Maskkara Festival with Vibrant Costumes Coupled with Headdresses and Masks
Every fourth Sunday of October, Bacolod City celebrates the MassKara Festival. With vibrant costumes coupled with headdresses and masks, the streets of the city come into life. As others say, it is the happiest and most colorful festival among all festivals in the Philippines. This is why Bacolod City is considered as the City of Smiles. This month-long celebration is enjoyed together with food fests, activities, concerts, and even street parties.
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. This was the first Masskara Festival and 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 in Tablas Strait off Mindoro while en route from Manila to Bacolod. An estimated 750 lives were lost in the tragedy.
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