Kari sa Bacolod, Dala Maskara!

Come to Bacolod, Bring Mask!

40th Masskara Festival 2019 Theme
October 8 – 27, 2019
#KarisaBacolod2019 #RubyMasskaraFestival

Masskara is a Story of Rising Up Again

Masskara Festival is a joyful celebration with sad historical beginnings.

It’s a symbolic gesture for humanity that we can still put a smile in our face in the face of tragedies. We fail. We fall. But we rise up and smile. We can cover our tears with colors, dances and beauty because of the hope that is within us. We embrace life, we embrace failures and we embrace the dark trying periods because we can look to the future and see hope, see light and see life- not merely because of us but because of who is with us.


Opening Ceremonies

The Bacolod Public Plaza is a historical landmark at the heart of Bacolod City and the MassKara Festival celebration. It was named after the historical surrender of the Spanish colonizers to the Negros Revolutionaries which occured around this area. This notable landmark is a testament that causes us to commemorate not just about happiness, but towards life and liberty.

Masskara Queen 2019 Candidates

Pageant and Coronation Night

Oct 23, 7PM

Electric Masskara

Oct 25 - 27, Lacson Tourism Strip

14 barangays to compete in Electric MassKara performing floats competition.

A total of 14 barangays will join the Ruby Electric MassKara performing floats competition on October 25. These barangays are: 4, 7, 40, 12, Cabug, 37, 6, 16, 5, Banago, 41, 36, 32, and 11. Each float will have 6 to 9 performers wearing lighted masks and costumes on top. The performing float parade / competition will be one of the highlights of Electric MassKara on October 25 to 27 at the Lacson Tourism Strip.

October 25 – Parade of all 14 floats and judging
October 26 – Parade of the top 3 floats and awarding
October 27 – The winning float will be displayed at the presentation dome with MassKara dancers and the top 3 MassKara Queen winners for photo opportunities.

Photo: Daryl Anthony Jimenea

StreetDance Competition

Oct 26, 2PM | School Category
Oct 27, 2PM | Barangay Category
Araneta St. to Public Plaza

Fireworks Display and Mayor Bing Nat'l Competition

Oct 7 | Oct 21, Plaza | Oct 22, BGC | Oct 25 and 26, Lacson St. | Oct 27, BGC

Masskara Origins

The Sugar and Shipwreck Tragedies

MV Don Juan that sunk while travelling from Manila to Bacolod that caused lost lives of Negrense families.

It was in the year 1980 when two major crisis struck the island of Negros and its capital, Bacolod City. First, the sugar industry was in its all-time low due to high competition in the world market; And second, a passenger ship carrying at least 1,000 notable Negrenses sank at Tablas Strait after an oil tanker rammed hard against it.

The ship was MV Don Juan and around 750 lives were claimed by that tragedy including the wife and daughters of the mayor that time.

The two giant tragedies crushed the hearts and a huge percentage of the population fell into deep sorrow. The two crises caused the people of Bacolod City and the Province of Negros Occidental to suffer not just financially, but mentally and emotionally.

In the midst of these unfortunate events, the local government and two local artists initiated the community and the artistic community to come up with a “festival of smiles.” One of the reasons is to lift up the gloomy atmosphere brought about by the sinking of MV Don Juan and the economic crisis.

This is how Masskara Festival was born – families, barangays and the entire city instituted to put a Mask to their sad faces, covering life’s tragedies with festive colors, dancing on the streets, celebrating and counting the still so many blessings that we have – most of all, having God as the ultimate precious gift in our life. 

That’s why Masskara was and is and will be celebrated on the streets- for the public to see, for the world to see- so that eyes could see that “we fall seven times, but we rise up eight times.” (Prov 24:16-18)

I believe this is the essence of Masskara is –  a story, a plight, a fight – a people who chose to battle the tragedies of life with celebration, with smiles and with colorful hope. We held hands together, we enjoy together, we eat together and laugh together because together is stronger. 

Masskara Security

Masskara 2019 Security Meeting and Planning for Road Closures, Checkpoints and Response SOPs
Coordination meeting with fire brigades and DRRMO (Disaster Response)

References / Sources

I am thankful for the following sources that shared valuable infornation. I owe some data to them for this blogpost. 

  • https://www.experiencenegros.com/don-juan-tragedy/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86V0CoTsZOQ
  • Bacolod Band Stand PDPNIR [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
  • Photos by Daryl Jimenea
  • https://www.facebook.com/celebratemasskara/
  • Psyche Lopez Youtube Channel
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