The festival itself is more than just a fancy celebration. There’s a deeper reason why one should leave their home for a while and indulge in the beautiful scenery of Masskara in Bacolod City. While you can celebrate the festival making restless euphoric moments all day and night long. You could take a step back and rather attend events that puts you in awe, reconnecting you back to your senses.
Activities to Quench Your Soul This Masskara Festival 2018
Experience the thrill & excitement of the Masskara
The Masskara Dance Competition
Be amazed as the whole Bacolod Public Plaza bursts with colors of reds, greens, yellows, and oranges of the street dancers ready to conquer the arena. The Street dance competition is the highlight of the event, where different schools and Barangays showcase their creativity in dancing and performing. Revive your dull spirit as you gaze in the colorful costumes, the synchronization of the dancers, and the crowd cheering for their team!
The Electric Masskara
These colorful neon lights that gives life to the already dark night is actually one of the must-see events during Masskara. The Electric Masskara is always associated with exciting parades of creative costumes, upbeat music, and glittering floats. Sounds refreshing yet? Wait until you see those thousands of people genuinely smiling while enjoying the wonderful scenes.
Indeed, the Electric Masskara event will remind us about the “darkness into light” life of the Bacolodnons, that despite the everyday struggles, there’s still plenty of reasons to smile. After all, at the end of the dark tunnel is a light that’s waiting.
Did you know that the festive celebration was created due to the tragic event of the past? If you heard the story about the Don Juan tragedy, you probably would know how the Bacolodnons grieve during those distressing times of their lives – not to mention their huge downfall due to economic loss back then. However, the incident is actually a blessing in disguise as it gives birth to the happiest and the most colorful festival in the country.
Savor the Sweetness of the City of Smiles
What more can ease a weary self rather than foods? Perhaps, you are one of those who take “food is life” literally. The good news is, when it comes to finding mouth-watering goodies, Bacolod is the place to be! Whether your taste buds are craving for some sweet indulgence, we have few recommendations to consider.
Flocked by locals and tourists alike. It’s hard to choose just one dessert with too many choices from chocolates, icecream cakes to cheesecake covered with raspberry sauce. Conveniently located in Balay Quince buulding on 15th Lacson St.
Felicia’s has a branch along Lacson street, situated almost across Calea. Felicia’s is well-known for their chocolate cakes and ube-flavored ice cream cake. During busy days, their cakes could run out. Have a taste when you can 🙂
Choose various delicacies from sugary to savory. Aside from the inviting looks of the different flavors of cakes in their glass chiller, they also have some tasty menus to try, from corned beef loaf, churros to dynamite marshmallows. Yum!
The famous gelatos of Cafe Bobs are just right for the hot weather in the city. Locals refer to it simply as “Bobs”. Enjoy select local desserts such as the napoleones, paired with coffee and delicious cakes.
Jive With the Moves of the Bacolodnons
Dancing awakens our senses. When we dance, we are releasing the “feel-good” chemicals in our body known as endorphins. So why not jive with the moves of the Bacolodnons this Masskara festival? Get your dose of upbeat music with the newly-added line up, Electric Zumba sa Masskara, another fun way to shake those stress off! We Bacolodnons are friendly people, you won’t certainly feel left out! The event is set on October 26 and 27, 5pm at the Tourism Strip, Lacson Street, Bacolod City. For more info, please visit https://masskarafestival.ph/
Find True Joy
The Bacolodnons are naturally fun and outgoing people. If you are not from Bacolod and you happened to have a friend in the city, you might probably receive random text messages from them inviting you for a KTV sesh either at Watever Family KTV or Gourmandz Burger and KTV Bar in Lacson. Nevertheless, behind the cheerful faces of the people in the City of Smiles lies a thirsty spirit longing for revival.
Thankfully, the Government officials in Bacolod City are also sensitive to the resident’s spiritual needs.
Bacolod for Jesus is a non-denominational gathering of churches in the entire island. The event aims to provide people with a night of worship and spiritual refreshment. Whether you are in the process of finding true joy or enlightening your weary soul, this event is for you.
