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November 04, 2015

BACOLOD: Our Awesome Guide to MassKara Festival! @TourismPHL





November 04, 2015

BACOLOD: Our Awesome Guide to MassKara Festival! @TourismPHL

By Abigail Javellana

MassKara Festival 2015

Experience 20 days of merry making with street parties, endless food, and wonderful masquerade costumes that make up Bacolod City's MassKara Festival.

It is considered by the likes of CNN and National Geographic as a must do experience when visiting the Philippines. The celebration starts between Oct 1 to 19, with the biggest event starting on the weekend nearest to the 19th.

Our #BoomingBacolod adventure starts as we'll show how you can make the most of the MasKara Festival from festival line-ups & parades, must-go parties, delicious local fares, yummy desserts, pasalubong, tourist spots and tips!

By the way, this is the hometown of Abi of Team Our Awesomeplanet. So expect a guided tour from a local's perspective. Come and join us as we rediscover Bacolod City. :)

 

 

Our Awesome Guide to Bacolod City and the Masskara Festival

 





ABOUT THE MASSKARA FESTIVAL

Bacolod City

The Festival started in the early 1980s when the world sugar prices plummeted; Bacolod City being the country's sugar capital hit a major crisis. Then tragedy struck again when Luxury Liner MV Don Juan bound for Bacolod sank taking with it many Bacolodnons including those from prominent families.

 

MassKara Festival 2015

Masskara is a combination of the English word “mass” and the Spanish “kara,” meaning “face”. The Festival was meant to uplift the people of Bacolod thus a "smiling mask" that proudly represents what the Negrenses does best, putting on a happy face when confronted with challenges.

 

MassKara Festival

As a means of cheering up the populace and boosting moral, they decided to throw a party! A festival of dancing, music, feasting was created, where participants adorn masks with smiling faces.

 

MassKara Festival 2015

Today MassKara is one of the most recognizable Filipino Celebrations worldwide earning Bacolod it's nickname "City of Smiles".

 

How to get to Masskara

 

By Air:
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). You can also fly in from major cities Cebu and Davao.

Then take a cab from Bacolod-Silay International Airport and ask to be dropped off to your destination. Taxi (Approx Php 500) Shuttle Van/Bus (Php 150)

By Sea:
Manila, Cagayan De Oro and Iloilo to Bacolod.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MASSKARA FESTIVAL:

Bacolod City

Expect several days of visual overload with MassKara dancers, floats, puppet parade and fireworks as Lacson Strip hosts to more than 100,000 revelers.

Expect no cars to pass by Lacson street as the strip is transformed from 4 pm until the morning with several stages of bands, DJ's, food, drinking and merry making.

 

MassKara Festival, Bacolod City

MassKara by the Sea is a 2-day event that officially kicks off the week of festivities.

 

MassKara Festival, Bacolod City

The colorful activity is held at the reclamation area near SM Bacolod, coastal communities join as they display decorated lighted pump boats with giant Masks and dancers. 

 MassKara Festival 2015

Twenty-two barangays compete for the Street Dance Competition at the Masskara Arena of Paglaum Sports Complex.

 

 

Bacolod City

Dancers are dressed in fabrics of different patterns and colors, adorned with sequences, exotic feathers, and colorful beads paired with an almost 5kg towering headgear.

 

MassKara Festival 2015

After each performance at the arena, the performers dance their way to Araneta Street until they reach the Bacolod Public Plaza.

 

MassKara Festival 2015

We are loving the energy of the dancers and crowd. :)

 

MassKara Festival

Tip: Don't forget to bring your camera as you can take pictures with the dancers outside the arena.

 

MassKara Festival

Electric MassKara Competition is another street dance competition but with the added twist of LED light costumes.

 

MassKara Festival

The competition is open to the public and is held in front of the Masskaraland stage.

 MassKara Festival

Electric MassKara Float Parade starts from the Plaza until the Lacson Strip. MassKara themed floats are decorated with LED lights and are paraded along with MassKara dancers on top.

 

MassKara Festival

Locals would usually reserve a seat in their favorite restaurants along the Lacson Strip where the floats pass by. But I suggest joining the crowd to get a better view and feel of the parade.

 

MassKara Festiva

Puppet Show. Along with the MassKara parades are the puppet parade of La Consolacion College Bacolod. Students from the college display their creativity with different themed 14-ft puppets.

 

MassKara Festiva

MassKara Costume Display. Contingents from participating barangays display their costumes in mannequins perfect for a photo pt. Find it at Robinsons Bacolod's City Walk area.

Tip: Join in the fun and buy a mask sold everywhere on the streets. 

 

MASSKARA PARTIES!

MassKara Festival

MassKara is known for its gigantic street parties, the biggest one would be Masskaraland, It's open to everyone where revelers can party from dusk to dawn as they turn Lacson Street into Masskaraland.

Dance to live local & Manila DJ's along with sick drum beats.

 

MassKara Festival

Dance and get doused with color powder at MassKaraLand.

 

MassKara Festival

The countdown starts in the afternoon, it's a beautiful site to witness when the powder is thrown up in the air altogether. :)

 

MassKara Festival

Ending with amazing fireworks on the last day. Don't be surprised if people are still there partying at 7am in the morning. :)

 

MassKara Festival

MASSKARA INVASION (Ticket Price: Gen Ad-Php 600, VIP- Php 1200)

We also suggest you attend MassKara Invasion hosted by Spectrum, where thousands of partygoers are brought to the invasion grounds at the 20th Lacson Street near Cafe Bobs.

 

MassKara Festival

The stage had an amazing set-up with a huge mask as a backdrop and top performing DJ's from Bacolod and Manila. We partied until 4 am until the party was over. 

Tip: Be sure to wear your dancing shoes as partying can take a toll on your feet.

 

MassKara Festival 2015

Overall, we loved Bacolod City's MassKara Festival! From Bacolod Food trips, heritage tours, colorful parades, vibrant costumes to endless street parties that last until the morning. Our experience wouldn't be as fun without the smiling faces of the people of Bacolod.  

Our Awesome Guide to Bacolod City

 

 

BACOLOD CITY
Facebook: Bacolod-City-Public-Information-Office
Phone: +63 34 434-6751, +63 34 432-1997
Website: www.onebacolod.com
E-mail: onebacolod@yahoo.com.ph 

 

Live an Awesome Life,

 

Abi with Boom and Sean
Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our #BoomingBacolod experience was courtesy of the Bacolod City Toursim office. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.

P.S. We do believe in the saying after your visit in  Bacolod, you're sure to gain 5 pounds and a smile!

MassKara Festival

Thank you Bacolod City Mayor's Office and the Bacolod Tourism Office for a wonderful #BoomingBacolod exerience. Especially to Mayor Monico Puentevella and Mr. Rocky Puentevella for showing us what Bacolod City has to offer. Cheers to a successful Masskara Festival!

 




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