Plan your visit to the City of Smiles with this Bacolod City Guide and MassKara Festival Schedule. We are located in the province of Negros Occidental, southern Philippines.
Bacolod City Guide
Bacolod City is known as the City of Smiles, the capital of Negros Occidental, southern Philippines. While Bacolod isa metropolitan city with many developments, Bacolod lifestyle is still laid back. Some may consider it quite slow. Traffic can be trying at certain times of the day and certain days of the year. But it’s nothing that we can’t handle.
The fact is, while we still live a rather relaxing lifestyle, there is nothing sleepy around here. If you feel sleepy, you can get all the sugar rush you want from Bacolod cafes and pastry shops. Related: The Best Desserts in Bacolod
Here is a simple Bacolod City Guide for visitors to our city.
Bacolod MassKara Festival
The Bacolod MassKara Festival schedule used to revolve around the date October 19. This in celebration of our city’s Charter Anniversary.
It gets moved around every year so guests are clamoring for a permanent schedule. So the Bacolod City council has declared that the Bacolod MassKara Festival be held every fourth week of October. Read: MASSKARA FESTIVAL Permanent SCHEDULE Set
When is MassKara Festival of Bacolod? Fourth Sunday of October.
The highlights of the MassKara Festival will be held on the fourth Sunday of October every year. It’s a city ordinance so it will remain even if we’ll have another administration.
There are three main citywide | province wide events held here in the city. These are the Bacolaodiat, the Negros Panaad Festival, the MassKara Festival, and the Negros Organic Festival.
Bacolaodiat is how Bacolodnons celebrate Chinese New Year. It’s big around here, thanks to the large population of Filipino-Chinese. The result is a fun fusion festival that both Filipinos and the Chinese enjoy.
- Related: City Lunch Jumbo Siopao
The Bacolaoadiat happens every Chinese New Year, so it can fall either on January or February. The schedule is flexible based on the Luna Calendar.
Check out our kids’ DIY Chinese New Year field trip in celebration of Bacolaodiat.
Panaad sa Negros Festival
The Panaad sa Negros Festival, which is also known as the Panaad Festival. It is an annual festival held during the month of April. While it involves the whole province of Negros Occidental, it’s held in Bacolod.
“Panaad” or “Pana-ad” is the Hiligaynon word for “vow” or “promise”, which means that it is a form of thanksgiving to God. It is also a commemoration of a vow in exchange for a good life for all the people. It is held at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Ever since 1980, Bacolodnons have been celebrating the Bacolod Masskara Festival. The term was coined by the late acclaimed Bacolod artist Ely Santiago. He combined the worlds mass, which means a multitude of people, and the Spanish word cara. It simply means “face”.
It was catchy and meaningful so the name took off beautifully. Ever since then, we have been celebrating the MassKara Festival every October.
Negros Organic Farmers Festival
It’s been more than a decade when the movement to push for organic farming in Negros Occidental was started. The concept of organic farming and consuming organic products is now widely accepted. Because of that, we have the annual Organic Farmers Festival every November.
They have symposia and workshops that are attended by different sectors. And of course, there’s an organic products fair that is usually held at the Bacolod Capitol Lagoon and Park.
I am a proponent of Bacolod food tourism out of my own volition. We may not have theme parks or nice beaches but we have dishes and restaurants we can be proud of.
For so many years now, it has been my advocacy to promote our many homegrown Bacolod restaurants. I use my blogs and social media accounts to do this. It is my way of helping the local economy in Bacolod and also in promoting the city to the world.
Related articles to read about Bacolod restaurants:
- List of Bacolod Restaurants
- Bacolod Restaurants with Must-Try Pinoy foods
- Know Your Bacolod Chicken Inasal
So, if you are here in Bacolod, Where to Buy Bacolod Pasalubong? We have so many nice export-quality products in Bacolod. It could be food, clothes, home decor, or even furniture — we have it all here.
- Bring Home Bacolod Pasalubong
- Negros Showroom at SM Bacolod – Association of Negros Producers
- Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
One famous pasalubong product is the Bacolod piaya. Watch how piaya is made at Sugarlandia.
Bacolod City has a number of hotels, inns, and pensions houses. We don’t have five-star accommodations but we do have nice, comfortable, and accessible places to book your stay.
