Duterte opens MassKara fest today

BY MAE SINGUAY

BACOLOD City – Today, President Rodrigo Duterte will officially open the 37th MassKara Festival at the Bacolod Public Plaza at 4 p.m.
Several national officials were also invited to the opening rites, said Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

“With the President’s presence, we can say that MassKara Festival 2016 is off to a great start,” said the mayor who personally followed up the invitation to Duterte during a seminar in Davao City on Sept. 20 where the President was the keynote speaker.

Mayors of the Negros Island Region have been invited, too.

The President will see a run-through of what the festival would be like for 23 days, according to festival director Eli Francis Tajanlangit.
Teasers of major events will be shown to the President such as MassKara dancers and drumbeaters, Nights of Mardi Gras models, and Electric MassKara performing floats.

MassKara dancers will also serve as backdrop of the stage for the opening ceremony. Tajanlangit said this will add to the festive spirit of the program.

Yesterday, kiosks at the public plaza, carnival sites at SM City Bacolod grounds and at the back of Bacolod Government Center were opened.
Exciting events have been lined up for the 23-day festivities in three official festival sites – public plaza, Bacolod Government Center, and Tourism Strip.

The candidates for the MassKara Queen 2016 will have their talent competition at Robinsons Place on Oct. 8, swimsuit competition at Palmas del Mar Resort on Oct. 9, and coronation night at the STI-West Negros University on Oct. 15.

Carnival-inspired fantasy costumes will be showcased during the Nights of Mardi Gras on Oct. 10, 11, 12 at the Bacolod Public Plaza.
The nightly entertainment around the Bacolod Public Plaza will be the “Tanda! Sing Na, Dance Pa” competition from Oct. 1 to 21 with grand finals on Oct. 22 at the plaza bandstand.

The Majica MassKara, an art installation now on its 13th year, will be unveiled at the Bacolod Government Center fountain area on Oct. 8. Titled, “Golden Age of Change”, the Majica will be installed by Bacolod-based artists led by Charlie Co.

The now-famous Electric MassKara, a long stretch of street parties, is happening on Oct. 20 to 23 at the Tourism Strip – that 16-block strip of Lacson Street from 6th Street to 22nd Street.

Started in 2007 as the “night version” of daytime street dancing, the Electric MassKara is a showcase of MassKara dancers with lighted costumes. There will be a “performing floats competition” on its second night, with a “champions showcase” on the third night.
The biggest highlight of the festival will be the street dance competition on Oct. 22 (for the school category) and Oct. 23 (for barangay category) that will both start at 3 p.m.

The newest attraction in the festival is the “Sadya ang MassKara with Mayor Bing – Fireworks Competition” to be held in three different locations: on Oct. 20 at Bacolod Public Plaza, Oct. 21 and 22 at Tourism Strip, and Oct. 23 at the Bacolod Government Center. (MassKara Newsroom/PN)