BACOLOD CITY - A cash prize of PHP1 million, the biggest ever in the history of this city's Masskara Festival, awaits the grand champion of the street and arena dance competition set on the festivity's final day on Oct. 23.
As of Thursday, some 17 barangays, including the defending champion Barangay Estefania, already confirmed their participation.
Councilor Jason Villarosa, who chairs the City Council committee on tourism, said festival organizer Bacolod Yuhum Foundation Inc. is providing financial assistance of PHP500,000 each for the participating villages.
This year, the arena competition will be held at a bigger venue, the Paglaum Sports Complex, after the event has been traditionally held at the Bacolod Public Plaza.
Meanwhile, the grand champion of the Electric Masskara float and dance-off competition, which will be held at Megaworld's The Upper East and Bacolod Government Center, will receive a cash prize of PHP500,000.
The 15 participating barangays are given cash assistance of PHP200,000 each, Villarosa said.
"We are still finalizing the prizes for the runners-up," he added.
The festival's 43rd edition is themed "Balik Yuhum", which translates to smile again or bring back the smile, a reference to Bacolod's tagline as the "City of Smiles".
The three-week festivity will feature the Masskara Sports Olympics from Oct. 1 to 8; Masskara Trade Fair, from Oct. 10 to 16; and the Masskara cultural activities, which will mainly be the festival highlights until Oct. 23.
The main festival sites will be at Lacson Street, Bacolod Public Plaza, and Bacolod City Government Center while extension sites will be opened at Baywalk at the Reclamation Area, Upper East, and Pana-ad Park and Stadium. (PNA)