Masskara Festival, Bacolod City

A mask is perceived as a tool to hide real emotions. But in Bacolod City, capital of Negros Occidental in the Philippines, a mask symbolizes gaiety and festivals. Here in Bacolod, the Masskara festival is an event that gathers locals, natives and tourists to join in the celebration held on the third weekend of October every year.


Masskara Festival, Photo taken by Noel Saratan of

The term Masskara is derived from two words: Mass which means crowd, and Cara which means face, which also doubles as a term for mask. The festival’s symbol, a smiling mask, symbolizes a happy spirit despite sadness.

A festive Masskara dance competition delights people as they dance and sway to the catchy rhythm of the Latin beat. Many activities are held on this festival; beauty pageants, food festivals, carnivals, concerts, agricultural trade fair shows, and a lot more.

This festival goes on for a week and invites people to participate in their various activities. Some people may find it hard to swing their hips to the music, and if so, competitions like pole climbing and pig catching sre available to entertain you. The Philippines world-famous coconut also presents itself in a coconut milk drinking challenge. If you have an artistic side, you can try your luck in the mask-making contest.

A sight to behold indeed. Bacolod can offer you a lot more, so check out the Masskara festival and let their infectious laughter take your trouble away.

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