16 Jul 19
Grand, dazzling and kaleidoscopic, the Masskara Festival in Bacolod is an electric and extraordinary annual celebration that should be on your bucket list. Celebrated every 4th Sunday of October, this fascinating feast is one of the biggest and can’t-miss festivals in the Philippines, drawing thousands of visitors per year. Famous for its elaborate and bright masks and costumes, Masskara Festival wows its beholders with its heart-pounding music, blissful people, spectacular street parade and mind-blowing parties. Of course, the festival has a host of other fun-filled diversions in store, from beauty pageants and sports competitions to cultural programs.
Still not convinced? Not quite eager to experience the most
awaited festival on Negros Island? Need a little push to jump-start your
Masskara Festival adventure? Guess what? We’ve listed down a few reasons why
should experience this vibrant, colorful and unique festival in the
1. It’s one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines
View this post on Instagram Masskara streetdancer #masskarafestival #masskara #festival #streetdancing #portrait #portraitphotography #fujifilm #fujifilmph #fujifilmxt2 #fujifilm_xseries #fujifilmglobal #fujifilmphlifestyle #travelgram #travelporn #igtravel #traveler #travel #mardigras #streetdance #bacolod #philippines #smile #snapseed #cityofsmiles A post shared by Erwin T. Lim (@erwintlim) on Oct 28, 2018 at 9:16pm PDT
They don’t call Masskara Festival as one of the biggest and most exciting festivals in the Philippines for nothing. For years, the festival has been luring visitors with its colorful and extravagant celebrations. The undisputed star and highlight of the festival is the Masskara Street Dance Competition. With their splashy costumes and multicolored masks, groups from different categories compete, dancing in perfectly in sync with drumbeats and upbeat tunes. You can watch in amazement at the street dancers, or you can dance along to the hypnotic beats of the Masskara festival street parade.
2. The festive mood
View this post on Instagram Performer at the Bacolod Masscara, a colorful festival that began in the 80’s to lift the city out of despair. A post shared by Jay Tindall (@jaytindall.asia) on Jan 7, 2019 at 5:53am PST
From malls to markets, you’ll feel and hear of the rhythmic Masskara
music wherever you go in Bacolod during October. The moment you step out of the
Bacolod-Silay Airport, you’ll be greeted by a group of performers dancing to
the lively festival tunes and beats, setting the tone for your Masskara
3. Masskara Festival is a festival of unity amid adversity
View this post on Instagram Joy of performing. The MassKara Festival is an annual festival with highlights held every fourth Sunday of October in Bacolod, Philippines. A post shared by 1004 Smile Portfolio (@cheamisid.port) on May 5, 2019 at 2:54am PDT
Although the festival is incredibly colorful and vibrant, the origin of the event is actually a little tragic. In 1980, the city of Bacolod experienced a major economic crisis, with sugar cane prices plummeting dramatically. And, in April 1980, MV Don Juan – a passenger vessel en route to Bacolod from Manila – sank in Tablas Strait, after a collision with a tanker. The passenger vessel carried a lot of people from the city, including those who belong to prominent families. More than 700 lives were lost in that tragic event.
These tragedies brought a gloomy atmosphere throughout the
city. So, the local government eventually decided to lift up the city’s spirit
by organizing this non-religious festival. With the help of business and civic groups
and artistic communities, the city started the festival of smiles. Ever since
then, the city has been celebrating this beautiful and fun-filled event. In
other words, the festival is a wonderful symbolic gesture of the resiliency of
the people in Bacolod.
4. It’s a festival for a cause
View this post on Instagram Featuring whimsical prints of human forms, this top from our Las Caricaturas Gigantes collection blends in with the many smiling faces that abound at the Masskara Festival 🎉 #BayoClothing #MadeinthePhilippines #FashionFiesta #BayoCelebratesMasskara #MasskaraFestival A post shared by BAYO (@bayoclothing) on Nov 3, 2018 at 6:23pm PDT
Not only does the festival lift up the city’s mood, but it
also has good cause. Throughout the festival, there are plenty of groups that
organize programs designed to help the environment, out-of-school youth and
sick people. Not bad right?
