LUNCH AL FRESCO | A young girl eats lunch by the roadside at the downtown area | She spends almost the entire day at the Plaza Mart where her grandmother sells cigarettes and candies

The streets of Bacolod explode with color once more as the city celebrates the fiesta that is known as the MassKara. A celebration originally conceived to forget the sorrows that the people then were facing – the decline of the sugar industry and the sinking of a passenger ship that killed scores of Bacolenos.

Organizers say it is now a testament to a people’s resilience. Despite the fiesta, the signs of daily life still show.

A PEEK BEHIND THE MASKS | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

THE MAN BEHIND THE MASKS | This artisan is one of the few mask makers in Bacolod City | It is only during the MassKara, he says, that he hopes to earn decently, at least just enough to stave off hunger from the doorstep | Rains brought by Typhoon Ramon, however, seem to have dimmed his chances these past few days | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

MEAL TO GO | "Chickenjoy" - that sidewalk fried chicken that took its name from a recipe of a famous food chain, is this mask vendor's viand for lunch | He waits until early evening to earn some for the day's keep | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

EVOLVED FROM THE SIMPLE mask during the first MassKara Festival in the 80s to the fusion designs that characterize today's masks | A mask vendor displays his products at the Plaza Mart, Bacolod's first mall | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

ARTISAN FOR A MONTH, SIKAD DRIVER FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR | Renante Pajes is a mask designer | He is a former government employee | Now he is back to plying the streets, earning a few pesos for every passenger | But he sets aside a part of his earnings to designing masks during the MassKara Festival | He has been at it, he says, for mroe than 15 years | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

MONOCHROME LIFE DISTURBED BY COLORS | It's a roadside meal for these children who, year in, year out, with or without the festival, live most part of their day on the streets | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

THE MASK INSPIRED BY A BEAUTY QUEEN AND A PRESIDENT | Renante Pajes says US President Barack Obama and 2011 Miss Universe Leila Lopes of Angola inspired him to create this mask | "I have no name for it," he says | It is made of recycled bamboo, paper machie and broken bottles | It is on display for the first time this year | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

THE MASKS INSPIRED BY OBAMA AND LOPES go on display alongside their more colorful counterparts | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles


About Hannah|JuliusMariveles

English instructor and broadcast journalist



  1. Glad to see your blog alive and kicking. Lot of asses need kicking! hahaha.

    Posted by givemetravelfunds | October 12, 2011, 12:42 pm
  2. Haha. Tuod, tuod. Salamat!

    Posted by Hannah|JuliusMariveles | October 12, 2011, 12:54 pm
  3. Wow… glad to see you guys are back… with a BANG! Beautiful fotos (i hope you don’t get tired of people telling you that). The best fotos of the festival ever. what I like about this blog is that it attemps to get another side of any issue. the fotos tell a story, unlike other pics i saw na kumukuha lang just for the heck of it…

    Posted by Dean Devlin | October 18, 2011, 3:14 am
  4. Great to see you guys are back! I’ve been waiting and waiting for this, and I wasn’t disappointed. Great pics as usual, especially the story about the Leila Lopes/Obama masks. Agree with the guy up there. Your photos tell a story, document life. (“,) This is what photography is all about and should be.

    Posted by Brian Herbert | October 19, 2011, 12:51 am
  5. Back with a vengeance? I got bored browsing thru other blogs and then I saw that you were back and was thrilled by it. YEY! Now, my spare times won’t be as boring thanks to NegrosSugar’s humor and Spice’s beautiful pix.
    As usual, G-R-E-A-T pictures. I understand these were taken by Bacolod Spice? Bacolod government should take notice, ANG GALEEENG! Keep it up, Ma’am, Sir… and don’t go on hiatus, pretty please? My spare times might get boring again, and I don’t want that to happen. Hihihih…

    Posted by Serena Labrador | October 19, 2011, 2:17 am

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