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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in the Philippines, Season 1, Lesson 16 - MassKara Festival
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 16, MassKara Festival. In Filipino, it’s called MassKara Festival.
Have you ever heard of the festival in the Philippines known as the festival of smiles, or in Filipino ngiti? It’s the MassKara Festival, and it is celebrated in Bacolod, Negros Occidental in the third weekend of October, or the weekend closest to October 19th each year.
In this lesson, we will learn how the MassKara Festival is celebrated.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Where did the name of the MassKara Festival come from?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The MassKara Festival was first celebrated in 1980 to dispel the gloomy atmosphere in the province of Negros caused by two consecutive crises that year: the drop in the worldwide price of sugarcane, in Filipino called tubo; and the sinking of the ship MV Don Juan, which killed almost 700 people from the province. Because of these two tragedies, the MassKara Festival was created as a symbol of the resilience of Bacolod City.
The first thing you’ll notice at this feast are the masks. The designs on these masks, or maskara in Filipino, are continually changing—from native Filipino designs, to designs derived from the Rio Carnival and the Carnival of Venice. The highlight of the MassKara Festival is the street dance, where groups of dancers from different communities compete with each other to show off the most impressive dance.
Of course, the MassKara Festival isn’t limited to just these events, or in Filipino kaganapan. There are a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including the MassKara Queen beauty pageant, drum and bugle competitions, food festivals, musical concerts, agricultural trade-fairs, garden shows, and even small amusement parks.
Bacolod City has been dubbed the City of Smiles of the Philippines. In 2008, it ranked first in MoneySense Magazine’s list of most livable places in the Philippines. Also, it has been declared a “center of excellence” in information technology by the Department of Science and Technology.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Where did the name of the MassKara Festival come from?
The name “MassKara” is taken from the English word “mass”, referring to a mass of people, and the Spanish word “cara,” which in English means “face”. Putting these together, the name of the festival translates to “many faces.” It is also a play on the Filipino word for masks, “maskara,” since the people who join the festival are invited to wear colorful masks.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever attended a similar celebration?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

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Have you ever attended a similar celebration?