BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Excitement is running high in the City of Smiles as this year’s edition of the annual MassKara Festival and its varied activities are all set to commence from October 1 to 22.
Traditionally held every third week of October since it was founded 32 years ago, the 2012 MassKara Festival schedule of activities has been expanded to give both tourists and locals sufficient time to participate in events, visit Bacolod’s tourist spots and discover the local culture before the street dance (which will feature thousands of dancers in costumes and masks) begins.
Elaborate and colorful mask designs are always the highlights of the festival.
On October 1, the Opening of Festival Sites will take place the whole day at the Bacolod Public Plaza. The next day, the opening of Carnival Sites will be hosted at SM City Bacolod. For travelers who love art, the MassKara Art Weekend will commence from October 5 to 7. Also scheduled are food fairs, trade shows, a beauty pageant and the street dance competition (set for October 20 and 21).
For this year’s MassKara, the theme is Life’s Good in Bacolod. The festival will emphasize the unique lifestyle of Bacolod as a major tourism player highlighting the very warm hospitality of the Bacolenos, the best of Bacolod’s urban and rural lifestyles and more. Suffice to say, there will be something for both local and foreign tourists to discover and enjoy in Bacolod City.MassKara Festival Featured on CNN
Adding more to the excitement of Bacolod’s main showcase was the recent featuring of the MassKara Festival by Cable News Network (CNN). Under its iReport: Eye on the Philippines report (published May 10, 2012), the MassKara Festival appeared on a list of the twelve best things of the Philippines, ranking eight overall. The feature of the festival in the report is a significant win for Bacolod given the fact that thousands of contributions were submitted to CNN.The Origin of the MassKara Festival
The MassKara Festival was first organized in 1980 at a time when the province of Negros Occidental was in a period of crisis. Civic groups, local government officials and Bacolod’s artists came up with a festival that emphasizes smiles, happiness and optimism. As the MassKara Festival lasted through the years, it solidified Bacolod’s reputation as a city of smiles and made it a strong competitor in the field of tourism.