By Abner Galino
THREE-day celebration that culminated in the jubilant and colorful staging of the internationally known Masskara Festival was recently held in the City of Long Beach.
The July 28 activities that formed part of the celebration of the so-called “sisterhood” between the City of Bacolod (Philippines) and City of Long Beach (USA) included a seminar on international trade and financing and a screening of a film titled: Stateside.
The said movie was about an undocumented Filipino who lost his way and becomes homeless in the City of Los Angeles.
The Long Beach Bacolod Association Inc., (LBBAI) headed by Marcial Chavez spearheaded the event. Originally established in 1994, the Bacolod-Long Beach sisterhood has been dormant for almost two decades.
However, according to LBBAI, the sisterhood of the two cities was revived recently through the help of Jose Gamboa and Joey Montalve.
The Masskara Festival consisted of performances of Filipino American artists, presentations of various community organizations and mini business exposition of Filipino American products and services.
The events were actively participated in by the officials of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Philippine Department of Tourism.
The officials of the City of Bacolod who flew in to participate in the affair were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilors Caesar Distrito, Em Ang, Bartolome Orola, Dindo Ramos, City administrator Juan N. Orola Jr., and the members of City’s technical team.
The Masskara Festival is an annual event in Bacolod City which is similar to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Participants in the festival wear colorful and unusually designed masks.
The city uses the festival to enhance tourism and advertise its arts and cuisine.