The best things in life are indeed intangible. As you roam around the colorful city of Bacolod, may your hearts be filled with gladness, joy, and experiences that feed your soul.
7 Hacks for a Hassle-Free Masskara Festival Experience
October is here! What makes you feel excited about the month? Perhaps, for some, October is a preparation for the incoming trick or treat Halloween event. But there’s another excitement brewing in the city of Smiles — the Masskara Festival!
The Masskara festival is an event anticipated by both locals and foreign tourists. For those who are coming to Bacolod to celebrate the Masskara, here are few tips and hacks to make your experience as colorful as the streets of Lacson.
Top 1 – Train Your Temper
Is this even a hack?! To start off, as much as we want to describe the Masskara Festival with all the good adjectives, we’re not gonna be biased. Let’s face it; nothing is perfect – not even the joyous festivals. The weather can get too hot, overcrowded, and it could also rain! You’d get stepped on your foot. You will get bumped by strangers multiple times. You’d patiently fall in line and see others cut the line. And you may not get an apology.
Nevertheless, it’s part of the celebration! Either you take it or leave it, they said. Before you make a viral scene in the midst of the crowd and channel your inner hulk, breathe in and out. It pays to have a sense of “anger management.”
Top 2 – Plan Your Schedule: Which Event Is Worth Your Time?
There are a lot of fun activities held during Masskara, big and small. Unless you have a duplicate of yourself — you won’t be able to attend to each single event! Do a research of the calendar of events and plan an itinerary beforehand. Some popular and interesting events can have the same schedule, in different locations; weigh down which event interests you the most.
The opening of the festival will start on October 8, and the announced highlights will be on the 26th to 28th of the month. Here are a few lists of the expected events:
- Street Dance Competition
- Electric Masskara
- Masskara Beauty Queen Pageant
- Food Festivals
- Sports Competitions
- Mask Making Competitions
- Drumming Contest
The Street Dance Competition (either school or Barangay category) is the most anticipated event among any other. Group of people residing in the different Barangays in Bacolod City will be showcasing their talents in dancing, creative costumes, and one of a kind performance. The beats of drums and Latin music during the contest will make you wanna steal a dance!
Tip: Don’t forget to bring an umbrella or wear a cap to protect yourself from the heat as the competition usually happens in the afternoon.
Top 3 – Safety First: Handy Dandy Bag Is the Key
Partying along Lacson during Masskara is fun. But first things first, safety is a priority. Troubles during any other festivals could be inevitable. To avoid losing your personal belongings while walking on the congested streets, we recommend bringing only a small body bag or a pouch so you can easily grip it. If you are waiting for someone, consider staying in a guarded or well lighted area.
Top 4 – Keep It Comfy
Wearing revealing and uncomfortable clothes in a crowded street especially at night time may not be the best choice. Other than protecting yourself from the possible hassles, there’s a more significant reason why we suggest opting for a comfy outfit – isn’t it much easier to move and run with a pair of sneakers, comfortable top, and bottoms? Yes girl, exactly!
Top 5 – Don’t Forget to Charge Your Gadgets
This is pretty much basic that some people still tend to forget (unfortunately). Ensure that you have enough battery to withstand your photo and video taking sesh especially if you plan to be out the whole day! The colorful festival is Instagram-worthy, we bet! Having a power bank would come handy. You can also use these tips to prolong your battery:
- Turn off your wifi or data when not in use.
- Dim the brightness of your screen or turn on the auto brightness feature.
- Avoid lingering much on your phone, like doing unnecessary browsing. Leave your gadgets at rest and be in the moment!
Top 6 – Tight Budget? Know Where to Get a Meal!
Inasal, sugary treats, loads of tasty street foods; You can find all of these satisfying goodies almost anywhere in Bacolod during Masskara. While your tummy enjoys taking all those mouth-watering delis, your wallet suffers. The streets are usually filled with kiosk and food stalls, but if you want a decent dining, we recommend trying one of our Inasal restaurants.
Try Bacolod Chicken House, the price list for their chicken menu usually ranges from Php 18 – Php 75. You can eat a whole lechon manok for only Php 195. If you need some sugar to satisfy your taste buds, desserts such as leche flan and black sambo are made available for only Php 25 – Php 40.
