Masskara Festival Schedule of Activities




bacolod City celebration


Masskara Festival is perhaps one of the longest festivals in the country today being held for the entire month of October.

The world-renowned Masskara Festival started during the period of crisis in Negros in -1980. Negros Occidental having sugar cane as its main produce suffered during those times its all-time crisis due to the introduction of sugar substitutes in the world market. It was also during that time wherein M/V Don Juan carrying many Negrenses sank with an estimated loss of 700 lives.

In the midst of this difficulty, the local government, and civic groups with the active participation of  Bacolod Artists came up with the idea of putting a festival of smiles. The first staging of the Masskara Festival, therefore, was a statement that no matter how difficult the times were, Bacolod City will surely survive and rise above any crisis.

Masskara which came from 2 words Mass (Many) and Kara ( the Spanish word for face) means a multitude of smiling faces. Obviously, Masskara is a happy Festival. Manifested in the colorful costumes and smiling masks used by the dancers during the competition, and in the numerous festival’s happy events. The Masskara is no doubt one of the festivals in the country which you should experience.

Bacolod City is basically a peaceful city with fun-loving people. Each guest is welcomed with a warm smile (Bacolod City is known as the City of Smile) and hospitality that is truly Bacolodnon.

Below are pieces of information aimed at helping you make your visit to the Masskara Festival fun and memorable.

  bacolod City


The official Schedule of Activities is yet to be released. So bookmark this page as we will update this page as soon as Bacolod City will release the updates. But if you wanted to book your hotel now, the highlights will be held on the 4th weekend of October (official).

Meanwhile, here are the links:

Masskara Schedule of Activities

 Masskara Festival Schedule of Activities + Food Trip Guide

Ruby Masskara Festival

8 Things to do During Masskara 



The street dancing happens during the 4th weekend of October. This will already be the permanent schedule of the highlights as declared by the city. The Saturday for that 4th weekend will be for the street dance competition for the School Category while the Sunday is for the Open Category.


A display of the current Festival Costume is made on Display at Robinsons Place, Bacolod City. This is where the Best in Costume selection is being held. It would be great to visit the exhibit to see up close the intricacy of the costumes, the details of the masks, and the humongous headdresses of each competing group for the year.


The Electric Masskara is a unique component of the festival. It is held during nighttime and is usually held along Lacson Street. In this event, you will see masskara dancers in their lighted Masskara Costumes and masks.


Bacolodnons love to party. During the festival, street parties are held all around the city. Just Lacson Street alone can already satisfy your party craving. Along this street, several parties sponsored by various companies are held.


The search for the festival queen is one event that you should visit while visiting the City of Smile.

Mask by Jojo Vito


I’m sure that most travelers would want to maximize their visit to the City of Smiles, especially for first-timers. Of course, with the price of your airfare, you would want of course to get the most of this trip. This 2017 Negros Occidental is the 2nd most visited place by domestic tourists according to Tourism statistics. So you might want as well to discover why many people visit this part of the country.

The Street Dancing and Arena Dance Competition happens during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). I suggest allotting 3 or more days to discover more about Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.

Below are some articles which will surely help you plan your trip:

3-Day Bacolod Travel Guide which Includes Itinerary and Budget

Bacolod City Travel Guide




In a nutshell, here’re the 12 Things to do in Bacolod City

If you just want to see the highlights of the festival, you can visit in between Masskara Activities some of the must-visit places and experience Bacolod City culture.

Visit the Ruins. This place is technically located in the City of Talisay. However, you can visit this place during the morning because the Street Dancing and Arena Dance Competition starts at lunchtime. Just take a taxi to bring you to the place.

Contact Details:

Address: Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Phone: 0917 832 6003

“Paint Your Own Mask” Activity at Jojo Vito Designs Gallery. See how Bacolod Mask is being made or paint your own mask. The gallery is located at the heart of the city and you can reach this place through jeepneys or since your time is limited, take a taxi. You can tell the driver of the landmarks: The place is located at the back of Metrodome and Chicken Haus (South). It is near Planta Hotel)

The place offers an array of Giant Masks Display and loads of original mask-related souvenirs ranging from magnets, wearable masks, home furnishings, and more. The place is just a walking distance of the Cyber Center (old Paglaum Sports Complex), the venue for the Arena Dance Competition.

