MAYOR Evelio Leonardia confirmed Sunday, August 25, that the Bacolod City Government will invite President Rodrigo Duterte to grace the 40th MassKara Festival celebration in October.
"We will invite him, but of course, we cannot preempt his decision. As a matter of honor and tradition, we will for sure invite him," Leonardia said.
Duterte has graced the MassKara Festival since he was elected in 2016.
The mayor said Duterte has graced the MassKara Festival for three consecutive years.
"It's three years straight and anything beyond that is a bonus," he said.
In 2018, the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also witnessed some of the festival's highlights.
Festival director Eli Francis Tajanlangit earlier said that this year's festival will be a Ruby MassKara Festival celebration and they are going to level up the festival.
He said on September 8, they will unveil the major art installation that will serve as a memorial to the festival.
"We will also unveil the logo. The logo will capture the 40 years of the MassKara. The first logo that was done by Ely Santiago of the Art Association of Bacolod will be integrated to Yuhom," he added.
This year's MassKara Festival celebration themed "Bacolod City of Smiles" will start on October 8 to 27.
Tajanlangit earlier assigned Councilor Israel Salanga as director of this year's festival sites.
Salanga, chairperson of the City Council committee on tourism, said he already held a meeting with the Bacolod City Police Office and discussed security preparations in festival sites at the Bacolod public plaza, Bacolod Government Center, and Lacson Street.
"It's our primary concern to ensure the peace and order of the MassKara Festival celebration," he said.
Salanga said it is expected that the tourist arrival will also increase on this year celebration.