Sunday, November 22, 2009

Negros Occidental: MassKara Festival 2009 in Bacolod City

MassKara Festival in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental is one of the best festivals in the Philippines. My father's side is from Bacolod. But I've never been able to watch it until this year thanks to a family reunion that was purposely coincided with the MassKara Festival.

The MassKara Festival was first staged in Bacolod City in 1980. It's been held annually during the weekend closest to October 19, which is the Charter Day of Bacolod City. So this year marks the 30th time that the festival is staged.

The street parade is held along Araneta Street and makes its way to the Bacolod Public Plaza. Good thing it is walking distance from our house. There was a Schools Category held on October 17. But we weren't able to watch that since that was the day of our family reunion.

But we did get to watch the Open Category right before we flew out of Bacolod City on October 18. Although a street dance parade like many festivals in the country, the MassKara Festival is very unique because of the intricate masks that accompany the colorful costumes. I was able to see the dancers up close and indeed, the effort put into creating the festival masks is astounding and commendable.

I particularly liked the masks of Barangay Mandalagan. Their colorful masks looked very elegant and neatly-done. It's a good thing they won the Best in Mask Award.

After the parade, there was still a dance competition in the Bacolod Public Plaza. But since we had a flight to catch, so I was content with watching the competition and awarding on TV while waiting at the airport. I would have wanted to stay longer. But contrary to popular notion, traveling and blogging aren't the only things I've got on my plate.

Congratulations to Barangay Taculing, the champions of MassKara Festival 2009! Same goes to the runners-up Barangays Mandalagan and 23!
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