Blog Post about the Place:
Paint Your Own Mask
Things to do at Jojo Vito Designs Gallery

Contact Details:
#119 Kapitana Dicang-Alunan Avenue, Bacolod City Telephone: (034) 704-2376
FB Page: @JojoVitoDesignsGallery


if your time would allow, try to visit any of the following places:

Sipalay, The Hidden Jewel of Negros. This place has beautiful beaches, amazing dive sites, and a lot more.

Lakawon Island Resort. One of the places in Negros Occidental as of this writing and frequented by both locals and tourists from other places.

Campuestohan Highland Resort. A mountain resort with a theme park ambiance. Kids will surely love this place.

Mambukal Mountain Resort. Experience nature just an hour away from the city proper. The place has waterfalls, an ice-cold water swimming pool, a lagoon for boating, and a lot more.

Visit Bago City’s Tourist Attraction. Bago City is just loaded with many beautiful spots that you can visit and enjoy.

Sagay City. Just an hour away from Bacolod City, you will reach this quiet city with its beautiful attraction like the Carbin Reef.

Silay City. Known as the Paris of Negros Occidental, the place has beautiful heritage houses that speak about the culture and history of the place. They also have foodie destinations just within the city proper.



Attending the Masskara Festival is also an opportunity to sample Bacolod’s cuisine. here are the places to go to.

Bacolod loves to eat. This is manifested in the number of restaurants located around the city offering various delicacies.

Here are some of our recommendations:

Bar 21. Very easy to locate because this is situated along Lacson Street.

Rau Ram Cafe– They serve authentic Vietnamese Cuisines and their price is very budget-friendly.

Tyrol Restaurant – This place offers German and Austrian Cuisine.

Seafood. If you want to try fresh catch you can try any of these popular Seafood Restaurants in Bacolod City: 18 St Palapala; Adings; Aboy’s, Imay’s, Scarborough

Have you heard of Bacolod’s famed Kansi? Do visit any of these restaurants: Bones and Belly, Sharyn’s

Quan Delicacies. The place is serving native delicacies at their best. Try their cassava pudding, Cuchinta, sapin sapin, palitaw, and a lot more.

Negros Occidental is the sugar bowl of the Philippines. It’s no wonder why this city has several cakes and pastry shops which are frequented by tourists. So when in Bacolod City, do drop by and experience the “sweetness” of a Negrense through our cakes and pastries offered by Cs by L Fisher, Felicias, and Calea.

These three are facing each other and all are found along Lacson Street right within the location of the L Fisher Hotel.

Bacolod does love to eat, so here’s a LIST OF RESTAURANTS IN BACOLOD CITY



If you will attend the Masskara Festival, for sure you would want to bring some souvenirs. Here are the places you can buy Bacolod’s bests.

Best of Negros Products at The Negros Showroom.

The Negro’s Showroom showcases the best of Negros Products. Named as the best trade house by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Their beautiful products range from Local Souvenirs, Masks, T-Shirts, Housewares, Furniture and Furnishing, Food, Natural and organic, fashion and much more. They have a branch at the Robinsons Place Bacolod City and SM City-Bacolod City.

Masks and Masskara Souvenirs by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery.

This Gallery offers original designs of Masskara-related souvenirs. Just make sure to bring home authentic Bacolod-made souvenirs. Other souvenirs sold in the streets are made in China or just repainted souvenirs from other festivals in the country.

Bacolod Delicacies.

Bacolod-Silay Airport Departure Area. If you wish to buy some delicacies but don’t have the time to visit any establishment, you can simply buy Bacolod delicacies like Piaya, Barquillos, etc. at the airport departure area. Merzci Bread and Pastries usually offer a 10% discount for any guests. Just present your ticket or boarding pass. Their price? It’s just the same as with their other outlets.



Interested to witness Masskara Festival? Here’s how to get to Bacolod City.

By Air
Bacolod City is less than an hour’s flight from the Philippines’ capital, Metro Manila. And merely 30 minutes from Cebu City. Various airline companies are serving the Bacolod-Silay Airport. An Air-conditioned van is servicing the airport to Bacolod City. It can drop you to the nearest point of your destination in Bacolod City for only P150/person.

