Metrophoto Captures The City of Smiles

The Masskara Festival in Bacolod, Philippines is one of the most iconic, biggest, and most electrifying fiestas in the country.

While most people think the word originated from the word mask, the word "MassKara" is actually a portmanteau of Filipino and Spanish words created by the late artist Ely Santiago which literally translates to a mass of faces. It's also considered a pun on the word "Mascara"--that Filipinos put on a mask of smiling faces during the Spanish colonisation.

The fiesta is a massive annual celebration with parades, street dances, a showcase of local food, and so much more. Every year the masks and celebrations change and evolve but it's always about the vivid colors and the local artistry.

To be able to pull off an engagement shoot in a fiesta of this size is quite unbelievable. Surely, only a rebellious couple would consider it. And Melissa and Wed are definitely of the rebel kind. 

No less than our very own Rebellious Bride Mica was part of the team that pulled-off this shoot as the bride's makeup artist. That alone is an indication that this Metrophoto shoot has RB written all over it. 

RB Mica Shares:
When I first knew about the Masskara prenup, I got excited! I already knew that it was going to be rebellious. This was C-R-A-Z-Y! We had to follow the moving parade during the shoot. It was very challenging but totally worth it. 

<Photography and Concept by Metrophoto>

Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto Shares:

 The country is known for our many festivals and when I was at the early stages of doing photography, these festivals are always the most-awaited and the most thrilling ones to shoot – it combines a lot of interesting colours and culture to that of travel. It has been my frustration that I never got the chance to see and shoot a single festival ever since and that’s the reason it was on my bucket list of “bizarre but totally awesome pre-wedding concepts”. 

 Needless to say that today’s feature is that festival-theme pre-wedding shoot. It was such a complex idea that honestly, I didn’t know how to exactly execute even after I suggested it. But I thought we could pull it off, and we should – it would not be cheap to fly all the way to Bacolod and not be able come up with something of substantial impact. Good thing Melissa and Wed had confidence in me, and I had confidence in my idea, haha – the outlandishness of it will carry us through. 

 I remember before in a photography forum that it was always a discussion on what, amongst all the festivals, is the most amazing one to shoot. Always, it would be the Masskara festival that would end up on top. This is why we specifically chose to go to Bacolod, if we’re going to shoot a festival, might as well be the one most photographers love, right? But really the challenge is huge. How are going to shoot it? How are we going to navigate and control the crowd? What if it there is a barricade and you can’t go near the performers? How the heck are we going to shoot while they are all dancing AND advancing? We were able to overcome all of those and the answers lie in the photos. We did what I thought was not possible and I’m very happy of the turn out. I couldn’t have found a better couple to do this than Melissa and Wed. The things I ask my couples to do, I can do – except this. I don’t think I can ever infiltrate the festivities and the dancers with so much exuberance that everyone would love me. So hats-off, or for this particular set, masks-off to them for such effort and talent – the success of all of this is more because of that than anything else. 

 Please enjoy the photos – it’s not everyday pre wedding shoots are made like this. Special thanks to Mica Tuano-Fuentes for Melissa’s gorgeous make-up. 

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