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This Week in Bacolod (October 17 to 23, 2016)

A bigger and better MassKara is in full swing!

By: Yoorekka Team | October 17, 2016
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The world-renowned Masskara festival of Bacolod City is bigger, better, and longer this time as envisioned by Mayor Evelio Leonardia. The celebration officially runs from October 1 to 23, which means three weeks of music, dancing, food, drinks, and merriment for Bacoleños.

Bacolod masskara festival 2016

Mayor Evelio Leonardia (standing) of Bacolod City together with MassKara Festival revelers during the Fireworks display

For the first time ever in 37 years, Masskara this year was formally opened by President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte who flew in to attend the festival on October 2. Duterte gave a lively speech and posed for pictures and selfies with local officials and admirers.

As Masskara activities draw to a close this week, locals and travelers can expect the festivities to reach fever pitch.

First fireworks competition

Bacolod masskara festival 2016

Fireworks display at the New Government Center, Bacolod City (Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Bacolod City MassKara Festival)

Debuting this year in Masskara is the first ever fireworks competition. There are eight participants from all over the country, with two contenders from Negros. From October 19 to October 22, two contestants will light up the sky with fireworks every 10:00 PM. Two finalists will put on their best show on the final day and hour of Masskara on Sunday, October 23. The event is sponsored by Mayor Leonardia.

Parades galore

Bacolod masskara festival 2016

The Electric MassKara parade (Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Bacolod City MassKara Festival)

On Thursday October 20, the Electric Masskara parade will start at 7:00 PM along the Tourism Strip of Lacson St., from 6th St. to North Drive. Street parties will follow in the same area. On October 21, 7:00 PM, the Electric Masskara performing floats competition will be held.

The public can expect a lot of dancing on the streets on the last two days of the Masskara festival. On Saturday, October 22, a street dancing competition will be held at 3:00 PM at the Public Plaza. The Electric Masskara parade will start at 7:00 PM also at the Lacson Tourism Strip. On October 23, the last day of the festival, the street dancing starts at 2:00 PM, while the Electric Masskara street dancing starts at 7:00 PM. The festival culminates this year with the finalists of the fireworks competition putting together a fireworks show at 10:00 PM at the Government Center.

Weather and power situation

Weather is occasionally wet but most times dry. Power outages are now less frequent because of the new power plant close to the city. There is also a lot less noise from street generators to distract from the sounds of the festival.


Traffic is closed in the Public Plaza area in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral, a stone’s throw from SM Bacolod. This is also two blocks away from the famous manokan (restaurant selling chicken) known for its original chicken inasal (barbeque chicken). During the days and hours of Electric Masskara and street dancing parades, Lacson St. from 6th St. to North Drive are closed and should be avoided.

Dining adventure

Bacolod is known for its pala-pala (“pick pick”) restaurants offering fresh seafood that is grilled, steamed, or fried. One of these is Hyksos Tulahan and Old Pala-Pala Restaurant along North Capitol Road. Diners looking for a more upscale setting can head to Aboy’s Restaurant, 18th Street Pala Pala Restaurant, Ading’s Pala-Pala, or Imay’s Bar and Restaurant. Locals also frequent Diotay’s Eatery in Gatuslao St.

Bacolod masskara festival 2016

Several restaurants offering Chicken Inasal can be found here. (Photo from the Official Facebook Page of Aida’s Manokan)

When in Bacolod, it is customary to do the rounds of eating inasal. This Bacoleño favorite can be had at Chicken Deli, Chicken House, or Nena’s Rose Chicken Inasal. Locals swear by Aida’s in Manokan Country, which they say serves the best chicken inasal. There are also many seafood restaurants in Barangay Balaring, Silay City, close to the Bacolod-Silay International Airport.

Those with a sweet tooth can venture into the so-called dessert triangle of the city at the corner of Lacson St. and 14th St. where L’Fisher hotel can be found. Popular pastry shops such as Calea, Felicia’s, and C’s by L’Fisher are located on the three corners of this intersection.


L’Fisher Hotel is also where the local casino is. Casino Filipino, operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) opened at the hotel in 2014.

To get there, the best route is to skip Lacson St. and take the Circumferential road or the Banago bypass road when going to and from the Silay Airport.

Click the store names to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.
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About Yoorekka Team
Yoorekka’s team is composed of talented writers from all over the Philippines with varied interests, from creative writing to environmental advocacy. There is one thing that they share, though: they’re all passionate about producing articles that are not only interesting to read but also useful for anyone reading!
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