Let MassKara stay-A A +A
By Ver Pacete
As I See It
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Bacolod is MassKara. MassKara is Bacolod. I hope that Bacolodnons are comfortable with that. I have received two lovely letters from Danny B. Dangcalan, the media affairs coordinator of 2012 MassKara Festival. Danny is requesting me, “Please help us promote MassKara Festival to your readers.” Danny, your wish is granted.
Life’s good in Bacolod (because of MassKara Festival). Yes, MF promotes the dance, music, art, food, business, tourism, art, culture and the Bacolodnons. Every MassKara season we see different strokes, new attractions, new events, new faces, improved activities and enthusiastic participation. I am congratulating Festival Director Eli Tajanlangit. Organizations are coming to Bacolod for conference, for the seminar-workshop, for benchmarking, for cultural exchange, for social tour. All these mean, “We are coming to Bacolod for MassKara Festival.”
After October, what? Let’s have a definite answer. MassKara Festival should not be for October only. If Manila university students or Mindanao barangay captains will come to Bacolod in March, can they still have a glimpse of MassKara dancers in our streets or in our plaza? Do we have a MassKara Museum for our creatures from the Magic Land? Is there an art gallery where we can find the masks of smiling Bacolodnons? Can we hear the festive music in the lobby of our hotels?
What I am trying to say here is, “We have to save MassKara Festival.” Christmas is for December only. There is no question about that. Bacolod is MassKara and MassKara is Bacolod. Both of them should go together like husband and wife. I hope Danny and Eli will not stop promoting MF after October 31. I humbly suggest that Bacolod City and the festival organizer should come up with a MassKara Village near the government center or at the BREDCO area to keep MassKara spirit alive. Let the village live like a small enchanted kingdom. My unsolicited advice for the new congressman, mayor, vice mayor, and councilors after the 2013 elections is to come up with sustained MassKara attractions to sustain the fun and the ‘good life’ in Bacolod.
I am sure many will be amused. People from other regions and tourists from other countries will come to Bacolod to see the importance of a mask. Our new officials will have MassKara Livelihood Program. MassKara cottage industries will be given assistance. MassKara 101 will be taught in some special classes for tourism students. I am saying all these because we have made MassKara Festival so popular that it becomes not only a festival emblem of Bacolod but of Negros Occidental as well. This was confirmed by the Association of Tourism Officers of Negros Occidental.
Visitors from the airport are not only the concern of Bacolod officials. Silay and Talisay officials are involved to welcome them, especially the members of the League of Cities. MassKara festival visitors don’t just go to Bacolod. They also go to Bago for their outside Bacolod Tour. They reach Sipalay for a dive. They pass San Carlos for extra trip to Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.
After the Bacolod fun, the guests may hop to Iloilo or Guimaras or spend a week in Boracay. I even requested Eli to give a Silaynon independent film producer a chance to make MassKara Festival a part of the film. Eli said yes. Thank you, Eli. So, MassKara is special. We have to keep it alive for the whole year. I hope we don’t just close to meet again next year. Right, Danny?
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 20, 2012.