Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the people of Bacolod for their unity and cooperation in making the 33rd MassKara Festival a success and for transforming it into a world-class festival.
“Thank you to all sectors for your cooperation. With all your support, we have transformed the MassKara into an icon of the Philippines and a world-class festival,” Leonardia said in his message at the closing rites of the 22-day celebration at the Bacolod public plaza last night (Oct. 22).
No less than the international news channel Cable News Network (CNN) named Bacolod’s MassKara Festival as “one of the 12 best things in the Philippines,” he said.
In its CNN iReport: Eye on the Philippines posted on its website www.edition.cnn.com recently, the MassKara Festival was listed eighth among the 12 best things in the country.
“The MassKara Festival has become a unifying factor because it has strengthened our bond as Bacoleños,” he said.
The mayor said the 2012 MassKara was his 12th as a mayor, and since this was the last edition of the festival under him as a mayor, he instructed the festival organizers to make it as the “grandest MassKara festival ever.”
In a separate interview yesterday, Leonardia also disclosed that even the mayors who attended the three-day League of Cities in the Philippines conference at the L’ Fisher Hotel were impressed with the large crowd in the MassKara Festival.
He disclosed that the number of flights coming to the city in the past two weeks was one of the highest, while the hotels were fully booked.
One of the highlights of the closing ceremonies was the awarding of winners of the different official festival competitions such as the streetdance and Electric MassKara performing float competitions.
The winners received cash prizes and official MassKara trophies painted on by eight emerging Bacolod artists who also designed this year’s MassKara logo.
The second part of the program was the grand finals of Tandâ! Sing Na, Dance Pa! The MassKara Inter-Barangay Talent Competition at the Bacolod public plaza.
The third part of the program was the grand finals of GMA DanssKara: The MassKara Dance Showdown, also at the Bacolod public plaza. However, after the performances of two groups, heavy rains persisted so the organizers were forced to cancel the show.
Festival director Eli F. J. Tajanlangit ordered the cancellation of the contest because the stage became slippery and dangerous for the dancers.
The DanssKara grand finals will be continued today (Oct. 23) at the BAYS Center at 2 p.m. The winners of both contests will be announced today (Oct. 23).
But despite the rains, GMA went on with its Kapuso Show featuring Geoff Eigenmann, Mark Herras, Rochelle Pangilinan and Mark Bautista.
The closing ceremonies last night was capped with fireworks display and with people still partying at the plaza all night long.*