“The MassKara is a time when Bacoleños gather in a reunion and celebrate as a people. It will not be complete if our fellow Bacoleños living in other countries cannot come and join”.
That was the message of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia to the joint assembly of the Negrenses of America Inc. and the Bacolod Society in America held recently in Lakewood, California hosted by Joe and Cres Tumulak.
The officers and members present were mostly from the Los Angeles area and suburbs, a press release from City Hall said.
Leonardia said he was elated by the good number of the attendees who showed their interest in what is happening in Bacolod and expressed their anticipation of the MassKara Festival. He also pointed out to them that the festival has reached unprecedented popularity and is now surely considered one of the top attractions in the country, and there is so much anticipation, the release said.
“The MassKara has given us a new identity and is now our signature in the world tourism map. And most of all, it has united us as a people and also has brought out the best in the Bacoleños,” Leonardia said.
Cres Tumulak, the immediate past president and one of the founders of the Negrenses of America, said they are supporting the “Balik Bacolod” project and have started campaigning for more Bacoleños and their friends to come to the October event. She added that their feedback on the preparation for the festival is very positive, and many are expecting a grand celebration.
Al Denila of the Bacolod Society of America, considered a veteran and regular festival visitor, also said that there is so much expectations, especially after the MassKara dancers won the nationwide competition of the ABS-CBN “Showtime” in a spectacular fashion.
Outside of the Philippines, “Showtime” was also aired over The Filipino Channel (TFC) in many parts of the world, including the USA.
Leonardia said that, “With what is expected from us, we should embark on our preparations with a sense of mission to anticipate the expectations of our Balikbayans and tourists. We appeal to our people for support and cooperation to ensure the success of this year’s MassKara. We should therefore try to do better than our best.*