38th Masskara Festival Opens

A heavy downpour did not stop thousands of Bacolodnons to witness the grand opening of the 38th MassKara Festival last night at the heart of Bacolod City.

People swarmed from the old City Hall area along Araneta Avenue to the Diamond Jubilee Memorial Tower at Araneta-Gonzaga junction where the opening program was held.

A parade of winning groups in various contest categories in last year’s street dance and arena contests highlighted the opening program, including winners of last year’s Electric Masskara, among others.

The opening program was capped by a grand fireworks display.

Deputy Commissioner Jesus Clint Aranas of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was guest of honor and speaker.

Aranas lauded Bacolodnons for their united efforts in making the festival a continuing success.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and wife Elsa Fuentes-Leonardia led the opening ceremony, with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Em Ang and Bart Orola, city officials like Executive Assistants Jose Maria Vargas, Moises dela Cruz, and Festival director Eli Tajanlangit.

SECURITY. Security personnel were fielded by Bacolod City Police Office Director, Chief Supt Jack Wanky.

Jared Esquilla, BCPO PIO earlier revealed that Wanky has fielded 673 of its personnel, with 250 as augmentation from the regional headquarters of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6; 150 from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 6 (RPSB 6); 100 from the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOCPPO); 15 from the Philippine Army; 200 Army Reservists, and 250 volunteers coming from various anti-crime groups in the city.

They were deployed to the three festival sites, the Bacolod Public Plaza, Bacolod City Government Center, and the tourism strip along Lacson Street.

Other activities this week will include Tanda Sing Na Dance Pa nightly until October 22; Religious procession on October 8 at NGC; carnival rides until October 22;

October 7 at 6 o’clock in the evening will be the unveiling of the Magical MassKara at the fountain area, and also exhibits of plants until October 22. * ( Edith B. Colmo )

Negros Occidental :