The History of the Masskara Festival in Bacolod

October 23, 2019 | Adam Fort

Among the best times of the year to look for flights from Manila to Bacolod is in October. Each year during this time, the most colorful festival will come together for almost the entire month at the exquisite Bacolod City within the Philippines. The whole month of October is filled with parties and people enjoying themselves within Bacolod City thanks to the joyful MassKara Festival.

Photo by  Luca Bucken  on  Unsplash
Photo by Luca Bucken on Unsplash

Hundreds of people gather within Bacolod to pay witness to what is known as among the most thrilling festivals worldwide. There are street dances, live music, anything that can be imagined as far as entertainment and having fun.



The MassKara Festival is a good reason to look for flights from Manila to Bacolod during the month of October. There is sheer joy felt throughout the city during this time. The festival had its beginning back in 1980 when the local government and the villagers decided to hold a ‘celebration’ of sorts to express and relieve grief that they were experiencing due to the economic crisis and city-wide tragedy. The government saw this as a way to show that the city was tough and would always be able to survive even in the direst of situations.


People participated in the festival by wearing masks to hide the tears that they were shedding and the sadness in their faces along with brightly colored costumes, and unusual accessories while parading around and dancing in the streets, all to give the message of happiness despite the difficult state of their lives. As time went by and the festival took hold over the years, more people joined to the point that it has now become widely known around the globe as one of the most popular festivals, with nearly 3 million people who attend from every corner of the world.

MassKara Festival is alternately known as the ‘festival of smiles’ due to the tradition of the masks that the people wear donning smiles to represent the message of happiness. Because of the festival, Bacolod is also designated as the ‘City of Smiles’. The festival still today represents a time of the year when the people can take their sadness or any pain that they are experiencing and ‘throw it away’ as they did all those years ago when it first began. This is their new beginning or a fresh start. It is boasted as a magnificent sight to see and something that everyone should try to experience at some point. It is also touted as the longest festival being a month in duration in which there are multiple celebrations, parties, gatherings in honor of the theme.

Photo by  Brett Andrei Martin  on  Unsplash
Photo by Brett Andrei Martin on Unsplash

The MassKara Festival is a beautiful, symbolic gesture of the type of resiliency the people of Bacolod hold. Flights from Manila to Bacolod may be difficult to get during that time of the year with the popularity of the festival. It is certainly worth a try to book well enough ahead of time that you get to see such an amazing event.

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