The Gallery of Masks is located in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. Bacolod is officially known as the City of Bacolod and also often referred to as Bacolod City. It is a highly urbanized city which serves as the capital of the province of Negros Occidental. Bacolod is notable for its Masskara Festival and is also known for being a relatively friendly city giving it the nickname of “The City of Smiles”.
The Masskara Festival is an annual festival usually held on the third weekend of October or the closest weekend to October 19. The festival sites for it include the Bacolod Public Plaza, the Lacson Tourism Strip, and the Bacolod Government Center.
The word “Masskara” is a portmanteau coined by the late artist Ely Santiago. It comes from the word “mass” which means a multitude of people and the Spanish word “cara” which means face. “Masskara” thus means a multitude of faces. It is also considered a pun of the word “maskara” which is the Filipino word for “mask”. The word “maskara” itself is from the Spanish “mascara”. Since the masks, a prominent feature of the festival, are always adorned with smiles, it gave rise to Bacolod being called the “City of Smiles”.
A trip to the City of Smiles is not complete without a visit to the Jojo Vito Designs Gallery. The location is included among the tourism sites in Bacolod City. This gallery is also known as Bacolod’s House of Masks. It houses a large number of masks in its collection. The masks are handmade and beautifully painted.
Masks are not the only works of art in the Jojo Vito Designs Gallery. There are other types of items such as custom made furniture, trophies, ornaments and jewelry. This makes the gallery not only a must-see spot but also an excellent place to get souvenirs from.