Bacolod City is the capital of Negros Occidental. It’s in the Negros Island in the Visayas in the Philippines. Its population is five hundred to six hundred thousand.
The Masskara Festival happens on the weekend nearest to October 19, which is the Charter Day of Bacolod. Normally we open in October 1 and it ends on October 19. It usually starts with a fun run, walk, jog, hike, and then they [the Bacolodnons] all meet at The Plaza. That happens every October 1 to open the festivities.
“Well, the Masskara Festival started in the eighties during the downside of the sugar industry. Also the ship, Negros Navigation sunk at the time, the Don Juan. And Negros was basically gloomy and sad.
There was a group of artists who gathered together to think about how they can lift up the spirit of the people in Negros. Because it was at a time that we were so gloomy, and we would like to somehow alleviate the spirit of every Bacolodnon at the time. And they thought of a festival.
They came up with a festival. Since they were artists, they thought of the masks, a smiling mask as putting on something that would somehow represent what happiness is all about. It’s the reason why our masks in Bacolod City are smiling—because they are representations of the spirit of every Bacolodnon and every Negrense. Whatever crisis that we are experiencing, we have the ability to rise up and allow ourselves to rise above the situation that we are in.
So the Masskara Festival came from two words. The “Mass”, which “many” or “multitude”, and the “Kara”, which is face, meaning “Multitude of Smiling Faces”.
Bacolod is well known for its food among others. We are so proud of our Chicken Inasal, which was born in Bacolod City and now is spreading all over the country. But to be honest, there is a really different taste, especially if you go to Manokan Country, or Chicken House, or Chicken Deli.
Another thing that we are proud of about Bacolod and Negros is our culture. We have a lot of museums and old houses that you can visit.
Bacolod City has now one international airport. We are getting ready with our international flights. Hopefully, soon we’ll have direct flights to many parts of Asia. But for now, flights come in from Manila, Cebu, Davao, and you could also ride a boat from Iloilo by an hour to get here. You could ride a boat from Manila come here. And when you get here, there are many vans you could rent to get to your destination. People here are so friendly, that’s why you can just ask around, and then maybe [inaudible] to ask for brochures. Basically to walk around by yourselves in these walking tours.
What I’m most proud of about Bacolod is the food and definitely its people. The people are what make this city special. We go an extra mile to make our visitors feel comfortable, feel safe, happy, and that they’re really going to have fun, and they’re going to keep on coming back.
If you want to more about the City of Smiles, you can check out the hashtag #BLOOMINGBACOLOD on Facebook and Instagram. And then you’re going to see everything that’s happening here, the atmosphere, and background. Bu fFor the rest of the year, we make festivals as much as we can, almost every few months, so that people could do more than travel here.
When you visit Bacolod, we’re going to make sure that you’re going to gain five pounds and a big smile!
Bacolod Series in Our Awesome Planet:
• BACOLOD FOOD TRIP: Eat Like a Local in Bacolod!
• MASSKARA: Our Awesome Guide to Bacolod’s MassKara Festival!
• SILAY FOOD GUIDE: What to Eat in Silay & KAON TA! Food Festival?
• LAKAWON: Negros’ Secret Paradise Retreat & TawHai Floating Bar!
• 10 Awesome Places to Visit Around Bacolod!
• White Hotel vs. Hometown: The Old and New Backpacker Hotels in Bacolod City!
• BACOLOD PASALUBONG: What to Bring Back Home from Bacolod?
JOJO VITO GALLERY
119 alunan ave, Bacolod City (Near Metrodome)
Operating Hours: 8:00am-7:00pm
Phone: +63 34 435-1256
Mobile: +63 92285-16729
AIDA’S CHICKEN – Manokan Country
Fr. M. Ferrero St., Nenas Rose II, Bacolod City 6100
Phone: +63 34 433 8727
Operating Hours: Sun-Sat 7:30am–3am
B.s. North Drive 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Phone: +63 34 435- 1749
Araneta Ave, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 433-4623, +63 34 434-8201
24th Lacson Street, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 434-940
SHARYN’S CANSI HOUSE
C-58 Narra Avenue, Capitol Shopping Center, Bacolod City
Phone: (034) 433 1374
Mobile: +639 405 3969
12th st., Gatuslao, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Mobile: +639 4881-40037
B.S. Aquino, North drive, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Phone: +63 34 434-2409
La Salle/+63 34 709-7646
Gaisano City/+63 34 708-0807
Robinson’s Place Lacson
21st Lacson Street, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Daily 7am – 7pm
Phone: +63 34 433 4096
Mobile: +639 08891-3588, +639 32257-5175
25th Lacson St, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 434-0269
Operating Hours: 7:30am- 8:00pm
La Salle Ave., Bacolod City
Lopues East, Bacolod City
Operating Hours: Mon- Sun: 10am – 10pm
Phone: +63 34 709-3161, +63 34 433-3257
G/F Balay Quince, 15 Lacson St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Operating Hours: Mon – Thur 8AM to 10PM, Fri- Sun 9AM to 11PM
Phone: +63 34 433-3143
G/F The District North Point, National Highway, Talisay, Negros Occidental
Operating Hours: Mon–Sun 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
1st Level, Robinsons Place Bacolod, Lacson St, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 441 0505
FELICIA’S PASTRY CAFE
6th lacson street, DOLL building, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Sun-Thu: 9:00 am-11:00 pm, Fri-Sat: 9:00 am-11:45 pm
Phone: +63 34 709-1123
Mobile: +639 27140-7892, +639 2898- 6253
118 Rizal Street, 6116 Silay City
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 6:30 am-6:00 pm
Phone: +63 34 495 4430
Mandalagan, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 441-0142
9th Lacson Street, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: +63 34 441-0142
VIRGIE’S HOMEMADE PRODUCTS
59 San Sebastian Street Bacolod City, Neg. Occ.
Phone: +63 34 434-1788, +63 34 434-1588
DON MARIANO’S GARDEN
Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Numbers: +63 92580-00401, +63 34-4764334
THE BERNARDINO JALANDONI MUSEUM
Rizal St., Silay City Negros Occidental, Philippines
Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed on Mondays)
Phone: +63 34 495-5093
Barangay III, Cinco De Noviembre Street, Silay City, 6116 Negros Occidental
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Phone: +63 34 714-7676