Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
October 22, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte commended the resilience of the people of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental – citing the history of its economic downfall as the sugar cane industry faced competitors, and the tragic submergence of the M/S Don Juan commercial vessel – in his speech during the 38th MassKara Festival at the city’s public plaza.

“And still you were able to celebrate and, as a matter of fact, invented an event that could bring comfort and maybe consolation to the depressed emotions of the Negrenses before. Kaya bilib ako sa inyo. Saludo ako,” the President said.

He also lauded the concerted efforts of the local government and the private sector in making the event successful. He added that MassKara Festival should be a reminder for the Filipino people that it takes hard work, perseverance, and cooperation to rise up and surmount any crises.

“The festival became a symbol of its people’s happy disposition and resilience during difficult times… More than merrymaking, make the Masskara Festival the continuing testament that no amount of hardship could dampen the Filipino spirit,” President Duterte added.

In his visit, the President witnessed the performance of one of the MassKara street dance contingents. This is the second time the Chief Executive joined the MassKara Festival celebration since he became President of the country. The event was attended by the Negros Occidental local chief executives, government officials, employees, local tourism councils, participants, stakeholders, and residents.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia with his wife Elsa Leonardia, Bacolod City Representative Greg Gasataya, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Atty. Ma. Rowena Amelia Guanzon, and Congressman Harry Roque joined the President.