Masskara Festival of Philippines
Masskara Festival in Bacolod City
How did it start?
The Bacolod City is known for "The city of Smiles".but in 1980, the Negrenses faced its most tragic situation where they experience a crisis in the sugar industry. Sugar is the primary product produced in Negros Occidental. The price of sugar was very low because of the newly introduced "corn syrup" in the United States. Also that year, an inter-island vessel collide and sank with a tanker in Tacloban City, most of the passengers are the Negrenses.
A group of city's artists and the local government decided to hold a festival that encourages the people to move on and survive.
The festival features street dancing participated by the students and participants from each Barangays. They wear colorful and beautiful masks painted and made of beads and feathers. Some artists used crystals.
On the streets, busy as a bee, vendors are the most hardworking, selling souvenirs, T-shirts printed with creative designs & native home decors. Some are selling big Masks with a frame on it, for wall decors.
This festival is held every 3rd week of October.
The Masskara Street Dancing Competition
The street dancing competition is one of the major highlights of the festival. Each participant from different Barangays has its own concept and theme. They are competing for a big cash prize. It needs a lot of preparation, time and money to come up with a creative and unique presentation. You will be stunned seeing their colorful costumes embedded with shining crystals and sequins.Negrenses are very imaginative and inventive, they have created masks that are unprecedented.
The choice of music matters in this competition, but usually they go with the Latin. There is no reason that you cannot swing and dance with this music. I like it.
They are not good dancers, they are great. They move like professional dancers. The steps are consistently beautiful and synchronized.
1. Bacolod Chicken Inasal
2. Bacolod Bachoy
Foods to Order
The celebration won't be enjoyable without food. Bacolod city is known for this delicious Chicken Inasal(Grilled BBQ Chicken). Marinated with seasonings like garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and with lemon grass, makes the chicken smell good.
Manukan Country is a place where you can choose best chicken barbeque. It is a series of carinderias that serve different seafood like oysters and scallops too
Location: Fr. M. Ferrero St.,, Nenas Rose II,
The bachoy is a tasteful soup of pork, pork innards, shrimp and miki with chicharon. This cuisine originated from the city of Ilo-ilo, just an hour away to Bacolod, but Negrenses have come up woth different varieties of Bachoy.
Negrenses are great cook. One dish soup that I would love to try cooking is the Niagang Baboy with kadios.
The Scallop is one of my favorite seafood, It's easy to eat, Its shell is usually use in designing home decors. Also some designers are using it in making masks.
Scallops can be found only in the ocean, not in fresh water. It has two sides of shells. The shells are used also in making ceramics.
"The Piaya is composed of muscovado sugar filled in a flatbread, made by a filling dough with a muscovado sugar and glucose syrup. Recently, there were many varieties of piaya that came out. Some are using ube as their filling. It is baked in a griddle, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The BongBong's sells different desserts including their best seller "Piaya".
The festival won't be complete without a beauty and brain pageant. The women here are as sweet as sugar and as innocent as a lamp but brave as a lion. These qualities has made these women stand out from others. The mix of Spanish blood makes them attractive.
In their Festive Attire
The festival attire is one the awaited part of the pageant. This show how creative are Negrenses are. Greatest designs are inspired with native products, embellished with feathers, surrounded with fine crystals, dazzling sequins, detailed use of beads and the elegant mask.
Negrenses women are conservative and reserved because of the elder influences, effective in preserving some Filipino character. This is greatly respectable match to some swimsuit designs that almost showing a lot of skin.
The Masskara Making Contest
This competition is a challenge for all Negrenses designers. Everyone presented various and unusual masks.Very intricate, artistic and dramatic.They elaborated every pattern. The refined designs are very attractive that it catches all eyes.