The international magazine National Geographic has chosen Bacolod’s MassKara Festival as one of the 12 must-do things in the world for October.
“Travel to Bacolod City, Philippines to dance in the streets wearing bright costumes and smiling masks at the MassKara Festival (October 1-21)," the Travel Section of the magazine wrote.
NatGeo is the second international news organization to have endorsed the MassKara Festival. Earlier, CNN also chose Bacolod’s festival “one of the 12 best things in the Philippines.”
The MassKara made it to the NatGeo list that included the Nuit Blanche or White Night festival in Paris, the Festival of Lights in Berlin, the Annual Apple Festival in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Melbourne Festival of Arts, the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival in New Mexico and the Festival de Moie of Mexico.
The MassKara was one of the only two Asian events that made it to the NatGeo list. The other is the Sakon Nakhon Wax Castle Festival (October 26-30) in northeastern Thailand.
“When a sugar-industry slump coincided with a tragedy at sea that claimed close to 700 lives, the community decided to hold a festival to demonstrate their solidarity and determination to rise above adversity. The tradition bore repeating and the celebration grows each year,” the Nat Geo article added.
Yet again, we have here a validation that our MassKara has joined the international tourism map, Eli Tajanlangit, festival director for the last nine years said.
As envisioned by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the MassKara is now an international event, he added.
Tajanlangit recalled that Leonardia had directed them to re-engineer the MassKara into the global festival that it should be when he first appointed them organizers nine years ago.*(JCM/Easter Anne D. Doza-PIA6/SMFO Negros Occidental)