Inspired by the Carnivals of Rio and Venice, Bacolod City’s MassKara festival is a jovial festival held every year on the third weekend closest to Oct. 19, in the Philippines. The name is a double entendre, signifying the ubiquitous masks (máscara in Spanish) and the large crowds of smiling people.
The creation of the festival was a reaction to a period of darkness for the city. In the late 1970s, the province around Bacolod City was a large sugar producer, but the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup brought prices down to an all-time low, taking an economic toll on the region. At the same time, a tragedy struck the city when two ships struck each other and sank, killing an estimated 700 people, many of whom were Bacolod City residents.
Such tragedies were a dark time for the city, inspiring civic groups and the local government to team up and lift the spirits of their home city. Bacolod City was known as the “City of Smiles,” so it made sense to name their event the “Festival of Smiles,” making a statement about the city’s resilience in the face of tragedy.
Beginning in 1980, the festival has grown in scope and attraction, featuring concerts, garden shows, trade fairs, sports and more. The street dance competition is always a favorite, as well as the parade, where the streets of the city are filled with smiling masks of color and sequins.
Santa Monica, California, has such an incredible array of restaurants and bars, it can be difficult to choose one. Rustic Canyon on Wilshire Boulevard makes it easy to decide; the restaurant manages to clearly set itself apart from the rest.
Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.
Many travelers are exchanging their regular home lives for a more exciting life abroad. However, no matter where in the world you visit, money is needed to live a comfortable life. Gaining work experience abroad can diversity a resume and open opportunities worldwide. For travelers who wish to live a more nomadic lifestyle, getting a short-term job in a country is also a great option. This will ensure travelers have enough money to get by and give them experience. Before leaving for a country or while in a foreign land, travelers can use the internet to find jobs or local resources.
One of the best ways to experience and learn more about a culture is by looking for and picking through the local markets. Depending on the destination, markets can be found in the out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of larger cities or can function as attractions on their own merit.
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.