4–28 October 2018
Known as the ‘City of Smiles’, Bacolod’s world-famous fun-filled MassKara festival, now on its 38th year, is a popular celebration that traces its roots back to 1980 when it was introduced as a way to boost morale after poor sugarcane sales and a tragedy that took the lives of 1,000 people. Since then, this vibrant and brightly-coloured festival has become a much revered annual happening. Named from a combination of the English word “mass” and the Spanish word “kara” meaning face, MassKara is recognised by the ornate smiling masks worn by thousands of revellers performing in the streets. Spectators are also treated to food festivals, live music, street dance competitions and a parade of illuminated floats and giant puppets. Sports events, pageants and street parties also feature during the main few days of MassKara, but what makes this festival particularly standout is the genuine warmth and friendliness of the welcoming locals.