a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gaga Over MassKara


When choosing my next destination, I avoid festivals because it's harder to get an accommodation and the streets become too crowded. Though I've been hearing about the MassKara festival of Bacolod from friends for quite some time, I've always listened passively (buking! :P), dismissing the idea of booking a flight just to watch  people dancing on the streets.

This changed when I saw some clips of the MassKara festival on You Tube. The colors, the lively dancing, the beat of the music - they were amazing!  As someone who moves a lot, I felt drawn to this celebration. Everything was vibrant and the energy I see from the movements and faces of the dancers were infectious! Plus - it's held in a place referred to as the City of Smiles which sounds even more attractive to curious, giggly backpackers such as myself.   

The roots of the MassKara Festival began in 1980, a year before I was born. Through the collaboration of local artists, civic groups and LGU's,  a celebration was created to motivate and uplift the spirits of the people who were amidst crisis at the time. Sugar, Negros Occidental's main product was on its lowest price at the world market and Don Juan, a passenger ship, had sunk taking the lives of about 700 Negrenses. (Info. from The MassKara Festival Website)

Though the MassKara Festival has digressed  from its initial purpose, the celebration continued as a way to give thanks for the blessings they have received. It's been a tough but blessed year for me too with several new projects on my plate and I want to join the BacoleƱos and Negrenses in their merriment as I move farther down the year and mingle with people who face challenges with a  strong attitude and huge smile. 

Much as I wanted to come-up with poetic ways to express why I wanted to experience the MassKara Festival, my reasons are quite simple:

1. I've never been to Bacolod. It's actually part of my "Must Go" list because I've read that  their cuisine is legendary. As a true-blue foodie,  the promise of great food is enough reason to go already,  hehe!

2. I'm good with crowds. I acquired most of my tackling skills from playing  fullback in our school's football varsity.  I can negotiate my way expertly in tight situations - having some practice from riding the MRT and my once in a while trip to Quiapo. But since this is a festival and tackling people is unnecessary, I promise to behave myself and always say "Excuse me",  (before pushing someone out of the way :P)

3. I can't dance but I am gutsy. Thus if the need arises and I need to substitute someone for a dance routine, I am all for it!

4. Can't sing either, but as with #4, I can also perform if required. Haha!

Hope to see you this year, Bacolod! 
Logo downloaded from the MassKara Festival Official Website 
Experience MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival and Lanzones Festival this October. Airphil Express flies daily to BACOLOD, ZAMBOANGA and CAGAYAN DE ORO from Cebu and Manila. Visit www.airphilexpress.com to book!

This post was prepared as an entry to Air Philippines, Pick-A-Fest. 

P.S.
Need more information on MassKara Festival? Click on any of the MassKara Festival links on this post. You will get directed to its official website. :) 

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