5. Masskara Festival is constantly evolving
View this post on Instagram Undeniable beauty. . . . #masskara2018 #masskarafestival #masskarafestival2018 #cityofsmiles #explorebacolod #explorephilippines #explorenegros #livetoexplore #exploretocreate #teamosb #osbfamily #streetdancing #portrait #portraitpage #portraitphotography #ig_portrait #portrait_shots #portraitmood #bokeh #bokehlicious #niftyfifty #cameraman #photographer #festivalphotography #filipina A post shared by JM Yanson (@jmyanson) on Nov 1, 2018 at 3:07am PDT
Even though it’s well-known nationwide, the festival still continues
to grow and progress. Believe us, it will surprise you in so many ways. You can
expect a new wave of features to the Masskara Festival every year, with
enthusiastic organizers brainstorming perpetually on how to make it grander and
bigger. In recent editions, visitors have seen a plethora of activities added
to the mix, like the Masskara Fashion Week, Giant Puppet Parade and Masskara by
the Sea. And, who knows? You might be witnessing another new feature and
activity in this year’s edition of the Masskara Festival.
6. Plenty of great bargains during the Masskara Festival
View this post on Instagram A happy monkey in the city! . . . . . . #Masskara #MasskaraFestival #MasskaraFestival2018 #Bacolod #BacolodCity #Festival #Travel #Destination #Photography #Picture #BeautifulDestination #Adventure #Instagram #Feed #FilipinoTraveller #Pinoy #Vacation #Blessed #Thankful #CPA #Accountant #Traveller #AroundtheWorld #CitizenoftheWorld #Memory #Experience #Dream #DreamComeTrue A post shared by Jerwin Nuda Lucena (@jerwinlucena) on Oct 28, 2018 at 5:31pm PDT
With every Juan in a pretty festive and jovial mood, expect
to see shops, malls and even street vendors slashing their rates with sales going
on everywhere in the city. If you love to shop, you should take advantage of
the bargained rates for souvenirs, delicacies and other cool items. And, don’t
forget to shop some sweet Bacolod treats for paslubongs to your friends back
home, before leaving the “City of Smiles”.
7. Bacolod is a foodie’s paradise
View this post on Instagram Excited to announce we will be participating in @smorgasburg_dc starting this Saturday, June 15th! We know you guys love Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly but how about Kuya Ja’s Manok? Slinging Chicken Inasal and Lechon Manok all day 🐓 • • • #filipinofoodmovement #cebuanofood #kuyajaslechonbelly #lechon #lechonmanok #roastedchicken #rotisseriechicken #chickeninasal #grilledchicken #smorgasburgdc #smorgasburg #dc #dmv #dcfoodie #dcfoodporn A post shared by Kuya Ja's Lechon Belly (@kuyaja) on Jun 9, 2019 at 8:00am PDT
Bacolod will have a non-stop flow of food during the
Masskara festival. And, since the city’s primary crop is sugarcane, you’ll surely
appease your sweet tooth during this remarkable gala. Here, you’ll get to
indulge on a wide array of sweet treats, like the luscious Piyaya, Napoleones
And, though there are dozens of places for treats and sweets
in Bacolod, make sure to check out the renowned authentic cuisine in Bacolod.
As you may know, the city of Bacolod is also famous for its juicy
and mouthwatering chicken inasal. As a matter of fact, the people of Bacolod
seemed to master the art of grilling chicken, including each part of it, like
its feet, gizzard, intestines and liver. Other must-try dishes in this city
include Lumpiang Bacolod, Batchoy, and Chicken Inasal Sisig.
8. Bacolod is a base for a great adventure
View this post on Instagram Sliced bread for breakfast A post shared by Christian Arden (@localtourguide) on Aug 2, 2018 at 9:04pm PDT
The island of Negros has no shortage of man-made marvels and
natural wonders begging to be discovered. And, there’s no better place to
kick-start your adventure than the capital of Negros Occidental – Bacolod. As
you visit Bacolod, you’ll have a shot to explore a bunch of nearby attractions,
such as The Ruins, and Mambukal Mountain Resort. And, if you dig deeper, you’ll
find a whole lot more enticing sights, attractions and activities on Negros
Ready to join the biggest party in Bacolod in October? The thing is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to experience this enthralling and beguiling festival. Sure, accommodations and flights to Bacolod tend to skyrocket at this time of the year. But, guess what? There are plenty of bargained deals for hotels and flights to Bacolod in October by using Skyscanner’s search tools.
Alternatively, you can use Skyscanner’s “Price Alerts”, so you can find out when the price of your preferred flight to Bacolod drops.