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Monday, September 26, 2011

Bacolod MassKara Festival History Bacolod, Negros Occidental Philippines

Bacolod MassKara Festival History

The MassKara Festival was said to have been a cover up for the downfall of the sugar cane industry, that came out from the mouth of my Bacolodnon's friend. 

How to get there: Cebu-Bacolod by land travel

Cebu Terminal: North Bus Terminal 
Ceres buses: air-conditioned bus fare: 325 php, non-air conditioned bus:315 php , might as well take the air conditioned bus but you have to be early to catch it. We took the 4:30am Bus bound for Port Area in Toledo
Travel time: 2-3 hours travel time,it always depends on the stop overs or the weather. We arrived at the Port Area in Toledo around 6:30 in the morning.
Barge fare: 215 php, which includes the terminal fee. We rode the waves at 8:00am and got our feet on the ground at about 9:30am.
Barge Travel time: one and half hours sea travel. 
Bus fare going to other towns of Bacolod:35-40 php.

In my research it was said that the festival first began in 1980 during a period of crisis. The province relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the price of sugar was at an all-time low due to the introduction of sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup in the United States. It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that year, the inter-island vessel Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated 700 lives were lost in the tragedy. In the midst of these tragic events, the city's artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles. They reasoned that a festival was also a good opportunity to pull the residents out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere. The initial festival was therefore, a declaration by the people of the city that no matter how tough and bad the times were, Bacolod City is going to pull through, survive, and in the end, triumph.
We had gone home early in the morning at exactly 5:00 in the morning we we're already in the street waiting for the Bus going to San Carlos City Port Area. One more thing that made my Bacolod such an interesting trip, it happened when we we're dining at Greeno'z Pizzaria. A group of friends were having a great time at the other table, then a tall,quite a handsome guy came in towards them, one by one he kisses all the girls cheek in such a slow pace. I knew for sure he's straight and I liked what I saw. I also noticed how taxi,jeepney,tricycad drivers never failed to smile when you either pay your fare and ask for directions- maybe they're all in a good mood I'm glad I've got to see it. It would be a great thing if we all have that kind of manners in our culture. Bacolodnon's are smiling, sweet, affectionate people and I can definitely say it's true. No wonder how they became the "City of Smiles" here in the Philippines.

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