MORE than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the MassKara festival 2022 celebration in October two years after it took a backseat due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Atty. Pinky Mirano-Ocampo, who is the founder of the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation and this year’s Festival Director, said that it is timely for us to unite and join together in bringing our iconic smiles back on our faces which explains the theme “Balik-Yuhum”.

Mirano-Ocampo at the sidelights of the VIP and sponsors' gala, which is a MassKara fund raiser event held at Stonehill Suites in Bacolod last night, August 21, said the theme song of the festival will be sung by Darren Espanto.

It will also be used for the MassKara festival music video and will be arranged for the street dance competition incorporating some Hiligaynon lyrics, she said.

Aside from Espanto, the girlfriend of Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, actress Sue Ramirez also made a music video for the festival.

Mirano-Ocampo stressed that this will be the grandest MassKara festival as this will not only feature street dance competition but will also test the endurance of the Bacolodnons in a sports competition dubbed as “MassKara Olympics.”

Pavillions at the Panaad park in Bacolod City will also open as part of the festival sites.

Meanwhile, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said that they have a collaborative effort with the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, Inc. for the staging of this year's festival.

The city government will not extend financial support to the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, Incorporated instead, the latter will be the one to raise funds needed to mount the festival, Benitez stressed.

He said the difference of this festival is they divided the events into three parts wherein the first part or first week will be intended to be sporting events followed by trade fairs, cultural events and entertainment on the second week.

Currently, the hotel bookings are nearing full capacity as this time and they have already started looking for air bed and breakfast accommodations for the guests, Benitez disclosed

“We only have 3,500 hotel rooms and I will also ask Mr. Frank Carbon (of Weesam) to have an additional ferry trip during the MassKara festival (since) we are expecting a lot of visitors," the mayor said.

For his part, Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya urged everyone to be part of this year's MassKara festival.

From October 1 to 23, the Masskara will rock the island and unfold its mesmerizing and entertaining display of vibrant, electric and full-of-energy events.

Other competitions include a bodybuilding competition, LGBTQ events, Miss Bacolod Masskara, and many more to mention.