Masskara in Bacolod

2:49 PM
We had so much fun in Bacolod in the past days. We had our nature adventure in Mambukal, discovered the heritage sites in Silay and Talisay, and explored Bacolod's best highland resort, Campuestohan. For my last post about our trip in Bacolod, we will take a look at the art of Massakara festival, the most colorful festival in the City of Smiles.

The MassKara Festival, a popular celebration that traces its beginnings to the early 1980s, is a fun-festival held every October by locals in Bacolod.-Philippines Travel Hub

Bacolodnon's exhibit their exquisite craftsmanship and artistry in the mask-making competition hosted by a local mall.

Details of Chinese-themed mask entry

The term Masskara is created from two words: mass, meaning crowd, and the Spanish word cara, for face; thus the double meaning for "mask" and "many faces".-Philippine Country

Mask decorations and souvenirs sold in the streets

The Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental at Bacolod which followed Daniel Burnham's Beaux Art style.

We visited the Capitol Park and Lagoon. One of the features of the park are matching sculptures depicting a woman standing alongside a water buffalo and that of a man pulling another water buffalo. These sculptures are located at the northern and southern ends of the lagoon. These figures were executed by Italian sculpture Francesco Riccardo Monti who also did the sculptures of the Metropolitan Manila Theater and the University of the Philippines - Visayas Iloilo campus. Guillermo Tolentino also contributed as a sculptor of the figures.-Wiki

Negros, being the sugar capital of the Philippines, boasts it's delectable pastries and cakes. Calea is one of the most recommended cafes in the city.

British feels in Calea

Cheese cakes and coffee!

We visited the mask workshop of Jojo Vito, famous for his masks souvenirs and trophies.

At the workshop

At the Manokan Country where you can taste the best chicken inasal. We ate at Aida's.

The best Chicken Inasal ever!

Electric Masskara displayed at Calea

Even though we don't get to watch the street dance competition, we're happy to have a preview of the costumes at Robinsons Mall. These are the costume designs from the Barangay contingents

Souvenirs at the Negros Showroom

For decades, Bacolodnons have mastered the craft of creating these colorful and sparkling mardi gras inspired costumes.

Brgy. Banago's flamboyant costume design eventually won the award for Best Costume design. Beautiful!

I also love the costume design of Brgy Granada. They won the street dance competition for many years now.

Too bad we won't stay long enough to watch the costumes in motion. We will surely come back and watch the actual street dance performances. For now, we're off to our next stop: Iloilo!

Bacolod Day 3: Campuestohan

10:57 AM
For today's adventure, we're going to Bacolod's famous highland resort, Campuestohan. Set in 5 hectares of land overlooking Mount Makawili, this theme park resort is within 24 km from both the town of Bacolod, and the Marapara Golf and Country Club. The entrance fee is P 150.00 per person but children 2 years old and below are free.

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! Welcome to Campuestohan!

Huge windmill. Feel like i'm in the Netherlands!

These are the Bonita huts which can accommodate up to 4 persons.

Accommodations range from Native American-style teepees sleeping up to 6 people, to King Kong-themed rooms with flat-screens.

Ice cream for the hot weather.

Nice view

The Shoe house from a famous fairy tale which goes:
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then kissed them all soundly and put them to bed.

Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda!

The mighty Kong!

It's huge!

Captured by the giant! Help!

The water park, Shark Wave

Rustic village

Watch out!

Surfs up!

Colorful tiles by the pools


Lunch time at the Restaurant Pavillion.

Our lunch. Chicken Binakol, Kangkong, and Lengua. Yum!

At the hanging bridge overlooking the huts, pools and playgrounds.

Campuestohan Highland Resort is the best all year round getaway in Talisay City Negros Occidental for families who wish to have a brief respite from city life.

Photo op with your favorite comic book heroes at the Hall of Heroes!

It's a wrap! Time go back to the city and explore more! Check out the next part of our adventures in Bacolod as we discover the art of Masskara festival. Read here

Bacolod Day 2: Silay City and The Ruins

4:21 PM
October 17, 2016 - After the refreshing nature adventure in Mambukal, our next adventure is in the old city of Silay. Silay is often referred to as the "Paris of Negros" due to its artists, cultural shows and large collection of perfectly preserved heritage houses. More than thirty of these houses have been declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as part of the Silay National Historical Landmark. In 2015, the city celebrated its 58th charter anniversary.

