“The MassKara Festival is a tourism attraction in itself and jives with Department of Tourism theme, ‘It is more fun in the Philippines',” Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.
Leonardia said an official of DOT had confided to them that, of the many festivals in Western Visayas, the MassKara Festival is more fun.
With the recent accomplishment of the MassKara dancers in winning grand champion crown of the It's Showtime Inter-town Edition grand finals of ABS-CBN Saturday, Leonardia said, “I believe this will give us more pressure to see to it that we live up to the expectations of the people.”
Bacolod City was hailed as the 5 th Showtime grand champion and the first in its inter-town edition, and won the P3 million cash prize, after obtaining a perfect score of 10 from all the judges.
Leonardia said he anticipates that the MassKara Festival will give the city hotel room accommodation problems and among the casualties is the League of Cities of the Philippines that is supposed to hold its national board meeting in Bacolod in October.
He said the mayors want to see the MassKara Festival but at the moment, he cannot assure the LCP Secretariat that they can accommodate the 100-room request.
Leonardia, who is serving his last terms as mayor of Bacolod, said that for the first time, he opened the MassKara Festival for 2012 when they closed the festival in October last year. For sentimental reasons, this will be the last MassKara that he will handle as mayor, he said.
Boyet Andrada, a choreographer from Brgy. 17, said all the choreographers in the city will hold a conference next month to plan out how to make the MassKara festival this year better. He also thanked God that, despite some technical problems Saturday, they were able to go on air, he said.
Leonardia said the winning of the MassKara dancers of the Its Showtime Inter-town Edition grand finals was a team effort. With Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and Councilor Homer Bais, they would like to thank Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) for providing the chopper that surprised the judges, he said.
Leonardia said the P1 million share of the city from the P3 million grand prize will be spent on projects related to tourism and culture. The P2 million will go to the organizers, he said.
“Everybody is talking about the Its Showtime grand finals. This is something for us to celebrate,” he added.
Sayson congratulated the performers saying that their performance was beautiful, wonderful and very synchronized.
Leonardia said he believes the show would have been more impressive if all the details were shown like the performance of the Elvis dancers of Brgy Cabug and the MassKara performers who appeared as if they were dancing in the middle of the fountain.
Barangay Captains Rogelio Pabiania Jr. of Brgy. 17 and Diogracias Dela Vega of Brgy. Alijis, thanked the city officials for their support, as well as the people of Negros Occidental and the whole Philippines.
Leonardia also thanked all the choreographers Toto Bantolo, Boyet Andrada and Nidz Villones, Barangays Alijis, 17, and the Elvis performers of Cabug, the BacoLaodiat group, the Domingo Lacson, Bacolod City College and La Consolacion College students who performed with the giant puppets, and summer jobbers of Bacolod for their support.*CGS