October 2013 Maskary or Maskara?-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
MASKARA, according to the artistic minds of its creators, was a term coined from “masa” and “Kari”. “Masa” means the masses or the people while “kari” means come. This is a celebration in Bacolod that was invented to augment and to let the people forget of the miseries and poverty brought to the province by the collapse of the Sugar industry and the tragedies that beset the whole province. Bacolod chose the inauguration date of its cityhood as the Highlight of the whole celebration. It was really to cover up the sad and miserable faces of the masses of Bacolod ad the Province. After a successful holding of the pista or piste, the other cities and municipalities of the province followed. Soon, the parish fiestas were slowly replaced by charter day celebrations.
For quite a long time, the City celebrated the charter day on the day of its inauguration. Former Mayor Leonardia and his administration corrected this a year ago by transferring the Charter day on the signing of the law while to celebrate October 19 as the inauguration day. Masskara festivities shall continue to be celebrated on the Inauguration day anniversary so as not to destroy the tradition.
In the past years, the city-owned side of the Public Plaza was turned into a very big Beer garden. Bacolodnons would stay up late and drink their hearts out. It was a local Oktoberfest in Bacolod City. The negative thing about it was that there was no solution to the waste problem of the city after the week or 2 week long festivities. Weeks before the celebration, people from all walks of life flock to the Public plaza and enjoy the people and the site of the beer garden. Now, one is shocked of the very clean public plaza.
Maskary is a term coined by me. It simply means “Mas-scary” or this year’s celebration is scarier than the past celebrations. Why? Being pragmatic and phenomenological, one could really say that the heat of the celebration is not felt well. Although, many should disagree with me for this is just the 15th day of the festivities.
Take the case of the official beat. Unlike in the past, the beat was really ours and was composed by our own. This year, we borrowed the Brazilian tone and beat. Actually, it was the music used in the 1st Masskara according to a historian. I could understand that on our first celebration for we are just beginning and remember that everyone was under the spell of the miseries and poverty of the time. The beat was really new and was a “music of the times”. We could have our own composition and beat.
The use of different venues in the city is a very good idea is Bacolod was as small as other municipalities in the province. One has to ride a vehicle from one venue to another and would mean more expenses and less time to enjoy. Decongestion was one reason stated by the organizers and management. However, if we really want people to enjoy well, we should have not destroyed traditions, we could have only improved. In the case of the present administration, everything is changed and organized to erase all traces of the previous administration. It seems that no matter how good the projects were, they should be replaced.
The Masskara Beauty pageant, as one of the highlight, has been done. In fairness to the production outfit, it was really grand and beautiful. It really brought out the essence of the celebrations which is: “to cover up the reality (masking)”. It really masked the reality of the graft and corruption issues; the pork barrel, the irrelevnce of the celebration, the scams and poverty in the sidewalks of the city.
We have to wait for the highlight this weekend. I pray and hope that this year’s Masskara will surpass my expectations. But for now, I still rate it very low and frustrating.
Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Pedro Calungsod, Blessed John Paul II, Monsignorii John Liu and John Su, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 15, 2013.