The 20-day celebration of one of the country's highly-anticipated fiestas kicked off yesterday at the Bacolod City Public Plaza with Mayor Monico Puentevella declaring the 2013 MassKara Festival open.
This year's festivities that will run until the 20th, started with a Fun MassKa-Run, Walk and Bike, joined by different schools, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, persons with disabilities and the employees of the Bacolod Government Center.
This was followed by a Zumba program and an inter-faith prayer service, led by representatives of the Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist and Muslim groups, also at the plaza.
Puentevella thanked the participants for joining him at the opening of the MassKara Festival, and said that despite the ongoing conflict in Zamboanga and floods in Manila because of Tropical Storm Quedan, Bacolod still has reason to smile.
“We have big reasons to celebrate. Let us enjoy 20 days of merrymaking starting today and be glad for the good weather,” Puentevella said.
Puentevella also thanked Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya for joining him at the opening rites.
Gasataya lauded the efforts of the Kasadya Bacolod Foundation Inc. for a “lively grand opening”.
Past and present MassKara Queens were also introduced to the public during the ceremony.
Bb. Pilipinas Universe Jewel Mae Lobaton said former MassKara Queens have organized themselves into a “MassKara Queen Circle” to be able to extend help to others.
They also plan to partner with several charitable institutions, like the Bantay Bata 163 Negros, and other sectors that render service to the community, she said.
A MassKara Queen fashion ball will be held at the Bacolod Government Center on October 13 where they will hold a fashion show for a cause, Lobaton added.*CGS