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Marcos urges Filipinos to resume their pre-pandemic way of life.

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On Sunday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos urged Filipinos to resume their regular routines as they were before the Covid-19 outbreak struck, emphasizing the need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the Philippines is gradually recovering.

“It’s important to remind folks that while the pandemic was challenging, it put us through a lot of hardship. But we are back,” Marcos declared during a luncheon in Bacolod City, right before he presided over the 43rd MassKara Festival’s closing event.

“The pandemic is disappearing. We are becoming better at managing it, and now it’s time for us to all return to work and live normal lives while reminding ourselves of the chances that were available to us prior to the pandemic. It’s time for us to resume all of the activities we were engaged in before Covid struck,” he continued.

According to Marcos, the MassKara Festival signified the openness of the entire nation to tourism, not just Bacolod City.

“It is time for us to return and exercise once more, to display once more the Filipino industry, the Filipino talent, the Filipino resilience, and the Filipino resourcefulness. Ipakita naman natin sa buong mundo dahil nagbubukas ang mundo, dahil nagbubukas ang Pilipinas, and from now on, the MassKara Festival is an international event held in Bacolod to celebrate the opening of the Philippines

Although the celebration originated from “a very tragic moment in Bacolod’s history,” the President claimed it also represents the Filipino people’s “reemergence from a catastrophe.”

That is what he said: “..that is what we celebrate today, that is what we see that people are experiencing, and that is the sentiment it we want to continue to foster inside our people because that is what’s going to drive us to success.”

Albee Benitez, the mayor of Bacolod City, and the festival’s organizers received praise from Marcos for a job well done.

The MassKara Festival was first held in 1980 after two significant tragedies that befell Negrenses: the collapse of sugar prices in the world market and the loss of the Negros Navigation ship M/V Don Juan. It was founded by the late Bacolod City Mayor Jose “Digoy” Montalvo Jr.

Artists considered promoting mask-making as a substitute source of income for the villagers during the sugar crisis.

Following the marine catastrophe that claimed the lives of hundreds of Bacolod citizens, including his wife, two children, and himself, Montalvo recommended conducting a mask festival to uplift the spirits of the community.

MassKara, also known as the Festival of Many Faces, is a combination of the terms “mass,” which means “many,” and “kara,” which means “faces.”

After being postponed for two years owing to the pandemic, the festival this year will mark its return to face-to-face activity.

Marcos attended the opening of The Upper East and the installation of the township monument in Bacolod City before participating in the MassKara Festival’s finale.

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