By Bus
From Dumaguete City, take the Ceres Bus and it will reach Bacolod for a 4-5 hour ride. Just take a taxi from Ceres Terminal in Bacolod to your hotel.

From Cebu City, proceed to the North Terminal and take a Ceres Bus bound for Bacolod City.

Here’s the schedule for these buses:

By Sea
From Manila 2Go Travel is sailing Manila-Bacolod on the following schedule:

From Iloilo City, you can take several Fast Crafts with the following Schedule:

How to Get to Bacolod City Fast Craft Schedule


If you can, choose the hotel along Lacson Street or nearest to this place, because most of the activities during nighttime are held in this place. Hotels in Lacson Street are as follows: L Fisher Hotel, Avenue Suites, Seda Hotel (soon to open, not sure if they can open during the Masskara Festival), Metro Inn, and Bacolod Executive Inn.

It is best to book your hotel early, Masskara season is fast approaching and many travelers booked their hotels as early as February.

Here’s the List of Hotels in Bacolod City.


Popular Stories


  1. Hezeth Miles Buenafe

    For me, as a digital marketer, I would like to include in the article the famous night clubs here in Bacolod City. Nowadays, night clubs are really booming especially to the young generation like generation Z that would definitely attend Masskara Festival. As a part of generation Z and if I would a tourist here in Bacolod city, I would definitely ask what are the famous night clubs here in Bacolod since I am already here I would just seize every moment in every event here in Bacolod.

  2. I don’t see any problems or any further improvements on this thread. This is a perfect guide and tips for foreigners or residents outside Negros Occidental.

  3. Sofia Nicole B. Delearna

    As I see it, the Masskara blog should have also share different activities would be a great idea to host events for college students over the age of 18 yrs old, so it would be more of an exciting experience for them, and also to give them a chance to share their own experiences on social media.Sharing their experiences with other people in other places will also give excitement about Masskara Festival.

  4. Jessille Garzon

    The Maskarra blog, in my opinion, should have highlighted what was also on Panaad. For instance, since Panaad was popular among Bacolod residents and would be appealing to tourists as well due to its vibe, we should think about adding attractions or holding events there. Or perhaps the festival should include activities for colleges and students over the age of 18 above to make it more enjoyable and give them a chance to share their experiences on social media. so that individuals in various locations may witness the enjoyment of the Maskarra festival

  5. Mykah Gabrielle Robles

    Masskara festival are one of the popular events here in Bacolod because they provide audiences with an enjoyable and interesting experience. As I read the article I think it must be included the personality of every person in bacolodnon where bacolod is also known as the land of sweet people. Also featuring media enfluencers just like famous vlogger or artist.

  6. Andre Dadivas

    Masskara will resume after 3 long years. Bacolod features a lot of beautiful beaches nearby if you want to relax other than partying. One beach near Lakawon Island is Agho Island. It’s about 20 to 30 mins from Lakawon. Agho’s water is crystal clear and its white sand is really fine. It’s one destination that tourists must definitely go to.

  7. James William Oczon

    The blog should include covid-19 information for the safety of the people.

  8. Heinz Ervin C. Catalan

    Overall, the website and its contents are already very informative. I suggest the the website must be updated and showcase more detailed pictures of the places, foods, activities and many more so that it will be more interactive to its viewers.

  9. Nikkie V. Caboctolan

    Online marketing is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. To lift the spirits of the locals and bring back the smiles on their faces, the MassKara Festival was created. The main feature of the Masskara Festival is the street dancing festivity in which groups of dancers wearing happy masks and colorful costumes dance and gyrate along the city streets to Latin music beat.

  10. Ron Benedict Lim

    I think what it needs is more pictures and if possible, also videos or short clips of the festival, food, products, and places as these pictures help give the tourists and idea of what to expect and possibly attract them. The article should also include the experiences and insights of the author about the festival.

  11. Glaidel Ereño

    The article is very well written and thorough. I appreciate how the author approached the origins and history of the town celebration. I really love how the author highlights the various hotels, cafes, restaurants, and tourist attractions that might make visitors to the city enjoy their stay. After reading the post, I was able to see the Masskara Festival firsthand.

