|The dancers posed willingly with anyone who wanted a photo|
I knew about the event a long time in advance, but because I didn't know when or if I would be traveling in that direction, I only assumed it would be too difficult to get a hotel room when I did decide to go just days in advance. Fortunately my Filipina friend, Cherry, was able to negotiate with the "Drift village"- co-owner(the alcoholic's wife) that we stay with her family for one day, and then find a hotel the day after(most festival guests had left by then).
|An eager audience is hiding from the scorching sun under umbrellas|
As a white woman I felt like a celebrity. People wanted to have photos with me and I posed with them savoring these rare moments of admiration. This is just another example of how the Philippines remain intact and undisturbed by too many tourist compared to many South- East Asian countries. People will stare at you if you're tall, white and have blue eyes. We were somehow able to get onto the VIP stage(Cherry was convinced we only got in because I'm white). The others on the stage all wore a VIP badge. After a few minutes I was able to get a seat in between the badge people, and had a great view of the competition. There were 19 groups so we had to take a lunch break. A food that Bacolod is famous for by the way, is chicken barbecue, which I ate twice a day for a week.
After our break I yet again snuck onto the VIP podium and this time a coordinator offered me a seat on the first row. I sat right next to the judges, right behind the show host.
What an amazing view! I honestly can't believe how lucky I was, because around the small stadium there were about five rows on each side with seats completely packed to the brim.
If you're in the Philippines around the weekend closest to 19th October some time, you should plan the trip around the MassKara festival. It's kind of amazing!