Manokan Country, offers the same affordable chicken inasal menu. Typically, diners can order a pechopak/pecho for only Php 85, Paa (leg part) priced at Php 80, and for rice, you can choose between garlic (Php 35), fried (Php 25), or plain one (Php 20).
The two carinderia-style restaurants are the most sought-after eating place of foreigners and outsiders who are coming into the city. Bon appetit!
Top 7 – Secure Accommodation Ahead
Hotels are typically fully booked during the Masskara season so securing your accommodation bookings a month ahead might save you from being homeless in the city. Pension Bacolod, Saltimboca Tourist Inn, Midtown Hotel, Ecotel, and Business Inn are our recommendations if you want an accessible yet reasonable rates lodging.
To be in the mood of the celebration, you may want to dress up a colorful outfit. Sidewalk vendors in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral usually sell affordable fancy headbands in a different style of your choice. For first-timers, you don’t have to worry about mingling with the Bacolodnons as they are very approachable and fun people. However, you may need to take energy drinks or supplements to stay active and energize as the party usually last up to dawn.
We at NegrosFindr wishes you a smooth Masskara Festival experience. Enjoy!Read More
Bacolaodiat: Celebration of Chinese New Year in Bacolod
Of red dresses, red lanterns, red envelopes, red-coloured food stalls, red dragon costumes, etc. These are some of the things that you can see in Bacolod City every February! This month marks the Bacolaodiat Festival of the Negrenses unmasking the strong bond between two cultures, Filipino and Chinese. Red is splattered everywhere! According to Andie Codie, red is the first color of spring. It’s the real colour of rebirth, of beginnings! Thus it is a symbolic colour for Chinese New Year!
Chinese New year is considered a significant festival in many countries and its celebration has extended to Filipino-Chinese communities and even to non-Chinese groups. It is popularly known as Bacolaodiat Festival in Bacolod. The term was devised from this two words “Bacolod” and “Lao Diat” (means celebration in folkien).
Lacson Street will be closed! The Chopstick Alley which flaunts an array of Chinese food will surely make your stomach tingle! Tikoy, fortune cookies, siomai, siopao, dumplings and other Chinese delicacies are everywhere. Floating red lanterns, music, bands, lighted floats definitely heighten the festive mood! Lacson street offers exciting activities to entertain the locals as well as the visitors!
A mob of people from different places join the festival to witness the different aspects of Filipino Chinese Culture! Like the Chinese community, Bacolodnons also mimic their tradition in embracing new year. Fireworks and Firecrackers are show stoppers and are used to welcome the new year. A long time ago, it is said that these things are used to frighten or ward off evil spirits specifically the mythical beast Nian who loves to eat small children. It is believed that the creature was scared of this loud noises.
Wearing of color red is also practiced! Red symbolizes fresh starts and also used to drive away bad fortunes. Hence, everyone is clad in reds from head to foot! Filipinos also practice giving of “ang pao” or red envelopes with money inside. The red envelope counts more than money! Why? Because it symbolizes giving away of blessings and good luck to the recipients! It also symbolizes forgiveness and friendship! Bonding with family is observed. Lacson streets are filled with families having dinner to spend quality time with each other.
The highlight of the festival is the Dragon and Lion Dance! This performance amplifies the mood of the festival! It brings joy and excitement to those who watches! And traditionally, this performance plays a great role in driving away evil spirits and attracting good luck! Chinese new year will not be completed without the dazzling light of the lantern competition! This is the heart of the celebration! Lanterns symbolizes light, a wish for a brighter tomorrow! It also symbolizes love!
Chinese culture is somewhat remarkable! If you want to experience a fun way of celebrating Chinese New Year then visit Bacolod! Every day is a new opportunity to have a fresh start! Explore and experience Bacolaodiat Festival!Read More
Sometimes all you need is a splash of colour! Another festival is making its name known around the world with its interesting and enjoyable feature! Festival enthusiasts from around the world, party goers, people from different generations, tourists flocks together to celebrate this Festival in Negros Occidental.
