Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
October 27, 2018

“This event is truly a showcase of unique cultural heritage and rich history of your hometown, the ‘City of Smiles’,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte when he graced the 39th Masskara Festival held at the public plaza of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental.

In his keynote address, the President conveyed that the Masskara Festival is an event that demonstrates an inspiring story of Filipino resilience. “It is proof that despite the many struggles and hardships we face, we can overcome any adversity through cooperation and perseverance,” he said.

In the history of Bacolod, the city fell under economic loss and ship tragedy back in the 1980s. Amidst the time of despair and mourning, the Bacolodnons and the local government then decided to organize a festival with the sole purpose of uplifting the people’s spirits and bring back the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

In present time, the Masskara Festival is one of the most popular and widely celebrated occasions in the Philippines. It commences from the fourth week of October and lasts until the end of the month. A few minor events of the celebration start at the very beginning of the month until the end of the festival.

President Duterte also lauded the craftsmanship and talent showcased throughout the festivities, as the dynamic spirit of the Bacolodnons truly reflects the Filipino people’s identity.

“I hope that this annual celebration will serve as a reminder to my fellow public servants and our beloved citizens to never hesitate in lending a helping hand and warm smiles to those in need, especially during times of calamities and distress,” he added.

The 39th Masskara Festival bears the theme, ‘Happy Birthday, Bacolod!’ as 2018 also marks Bacolod’s 80th year as a city. The main and most iconic event of the festival is the street dance competition, where dancers in bright costumes and wonderful masks perform in the beat of loud drums and Latin music.

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