If you’re after a mini-break that’s short and sweet, a visit to the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines will certainly do the trick.
the sweeter side of life.
Which is why Bacolod (aka BCD) seems to stand out for its good food, good times, and good ol’ southern hospitality. Even just the singsong lambing of the Ilonggo accent is bound to make you feel extra welcome. And any Bacolodian worth his or her weight in sugar will have you knocking back a few drinks before you can say salamat,gid.
These days, Bacolod is most known for its Masskara Festival, now considered one of the biggest festivals in the country. Held in October on the weekend closest to the 19th (Tip: Best to book reservations this early!) Masskara feels like one giant street party along Lacson St. (the city’s main thoroughfare) filled with parades, dance competitions, and parties lasting all night long. The decorative smiling mask can be found everywhere—on street lamps, on parade floats, and even on visitors such as yourself— emphasizing the super good-vibes atmosphere of the festival, and making the story of its origins extra poignant: Masskara came about during some of the darkest times in the history of the province. In the early ’80s, when sugar prices were at an all time low, and hundreds of lives were lost in a tragic sea accident, the city’s artists, local government, and civic groups decided to host a Festival of Smiles to help the people pick themselves up, and smile through their tears. Thirty years later, the popularity of the festival stands as a testament to the Negrense spirit.
Even if you don’t get to make it to the festival itself,