Bacolod is dubbed as the City of Smiles and in every 3rd Sunday of October the city transform into an immense "SMILEY" party place.

The concept was impregnated during the plunged of the sugar industry in which the city and the whole of Negros Island was the vital player in the market coupled with the tragic naval accident of Don Juan which claimed the lives of 700 individuals including some prominent personages of the island. In order to pull people from the pervasive bleak and gloomy atmosphere, Masskara Festival came out into the world after a tragic gestation in 1980 and become one of the most unique and colorful festivals in the country.

Masskara is a portmanteau from the word "mass" meaning "multitude of people" and the Spanish  word "cara" which mean "face". Thus, it means a Multitude of Smiling Faces as prominently seen by the ornately adorned smiling masks of the parade participants.

courtesy of Edgar Alan Zeta Yap
Lacson St. is the most walked street I've traversed in the country. From one end to the other even walk along twice in a night phewww! . A couple of nights prior to the street dancing, The whole stretch is closed and converted it into a big party place. Mass of people trooped each night for fun and revelry, live bands are strategically placed that bring a partyish ambiance. Great restaurants and bars dotted along Lacson, street foods, beer and booze are everywhere too. Last year, the city experienced the first ever Free Hugs campaign organized and participated by local and the Cebu Couchsurfers. I almost missed it though :).

There was a discussion over some booze on how to address the people of Bacolod. Locals say its Bacolodnon or Negrense  but by sheer Tanduay spirit possession was able to coined the word BACOLODEONS hahaha.

courtesy of Edgar Alan Zeta Yap
Interestingly, Bacolod and the Island of Negros have a lot of things to offer. Just around the city, one can visit the century old San Sebastian Church, the bustling market and the Manukan Country for the
sumptuous barbecue, Negros Museum, and the Lagoon. Further is the Ruins, sought to be the biggest mansion in the country during its time but was pillaged and ravaged by fire during the war.
courtesy of Edgar Alan Zeta Yap
Mambukal is a National Park cum resort where nature is as its best...Waterfalls, rivers, sulfuric ponds, hot springs etc. The city of Silay where the airport is located blast you from the past with its turn of the century buildings dotted along the center of the town, great to buy pasalubongs too. Heard Sipalay is a promising destination with its white sandy beach and captivating landscape. Gringo Falls which nestled along the mountains of Don Salvador is one of the reasons that haunts me to return to Bacolod.

courtesy of Gringo Benedicto