Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bacolod Masskara Festival at Night: Electric Masskara Parade & Lacson Street Party!

The 30th Masskara Festival in Bacolod City reached its peak during the weekend, from October 16-18, Friday to Sunday, highlighting an elaborate Electric Masskara Parade and street party at Bacolod's main Lacson Street. That's 3 nights of non-stop partying, festivities and overflowing food and drinks at the bars, restaurants and in the streets!

Food kiosks lined up along Lacson Street

A portion of Lacson Street was closed to vehicles and it became one massive party place. Lacson Street from the 6th Street and the Bacolod Lagoon area all the way up to the intersection of B.S. Aquino Drive was closed off. That's about 23 street blocks and yet all of it was swarming and packed with people! It seemed the whole of Bacolod, plus several foreigners, tourists and out-of-towners, were there to join the fun and revelry.

A sea of people in front of Cafe Bob's

There were 3 stages each with a party band playing, set up in different key area along the party street or what some call the "Tourism Strip" which is Lacson Street. Different bands played the whole night, some bands even came from Cebu and Iloilo. The night was filled with "live entertainment", with some bars having their own entertainment such as local DJ's plus those coming from Manila.

Live band at the "Tourism Strip"

A unique part of the Masskara Festival in recent years is the Electric Parade. This year, the Electric Parade opened with a special "unveiling" and launch of the "Majica Masskara" float. It is a collaborative work of 18 Bacolod artists to "Celebrate 30 Years of Smiles" and to showcase how the Masskara Festival has evolved to what it is today. The result is an original and very ilonggo masterpiece mounted on a 30-foot trailer.

The Majica Masskara Float - artistic, original and first of its kind in the Philippines

So much partying and fun happened in the 3 days and 3 nights during the Masskara weekend that it cannot be documented in this blog. There's nothing quite like it and you need to experience it yourself. If you missed this year's Masskara Festival, be sure to join the fun next year!

Bacolod Masskara "masks" on display at Robinsons Place

During the week long festival of Masskara, several "Masskara Masks" were on display in a Masskara exhibit at Robinsons Place.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Masskara Street Dancing Kicks Off!

The 30th MassKara Festival four-day Street Dancing Competitions kick off today with 11 contingents joining the schools category contest at 3 p.m. at the Bacolod public plaza which is being ran in cooperation with the Department of Education in Bacolod City.

The barangay category will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and the open category on Sunday. The Electric MassKara streetdance, which has been transformed into a Ledge Dancing competition, on the other hand, will take centerstage 8 p.m. Friday at the Lacson Tourism Strip.

“To mark the third decade of the festival with the theme, ‘30 Years of Smiles', we hope to highlight the elements that have made it a very popular festival: happiness, cheerfulness and optimism as captured in our smiling masks, faces and costumes in bright and bold colors,” festival director Eli Tajanlangit said. The costumes and masks of the competing groups are now at Robinson's Place Bacolod.

The schools, barangay and open category contests will have Libertad-Araneta streets as starting point for the dancers, and to follow the Araneta parade route up to the public plaza. Two areas of competition will be the street dance and arena performance. Judges will be stationed along the parade routes.

Each contingent will have a minimum of 35 dancers and a maximum of 60.
Cash prizes for the schools category are P50,000, P30,000 and P20,000 for first, second and third, while for both the open and barangay category, the prizes are P100,000, P75,000 and P50,000 for first, second and third places.

For the street dance, the groups will be judged on their choreography, performance and production design for their mask, costume and props. For the arena performance, the criteria are concept, choreography, performance, and production design.

Special awards will be given for the Best Mask and Best Costume which have been pre-judged.
For the first Electric MassKara Ledge Dance Competition, seven contingents are joining with each group to have a minimum of 15, and maximum of 20 dancers.

Source: Visayan Daily Star

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Bacolod Masskara Festival - A Celebration of Life!

The annual Masskara Festival held in Bacolod City every October is a celebration which has earned for Bacolod the title “City of Smiles”. The Festival was conceived in 1980 by a group of city officials, Arts Association of Bacolod members and some concerned citizens with full support from the city government and the Department of Tourism Field Office to enliven the usual City Charter Anniversary celebration which, at the time consisted of the routine flag ceremony, employees program and the afternoon civic military parade.

