BBM1 President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

PBBM, VP Sara to lead Masskara festival highlights

October 22, 2022 People's Tonight 276 views

Marcos’ participation testament to his commitment to revive PH tourism industry

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos will lead the culminating activities of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City on Sunday, Malacañang announced

Marcos will be accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte, Office of the Press Secretary officer in charge, Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, said in a statement on Saturday.

Garafil said Marcos’ participation is part of his commitment to promote local tourism and boost more economic activities amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The President’s attendance at the world-renowned festivity is a testament to his commitment to promoting local tourism in a bid to revive the country’s tourism industry amid the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“Marcos is optimistic that through the efforts and initiatives of the Department of Tourism, the Philippines will be able to restore its tourism figures to pre-pandemic levels, creating more job opportunities and bringing economic progress,” she added.

After a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the MassKara Festival is back for its 43rd-year celebration, carrying the theme “Balik Yuhum!”, which means smile again.

The MassKara Festival began in 1980 after a series of sugar crises, caused by oversupply in the international market that resulted in world prices dropping.

The smiling colorful masks featured in the festival are a symbol of resiliency and unity despite challenges and problems.

In a message released on Friday, Marcos enjoined Filipinos to participate in the annual festival and explore Bacolod, widely known as the City of Smiles.

He also expressed optimism that the festival would bring out the best in each Filipino and allow them to find a renewed sense of purpose.

“This world-renowned festival was conceived to counter the despondency brought about by the challenges of the time. Today, as we find ourselves facing a similar dilemma, let this year’s festivity resonate ever so deeply and find even greater meaning in its joyful observance,” the President said.

“May the vivid colors and smiles so common and abundant during the festivities serve as declarations of resilience, even as we tackle our deepest concerns and overcome our greatest hurdles, especially now that we are steadily gaining grounds on the difficult task of nation-building,” he added.

He said the tourism sector is one of the country’s “high potential drivers for economic transformation.”

Before the festival itself, Marcos will attend the inauguration of The Upper East, a township and industrial estate development, and the unveiling of the township marker in Bacolod City. Philippine News Agency