Good day! It’s not yet October but I feel like featuring Bacolod’s very own Masskara Festival.
Branded as the City of Smiles, Bacolod, the capital of the Negros Occidental Province celebrates Masskara Festival annually every third weekend of October. With a week-long celebration, the festival highlights include street dance and the masskara group dance competition. Thousands flock the city plaza to witness the meriment and enjoy the mardi gras of smiling colorful masks.
Kring experienced Masskara once and the festivities amused her. Let’s go for a quick history trip about the world famous Masskara Festival.
Here are some important trivia that you should know:
•It started in the year 1980, considered to be a period of crisis due to challenging times on sugar industry. The demand for sugar dropped due to the entry of high fructose corn syrup in the market. Negros relying much of its economic might over sugar cane productions was highly affected by the shift.
• The sinking of MV Don Juan, caused public mourning because many of its passengers were Negrense( term associated to residents of Negros). The accident along Manila-Bacolod route claimed over 700 lives. As a way of coping up the local government created the Masskara Festival.
•The Masskara Festival was derived from the words mass which means multitude of people and kara which means face. Hence, the multitude of faces.
•The festival had evolved over the years bringing in new attractions such as the Electric Masskara which features masskara on LED lights along the strip of Lacson street and Masskara queen competition, a pageant search for the ladies of Negros.
•Due to its high public following, Masskara festival became a major economic mover that boosted the City’s income and revenue. It was also said that the festival once bled dry the beer factory from the neighboring island of cebu during the festival run. It prompted the company to establish another plant in Bacolod City itself.
So there, when you happen to celebrate Masskara festival in Bacolod, be sure to taste the beer, fit the festival mask, and keep a wide beautiful smile. It’s not the City of Smiles for nothing.
A reminder that it takes a smile to brush away life’s trials.
I told Kring this facts when I first introduced her to the festival. It’s something I am proud of as a Negrense. That in times of adversities, and no matter how tough life could be, we will triumph in the end. As long as we keep the faith, do the hard work with zeal and determination. We will triumph in the end.
That’s how Masskara Festival should be remembered for. A reminder that it takes a smile to brush away life’s trials. That a smile could erase all those worries away. A smile is a secret weapon to succeed in life.
How to get there?
Flights come in to Bacolod from Manila and Cebu daily. If you plan to go during Masskara season, book early to avoid the peak season rate.
You will arrive at Bacolod-Silay Airport, Silay City Negros Occidental.
From there you could ride a van to bring you to Bacolod City proper. Van services usually pass on the circumferential road from the airport, it will take you around 10-20 minutes to reach the festival location.
Estimated fare: ₱300 (6 $)
Hotel booking during the peak season is quite expensive so I suggest you book it together with your plane ticket. There are plenty of hotel accomodation options though. Bacolod has enough hotel lists for you to choose from.
Aside from enjoying the festivities, the october fest beer and the smiling people, make sure to try the city’s Chicken Inasal! (grilled chicken) and seafood delights.
Communication Skills 101
Lastly, before traveling, try these local phrases for easy travel transactions.
Good Morning!– “Maayu nga aga!”
Good Noon!– “Maayu nga ugto!”
Good Evening!– “Maayo nga gab-e!”
How much is this?- “Tagpila ini?”
Where is the…?- “Sa diin ayon ang…?”
Thank you!– “Salamat”
Take care!– “Halong”
I hope you learned something new from this post.
By the way don’t wait for October before you wear that beautiful smile. I wish that when you come to Bacolod you will leave with a lighter heart and bigger smile!
(Hey’ I’d appreciate an honest feedback, kindly hit like if you enjoyed the article or leave a comment in the comment section. Thank you!)