The capital of Negros Occidental province in the Philippines also known as Bacolod City celebrates MassKara Festival each year.The MassKara Festival is a (3)week celebration in Bacolod City highlighted on October 19 as the city’s Charter Anniversary. The festival began in 1980 during a period of crisis. Sugarcane is the region main farming crop, and during that moment the value of sugar is low because of the beginning of sugar substitutes like fructose corn syrup in the U.S. For the Negrense, this was also a time of tragedy as the philippine sea vessel Don Juan of Negros Navigation carrying passengers from Negros including the well-known in Bacolod City, bumped with the oil tanker in Tacloban City and Sank.News report estimated 700 died in that sea tragedy.
During this time, people in negros most especially local government, civic groups, and city artists decided to hold a festival of smiles since the city was also know as the CITY OF SMILES. This was their way of proclaiming that people in Bacolod is going to pull through, survive, and triumph no matter how tough /bad the situation is.
From the word “mass” means “lots of or a large number of people”, and the Spanish word “cara” meaning “face” were Masskara ( a multitude of smiling face) festival was formed. Thes Masskara features the festival of mask worn out by participants which decorated with happy faces.
This large affair in Bacolod City “Masskara” features a street dance contest where group from diverse barangays in Bacolod unite in this festival wearisome a bright colorful mask. various major activities are:
- Drum and Bugle Corps competitions
- MassKara Queen Beauty pageant
- food festivals
- agriculture-trade fair
- sports events
- garden shows
- musical concerts
- and other special events prepared ad-hoc every year.