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.

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - Live It Up -

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,

El­paisde Pi­aya

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