Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tara na sa MassKara Festival 2011!

photography | Aimee Andrade
Feast for the Senses
I've been joining in the pomp and pageantry of MassKara Festival five years in a row and yes, year after year, the festival never failed to excite, surprise and involved the senses! Starting off with the innovative electric masskara, endless street parties and of course the highlight of the festival which is street dancing. There's more! This year's MassKara will have live drumbeats as music for the streetdancing competition. A first in MassKara history! 

The First Time
Coming from a small town in Bohol, I first joined as an outsider. Painfully shy and with no friends who are based in Bacolod, I gathered enough courage and threw caution to the wind. The gentility of the Bacolodnon is disarming so even before I knew it, I felt welcome already like a long lost brother. 

String of Good Juju
But those previous trips were all work-related. In a twist of fate last year, the school where I worked suspended, for some reasons, the annual students' responsible travel program in Bacolod. In the last four years, it always coincided with the MassKara Festival week. For the first time, I attended the MassKara Festival with no work load attached. And boy, it was so much fun!   

Next Layer of the Onion
But it was not just a trip to take beautiful photos nor to party, get drunk and dance on the streets. It was a trip to celebrate new friendships. To give FREE HUGS to total strangers. To celebrate the resilience of the Pinoys in times of crisis! 

drum rolling the FREE HUG event at Killer Bee Bacolod
Create Inspiring Experiences
In the course of my travel last year, I forged meaningful connections with a band of travelers whose sole mission is to create inspiring experiences with the people and places they encounter. It appears to me that coming to Bacolod during the MassKara week has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts already for the group.  

Here's one of the photos during the FREE HUGS we did at the electric MassKara parade:

Masskara 2010 | FREE HUGS with couchsurfers from all over the world
I was also there four years ago. Here it is:

WORK and PLAY marries well | working holiday during the 2008 Masskara 
And in 2009:

Masskara 2009
Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, I'd like to believe, is hands down winner as one of the grandest festivities in the Philippines! 

This year, the organizers have upped the notch higher with an innovation! And what an innovation it is! On its 32nd year with the theme MassKara: Celebrating the New Icons of Bacolod, the city will see light shows every night beginning Friday, September 2, at the plaza with the unveiling of the new Bacolod bandstand (the venue of the final masskara streetdance showdown). Negrense artists will also float artworks at the fountain area of the Government Center. This year, the electric masskara will also see the return of La Consolacion College after 7 years with 30-45 innovative giant masskara puppets. 

Come, let's celebrate the resilience of the Filipino people! Let's come to Bacolod!

So, what else can I say but I hope to see you in the festive streets of Bacolod!

In the meantime, here is the festival schedule I lifted from, updated as of September 2, 2011.

MassKara Festival 2011 Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2, 2011
* Launch* Bacolod Public Plaza
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011
* Opening* Bacolod Public Plaza
* Bacolod Government Center
* SM City MassKara Village
[Carnival Site]
7 a.m. – 12 n.n.* DepEd Bacolod Division Athletic & Cultural Meet Opening Program & Parade*Bacolod Public Plaza
Saturday, Oct. 7
Majica MassKara Opening
Sunday, Oct. 8
Feast of Our Lady of the Holy RosarySan Sebastian Cathedral, Plaza
7:30 a.m. – 12 n.n* DepEd Bacolod Cultural Contest* Bacolod BAYS Center
Friday, Oct. 14
* 2nd MassKara Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament (NOGCC)* Negros GOccidental Golf & Country Club, Marapara, Brgy. Bata
Electric MassKaraSM City, Rizal Street
* Bacolod Public Plaza
* Tourism Strip, Lacson Street
* Electric MassKara Performing Float Competition
* Concerts
Saturday, Oct. 15
* 2nd MassKara Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament (NOGCC)* Negros GOccidental Golf & Country Club, Marapara, Brgy. Bata
Streetdance Competition[Schools]* Araneta Street to Plaza
* Electric MassKara* SM City Rizal St.
* Bacolod Public Plaza
* Tourism Strip, Lacson Street
Sunday, Oct. 16
* 2nd MassKara Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament
* Negros GOccidental Golf & Country Club, Marapara, Brgy. Bata
Streetdance Competition[Barangays]Araneta Street to Public Plaza
* Concerts* Public Plaza
* Old City Hall
* SM City, Rizal Street
Monday, Oct. 17
* MassKara Queen
Tuesday, Oct. 18
* Salute to Bacolod* Bacolod Government Center Grounds
[Reception for Balik Bacolod]
Wednesday, Oct. 19
* Closing ProgramBacolod Public Plaza
* Concert/Fireworks
* Awarding Rites
* Schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

1 comment:

  1. hi,im jeffrey im one of the fanatic of masskara festival.was there last year during the freehugs in bacolod.i saw 2 of my buddies is in your pic..maybe i was beside you while i took some pics also..hope to meet you in person.add me via facebook or pls add masskara live facebook account.thanks pls do message me ok?


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