Just arrived at the old town of Silay. Walked around and saw so many heritage houses and mansions like this. This is the Dr. Jose Corteza Locsin Ancestral House

The Cesar Lacson Locsin Ancestral House turned into a bakery/restaurant, El Ideal

This mansion that looks like a location for a pinoy horror movie.

The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives, at least for that part of the archipelago and for a relatively short period. The newly established Negros Republic lasted for approximately three months. American forces landed on the island unopposed on February 2, 1899, ending the island's independence.

Balay Negrense, the mansion of the son of the first Negrense sugar baron, Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and the HofileΓ±a Ancestral House built by Manuel Severino HofileΓ±a for his wife, former Miss Silay Gilda Ledesma Hojilla.

Also known as Victor Fernando Gaston Ancestral House, it showcased the lifestyle of a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. It is notable for being the first museum to be established in the province of Negros Occidental.

House of Rene and Jessica Velez Dimacali. Looks like an American period mansion.

I love the Baroque-style ornaments of this building's facade.

Lino Lope Severino Ancestral House

"Purchased by the Silay Branch of Republic Commercial Banking Corporation in 1992, the house was restored and was ready for occupancy by 1993. The house is an excellent example of architectural reuse. The lower floor of the house which was rented out to shops has been renovated to house a bank. The bank’s interior, though new, is done in a style consonant to the general design of the house.

Heritage Features: The residence is planned as a town house which combines living space on the upper floor with commercial spaces on the lower floor. Art Deco elements, especially in the archways, and the corner entrance and Classical motifs;masques and caryatid and lion heads decorate the house. "-Heritage Conservation

Pop art painted fence and gate of one of the houses. Cool!

The San Diego Pro-cathedral is named in honor of Didacus of AlcalΓ‘, the Franciscan saint more commonly known in the Philippines as San Diego de AlcalΓ‘.

After this, we rode a jeepney going to Talisay City to visit the Ruins. From the highway, We hired a tricycle to bring us to the place which is 3kms away.

Snapshots from the tricylce: harmony of the old and new..rural and urban.

You know you are in Bacolod if you see these plants along the road for miles. These are sugar canes, which made Negros the Sugar Capital of the Philippines.

And we're here at the Ruins! Welcome!

And there it is, "The Taj Mahal of Negros!"

At the Mansion's lobby. Don Mariano built the mansion in honor of his beloved wife. Proof of his unwavering love for Maria, he had their initials molded on every post of the mansion. The 2 Ms, facing each other, stands for Mariano and Maria.

Epic jump shot!

"The 4-tiered fountain in front of the mansion makes the landscape a perfect replica of ancient homes with spacious gardens. Sights like these bring a feeling of bliss, gratitude, and yes, that fleeting feeling everyone seems to be chasing: peace."-Rappler

The A-grade concrete and oversized twisted bars used in its construction had contributed much to the strength of the skeletal frame of the structure.

"The finishing touches on the walls and posts were a mixture of pure concrete with egg whites, resulting in a marble-like finish which can be seen and felt even to this day."-Rappler

Beauty among the ruins.

Beautifully intricate lobby adorned with bougainvillea

"The structure of The Ruins is of Italianate architecture with neo-Romanesque columns, having a very close semblance to the facade of Carnegie Hall in New York City."-Experience Negros

The checkered red and white tiles of the floor were imported from Europe!

Mr. Roger Lucero, the famous tour guide who became viral in social media after a tourist posted a video of him doing his comedic spiels. Because of this, he also became a housemate in the reality TV show, Pinoy Big Brother.

"The tiles in the mansion were brought in from Spain. Arrays of varies designs of tiles used throughout the mansion have been grouped together at the foyer of the back entrance of the mansion. It is believed that the excess tiles were used in this area which was masterfully laid out."-Experience Negros

Mariano and Maria's portrait and family pictures at the former sala or living room of the house.

A little gallery of news clippings and photos about the Ruins and Roger, its famous tour guide.

With Kuya Roger

I love the contrast of the blue sky with the yellow ambient light of the mansion.

My favorite shot. Exquisite! Isn't it?

Today, The Ruins – as the mansion is now called – has gained the reputation of being one of the top tourist destinations of Negros Occidental.

The ruins illuminated at dusk. Taken with a GoPro

This place is truly beautiful with a rustic charm. For our next stop, we will visit Bacolod's famous theme park, Campuestohan.
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