  12. Jade Dorothy Yncierto

    Considering I don’t live in Bacolod City, reading the article has given me a lot of advice and fresh knowledge about the Masskara Festival. Tourists are able to have a guide for their festival itinerary because enough information was already provided.

    In order to properly market the event in the present digital age, I believe a hashtag should be used. This will not only grab readers’ attention but also help them remember the festival since hashtags are brief and memorable. When readers are able to recall these festival-related details quickly, it will be easier to promote the event because knowledge, especially online, spreads like wildfire.

    Additionally, it would be preferable to list the names of the artists who would be appearing at the event if this article included information about the current year’s festival schedule. I’ve seen that people, especially fans, will go above and beyond to watch their favorites perform in person. To successfully promote the event as digital marketers, interacting with the audience online and determining their general interests is the way to go.

    Jade Dorothy Yncierto

  13. Lauren Louisse Zapata

    I think there isn’t much to add anymore to the article as it pretty much explains everything about masskara. As a digital marketer I think what’s best is to market the event through social media. Post videos and pictures of the last masskara festival. In that way, people will be intrigued as to why this festival is so special. Basically by sharing awareness of the event.

  14. Mikko Sardua

    Given the situation that I am a traveler looking at the article for a great experience, I would like to go through the article per suggestion of the writer, what could really create that a convenient aspect of the article is instead of being redirected by a link everytime I click a blue colored text a drop down album of pictures of the place or experience could be there instead since it saves a lot of time and avoids its users from leaving this particular article to look up a place at a different link. Through that this allows its users to fully maximize the contents of the article also more pictures would capture the highlights of Masskara Festival and be able to create a visual presentation to its consumers.

  15. Nicole Ann Cagalawan

    As a Digital Marketer, more pictures should be added such as the evening events, the concerts of the different artists that come to celebrate the Masskara Festival, and lastly the tourist spots found here in Bacolod such as The Pope John Paul Tower and many more.

  16. Shaira Blaire C. Estrobo

    Eversince the outbreak of Covid19 pandemic a lot of things has changed. As a digital marketer first thing to include is the safety protocols implemented in the city, alongside with the requirements needed in order to travel. I believe that these are the important things our soon to be tourists must know, since Bacolod my have something that is not familiar and new to them. It is important that we must let our tourists feel safe and welcome upon entering the city.

  17. Erica Vivero

    Going through the entire article, a lot of suggestions have been made for travelers. However, little were accompanied by pictures. As a digital marketer, “visuals” is a powerful tool to engage and market to an audience. With this in mind, pictures should be included after every suggestions so that travelers would be able to visualize where they’re going the entire trip. In addition, travelers would also be able to easily narrow down the activities they’d rather do based on the visual guide given alone. Not only will providing pictures helpful for travelers, it would also help capture the interests of those who are merely spectating or those who may have plans in the future.

  18. Angel Lucareza

    The write-ups and information in this blog are precisely what the readers need especially for tourists who are first-timers to visit the City of Smile during the Masskara Festival. However, it also needs to be updated. Only a few things may be added, such as the famous Manokan Country and many choices for delicacies such as Mila’s BongBongs and more. Also, a few names of Car Rental recommendations may also be added if the tourists decide to rent a car to tour around the city.

  19. John David J. Teodoro

    As a Digital Marketer, I encourage my fellow readers that not only the Festival itself is amazing but also the experience on how the people in Bacolod City is very nice and friendly, and I also guarantee the safety of this Festival not only for the locals but as well as to the tourists.

  20. Vince Gabriel A. Apostol

    If I were to add a factor in order to enhance the marketing of a festival would be budget friendly activities such as a few rides , attractions and booths within the area to give the visitors a feel for what they came to see and for them to enjoy and have a good time whilst maximizing the budget they have allotted for the trip.

  21. Ma. Bernadette Ledesma

    After reading Mr. Jojo Vito’s blog, I was impressed; it is a complete package because everything you need to visit the city of smiles is already there. However, I think that Bongbong’s delicacies should be included alongside Bacolod’s Pasalubong since it is one of the city’s most popular pasalubong. I also recommend that tourists who want to visit the city of smiles and experience the colorful Masskara Festival come as early as possible because the streets are extremely overcrowded in the days preceding the event.

