Masskara Festival 2016

My lack of posting is thanks to lack of wifi…

Tuck yourself in, this is a long post.

I had hopes of writing more frequently than I have been, but wifi is almost nonexistent here. At least compared to what we’re used to in North America. Which is okay! Adapting is key… that’s not to say it’s easy to do.

The key to surviving minimal wifi is to get a prepaid data plan that actually lasts… which is extremely hard to do. But I think I’ve got the hang of it now… hopefully. 😀


The flowers I walk past near my house almost everyday…

Things are going well here in Iloilo. I think anyways… I haven’t actually been here that much. In fact, as I type this I’m sitting in the airport ready to leave for a weekend trip to Cebu.


Sunday night crew at Metro Inn for all you can drink…200php! (Left: Ping, Matt, Meagan, Jan, Riza, Conor, Tash, Lindsey, Me)

Last weekend was filled with eating, dancing & drinking with friends. Myself & the other 4 Philippine interns travelled to Bocolod, the city of smiles, for Masskara Festival 2016. This is a festival filled with incredible masked street dancers. The Main Street (Lacson Street) was decorated with colourful banners & every 30-40 meters or so, there was a stage.

During the day, Lacson Street was open to traffic but at night the entire thing was shut down & totally packed with people. I thought the Calgary Stampede was full of humans… not even close, compared to Masskara.

Upon our arrival on Friday afternoon, it was supper time & then we moved our party to an art filled bar named “Tippy’s” where our good friend Riza was launching her social organization that promotes environment health & awareness. It’s called EarthingPH. It was right where I wanted to be, as the theme of the launch was “Mermaids & Treehuggers”. She had 3 themed alcoholic drinks: Ursela’s potion (pineapple juice, ginger & some form of alcohol), Captain…something (I don’t actually know what it was but it was delicious), & my personal favourite… Pirate Balls (get your mind out of the gutter, it’s because it had watermelon soaked in vodka…yum).


Riza at Tippy’s bar for her Earthing PH launching!

After myself, Riza & Meagan (another intern stationed in Puerto Princesa on Palawan) got our faces painted like skull candy…we hit “the streets” for the party! Our crew was around 10 or 15 I’m pretty sure… we all had face paint or a mask on to participate in the Masskara theme!


Sorry… I had a few glasses of Pirate Balls & we were rushing this photo

While most of the crew went out again on Saturday, a few of us hit Friday night too hard & decided to rest up early to prepare for the big day/night on Sunday. This is the day of the street dancing parade & of course, another crazy night of dancing.


Street dancer during the parade.

The parade on Sunday was nothing short of a cultural experience. While I’m used to the Stampede Parade in Calgary, where all citizens typically stay off the streets & keep their distance from each other in order to see the floats going by, the Masskara parade was the complete opposite…

Dancers were guided by policemen & other personnel within a giant circle of rope, that moved with them in order to keep people out of their way. After each group of dancers wet by, people flooded the street to get a face-to-face view of the next group of dancers coming their way… Chaos! But so fun…

Myself, Lindsey & Meagan (the Palawan stationed interns) decided to continue the cultural experience & head to “The Ruins” for a sunset supper.


The Ruins! (Left: Meagan, Lindsey, Me)

We kind of missed the sunset… but seeing the old mansion of a sugar Barron lit up at night was nothing short of beautiful. It was here that we had supper, wine & listened to a cover band sing yet another version of Closer by the Chainsmokers, which was apparently the anthem of our weekend.

Next… Metro Inn for unlimited cocktails for 200php… which amounts to about $6. I think you can pretty much guess how the rest of our night went…

What I WILL tell you though, is that it ended with McDonalds. Some things don’t change, even if you move to the Philippines. 😀

Here is my love letter to Bacolod:

Dear Bacolod,

City of smiles… Thank you for bringing me cultural experiences, god food & even better company. It was at your infamous Masskara Festival that I met new friends, became closer with existing ones & laughed so hard, I cried. Thank you for lighting up my life with the beautiful smiles that fill your streets. Until next time… xoxo


Here’s to the good times

Masskara playlist:

Closer – The Chainsmokers


One thought on “Masskara Festival 2016

  1. Primrose says:

    Thank you for speaking well of my home city Christa. I envy you – I didnt even care about Masskara when we were living there . I didn’t realize how much that weekend mean to you and how it brought you sheer enjoyment, fun and new cultural experience.
    I truly enjoy reading your blogs, posts and photos.
    Keep ’em coming. Can’t wait to see you all and Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

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