President Lauds Bacolod Masskara Festival

President Rodrigo Duterte lauded Bacolodnons and Negrosanons for their resiliency and perseverance despite economic and other difficulties due to the problems of the sugar industry.

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. DUTERTE delivering his message at the 38th MassKara Festival at the jam-packed Bacolod City Public Plaza last night, To his back are Bacolod Lone District Congressman Greg Gasataya, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, his wife Elsa, and Vice Mayor Elcid Familiaran.*(Jun de los Reyes /NDB photos)

Duterte, speaking before thousands of MassKara festival street dance revellers last night at the Bacolod Public Plaza, he also lauded Negros Occidental officials headed by Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr., Bacolod officials headed by City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Congressman Greg Gasataya, for being one in facing problems for the betterment of Negros.

Duterte, looking back to the past of Bacolod and the reasons that gave birth to MassKara Festival, said, Bacolod has suffered the tragedy when the M/V Don Juan of Negros Navigation then met a tragic end.

The President said it is in the festival that the resilience and perseverance of Bacolodnons and Negrosanons can be seen in the midst of tragedies.

“I know behind the masks are beautiful people of Bacolod. I commend the concerted efforts of the local government in making this event a usual success,” he said, adding that MassKara is now attracting foreign tourists from all over the world.


He also urged Negrosanons in general to be cautious because terrorism is everywhere. No nation escapes from the evils of the ISIS, with their behavior is that of animals, destroying the place with whatever they want. Better that everybody must watch everybody. But I will not allow to be defeated (by terrorists).”

Duterte was guest speaker during the 2016 MassKara Festival opening. Yesterday he was guest of honor at the closing of the 2017 Masskara festival.

Aside from the President, other dignitaries who witnessed the finale of street dancing competition, were BIR Deputy Commission Jesus Flint Aranas, COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Davao City Partylist Congressman Harry Roque;

Carolina Constantino, regional consulate office; Davao Cong. Carlo Nograles, Mike Dino, presidential assistant for Visayas, and US Ambassador Josh Morris with his parents Millis and Peter Frisch; and,

Local officials Gov. Alfredo Marnaon, Jr, Himamaylan City Mayor Tinto Bascon, La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimotan, Moises Padilla Mayor Magsie Pena, Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco, Victorias Mayor Wantan Palanca,

Also Bacolod officials, City Administrator John N. Orola, Jr, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Cindy Rojas, Em Ang, Bart Orola, Caesar Distrito, Cano Tan, Cong. Greg Gasataya, and former councilor Bobby Rojas, among others..

According to US Ambassador Morris, he was invited by Mayor Leonardia, and this is the second time his mother had witnessed Masskara.

Mayor Leonardia said, this year’s MassKara celebration is historic because no less than Pres Duterte came over, two times in a row. “We are flattered and thrilled by the visit of the President,” he said.* (Edith B. Colmo)


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