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Marcos urges Pinoys to explore Bacolod amid MassKara festivities

As Bacolod City celebrates the 2022 MassKara Festival, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Friday encouraged the public to join and explore the city "to uplift our dispositions at this crucial time."

In a statement, Marcos said the world-renowned festival was "conceived to counter the despondency brought about by the challenges of the time." He expressed hope that this year's celebration would resonate and find its greater meaning.

"I welcome all the programs prepared by the organizers and invite people from across the country to join in, explore unique places in the city, and meet new people along the way, as they may fill the great and urgent need to uplift our dispositions at this crucial time," he said.

"May the vivid colors and smiles so common and abundant during the festivities serve as declarations of resilience, even as we tackle our deepest concerns and overcome our greatest hurdles especially now that we are steadily gaining ground on the difficult task of nation-building," he added.

The President has since believed that the tourism industry is among the country's high potential drivers for economic transformation. He has said the government has to do everything "to make sure that this asset that the Philippines has must be used to bring jobs to people, to bring visitors to our country."

Marcos earlier said he wants to develop and decongest airports to provide better access to the public to reach the country's tourist spots.

According to the MassKara website, the festival is back this year after its celebration was halted due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic in which mobility was restricted.

"In 2020, as COVID-19 dimmed smiles all over the world, festivities took a backseat. But this year, we're proving our resilience once more as MassKara makes its biggest comeback!" it said.

Marcos is hoping that the festival would bring out the best in every Filipino and "bind us together for a renewed sense of purpose."

"May this likewise reignite the spirit of community in our hearts and deepen our appreciation for our timeless cultures and traditions. I wish everyone a meaningful and truly encouraging MassKara festival," he said.—AOL, GMA News