I see “cheeky” in the smiles of these masks. Don’t you?These were on display at a mall in a city in the Philippines called Bacolod. They were part of dance parade costumes for the city’s Masskara Festival held every October.Back in 1980, Bacolod City was in crisis. Its main product, sugar cane, suffered a slump in the international market due to the emerging popularity of high fructose corn syrup. In addition to the economic downturn, a tragic accident at sea took 700 residents’ lives when a ferry collided with a tanker and sank. A gloomy atmosphere pervaded Bacolod and its neighboring cities. The government and its citizens thought of organizing a festival to boost people’s spirits. It shall be a festival of smiles, they decided, as Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles.The Masskara Festival was born. Since then, Bacolod has dedicated a week to celebrate the festival. There’s street dancing, food stalls, beer gardens, exhibits, and other activities showing local art, culture, and traditions. The festival has become popular over the years. Visitors from other Philippine provinces and abroad come to join the festivities.They are all welcomed with a cheeky smile.