Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Quest for Masskara Festival

My sister once told me I’m the master crammer in the family. I guess she’s right because here I am, in the middle of busy and crowded food-court of a big mall, grabbing a chance for a free WIFI access, and trying so hard to clutter words to elicit a good write up and convince everyone that I, (yes I! Me and no one else), deserve to win the trip to Masskara Festival in Bacolod. The last minute appeal has finally given me the right nerves to come with an article.

My eyes flew to my black Fossil watch and the minutes seemed to blur with hours. The bleakness of my feat seemed to emanate with huge bang! I have never written something like this in my life! Or better yet, I have never tried convincing anyone of my worth, especially through writing (saved the few heated drama I’ve had with friends when I almost renounce them or the endless verbal discourse I’ve had with my sister, who always end up the winner, the lawyer that she is…). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I really can’t decipher what special something I have over the others when I’m practically very ordinary you’d almost not notice me when I’m beside a wall.

Truth of the matter is, if I can’t convince myself, how would I start convincing anyone? The bitter fact slapped me life some hard hitting paddle. I guess I will never win this trip with fancy accolade to myself. So instead of pointing the unique reasons I possess (which will take light-years to figure out), let me just share the very mundane motivations I share with others.

1. Adventure. I guess everyone once in a while dreams of being swept in their feet by some magical flying carpet to a foreign land where everything is a place of discovery. In my case I have slept walk with that fantasy. Bacolod is a place I have only read about in books or heard about in news. Yes, I have met people who came from the area and who have always boasted of the place with pride (a place of smiles as they say), but I have yet to see and experience it for myself. I have already roamed the peaceful mountains of Cordillera’s and have seen the pristine sands of Mindanao, but Western Visayas still seemed to be far from my reach. I have always dreamed to wander and talk about how I got lost amidst its beauty and of course the colorful masks!

2. Culture.  Like every Filipino, there’s an unconcealed drive in my heart to know my own culture. History taught me a lot of why we should be proud of our own heritage and why we must continue embracing it with heartfelt loyalty. I believe Masskara Festival and the historical city of Bacolod have thousand stories to tell about our culture as people, about our colourful story as Filipinos, and about our legacy to our future. Wouldn’t it be great that somewhere in your life, you’d actually seen and heard one inedible event that speaks of your quaint history as a Filipino?

3.  Luck and Fame. Yes, fame! Who doesn’t want others to see you as lucky and famous for winning a plane ticket to one of the most sought after festivals in the county? I surely would announce it to the world and paste it as my FB status forever!  Okay, that one is much embellished, but I guess that’s how farfetched I am. Well, who isn’t? My lawyer sister would surely bulge her eyes in disbelief. I can’t even start imagining.

4. Blogs. Oh yeah, I guess I am a victim of bloggers’ spells and I haven’t woken up from the trance. There so much written about Bacolod and the Negros Province in the internet and travel magazines that it pains me with mouth-watery longing to experience the lure of the fêted land. I plan to write it as well and outshine every other blogger in the worldwide web (See? I told you, I haven’t really woken up from my trance.) What I really want is that when virtual tourist or lakwatsero or any other blogger talks about The Ruins, Masskara,  Mambukal, or any other hotspot or event in Bacolod, I wouldn’t be like some trivia hyped creature who’d scurry Google to know what world they’re in.  

5. Photographs. I’m dying to use my dslr for some live action street festival. I know this is becoming egocentric but for a photograph lover, Masskara Festival is one event you wouldn’t miss for the world! The colorful masks, choreographed stunts and formations, lively crowd, euhporic atmosphere... Oh my, I can't stop listing...I plan to fill my social networking sites with colourful pictures of the event. Who wouldn’t love doing that?

6.Support. Lastly, by joining (albeit with other purpose), I would like to share my heartfelt support to my countrymen who always strives against the tides of time with big smiles and proud faces. It honours me to know that the pearl of the orient still shines with cinematic festivals that create an ingrained mark to the world. Masskara festival is one of the many living cultural testament that we can be proud to have as Filipinos. 

I think I have to stop before I turn this post into a novel. I believe I have already summed up all the mediocre reasons an ordinary modern day Juan dela Cruz would have if he were to write a winning article. All the selfish and unselfish reasons... Win or lose, I’d like to thank Airphil for pressuring me to come up with an article for very limited time amidst a very unlikely place. Not even my undergraduate manuscript has given me this chill. I hope the sincerity and enthusiasm radiates in every word I have written.

(PS. Hopefully I would have my own Masskara photos to brag in my next posts. Fingers crossed.)

 "Experience MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival and Lanzones Festival this October. Airphil Express flies daily to BACOLOD, ZAMBOANGA and CAGAYAN DE ORO from Cebu and Manila. Visit to book!"

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