The Walks of Kulot

March 10, 2013, 4:38 pm
Filed under: WOK in VISAYAS | Tags: , , , ,

As part of my bucket list of the places to visit and things to do in the Philippines is the chance to attend a festival. I have been to Bacolod twice but I never had the chance to attend the Masskara festival, so last year I made it a point to go back and join the festivity.

The Masskara Festival

The Masskara festival is  a monthlong celebration but the most-awaited street dance parade is usually held during the weekend of the third week of October. The festival which originated almost three decades ago is a commemoration of Bacolod’s triumph after experiencing economic devastation during its early years. From then on, the Masskara festival is celebrated annually as it has evolved into a grand festivity of sort – bursting in colors and smiles – a reminder of the city’s resilience and optimism. True to the theme of the Masskara festival last year, Life is definitely good in Bacolod.

It rained so hard during the first day of the street dance competition (Schools category) but that didn’t dampen the spirit of the students and participants. True to the spirit of the Masskara festival, the show must go on as students danced their way with much enthusiasm wearing their big smiles.

Street parties + Streetdance parade

During the festival, Bacolod becomes a bustling city as parties are literally held on every street. The city’s main thoroughfare, Lacson Street, transforms into a long party avenue as giant speakers are set-up in every block beside makeshift stages offering all night entertainment to party goers. Restaurants along Lacson are almost booked with guests enjoying the company of family and friends over dinner or bottles of beer. You can really feel the vibrant and party atmosphere everywhere. As an added attraction, every night an Electric Masskara parade passes by Lacson street which is a spectacle not to be missed.

But the highlight of the festival is the Masskara streetdance parade, which is divided into two categories: the Schools and Barangay category. Street dancers prep up at the end of Libertad Araneta street as they make their way through the main avenue going to the Bacolod Public Plaza for their main performance. The Masskara festival is characterized by colorful and flamboyant costumes as street dancers gyrate to the beat of the main theme song of the festival. But what makes the festival unique are the big smiling masks worn by the dancers.

Here are some shots during the parade.

A Masskara souvenir being sold in the streets during the festival.

Masskara souvenirs.

A smile within a smile.

One of the colorful ensembles who performed during the festival.

This group is from the barangay category.

Tired but still smiling.

The blue and white group.

Life’s definitely good in Bacolod.

Mother and child.

Spot the smiling face.

All geared up with their props and giant smiles.

Jesters on the loose.

Can’t help but smile too.