Magical MassKara pays tribute to ‘MassKara dancer’

The Magical MassKara 2017 dubbed, “Bayle sa MassKara,” pays tribute to the “MassKara dancer,” who is at the very heart of the MassKara Festival.

“And so, for this year’s public art installation, we turn to our award-winning choreographers—they who define the face and form of the MassKara Festival,” said festival director Eli Francis Tajanlangit at the unveiling of the Magical MassKara at the fountain area of the Bacolod City Government Center Saturday night [October 7].

The result is “Bayle sa MassKara,” he added.

The four art installations floating at the lagoon are the works of four of MassKara Festival’s winningest choreographers—Emiljune “Tata” Bantolo, Joedem Casabuena, Segundo Jesus “Panoy” Cabalcar, Jr., and William Bangcaya, Jr.

The installation, which becomes the art centerpiece of the festival, was curated by artist Bamboo Tonogbanua.

Leading the unveiling were Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, First Lady Elsa Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, Councilors Em Ang and Bartolome Orola, Tajanlangit, and Charlie Co.

Leonardia said, “As we open this Magical MassKara, we remember that the MassKara Festival has been in a series of innovation and evolution, and one of the special events we added to the festival was this Majica MassKara at the fountain area. And it was started by our internationally acclaimed artist, Charlie Co.”

Ang, who is also the festival action officer, said, “MassKara Festival is not what it is without the MassKara dancers.”



Emiljune “Tata” Bantolo is the choreographer of the Bacolod MassKara group that won the grand championship in the nationwide competition held by “It’s Showtime” of ABS-CBN in 2012.

He was also the grand champion in the 2008 schools category of the MassKara Street and Arena Dance Competition. He also designed the MassKara costume that represented the Philippines in the 1st World Costume Festival 2013 in Vigan City.


Joedem Casabuena is a three-peat MassKara streetdance champion for Barangay Granada in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 competitions. He also choreographed the MassKara groups that performed in Hong Kong in 2015, South Korea in 2016, and Malaysia and Thailand this year.



Segundo Jesus “Panoy” Cabalcar, Jr., commonly known as “Sir Panoy,” holds the most number of MassKara championships: 21 times. He had choreographed Barangays 29, Estefania, Pahanocoy, Villamonte, Alijis, Mandalagan, 17, 16, and was behind the 2016 elementary schools championship, ETCS 3.

He also choreographed the Bacolod MassKara groups that performed in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo, and South Korea.

William Bangcaya, Jr. is a champion choreographer behind the 2008 grand winner of MassKara streetdance arena competitions, Barangay Bata. He also took home the championship for Brgy. Banago in 2011.

The art installation will be on display until October 22.*

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