What to Look Forward to in Bacolod's MassKara Festival 2022

4 October 2022
What to Look Forward to in Bacolods MassKara Festival 2022

Two years since the pandemic hit, face masks have become an integral part of everyone's lives. For two years, moreover, our face masks have prevented us from sporting our smiles to the world with our perfect molar teeth obliviously showing. While they're for protection from Covid, we certainly miss pre-pandemic times when face masks are not of obligatory use for the general public.


But now that pandemic protocols are much more lenient, and face masks have been declared optional and no longer required outdoors due to coronavirus cases significantly dwindling, mass gatherings have also become permissible, including the celebration of festivals around the country.


Most Filipinos know Bacolod in Negros Occidental to be the proverbial City of Smiles. Home to the famous Masskara Festival place, this progressive city in the Western Visayas region is the perfect destination to go to after two years of restraint from attending mass gatherings and major events.


In this article, we will embark on what to look forward to in this year's highly anticipated Masskara Festival in the City of Smiles from October 1-23, which was only held virtually last year due to the coronavirus crisis. This makes it even all the more anticipating and exciting for both tourists and locals.



Masskara Festival History

The question as to why is Masskara Festival celebrated has a melancholic background story. During the Marcos dictatorship in 1980, prices of sugar, the city's primary source of livelihood, were at their unprecedented lowest and consequently caused famine, while a luxury liner collided with an oil tanker the same year, killing nearly 200 people. This is how the MassKara festival was conceived — to divert the attention of Bacolodnons and Negrenses toward a happier event where they could temporarily forget their beautiful city's tragic past.


Meanwhile, to respond to the question, is the Masskara festival religious, it is not a pious event celebrating spirituality, unlike the Giant Lantern festival in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga province, where it was originally a religious festival commemorated for nine consecutive days of spiritual reconciliation before the advent of Christmas Eve. Be that as it may, MassKara's story of conception as a festival involving a tragic past makes it just as a consequential event.


The annual MassKara Festival (Pista sang MassKara in Hiligaynon) is celebrated every fourth Sunday of October. The MassKara festival started in 1980, and is held at various key sites including the Bacolod Public Plaza, the Lacson Tourism Strip, Bacolod Government Center, Paglaum Sports Complex, and this year, in the Panaad Park and Stadium. This year's theme is "Balik Yuhum," which suitably translates to "bring back the smiles."



Masskara Festival 2022: What to look forward to

The MassKara Festival of Bacolod City is a famous festival not only in Western Visayas but in the entire country, whose level of prestige matches that of other major festivals like Panagbenga in Baguio, Sinulog in Cebu, and Kadayawan in Davao. The celebration is grand and would last for nearly a month, and is attended to by a torrent of tourists from around the country and even internationally.


Below, let's get to know the many activities that will keep the city and attendees busy and, most of all, happy with authentic smiles.


1. The Picturesque Street Dance Competition

The spectacular highlight of the Masskara Festival is doubtless its float and dance competition to be held at the latter part of October, where participants don colorful costumes to paint the city with an aura of majestic festivity. The Street Dance and Arena Dance Competition will be a showcase of Negrense talents and creativity through folk dance routine and handmade iridescent costumes, especially the trademark colorful masks. The street dance competition is a humongous source of pride for the city and its residents, and there's no questioning why.


2. The Grandiose Electric Masskara

Bacolod's biggest street party takes form in Electric Masskara a colorful parade of boisterously loud music, lights, gigantic floats, and mood-uplifting street dancers for the entire city to marvel at, exhibiting Bacolodnons' creative craftsmanship and talents. The street parties in the Masskaraland are expected to be jam-packed with spectators who were deprived of this massive gathering for two years. Medic and pandemic protocols are in place to make sure everyone is still safe and sound during the entirety of the month-long celebration.


