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