The Masskara Festival in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City

“One of the happiest festival in the country, the MassKara Festival rose from the gloom that enveloped the city in 1980s, a period of tragedy and economic dislocation.  During this period, the prices of sugar in the world market were at an all-time low. Negrenses, including Bacolenos, were in a crisis as the province only relied in the sugar industry then.”

“The depression was further aggravated when passenger vessel Don Juan sank on April 22, where an estimated 700 Negrenses, including prominent families, perished. In the midst of these tragic events, the city’s artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles.”

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Korea — Day 3 Part 2: Dongdaemun Market

(Digging out some old photos from my South Korea trip 2 years ago. )

The photos were taken when I was wandering around Dongdaemun Market.

“Dongdaemun Market is located near its namesake of Dongdaemun (Great East Gate). Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. Within the ten blocks of the market area, you can find silks, clothes, shoes, sporting goods, plumbing and electrical supplies, electronics, office supplies, toys and just about everything else imaginable.” — Life in Korea

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Photowalk: Cebu City Carbon Market

The Carbon Market is the oldest and biggest farmer’s market in Cebu City, located in the central Visayas region of the Philippines. Now over a hundred years old, the market was used to be the old Cebu Railway’s depot of coal. That is how the market got its name. The Carbon Market, known to be the mother of all produce markets on the island, offers a huge variety of fresh food, inexpensive clothing, souvenirs and artifacts.

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Awa Odori: The Dance of the Fools

Awa Odori is a traditional dance festival originating in Tokushima City in 1586, when Lord Hachisuka Iemasa of Awa, the former name of Tokushima prefecture, hosted a celebration of the opening of Tokushima Castle.

The locals, having consumed a great amount of sake, began to drunkenly weave and stumble back and forth. Others picked up commonly available musical instruments and began to play a simple, rhythmic song, to which the revellers invented lyrics.” (Wikipedia)

Awa Odori is believed to be the largest dance festival in Japan which attracts over a million tourists every year. Because of its popularity, other cities started to hold their own Awa Odori.

This year, I’d been to three Awa Odori festivals: (1) Kagurazaka in Tokyo, (2) Yamato City in Kanagawa, and (3) Koenji in Tokyo.

(1) Kagurazaka, Tokyo | 24th July2010

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Photowalk: Ginza, Shinbashi, and Akihabara

I met up with my friend Esa (aka @esa_raditya) last Sunday for a short photo walk. We walked from Ginza then down to Shinbashi, and hopped onto the Yamanote Line to Akihabara, where I also met Fernando (aka @HelloNavi) for the first time.

Also on that day, I met my photo and geek friends Jose (aka @ungatonipon) and Kyle (aka @KyleHase).

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