When elaborate masskaras start to be displayed around Bacolod City in the Philippines, it only means one thing: it's the Masskara Festival!
My mom and I stumbled upon this display of masskaras while we were at a local mall in Bacolod City, and were impressed with the creativity and ingenuity.
(A feng shui masskara that would
probably balance the energies of your face)
The Masskara Festival was organized in 1980 when the city of Bacolod and the province of Negros Occidental needed 'something' to raise the spirit of the city and the province from the gloomy atmosphere brought about by the tragedy of the sinking of M/V Don Juan and the decline in the prices of sugar, which is the main product of the island.
The maritime vessel M/V Don Juan carrying passengers from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental sank upon its collision with a tanker. About 700 Bacolodnons and Negrenses perished. That time, everyone in Negros Occidental knew someone who knew someone who died in the tragedy. It was a very sad year.
(This is the most elaborate masskara I have
ever seen, and probably the one that
would break my neck if I wore it)
(This one looks like an elegant peacock from afar)
(Black feathers and gold motif)
Then came the idea of the Masskara Festival.
The organizers of the festival thought of naming it mass-kara, a combination of the word 'mass', meaning crowds, and 'cara', the Spanish word for face, because if you're attending the Festival, it will be crowd of smiling faces, capitalizing on Bacolod's reputation as the City of Smiles.
(This masskara looks very irony)
And with the masks came the competitions such as masskara costume-making, street-dancing, and Masskara Queen, a beauty contest. All these inspired by Venice's masquerades, Rio de Janeiro's Carnival, and New Orlean's Mardi Gras.
(This reminds me of a Venetian mask costume)
(Looks like the creator used recycled
materials to create this masskara)
(The creative masskaras on display at a
Bacolod City mall)
So, if you're attending the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City this week, with or without a mask, you'll definitely be wearing a smile all week long!