The word “Masskara” was coined by the late AAB president Ely Santiago from the two works “mass” which means “many or a multitude of the people” and the Spanish “kara” meaning “face”. The masks worn by the participants during the parade are always smiling. Masskara thus means a multitude of smiling faces.

Since its inception, the Masskara Festival is held every third weekend of October nearest the Charter Anniversary. It features a Masskara Street Dance competition where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorful masked dancers gyrate to the infectious rhythm of the Latin musical beat in a stunning display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina.

Major activities are the beauty pageant, carnivals, drums and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concert, agri-trade fair, garden show, to name few.

For a brief history on the Masskara Festival, check this out:

Masskara 2009 Schedule of Activities

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bacolod Tourist Destination: The Ruins

A rather new, but actually very ‘old’, Bacolod tourist site is The Ruins. Situated amongst the farmlands in Talisay City, this heritage site is fast become a very popular Bacolod tourist attraction.

The structure of The Ruins is of Italianate architecture with neo-Romanesque columns, having a very close semblance to the façade of Carnegie Hall in New York City. In New England, they often were homes to ship’s captains. A belvedere on the 2nd floor, facing west, affords a beautiful view of the sunset in a glassed-in sunroom with bay windows.

The Belvedere

The view from the Belvedere at twilight

A brief history of the Bacolod Ruins

The mansion was built in the early 1900’s by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson (1865-1948) and was home to his unmarried children with his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson (+1911), a Portuguese from Macau. The mansion was the largest residential structure ever built at that time and had in it one of the finest furniture, chinaware, and decorative items, as the father of Maria Braga was a captain of a ship that sailed across Europe and Asia and would cart with him these items. One of their daughters maintained a beautiful garden of lilies in and around the 4-tiered fountain fronting the mansion, all brought in from abroad.

Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson

One of the sons supervised the construction of the mansion making certain that the A-grade mixture of concrete and its pouring was precisely followed. The mansion met its sad fate in the early part of World War II when the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), then guerilla fighters in the Philippines, burnt the mansion to prevent the Japanese forces from utilizing it as their headquarters. It took days of inferno to bring down the roof and the 2-inch wooden floors.

To this day, the structure still stands tall amidst sugar plantations and continues to awe both local and foreign tourists. Truly, a picture-perfect backdrop and a magnificent sight to see.

How The Ruins became a tourist destination

After literally being in ruins and practically abandoned, the mansion was left to the elements for several years. It wasn’t until last year, when some of the Lacson great grandchildren who inherited the land where The Ruins sits, decided to develop it. They fixed the surroundings and put up a café where they serve tapas, pasta, beef and lamb dishes and more. They also serve ice cold beer and wine.

View of the Garden

Since they opened last year, a lot of tourists and locals visit this tourist site which is so close to Bacolod. It is only about a 15-minute drive from the center of Bacolod City. It also a favorite venue for photo shoots as the remaining structure and its unique architecture and design details serve as a beautiful and magnificent backdrop.

The fountain and garden which has become a venue for events

The Bacolod Ruins, or Talisay Ruins as it is also called by some, has been a popular venue for Bacolod weddings, special events and parties. The most recent addition to this tourist spot is a mini-golf within the grounds of the site. The owners are continuously developing the area and adding new stuff to do so it will remain a top tourist attraction. Even for the Bacolod and Talisay residents and locals, it has become a place for family bonding activities and fun.

How to get to The Ruins

Option 1: Take the turn at Honda Cars in Talisay City towards the mountains. It’s a 2.4km stretch of farm road from the national highway. (You’ll need an off-road or SUV because the roads are rather rough and unpaved)

Option 2: Take the turn at the PEPSI bottling plant in Bata Subdivision towards the mountains. Enter the narrow road leading to Rose Lawn Memorial Garden, then, turn right and navigate the main road of Goldcrest and Octagon Villages. This will lead you all the way to The Ruins. (Follow the signs going to The Ruins starting from the road you turn into at the Pepsi plant corner)

Bacolod Ruins - One of the World's 12 Most Fascinating Ruins

Talisay City, the next city beside Bacolod and a mere 15-minute drive from the center of Bacolod, features a mansion built by a sugar magnate at the turn of the last century that not once, but twice, was destroyed in the 2nd World War in order to prevent Japanese forces from using it.

