Maskara Festival in Bacolod City - Philippines
Bacolod is a place in the Philippines known as the city of smiles. It is the most modern city in Negros. Bacolod is famous for many things and one of them is the Masskara Festival. It is an annual festival in Bacolod that happens from October 1st to the 20th. Visitors and local residents enjoy different activities to celebrate the festival that lasts for twenty days. There are beer drinking contests, street dances and concerts. The biggest gathering happens on the nineteenth day of October where many dance troops hit the streets wearing colorful masks with elaborate decorations.
The dancers come from different schools, civic groups, companies and different government offices. They march in the streets and parade their costumes and masks. They all vie for the prize the city gives out to the best group. The city also gets filled with joyful noise as they dance to the beat of drums and other musical instruments. Other contests include a disco queen and king dance competition and a contest for the best coconut milk drinker. The streets of Bacolod are also filled with several stalls selling different Bacolod delicacies and handicrafts.
The Masskara festival was conceptualized in 1980 by the local government of Bacolod. The festival was created so the city could have one major festival to celebrate during their Charter Day that happens every 19th of October. The government agreed that they should include smiling masks to show people that the spirit of Bacolod is all about being positive and happy despite some economic problems.
There are many hotels or inns in Bacolod where tourists can stay. The price of one night of stay usually starts at two thousand pesos. It is best to book with the hotel one month before the Masskara Festival. The hotels usually become fully booked a week before the the Masskara Festival. You should also bring at least two thousand pesos as budget for your food and souvenir items. You will want to buy different Bacolod delicacies to give to your family and friends when you go home.
The word Masskara came from two terms mass and cara. Mass means a gathering of people and cara is a Spanish term which means face. Ely Santiago, a local artist coined the term. He is a painter from Bacolod who likes painting different smiling faces of the people in Negros. The Masskara Festival is already very much apart of Bacolod's culture. It has established Bacolod as a city full of hope and positive energy.