FIRST, I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome for this art column "inARTey." I am most proud that we get to be read in Bacolod, Manila, and around the world as we share our stories from Bacolod and Negros. Madamo guid nga salamat!
It is the most wonderful time of the year -- Christmas! And last Saturday, November 7, 2020, SM Bacolod launched its giant Christmas Tree with Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose "Bong" Lacson and Bacolod City Councilor Israel Salanga as the special guests.
This 40-foot Christmas tree is designed with more than 50 giant and wearable MassKaras. With all its MassKara colors and festive spirit, the masks were done by local artists and artisans that SM is supporting.
Had a little chat with SM Bacolod's Marketing Head Nep Grandea and I asked why this concept. He said that we have missed the annual festivities in the City of Smiles last October 2020. And because of this, SM Bacolod wants to take on the original message and reason for MassKara Festival: to bring smiles to the faces of Bacolenos in times of hardship and difficulty. And judging from the launch, it did bring back those smiles to the people! Congratulations SM!
Speaking of support, I also met some of my production friends who are taking care of the launch. This pandemic has done so much to the events industry and I am thankful for businesses like SM that also support local talents like the prod crew, host, dancers, singers, make-up artists, and performers. Kudos SM!
I enjoyed the little show that they put up and I was grinning like a child when I saw Santa Claus there with Governor Lacson chatting. It has been a long while that I haven't gone malling so it was perfect with the tallest Christmas tree in the city, some of my favorite Nutcracker soldiers, an angel, a toy soldier, and some wrapped gifts.
Oh, by the way, I personally have supported the Bears of Joy project for years now and I am glad that it is back! You can buy a pair of toy bears for P200 -- one to keep and the other to be donated to a community charity. Our Tampisaw Watercolorists group had an exhibit in SM a few years back and we bought several of these stuffed toy bears to give to our local charities too. If you are feeling grateful, this is also a good way of reaching out to kids and give them a reason to smile again.
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