Bacolod officials, dance group to join Long Beach MassKara festival on June 11

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LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Bacolod Association (LBBA) will hold its long anticipated festival called the MassKara Festival to coincide with its Philippine Independence Day cdelebration on June 11 that 11 a.m. at the Bandshell of Recreation Park, 701 Federation Blvd, Long Beach Ca 90814.

A delegation, headed by the newly elected Bacolod Mayor Albee Benetiz and six Bacolod council members, led by Councilor Em Ang, will join the festival along with

25 members of the champion MassKara dance group from Bacolod.

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma will give the keynote address welcoming the attendees to the festival. Philippine Consul General Edgar Badajos will also welcome the audience, with brief speeches from dignitaries from the city of Long Beach.

Long Beach and Bacolod have been sister cities since 1994 but the organization became dormant because of health issues of the founders. The chairman, Joe Gamboa, revived the relationship in 2017 and a Bacolod delegation visited Long Beach to rekindle the relationship.

In 2019, Long Beach sent a delegation to Bacolod to attend the MassKara Festival, headed by Long Beach citizens, Richard Madeira and Mary Barton Mays.

The LBBA will also give a Lifetime Achievement Award to Linda Nietes, who continues to promote Philippine American culture and encourage the literary talents of Filipino Americans. At the age of 85, she is a shining light and an example to be proud of the cultural heritage of the Filipino Americans.

During the pandemic, the LBBA gave awards to frontliners and other dedicated Filipino Americans.

The festival will also honor past recipients, including the Philippine Nurses Association of Southern California.

In addition to the MassKara dancers, the local Samoan community will give tribute to its Filipino brothers by performing traditional Samoan tribal dances and an incredible fire dance to torch the celebratory sky.

Rodger Batucan Productions will also present a program featuring local performers.

A performance of the students of the Dan Inosanto Academy will woo the audience with incredible martial arts moves. Dan Inosanto taught the legendary Bruce Lee the art of stick fighting called Escrima.

Bacolod is located in the island of Negros in the central part of the Philippines. Known to be the sugar capital of the world, the city has a population of 636,000. The city is known as the “City of Smiles.”

Long Beach has a population of 461,000 and is home of the Port of Long Beach and the adjacent Port of Los Angeles, which is the largest container port in the United States.