The first and last time I was in Bacolod was 3 years ago for the famous Masskara festival. Masskara, named after the parade with people wearing all kinds of intricate and heavily designed masks, is a tourist event and destination that people look forward to year after year. As a Bacolod first-timer then, I made sure to make awesome use of my time. Naturally, with great company and many great first experiences, it was a hard Masskara trip to top. So when my blogger friends and I headed to Bacolod 2 weekends ago with Smart Communication to celebrate the famous City of Smiles festival, I was just a tiny bit skeptical.
But, as I’ve learned attending festivals and events with Smart, nothing beats the Smart way with the famous Live All Out philosophy and the even more famous hashtag: #SmartLiveAllOut. And as an expert LiveAllOut-er, I made sure to stay true to my most abused hashtag and #LAO-ed my way through #SmartMasskara.
From amazing food which we all happily ingested every chance we got even ordering full meals in the wee hours of the morning because, #YOLO, to the sites we visited and to partying literally every day and still dancing up until baggage claim, we had an absolute blast.
But if you don’t believe my words (although seriously, why not?), here’s a rundown of my Bacolod weekend. Feel free to #twin with our activities. Great experiences are meant to be shared.
#EatingAllOut. We pigged out in more ways than I would care to admit. So if you’re headed to Bacolod anytime soon or for the next Masskara. Here’s what you should put in your meal itinerary.
1. Calea Cakes. The Imported Chocolate Cake is supposedly their number one bestseller but the White Chocolate Cheesecake is something I’m still craving for more than a week after I had it. It was light with grated cheese on top and strawberry sauce on the side. So good. If anyone goes to Bacolod anytime soon I would seriously like to commission you to buy me a box. Thanks in advance.
2. Manokan Country. Though the city boasts of authentic inasal places corner after corner, Manokan Country is by far the biggest and with the most options. If you’re adventurous you can try the different chicken parts (blood, intestines, ass, etc). I’m not, so the thigh was more than enough and more than filling.
3. Imay’s for some Filipino dishes. Don’t forget to try the Cansi, a Bacolod soup specialty.
4. Pala-Pala for fresh seafood.
5. Pendy’s for some take home Napoleones. Two people (read: my mom and I) finished a box of 15 in two days so keep that in mind when you’re ordering.
Bloggers happy at the prospect of food. From left to right: myself, Angela Nepomuceno, Miko Carreon, David Guison, Christine Liwag, Paul Chuapoco
Cansi, a Bacolod soup specialty
#PartyingAllOut. As I’ve said, we went to parties day after day. Not that I’m complaining, on the contrary, it was a welcome change to my boring routine and we all had such an amazing time dancing the night away. Here’s a list of the parties we went to for reminiscing’s sake. I doubt that the parties will have the same names next year (except for Invasion, that’s annual), but if you do party in Bacolod make sure it’s with Smart because that’s where the fun is.
1. Lovedance. An aftermath of disgusting, mud-ladden feet and legs (snapped in photos but kind of gross to remember) kind of shows just how much fun we had considering we girls hate mud. (It was on a field- for context.) When it comes to Smart Parties, fun always outweighs dirt. Even thick, wet dirt. Take it from the fashion blogger.
2. Masskara Invasion. The coolest DJs took care of the music in this 2-day event. Drinks were unlimited care of El Hombre. Let’s leave it at that.
3. Masskaraland was a party that lasted ’til 6AM along the streets of Lacson. On a Sunday night. Again, leave it at that.
Bloggers taking a selfie at the Smart booth right before heading to the parties. L-R: myself, Patricia Prieto, Paul Chuapoco, Miko Carreon, David Guison, Kryz Uy, Camille Co, Angela Nepomuceno
#TouringAllOut. We were serial party-goers at night, but definitely tourists by day.
1. The Ruins. Gorgeous by day, even better by night, The Ruins are what’s left of the house of the Lacson family. There were hoards of tourists when we were there and I’m pretty certain it doesn’t really run out of tourists so if you find a decent, unoccupied spot for photos, take full advantage. Or you can glare at people ’til they get the message but someone is bound to replace them so just find a spot. And get snap-happy. I’m not the biggest fan of people in mascots and there were a bunch around the area. But take pictures with them if you want, they’re pretty adept at posing.
2. Balay Negrense. A museum that we didn’t get to enter because it was closed. But we heard it’s good. If it proves to be underwhelming, blame hearsay, not me.
3. Old Church. I think all churches are worth visiting for the fabled 3 wishes. (Am I the only one who still does that?)
#CelebratingAllOut. If you can join the parade, you must, but if you can’t, watching it from the sidelines is still a wonderful experience. With dancers in the most festive masks, you’ll realize why Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles.
We had so much fun being on the Smart float/truck and being part of the parade and had even more fun taking photos with gorgeous masks that the dancers willingly (and some not-so-willingly) lent for the sole benefit of Instagram.
Some side activities included games, karaoke, make up tutorials (care of my favorite beauty blogger roommate Angela (@lush_angel)) and so much more.
I know I’ve gone on and on before about how much I love the philoshopy that Smart teaches and honestly I’ve been embodying the #LiveAllOut mentality for so long I can’t even imagine going on these events and festivals thinking otherwise.
Masskara three years ago was great, but this year was even better. I’m forever grateful to be able to experience festivals with Smart. It’s like trying on a different lens and realizing it’s the perfect fit and that other (non-LiveAllOut) lenses, just don’t make sense anymore.
So even though you don’t end up going to festivals with Smart quite literally, I urge you to face each festival, each trip, and, I dare say, each day, the #SmartLiveAllOut way.
Really, there’s no better way. Live all out, everyone.
L-R (top row): Patricia Prieto, David Guison, Camille Co, (middle) Paul Chuapoco, myself, Angela Nepomuceno, Kryz Uy, Miko Carreon, (bottom) Yeg Umagat, Kim Monasterial and Christine Liwag
Special thanks to the Smart ladies Yeg, Kim and Chrissie for taking such good care of us. You guys are amazing, we love you. And thank you so much to Smart for another beautiful trip. I can’t wait to go on more trips with you, they really are best spent with Smart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.