Read more about the 12 of the World's Most Fascinating Ruins at this link:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Resort Review: Punta Bulata Resort and Spa

Just 2 ½ hours from Bacolod City is a tranquil resort with white sand beaches and clear calm waters. This is Punta Bulata Resort and Spa.

White sand beach

I went there last year for the first time with my boyfriend and we had such a great time.

The trip south of Negros is beautiful. On the way there you pass endless sugar cane fields and lots of greenery. At some point along the zigzag road in Cauayan approaching the resort is a series of hills and cliffs with a fantastic view overlooking the sea and a few islands nearby.

Upon arriving at the resort, we were greeted by a warm and friendly staff. They made us feel at home right away!
Clear and clean waters

We arrived mid-day and after a delicious lunch, we took an afternoon nap or ‘siesta’. The place is so relaxing and beautiful that it calms and soothes you. I felt like all my cares and concerns were so far away and I only had this idyllic beach resort to enjoy.

Later in the afternoon, we took a dip in the resort’s swimming pool and enjoyed our snack and cocktails while watching the beautiful sunset.

The resort swimming pool

The beautiful sunset

In the evening, I tried their resort spa services. I had a 1-hour body massage which was a combination of traditional Filipino hilot therapy and Swedish massage with a few stretching. The spa also has a sauna and hot tub.

That was a great way to end the day and I slept soundly in our cottage. Punta Bulata has hotel rooms that are well designed with an asian inspired theme. Their cottages and villages have native and Filipino themes.

The hotel rooms

The next day we went to the nearby Danjugan island where we went snorkeling. We also visited the marine sanctuary where there were a multitude of reef fishes and corals. We had good visibility. The area is also great for diving. Danjugan island is a marine reserve and wildlife sanctuary. It is surrounded by coral reefs and has 5 lagoons.

One of the blue lagoons

Danjugan Island

If you plan to visit this beautiful resort and beach destination, spend at least 2 nights and 3 days at Punta Bulata White Beach Resort and Spa. Any less would just be too short.

How to get there:

By Private Car

Punta Bulata is located in Barangay Elihan, Cauayan Municipality, Negros Occidental, Philippines, bordering Sipalay City. It is 158 km. south of Bacolod City. Getting to the resort by car takes approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. There are several road signs by the highway that will guide you there. From the city center (Provincial Capitol Building) of Bacolod, travel southwards, taking the national highway. A few meters after the 154 km. marker by the road, make a right turn into a side road. Travel 4 km. down this road until you reach Punta Bulata Resort.

(please note that the 4km side road is unpaved. Small cars are capable of taking this road but it is still recommended that you take an AUV, van, or SUV for a more comfortable ride.)

By Public Bus
Ceres Liner has several trips throughout the day that may take you southbound towards Punta Bulata. Take the bus headed to Hinobaan or Bayawan. Busses depart every 30 minutes from 6:00 am to 7:30 pm from the Ceres Lines Bus Terminal in Bacolod City. There is only one air-conditioned bus which departs at 4:00 pm. You must get off at Barangay Road., Cartagena since the bus cannot take you directly to the resort. Board a tricycle and ask the tricycle driver to take you to Punta Bulata Resort.

From Manila or Cebu
There are 3 major airlines that have multiple daily flights from Manila or Cebu to Bacolod City. Click to access their respective websites:

Philippine Airlines
Cebu Pacific
Air Philippines

For more info, visit Punta Bulata's website, click here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Bacolod

