MassKarade Ball to benefit children with cleft lip, palate deformities 

Jojie Dingcong (center, standing) with some of his volunteers (l-r) Chole Cuenca-Chua, Bing Villanueva, Ginnette Yanson-Dumancas and Bingbing Yusay-Sison in Sugarland Hotel. (Photos courtesy of Balik Yuhum Foundation Inc via MassKara Festival)

 By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A charity event dubbed MassKarade Ball will benefit Operation Smile, which will bring real smiles to children with cleft lip and palate deformities through free reconstructive surgery as part of the highlights of the 43rd MassKara Festival.

First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, wife of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will be gracing the event at the SMX Convention Center in SM City Bacolod today, Oct. 21, 2022.

Operation Smile returns this year after being inactive for three years due to the pandemic.

Organized by the H.O.P.E. Volunteers Foundation, Inc., in collaboration with the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation, Operation Smile Philippines Foundation, Inc. and the Adventist Medical Center – Bacolod, this year’s mission brings a different meaning to the “Balik Yuhum” theme of the festival to the children who will soon be beaming with new smiles.

Today, Oct. 21, the organizers will be screening patients at Robinsons Mall Bacolod on who will qualify for the scheduled reconstructive surgery mission on Nov. 6 to 11 at the Adventist Medical Center here.

They are targeting about 60 to 70 patients who will experience the “miracle of smiles,” thus, a reason to smile again (balik yuhum).

The screening is in coordination with the City of Bacolod, the Province of Negros Occidental, Masskara Foundation, Philippine Pediatric Society Negros Occidental, Adventist Medical Center-Bacolod, and Robinsons Bacolod.

Edith Villanueva, chairperson of H.O.P.E Volunteers Foundation, Inc., said she is thankful for this collaboration that is so timely and meaningful as we celebrate the MassKara Festival.

Villanueva said H.O.P.E. began its journey with cleft lip and palate children in 1988 as coordinator of Operation Smile International, a U.S.-based Medical Mission that provides free reconstructive surgery to indigent children and adults born with cleft lip and palate and other facial deformities.

Today, H.O.P.E. Foundation has become synonymous with Operation Smile in Negros Occidental, she said.

After more than 30 years of medical missions and local surgical cases alone at the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital and Adventist Medical Center here, H.O.P.E Foundation has assisted more than 3,500 patients,” she added.

Meanwhile, big names from the world of entertainment, politics and society will be gracing the highlights of the festival.

President Marcos, his wife, and son, Vinny Marcos, along with Vice President Sara Duterte, plus a host of political stalwarts, top stars, and celebrities will be at the MassKara Arena for the Street Dance competition this weekend.

Some of the big celebrities that will provide much luster to the festival include Derek Ramsay, Ellen Adarna, Pops Fernandez, Korina Sanchez-Roxas, Vicki Belo, Scarlet Snow Belo, Hayden Kho, Puey Quiñones, Tim Yap, and Tessa-Prieto Valdes.

Also expected to grace the festival are top Megaworld taipan Kevin Tan and wife Michelle, philanthropists and high society staples like Maricris Zobel, Doody Tuason, Carla Tengco, Karen Santos, financial guru Andrew Gan, Bibot Nolan, Dr. Glenn Carandang and many more.

Tickets for the MassKarade Ball at P3,000 each is available at the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation office.