Masskara Festival 2014, Bacolod, Philippines

The Masskara Festival is held every year in Bacolod, Philippines, every 3rd weekend of October nearest to the 19th of October, the city's Charter anniversary.

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 MV 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 a good opportunity to transform the residents out of their gloomy ambiance.

The colorful Masks which depict the essence or the Festival are constantly evolving from masks influenced by native Filipinos to the influences of Carnivals Venice and Rio. The original Masks boasted feathers, native beads and they were hand painted, while modern masks feature plastic beads.

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 styled musical beats in a display of fun, discipline and stamina. 

Major activities include:
  • MassKara Queen beauty pageant 
  • Carnivals
  • Drum and bugle corps competitions
  • Food festivals
  • Sports events
  • Musical concerts
  • Agriculture-trade fairs
  • Garden shows
Bacolod, Philippines

3rd weekend of October nearest to the 19th of October 2014

For more information visit:
Masskara Festival