Why Bacolod is a TOP destination
  1. Greatly improved accessibility through an airport that connects to the city to Manila 8 times daily through 3 major airlines and a seaport for large cargo and passenger vessels in addition to the fast sea crafts cruising the waters between Iloilo and Bacolod.
  2. Upbeat local economy and unlimited opportunities for trade and investments because the city is home to a high percentage of the Philippines' top 20 corporations;
  3. Intensified initiatives towards agri-based diversification like the production of food items, mucovado sugar, organic fertilizers, light farm equipment and home décor;
  4. Acclaimed as the Most Business Friendly City in the Philippines in 2007 by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
  5. Inexpensive cost of doing business with numerous amenities, facilities and available opportunities;
  6. Effective maintenance of clean and green surroundings as evidenced by a HALL OF FAME AWARD as the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City in the Philippines.
  7. Low percentage of illegal settlers.
  8. Now considered as the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing hub of Western Visayas with the presence of 8 major call centers.
  9. Strong involvement and partnership between the government and various private stakeholders plus that legendary hospitality and cuisine that make Bacolod City an ideal place to visit, to work in and much more to live in this lifetime.
  10. A stable peace and order condition where incidence of crime is low, there is high police visibility and a crime solution of 97%.
The Provincial Capitol Building - a Bacolod City landmark

How to Get to Bacolod

BY AIR-The city is only 55 minutes from and to Manila, serviced by the country's 3 major airlines - Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines, with four round trip flights daily.

From Cebu City, Bacolod is only 30 minutes away, with 3 round trips daily through Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
 The New Bacolod-Silay Airport of International Standard is 20 minutes to and from the Bacolod downtown.

The Bacolod Silay Airport

BY SEA-Bacolod is normally a 20-hour cruise to and from Manila aboard world-class vessels; 55 minutes to and from Iloilo on fast seacrafts. The Banago and BREDCO ports are the vessels entry point.

BY SEA AND LAND- The 18-hour travel time to and from Manila via land and sea transport is now possible through RORO (Roll On Roll Off) vessels traversing through the Strong Republic Nautical Highway using the ports of Iloilo, Caticlan in Aklan, Roxas in Mindoro and Batangas in the Province of Batangas.


Bacolod City - Best Place to Live in the Philippines

Bacolod City is the capital and largest highly urbanized mid-size Philippine city of the province of Negros Occidental. Having a total of 499,497 inhabitants as of August 1, 2007, it is the most populous city in the Western Visayas Region. It is notable for its MassKara Festival held during October. Known for being a relatively friendly city, it bears the nickname "City of Smiles" and the "Football City of the Philippines". Bacolod City recently topped a survey by MoneySense Magazine as the "Best Place to Live in the Philippines".

A Brief History
The city's name is derived from the Hiligaynon word bakolod – meaning "stonehill" – since the settlement was founded in 1770 on a stony, hilly area, now the district of Granada.
Due to Muslim raids in 1787, Bacolod was transferred towards the shoreline. The old site was called Da-an Banwa, meaning "old town".

In 1894, by order of Governor General Claveria, through Negros Island Governor Manuel Valdevieso Morquecho, Bacolod was made the capital of the Province of Negros. Bernardino de los Santos became the first gobernadorcillo and Fray Julian Gonzaga the first parish priest.

The success of the revolution in Bacolod was attributed to the low morale of the local Spanish detachment, due to its defeat in Panay and Luzon and to the psychological warfare waged by Generals Aniceto Lacson and Juan Araneta. In 1897, a battle in Bacolod was fought at Matab-ang River. A year later, on November 5, 1898, the Negrense "Revolucionarios," armed with knives, bolos, spears, and rifle-like nipa stems, and pieces of sawali or amakan mounted on carts, captured the convento where Coronel Isidro de Castro y Cisneros, well-armed cazadores and platoons of civil guards, surrendered. Two days later, on the 7th, most of the revolutionary army gathered together to establish a Provisional Junta and to confirm the elections of Aniceto Lacson as president, Juan Araneta as war-delegate, as well as the other officials.

On March 1899, the American forces led by Colonel James G. Smith occupied Bacolod, the revolutionary capital of the Provisional Republic of Negros.

By virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 326, enacted by the National Assembly, Bacolod was made a chartered city on October 19, 1938.

In World War II, Bacolod City was occupied by Japanese forces on May 21, 1942. The Japanese commanding general seized the Mariano Ramos Ancestral House, home of the first appointed Presidente Municipal of Bacolod, which served as the seat of power and a watchtower over city. The city was liberated by joint Filipino and American forces on May 29, 1945. It took time to rebuild Bacolod after liberation. The city's public markets and slaughterhouses were rebuilt during the administration of former mayor Vicente Remitio from 1947 to 1949.

