DUBBED as the grandest MassKara Festival ever, this year’s revelry will kick off with “Salubong: The Grand MassKara Countdown” on September 30.

To open the festivities, Bacolod is bringing in music icon Rico Blanco to take centerstage during the Kick-off Salubong, along with other surprise guests.

Blanco is a multi-awarded singer-songwriter who is also known as one of the founding members of the Filipino rock band Rivermaya.

He has since launched his solo artist career and has dabbled in films and production.

Rodney Ascalon, stage director of the event, said the show will start at 4 p.m. with different entertainment, leading to the countdown by midnight with an explosion of fireworks to signal the start of the MassKara Festival.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Albelardo Benitez and city councilors are expected to join the countdown.

“We will be showcasing the events that will take place in the festival to give the people a preview of what to expect in these competitions,” Ascalon said, adding that they will also be unveiling the installation art of visual artist, Charlie Co that has become a must-see in the festival.

Joining Blanco on stage are local bands and performers, the Toda Kings, electric and streetdance participants, the Miss Bacolod MassKara contenders, among others. “Post the countdown, the party will continue with music from our bands and DJs,” Ascalon added.

Meanwhile, in its aim to level up the street dancing competition to bring world-class smiles to Bacolod, all trainers and choreographers underwent a professional enrichment training and seminar– workshop.

During the workshop, the choreographers revisited the history of MassKara, learned basic acting, and were taught how to add value to their art and designs.

The speakers who shared their expertise to the participants include Paul Manuel D. Valdezco who discussed “MassKara: A mix of sugar and art; Nonilon Torpez who taught them basic acting workshop and Randyll Villones who shared his expertise on designing festival dance.

The topic “NAWONG: Redefining Designs Through Identity” was discussed by Rommel Cadigal.

The trainers and choreographers will apply what they have learned during this one-day Workshop in the most awaited comeback of the MassKara Street dancing and Arena Competition this coming October 23, 2022.