The My City, My SM launch last October 1 at SM City Bacolod, not only highlighted the best of the City of Smiles, but also marked the opening day of the 31st MassKara Festival, which is called the happiest festival in the Philippines. 

Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson led the ceremonial toast, which marked the festival launch, which was held simultaneously with the event led by Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia  at the Bacolod Government Center. 



At the same time, it honored five prominent Bacoleños, who have brought great pride to their city:  Mr. Raymund Javellana, owner of The Ruins and Secretary and Treasurer of the Resorts Association of Negros Island; as well as the dynamic board members of the Association of Negros Producers.  The latter include Mrs. Mary Ann Colmenares, ANP President and owner of Handmade Gallery; Ms. Cristina Gaston of Hacienda Crafts Company; Ms. Cathy Sicangco-Hagad of Art Energy; and Ms. Josephine Locsin of Tumandok Crafts. 

In celebration of the MassKara Festival, colorful giant masks welcomed guests, who each had their own masks in masquerade fashion.  Guests included Bacolod Congressman Anthony Golez, Jr., Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, and Councilors Em Ang, Al Victor Espino, Roberto Rojas, Carlos Jose Lopez, Caesar Distrito, and Executive Assistant to the Mayor Moises de la Cruz. 


In celebration of the MassKara Festival, colorful giant masks welcomed guests, who each had their own masks in masquerade fashion. Guests included Bacolod Congressman Anthony Golez, Jr., Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, and Councilors Em Ang, Al Victor Espino, Roberto Rojas, Carlos Jose Lopez, Caesar Distrito, and Executive Assistant to the Mayor Moises de la Cruz.

Members of Bacolod’s prominent families – the Gastons, the Sicangcos, the Locsins, the Lacsons, the Colmenareses, the Javellanas, the Hofileñas, and the Gamboas also graced the event. SM Prime Holdings Vice President Marissa Fernan, Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon, Assistant Vice President Danny Chavez, and SM City Bacolod Mall Manager George Jardolin welcomed them.


Guests were treated to an evening of Ilonggo songs and dances performed by Bacolod’s Tourism and Performing Arts Society (TAPAS). These included the opening number Tukib Negros, which gave the audience a glimpse of the 13 cities and 19 municipalities of Negros Occidental; and Tubo Kag Madamo Pa, which showcased the province’s vibrant festival costumes and celebrations.



An exhibit of products of the Association of Negros Producers gave great pride to the guests: diversified items made of mixed media and indigenous materials, contemporary wood and metal furniture, environmentally friendly home décor, and world class home wares and light furniture made of homegrown materials. The Silver Tiangge, a coffee table book marking the 25th year of the Negros Trade Fair, was also presented during the event.


The Sweet Greens restaurant served homegrown delicacies like Embotido on Sweet Rolls, Panara, Empanaditas, Fresh Lumpiang Ubod, Old Fashioned Fruit Punch, and assorted heirloom dessert recipes.

Capping the event was a dance performance by the lively and colorful Taculing MassKara Dancers, the 2009 MassKara Festival Dance Competition Grand Champion.

The My City, My SM launch in Bacolod is the 15th leg of this tourism driven campaign that features the many cities in the Philippines where SM malls and stores are located.

The first, I Left My Heart in San Fernando, honored internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza and Mutya ng Kapampangan Nicolette Henson. Cebu, Cebu showcased the best of the Queen City of the South through socialite Teresin Mendezona and the Aldeguer brothers – Jay, Michael, and Chris; while Sweet Home Iloilo featured Dr. Josette Biyo and Mang Inasal’s Edgar Sia II.

Just in time for the Panagbenga Festival in February, Baguio on My Mind paid tribute to National Artist Bencab and Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2001 and lawyer Zorayda Ruth Andam. During the same month, Up, Up Away at Clark highlighted the Hot Air Balloon Festival and featured Dr. Emmanuel Y. Angeles and artist-foodie-writer Claude Tayag.

If You Are Going to Santa Rosa gave a rare glimpse of old Santa Rosa through Tatler Philippines Managing Editor Chit Lijauco and the Tiongco brothers – Emil, Art, and Jun. On the Road to Rosales paid tribute to two generations – National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose and young talents like chess prodigy Samantha Revita and Sudoku Champion Sarah Jane Cua. Happiness is Lucena captured the joy of life of the Quezonians through Hollywood beauty expert James Cooper and businesswoman Nova Veluz.

In June, Kalayaan sa Cavite celebrated the province’s history, heritage, and heroes through CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida, Emilio Aguinaldo IV, and 1996 Mutya ng Pilipinas International Sheryl Santarin. Just in time for the Sublian Festival in July, the Best of Batangas was highlighted through Atty. Antonio Pastor and beauty queen Kristine Reyes Alzar.

The Beauty and Bounty of Davao was featured through Miss Universe 1973 and Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo; while the Golden Smiles of Cagayan de Oro showcased international pianist Rudolf Golez and Bigby’s Hendrik and Joanna Yu.

Meet Me in Marilao paid tribute to Bulacan’s rich history and artistry through international accessories designer Arnel Papa and historian and book author Jaime Salvador Corpus. More recently, Faith, Family and Naga was launched in time for the 300th Anniversary of the Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia featuring artist Pancho Piano, who is known as the Painter of Ina; and DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and daughter Aika.

My City, My SM is a joint project of SM and the Department of Tourism with support from the Philippine Star.

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