Bacolod City is located on the northwestern coast of the Province of Negros Occidental. It is bounded on the northwest by the town of Talisay; on the east by the City of Silay; on the east and southwest by the town of Murcia; on the southwest by the City of Bago; and in the west by the Guimaras Strait. The global location of Bacolod City is 10 degrees, 40 minutes 40 seconds - north and 122 degrees 54 minutes 25 seconds - east with Bacolod Public Plaza as the benchmark.

Bacolod has a total land area of 16,145 hectares, including straits and bodies of water and the 124 hectare reclamation area; and is composed of 61 barangay (villages) and 639 purok (smaller units composing a village). It is accessible by sea through the ports of Banago; the BREDCO Port in the Reclamation Area, and the port of Pulupandan. By air, it is accessible through the Bacolod Airport, which is approximately three (3) (four is counting from the Lagoon) kilometers away from the center of the city.

Bacolod is ideally located on a level area, slightly sloping as it extends toward the sea with an average slope of 0.9 percent for the city proper and between 3 to 5 percent for the suburbs. The altitude is 32.8 feet or 10.0 meters above sea level with the Bacolod City Public Plaza as the benchmark. Bacolod has two pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season starts from May to January of the following year with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season starts from the month of February until the last week of April.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bacolod Night Life: Mu Shu

I often visit Mu Shu Asian Restaurant and Lounge, usually to dine out with my family or to meet up and hang out with my friends.

I love their food, especially the Java Spareribs and Hainanese Chicken which goes perfect with their mixed fried rice. They also have Mu Shu pork dishes like Glazed Pork Spareribs, Crispy Garlic Spareribs, Pork Satay and more!

If we’re not dining at Mu Shu, we usually go there after dinner to chill out and enjoy the Bacolod night life. Since it opened, Mu Shu is the popular hang out and party place in Bacolod City, especially for the younger crowd.

Mu Shu serves a diverse choice of cocktails and drinks. I especially like their Strawberry Margarita which you can order by the glass or by the pitcher. For group or barkada gimmicks, their cocktails like the Mango Margarita, Purple Ninja and Kamikaze, which they serve in a pitcher, are perfect.

Drinks and cocktails would go well with pica pica. I would recommend their mozzarella cheese sticks served with a very delicious dip! They also have a dimsum platter which is very filling and appetizing. If you want to try something new and different, Mu Shu serves pizza with a twist! True to their Asian theme, they offer Hoisin Pork Pizza, Beef Teriyaki Pizza, Chicken Curry Pizza and more. It’s not your typical Italian Pizza but it tastes very good!

So the next time you’re in Bacolod and would like to eat Asian food or sample the Bacolod night life, go to Mu Shu for a total experience. It’s usually the first stop for a night out, with other Bacolod bars and clubs nearby. It’s located just off Lacson Street, Bacolod’s main road, where all the action is. Mu Shu is more like a lounge than a bar though. But during weekends and especially when there’s a party or a special event, it dims it lights and transforms into a club-like venue where a DJ spins the hottest dance tracks and people just dance and have fun.

Mu Shu Asian Restaurant and Lounge

20th Lacson Street, 
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Philippines 6100

Phone: +63(34)435-0972

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Masskara History and Information

The MassKara Festival is a week-long festival held each year in Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental province in the Philippines every third weekend of October nearest October 19, the city's Charter Anniversary.

Brief History

The festival first began in 1980 during a period of crisis. The province relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the price of sugar was at an all-time low due to the introduction of sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup in the United States.It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that year, the inter-island vessel Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated 700 lives were lost in the tragedy.

In the midst of these tragic events, the city's artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles. They reasoned that a festival was also a good opportunity to pull the residents out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere. The initial festival was therefore, a declaration by the people of the city that no matter how tough and bad the times were, Bacolod City is going to pull through, survive, and in the end, triumph.


The festival features a street dance competition where people from all walks of life troop to the streets to see colorfully-masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats in a display of mastery, gaiety, coordination and stamina. Major activities include the MassKara Queen beauty pageant, carnivals, drum and bugle corps competitions, food festivals, sports events, musical concerts, agriculture-trade fairs, garden shows, and other special events organized ad-hoc every year.