The festival is originally called the “Ati Atihan” Festival. But an event way back in May 1957 changed the Festivals name. Cadiz locals viewed this event as a positive sign of fortune and prosperity from above. Group of whales measuring 40ft long and 8ft. in height were seen gathered in the town’s shore followed by another group of whales after five days. Thus the birth of the term “Dinagsa” which means” to gather or come together” was made. The event gave Cadiz City the title City of Whales.
Dinagsa Festival is a week-long celebration held every month of January to bring honour to
Señor Sto. Niño or the infant Jesus. This festival was born for the purpose of pulling the people away from their acts of misconduct specifically their being fond of cockfights during fiesta and helping them focus on what is truly the essence of coming together and that is to give thanks and praises to their Patron Saint.
So what makes this festival so popular that people from different places join to celebrate is because of their “Lamhitanay” event! Also known as smearing or smudging in english. This event is the gem! It makes Cadiz City looks like a painting canvas splattered with different colours. Literally, the town is covered in paint! It is an unusually thrilling experience since all Dinagsa attendees are expected to participate. Yes! Your presence in the City means that you are ready to get yourself inked!
No one is exempted from getting dirty, be it a local or a visitor. Refrain from getting angry or saying No because you will be offending the locals of the City. If you choose not to have yourself inked then it’s safer to stay home. But hey! This is a unique experience you might not want miss out on! Brace yourself and have paint smeared on your face, hair, inside your ears, and even your clean car.
Roam the streets with your white or black shirt. People usually wear white or black to see an artwork from those combined colours and save it as a souvenir. Armed yourself with your paint or you can buy it at the stalls in the streets. Some even bring their toy guns or paint brushes as a weapon to smear you. Have your cameras wrapped in plastic bags or secure it so as not to have it stained. You can bring a clean set of clothes BUT I advise you go home as dirty as you are since you can’t escape the City looking clean and spotless!
Like any other festivals the City is filled with a mushroom of kiosks, locals smudged with black paint performing street dances, bouncy drum beats, peryas and carnival rides, live bands, etc. Their parade showcasing our infant Jesus is a must see event!
If you want to be bold and be a pop of color in this black and white world then you must definitely join the festival! Experience and enjoy their culture!Read More
Hairs are smouldering. Faces were smudged with black soot. Dresses and clothes stained black. Slippers and shoes covered in dust. Voices chanting Viva Senior Sto. Nino. These are the things that you’ll get to experience in Kabankalan City also known as “Rising City of South” in Negros Occidental. The Rising City is lionized for its very own version of Sinulog Festival.
Sinulog Festival is popularly celebrated in many places, especially in Cebu City. If you want to deflect the mainstream party in Cebu City and go for a savvy celebration. Then the Kabankalan route is open for you! It is celebrated every 3rd week of January to monumentalize the Negrosanon’s victory against the Moro pirates.
History says that during battle, locals saw a figure of a small child at a church tower, wagging a shining sword causing the Moro pirates to retreat leading to their triumph. Thus, the festival was born as a form of thanksgiving celebration for the saviour Sto. Nino.
Tourists from all over the world flood the City to indulge themselves with the tradition and culture of the locals. Clad in colourful tribal suites, townspeople show off their religious dance rituals in street performances. The jovial beat of the drums and cheerful chanting definitely hypes up the mood! The crowd goes wild when fresh music and mixed beats are played by hottest DJ’s! When your tired of the partying, food stalls are everywhere to offer the City’s delicacies.
They say you can’t have the fire without soot! I say this Festival is on fire because people are covered with soot! You read it right! Black soot! Tourists and visitors get to experience being a native Aeta through the Lamhitanay event. It is smearing of black soot, charcoal or worst car grease on anyone’s faces or body. Definitely a fascinating experience you might want to try! Of course, no one is exempted so ready yourself with a black or white shirt or any clothes you don’t mind getting dirtied!
As it has been quoted by David Binder: “Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbours into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live.” Explore the rising city of the south and experience their very own “Sinulog de Kabankalan”.Read More