- L’Fisher Hotel
- L’Fisher Chalet
- Seda Hotel
- Sugarland Hotel
- Business Inn
- Planta Centro Residences
- Bell Hotel Bacolod – Managed by ICON Hotel
- Bacolod Hotel Stonehill Suites – Ready for MassKara Festival
- GT Hotel and Restaurant
- RedDoorz Bacolod East | Homey and Budget Friendly
- Samtimboca Tourist Inn
- The Hostelry and Residences at Roli’s: First Hostel in Bacolod
- Nature’s Village Resort Hotel – Technically, Nature’s is located in Talisay, but it is very near the boundary to Bacolod, so you can still easily stay here.
- Go Hotels Bacolod
- Circle Inn
- Carribbean Resotel
- Palmas Del Mar
- Pearl Manor
- Avenue Suites
Bacolod Convention Centers
There are three large capacity Bacolod convention centers today. We can very well host big weddings, trade expos, and mega fairs with the facilities available to us.
SMX Convention Center – The SMX Convention Center is the biggest of venue with its amenities in the Visayas. It is located on the third floor of SM City Bacolod.
Green Garden by Villa Angela – The Green Garden, a development by F.F. Gonzaga, Inc. can seat up to 520 people in a banquet setting. It’s located near the Villa Angela Marketplace by the New Government Center, east of Bacolod City. This is located on the east side of Bacolod. For inquiries and reservations, you may call (034) 4346465.
Garden Royale Main Hall – Located at the Goldenfields Commercial Complex in the south of Bacolod. The venue can seat up to 1000 persons.
Bacolod Event Organizers
In relation to venues, Bacolod has some of the most talented event coordinators and suppliers for all occasions. Check out these lists I’ve made.
- Affordable Bacolod Catering and Kiddie Party Needs Suppliers
- Reliable Bacolod Wedding Suppliers
- Professional Event Host Sheann Severino
- Rochelle’s Kitchen: Affordable Bacolod Catering Services and Party Setup
The are several multi-national malls that are in the Bacolod City today. These are SM City Bacolod, CityMall Mandalagan, CityMall Goldenfield, and Robinsons Place Bacolod. We also now have Ayala Malls Capitol Central Bacolod.
Meanwhile, The District North Point is another Ayala mall in Talisay City, near the boundary to Bacolod.
- CityMall Cinema Opens in Bacolod
- CityMall Premier Cinema Now in Bacolod
- Ayala Malls Capitol Central | Newest Mall in Bacolod
There are a number of day spas in Bacolod for your relaxation and wellness needs. Some of the most popular would be:
- Serensa Spa: Discover This New Day Spa in Bacolod
- Spa Natura – Lacson Street, Mandalagan
- Live Well Spa – Lacson Street, Mandalagan
- Cocoon Spa by L’Fisher Hotel – Lacson Street (at L’Fisher Chalet)
Bacolod Tourist Attractions
Bacolod can easily be scoured in a day. But if you wanna enjoy our food, you need to stay a bit longer. Here is my guide on squeezing in a day tour of Bacolod City. Read: Things to Do: One Day BUDGET TRIP TO BACOLOD, Philippines
Additionally, don’t miss a photo opp of the Las Vegas style Bacolod marker by Megaworld.
It’s located by the entrance of Forbes Hill, along the highway going to the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
Attractions Around Bacolod
Many visitors go to Bacolod City for business and events. And because of these trips, they usually have an extra day to explore the city. Please read my suggestions on where to go when you are here in Bacolod City.
- Negros Occidental Tourist Destinations to Check Out When You are in Bacolod
- BACOLOD CAPITOL LAGOON AND PARK Reopened
- Eltoro Zoo De La Castellana
- Bantug Lake Ranch
Fitness Centers in Bacolod
- Phenom Elite Training Academy: Scientific Athletic Training in Bacolod
- FITNESS MECCA World Class Bacolod Gym
- ECLIPSE GYM – Most Equipped Gym in BACOLOD
We have great Bacolod artists that you can commission for your art projects. And we have great makeup artists as well as tattoo artists. Read about them in the links below:
- Top Bacolod Tattoo Artists
- Top Bacolod Hair and Make Up Artists
- Bacolod Master Artist: Rodney Martinez
- Discover: Bacolod Artist Beto Tiano
- Discover: Bacolod Artist Kyle Jocson
Find Bacolod City on the map.