Duterte to open MassKara at plaza Sunday 4 p.m., not 6 p.m. as earlier announced
President Rodrigo Duterte will officially open the 37th MassKara Festival at the Bacolod Public Plaza on Oct. 2, Sunday, at4:00 p.m., not 6:00 p.m. as previously announced.
This was disclosed by the Presidential Management Staff during a meeting with Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, city officials and department heads, and the Silver MassKara Festival Organization, the organizer of this year’s festival.
Also at the meeting were heads and members of the Presidential Security Group, Media Affairs Relations Office, Philippine Information Agency, Bacolod City Police Office, Bacolod Traffic Authority Office, and other concerned agencies.
Leonardia will welcome and introduce Duterte at the opening rites. The mayor disclosed that he personally followed up the invitation to Duterte to attend the 2016 MassKara Festival, during a seminar he attended in Davao City on Sept. 20, where the President was the keynote speaker.
But the mayor said it was Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Deputy Commissioner Jesus Clint Aranas, a Negrense, who should be credited for the acceptance of the President because he [Aranas] constantly followed it up with Duterte.
The mayor said this year’s MassKara opening will be the most star-studded in all the 37 years of the festival. Several national officials are also invited to the opening rites, as well as mayors of the Negros Island Region.
“It is overwhelming and by his [Duterte] mere presence alone, we can say that MassKara Festival 2016 is off to its greatest start,” the mayor said.
Leonardia further said that probably the MassKara Festival would be the first festival that the President would open After he assumed office, and that will definitely boost the image and the tourism and commercial value of the festival.
Festival director Eli Francis Tajanlangit said the President will see a run-through of what the festival would be like for 23 days, as he will see teasers of major events.
Duterte will see a showcase of the MassKara dancers and drumbeaters, Nights of Mardi Gras models, Electric MassKara performing float, he said.
Moreover, the MassKara dancers will serve as the backdrop of the stage, and that will add to the festive spirit at the opening rites, he added.
Meanwhile, official events scheduled for Oct. 1 will push through. The medical mission will be from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the BAYS Center, MassKara Queen Press Presentation at 3 p.m. at Business Inn, and DepEd Parade and Drum and Bugle Corps at 3 p.m. at the Public Plaza.
The kiosks at the Public Plaza, carnival sites at the SM City Bacolod grounds and at the back of Bacolod Government Center, will also be opened.*