  22. Christian Kyle Princesa

    As a digital marketer I think the article needs to be more exciting in a way where more tourists are getting hyped up for what masskara festival has become. For almost 3 long years we are finally ready to bring back the lost smiles back in your beautiful faces. As we once again open the stage for festives, meet our different barangays in bacolod city who will allure us with their unique masskaras and creative dance steps, and prove that they are rightful heir to the most coveted title. During the masskara festival tourist from around the world would also need a place to stay. As a digital marketer I think the hotels and motels should be included like Seda, Stonehill, Business Inn and etc. tourists also need a place to chill or have fun. In Bacolod we have lots of bar like Cista, Aces and etc. where people are dancing like crazy all night. After all those activities the tourists need to relax themselves here in Bacolod we have lots of Spa where tourist can relax and get all their body pains away. All these locations are within the expanded venue of the masskara festival.

  23. Erica Domingo

    Erica Domingo

    The article has an intricate design enough for first time travelers to know what to expect and how to get along with the Masskara Festival of Bacolod City.It definitely has all the information to get familiar with the culture not just of the festival but most especially the city as it gives the readers the opportunity to learn everything in minutes.Moreover, since the annual celebration of Masskara Festival is renowned to many Filipinos and by that it is not a surprise that many tourists travel from other parts of the country to witness such a happy event.Because of this, it is also nice to feature celebrities that have joined or will join the event to specifically highlight that such festival is very much anticipated each year.Since Filipinos adore celebrities and because they are also a great asset to marketing then it’s better to might as well recognize their presence.

  24. John Darwin Miranda

    The site of Masskara celebrations has grown as Bacolod City has improved tremendously over the years. In the domain of effect of Masskara festivals, new Masskara trends such as the rave parties, float parade, food fairs, high-rated hotel parties, and so on have emerged, and hence should be included into the article. It should also be added that tourists should expect that the large vivid masks are the focal point of the MassKara festival. Various barangays are working hard to put on a world-class STREET DANCING AND ARENA DANCE COMPETITION with a range of dancing steps and competitors. It should also be noted that there are both inexpensive and premium lodging alternatives for those wishing to attend the Masskara festival. A broad comment on previous foreign and domestic visitors’ feedback and reactions should also be given. These developments may assist increase the number of foreign and domestic tourists to Bacolod City in the years following the Masskara event.

  25. Sierra Leone H. Divinagracia

    As a digital marketer, I think one of the things that must be included in the article to market the festival is the Festival Safety Tips. Travelers must be reminded of the safety protocols of the public health authorities while having fun, especially now that we are facing COVID. This will help them realize that we are not just persuading them to come to the said festival but also ensuring their safety while letting them experience the excitement and enjoyment of the festival.

  26. Tatiana Porras

    This article is easy to read because it is well organized and it is very helpful for those tourists who have planned to visit the city of Smile. Everything about the Masskara Festival and places to go, eat, and stay is present in this article. However, as a digital marketer, I think I would include the safety protocols of Bacolod City, not only because the pandemic has been settled or is still under alert level one, but also to make everyone safe and secure, as the city will be expectedly crowded. Tourists must follow the protocols or requirements established by the city of Bacolod in order for the city to function properly and everyone’s safety to be maintained. I also suggest including or making the reviews visible because feedback is very important. Testimonials or experiences of people who have been to the City of Smile or visited the city are a big help in promoting Bacolod, and tourists will be encouraged to visit the City of Smile. Lastly, it would be great if there was a one-minute intro-video compilation of the Masskara festival over the years.

  27. Ricca Mae Marañon (MKEL5C, 4-C)

    As part of the Electric Masskara Parade, floating parades or the electric float contest must also be included to market the festival since it showcases the creativity of Bacolodnons in different barangays. These themed floats are decorated with LED lights and are paraded along with Masskara dancers on top.