Masskara Festival 2008

MassKara: A Thousand Smiles Per Minute
By: Imogene S. Kana-an, Bacolod City Tourism Officer

What started as "just a new activity" to spice up an otherwisese routine civic-military parade, awarding ceremonies and a literary-musical program for a city charter anniversary, Bacolod City's MassKara Festival is now 3 years short of its third decade and has already become of the entries of the Philippines to the global tourism community.
The MassKara Festival of Bacolod City has repeatedly represented the country in some major festivals in Asia, notably in the Chinggay Festival in Singapore in 1998, the Lunar Festival of Hong Kong in 2001, in the International Tourism Festival of Shanghai in 2004 and in the Midosuji Festival Parade of Osaka, Japan, emerging as champion in the foreign category and first runner-up in the local category - the first award to be given to a foreign participant in the 10-year history of that Japanese festival.
Among the Philippine festivals, MassKara is one that has also been to almost all major festivals in the Visayas and Luzon. mostly on exhibition performances. During the 23rd Asian Games held in Bacolod City in November 2005, the MassKara dance got the most applause from the athletes, visiting dignitaries and the international press covering the event.
The word MassKara has a double meaning. First, it is a fusion of the English word "mass" or many and "kara", the Spanish word for "face." MassKara then becomes a "mass of faces," and these faces have to be smiling to project Bacolod already known in the late 70's as the City of Smiles. MassKara also is the dialect "maskara" for the English word mask, which gives rise to the use of giant smiling masks in varied hues, colors and brilliance which the gaily costumed dancers wear as they stomp, swing, pulsate and gyrate in the major streets of the city every third weeded nearest to the 19th of October, which is the City Charter Anniversary of Bacolod.
The concept of combining the English word "mass" and the Spanish word "kara" is a mind product of the then Art Association of Bacolod president, the late Ely Santiago, with the support of the late city councilor chairman of the committee councilor on tourism, Romeo Geocadin and the then Negros Occidental Department of Tourism head and now city mayor of Bacolod, Atty. Evelio R. Leonardia, the concept has become a reality, with the city having her first MassKara Festival in 1981.
After two or three years, the MassKara would have died a natural death. But thanks to the tenacity of an Evelio R.Leonardia to lobby at the city council and to initiate the movement among tourism stakeholders, the festival moved on, year after year, despite political economic, natural or man-made impediments. Now, after 28 years, it has not only attained its recognized festival stature- as a national ANVIL awardee of the Philippine Public Relation Society - but also as one major tourism identity for Bacolod City.
Through the years, MassKara has evolved and has undergone a lot of changes from its attempt during its start in 1980 to be historical by portraying vignettes of Philippine history, to the time when it has become a symbol of survival, when the sugar industry as the lifeblood of the Bacolenos continued to plummet down.
The long years of affluence and abundance brought about by the sugar industry, with Bacolod as its center of trade and commerce, has made the Bacoleno a lover of the good life. He knows how to laugh heartily while his fine taste is seen in his cuisine, in dressing, the sports he indulges in and the kind of car his bulging pocket chooses. But beneath all these, he is also resilient because he knows how to take things in stride in times of crisis. He can still smile as sincerely as during the times of plenty. Decades after the backlash of the sugar industry, Bacolod now no longer depends on this cash crop and the Bacoleno still celebrates life along the mainstream of contemporary events, industry and technology.
The MassKara Festival is here to stay, an icon for Bacolod as the City of Smiles. Today, with the more than four hundred fifty thousand Bacolenos giving their warmest smiles, MassKara becomes a festival of a thousand smiles per minute, projecting the Bacoleno's ability to smile, to be gregarious and charming and to shoe his instinct to survive and triumph over trials and challenges. MassKara is not history nor is it anchored on any historical, religious or cultural event. Artistic, yes. MassKara is simply his story, that is the Bacoleno as a human being whose innate capacity for goodness, happiness and beauty is expressed in the sights, sounds, color and rhythm of a people celebrating the might and bounty of a Great Creator.