Marcos to Pinoys: It’s time to return to pre-pandemic life

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MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos urged Filipinos on Sunday to resume their regular lives as they were before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, emphasizing the need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the Philippines is gradually recovering.

“It’s important to remind people that while the pandemic was challenging, it put us through a lot of hardship. But we are back,” Marcos declared during a luncheon in Bacolod City, just before he presided over the 43rd MassKara Festival’s closing event.

“The pandemic is disappearing. We are getting better at managing it, and now it’s time for us to all return to our regular lives and jobs in order to remind ourselves of the opportunities that were available to us prior to the pandemic. “It’s time for us to return to all of those activities that we were engaged in prior to the arrival of Covid,” he continued.

According to Marcos, the MassKara Festival signified the opening of the entire nation to tourists, not just Bacolod City.

The Philippines is now open, he said, and the MassKara festival is a celebration of the opening of Bacolod but also of the entire Philippines. “It is time for us to go back and exercise once again, show once again the Filipino resilience, the Filipino resourcefulness, the Filipino industry, the Filipino talent, let us show the world,” he said.

Although the festival originated from “a very sad period in Bacolod’s history,” the President claimed it also represents the Filipino people’s “reemergence from a crisis.”

That is what he said: “..that is what we celebrate today, that is what we see that people are feeling, and that is the feeling that we want to continue to encourage within our people because that is what’s going to lead us to success.”

Albee Benitez, the mayor of Bacolod City, and the festival’s organizers received praise from Marcos for a job well done.

The MassKara Festival was first held in 1980 after two major tragedies that befell Negrenses: the collapse of sugar prices in the international market and the sinking of the Negros Navigation ship M/V Don Juan. It was founded by the late Bacolod City Mayor Jose “Digoy” Montalvo Jr.

Artists considered promoting mask-making as a substitute source of income for the locals during the sugar crisis.

Following the maritime accident that claimed the lives of hundreds of Bacolod residents, including his wife, two daughters, and himself, Montalvo suggested holding a mask festival to uplift the spirits of the community.

MassKara, also known as the Festival of Many Faces, is a combination of the words “mass,” which means “many,” and “kara,” which means “faces.”

After being postponed for two years due to the pandemic, the festival this year will mark its return to face-to-face activity.

Marcos attended the opening of The Upper East and the unveiling of the township marker in Bacolod City before participating in the MassKara Festival’s finale.

Source: PNA

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