Why don’t we all wear masks?-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
WHEN we explain the concept of the Masskara festival to foreign visitors, we usually say that Masskara is a festival where the people get together in a celebration of joy and goodwill, where everyone puts on a mask and has a jolly good time.
Well, if that statement is to be taken word for word then we're just lying to our foreign visitors because the only people who actually put on masks during the Masskara festival are the dancers. Why can't we do it like the Venetians do it? After all, we sort of modeled our Masskara festival after the Venetian Carnival. Is it because the typical Negrense is afraid that his mask will make him look stupid? Well the festival is called the Masskara for a reason.
Think of all the opportunities we could have if everyone wore a mask during the Masskara. As it stands right now, the festival is just like any other - an excuse for public intoxication with a big tribal dance unique to the province in the beginning. It'd be more than that if we followed the example of Venice.
Imagine if you could talk to anyone you wanted without fear of any repercussions should you screw up. Imagine if everyone around you was judged not by physical appearance but by charm and wit. Suddenly, the Masskara seems more interesting. See, in renaissance Venice, the rich and poor would mingle during the carnival freely because they were indistinguishable due to their masks.
During Masskara, hardly anyone really "mingles" anymore - it's just you and your friends holding hands trying to get through the sea of people. Maybe, you'll say hi to a few friends or acquaintances here or there, but if you're the typical mahuluyaon na Ilonggo, chances are that you're not going to make any new friends during the Masskara.
However, if everyone wore the masks the festival is so famous for, then, in theory at least, you could talk to whoever you wish and act however you like without fear of being remembered by the entire city the following morning.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 05, 2013.