the festival itself.

With the beating drums and the festival songs reverberating in the air, you’d have to fight the urge to dance.  At least until the best part: the street dance competition, where performers from different towns dance through a battle of showmanship and creativity. Then the street is transformed into a huge dance floor, and everyone's a competitor! So don’t worry if your feet give in to the rhythm. No mask? No costume? No problem. Just put on a big smile and you’re good to go in the Masskara Festival!

For more information, visit www.themasskarafestival.com

 

*Any opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

It’s a sea of vibrant colors, eclectic patterns, and huge smiles. And then of course, there’s the Masskara Queen - the girl with the most beautiful smile, epitomizing the spirit of the festival itself.

With the beating drums and the festival songs reverberating in the air, you’d have to fight the urge to dance.  At least until the best part: the street dance competition, where performers from different towns dance through a battle of showmanship and creativity. Then the street is transformed into a huge dance floor, and everyone's a competitor! So don’t worry if your feet give in to the rhythm. No mask? No costume? No problem. Just put on a big smile and you’re good to go in the Masskara Festival!

For more information, visit www.themasskarafestival.com

 

*Any opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

  • Bacolod City, Bacolod City

    Region 6

  • Locate in Map
  • Bacolod City, Bacolod City

    Region 6

  • Locate in Map