  28. Rizza Mae Suarez

    As a digital marketer, I think that the Event Planning Guide and Addressing COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Considerations are two of the things that must be included in the article to market the festival. Given that we are now dealing with COVID this year, it will be very important to plan ahead and get everything ready to make sure that everyone has a fantastic and secure time at the event. Travelers must be aware of the health and safety requirements set forth by the local public health authorities. I firmly believe that it will also give them the impression that they were not only targeted for marketing purposes but also covered for safety. If we can go beyond their expectations and experience, let’s also go beyond their safety.

  29. John Mark Gremio

    This annual festival, similar to Brazil’s Rio Carnival, literally translates to “many faces” and is held in Bacolod every October. Because of the smiles, Bacolod City was given the nickname “The City of Smiles.” I’d like to add a few comments after reading the article. I would give some practical tips for tourists or first-timers to visit Bacolod City to witness the Masskara festival. First thing first, fly as early as possible before the Masskara festival to avoid the crowd who also wants to go to Bacolod. The next tip is to bring an umbrella because we cannot control or avoid the weather, and October can be either sunny or rainy in my experience. Check the weather forecast on your smartphone. In addition to where to eat in Bacolod, I recommend paying a visit to and trying the best chicken inasal of the locals in Bacolod, which is located next to the SM mall, namely “Manokan Country.” It has different local food stores that offer chicken inasal, but for me I would recommend eating at Aidas and Nenas chicken inasal. I also want to advise wearing comfortable clothes because during the festival there are some closed roads and they should expect some changes in the route of jeepneys, and it is much nicer to explore the city while walking. While walking around downtown, I would also suggest not wearing luxury accessories like necklaces or putting their wallets and phones in their pockets or bags because we cannot deny the fact that there are some bad guys around us, so be careful and be observant of our own things. Since Mayor Albee Benitez is the city’s newly elected mayor, they should expect a lot of new things and activities to be added, such as the volleyball cup and the football cup, and they are planning to open the Panaad park and stadium so that different pavilions of municipalities and cities in Negros can showcase their own products.

  30. Erica Mestre

    Having years of experience being a student journalist for La Salle Crossroads, Kapawa, and The Spectrum, the whole article is informative and well-written. Given that this is a feature article, it does not require to stick to the inverted pyramid rule in writing—as followed in news write-ups. The article has everything a reader who would like to visit Bacolod and experience this festival would read; all the way from the history of Masskara down to the possible hotels a person could stay in.

    I have noticed that the blogger uploaded a video to Youtube and attached the link here. It featured the Bacolod Masskara Festival Dance Parade and was 6 minutes and 9 seconds long. As a former student journalist and now a student-digital marketer, there is no flaw in the article itself but a possible suggestion would be to add aesthetics to the video. It would be much more engaging if it was under the maximum of 3 minutes and a compilation of the blogger’s festival experience the same way feature videos are posted on Tiktok and Instagram Reels. Video transitions could match the music’s beat and there would be an overall impact with the use of drone shots—especially in the peak of Masskara night. Since the article is not solely focused on the Masskara dance parade, it would also be beneficial to the blog if a reel-type video featuring glimpses of events during the festival was added for niche purposes. At the same time, posting a long Masskara dance parade video might defeat the purpose of a foreigner or a traveler’s reason to see the festival. A personal yet witty and clever hashtag could be of help as well—something that gives identity to the blogger so that whenever this hashtag is used, it could be connected to the blogger’s identity. Another marketing tactic.

    Nevertheless, the article is easy on the eyes to read and is able to captivate the reader to know more about the festival, along with several suggestions that could make the reader’s Masskara experience more enjoyable.

  31. Jaena Rose Escala

    This article is almost perfect, but to add more color to it, it should include small businesses’ food carts around NGC, beside lagoon park, and so on, because as a consumer, I would prefer to eat in an affordable place with a variety of options. So, if I am a tourist who enjoys trying new foods that are not available in my hometown, I would most likely seek out a location where I can do so. It would also be a nice way to promote and support small businesses to be featured in this type of article, as the main purpose of this is to inform negrenses/tourists about the beauty of Bacolod City.

  32. Estrada, Charles Bryan M.

    This is a great article. As I am not a local here in Bacolod (I’m from Cebu btw), all I need to know about the Masskara Festival is here. This article is very helpful.

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