3. The Prestigious Pageant Night

The Bacolod Masskara Coronation night is catered for pageant enthusiasts who will get to see Bacolod ladies and gentlemen in their most exquisite, daring selves and vie for the most coveted title of Mr. and Ms. Bacolod 2022. The Masskara Queen pageant will showcase Negros beauty, while it's going to be a show of chiseled physique in the "Gods of Bods" competition, which is a result of persistent bodybuilding for the gentlemen in the Ginoong Bacolod coronation.


Aside from the Mr. and Ms. Bacolod pageants in the Central Halls, Ms. Gay or aptly called "MasskaReyna" is also a show to look forward to for Masskara festival attendees. This is one of many testaments to Bacolod's progressiveness when it comes to enforcing gender equality and inclusion for its LGBTQIA+ community.


4. Introducing Masskara Cup Drag Fest

The grand drag festival this year is dedicated to auto and car racing enthusiasts. It is a major autosport event that is separated into three categories: Drag Racing, Autocross, and Cross Kart. The Masskara Auto Convention is to be held in SMX Bacolod, BMX Contest in Bacolod Bay Center, and the First Mayor Albee Benitez Masskara Circuit Race and Motor Show is to be held at the Upper East Megaworld.


Other sporting events include Football, Billiards, Badminton, Tchoukball, Volleyball, Chess, Gold, Archery, 5-Stag Derby, Danceport, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Table and Lawn Tennis, Skateboard, and the E-sports Cup.


5. Appetizing Food Bazaars

The grandiose festival would not be complete without a display of food stalls featuring the city's best sumptuous dishes and food items that Bacolodnons are more than proud to serve to its immense influx of tourists. A trademark in Bacolod is the finger-licking Chicken Inasal, alongside Sharyn's Kansi, Calea Pastries, and the muscovado-filled Piaya. Food stalls would also allow you to choose among a variety of unique delicacies as pasalubong for the family once you travel back home after your festive vacation. This makes the festival stupendous not only for its colorful decorations and street dance competitions, but also as an avenue to exhibit the city's delectable food offerings to non-locals.


Other shows in the month-long festival to watch out for

According to the official Facebook page of Masskara Festival, the following are the other worthwhile activities that locals and tourists must watch out for during the entirety of the celebration. Winners await major cash prizes and trophies for their talents and hard work.


  • MassKara Battle of the Bands
  • Bacolod Korean Pop (K-POP) Night
  • MassKara Hiphop Dance Challenge
  • The Kings of 6100 Rap Show
  • Coffee and Music Festival
  • MassKara Tamiya Cup
  • Cakefest and the Cake Queen
  • Mr. and Ms. Teen MassKara
  • Inter-Barangay Giant Mask Competition
  • Ang Bida ng Barangay Talent Search
  • MassKara Tattoo Convention
  • On-The-Spot MassKara Painting Competition
  • Tatak Bacolod Food Festivals 2022
  • MassKara Digital Art Exhibit
  • Balik Negosyo Balik Yuhum Trade Fair


Live Within the City of Smiles and Invest in Lumina Bacolod

Bacolod in Negros Occidental is a highly urbanized city that will make you near establishments and businesses for you and your family's convenience. Opportunities also abound, making permanent residency in Bacolod a worthy housing investment.


Lumina Homes Bacolod is a conducive community for relaxation and comfort. Taking residence in Lumina Homes Bacolod and Bacolod East is just a 20-minute drive from the Bacolod Downtown Area, and only 15 minutes away from the New Government Centre. It is also nearby government sites such as Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Wet and dry markets are a quick drive from the subdivision, and schools, from elementary to college, are well within your reach.


Make your investment in an affordable house and lot for sale in the City of Smiles through Lumina Homes! An affordable house and lot without a compromise on quality are what we offer as a trusted real estate brand for over a decade. Get your affordable house and lot in the Philippines now and send us a message through our website. Stay tuned to our blog posts for the latest trends and updates about real estate, investments, and beyond.

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