It’s the Masskara festival in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental two weeks before my birthday! (October 19-21) I booked my flight around 3 months before this event and I already had a hard time looking for an open slot. I didn’t even book a hotel, I knew they were going to be fully booked so I was going to ‘couchsurf’ in my friend Mish’s house in Bacolod. Then I found out that her house was one hour away from the city (in Pontevedra, specifically). Okay… so I’m going to experience being a countryside girl, I thought.
I usually make a planned trip, down to the littlest itinerary details. I don’t necessarily stick to it the whole time, so there’s room for spontaneity… but this one’s different. Since I didn’t have the time lately to plan anything for this, it turned out everything was spur of the moment. I decided to do non-Masskara activities instead on the Masskara festival weekend. . .
So I ended up breathing fresh air, riding the non-aircon bus, walking by the seaside in the morning, seeing the vast sugarcanes, solo-trekking the foot of Mt. Kanlaon and the hidden Guintubdan waterfalls, riding on top of the jeepney, going to the city just to eat inasal and Calea, feeling the Masskara vibe in the city, doing wedding preparations with my friend, losing track of date and time for almost 5 days…
Check out some of my adventures and misadventures photos!
Chicken Inasal in Manukan Country, Bacolod City
Feeling the Masskara festival vibe in the city!
Morning sights in the beach. It’s a 15-minute non-aircon bus ride and tricycle to the beach resort.
My favorite signages!
Laying underneath the palm trees!
How to do a tour in the falls of Guintubdan, La Carlota City:
Since I came from Pontevedra, I took a jeep to La Carlota city from there. It’s a 30-minute ride and I went down in the marketplace where there are jeeps headed to Guintubdan. You will have to wait for the jeep to get filled up with passengers. From there, it’s another 30-minute ride and it passes through the road leading to the foot of Mt. Kanlaon. Be ready with the view of the volcano from afar and the cold wind blowing in your face. J Oh, make sure you’re ready with your hiking gears (‘cause I wasn’t! Haha!). You will be dropped off at the tail end, at the visitor’s center. You will be met with tour guides and will offer to go with you. It’s a requirement to have a guide to be with you to hike up and down the falls. It’ll be a lengthy and difficult hike especially if you’re not used it. I even asked my guide to stop and pause a while in some moments to catch my breath. Nevertheless, it’ll be worth it! :)
Going back to the city, you also wait for the jeep in the visitor’s center. (I took a side trip in La Carlota Viewing deck which is walking distance and I waited for the jeep there). The last trip would be around 2:30pm (good thing I was able to take this one!); otherwise, you will have to wait again the next day.
Hiking up to the Busay Oro falls with my guide
I didn’t bring a tripod with me. Trying so hard to do this slow exposure…
Hiking further, I discover this beautiful sight. Waterfalls no. 2: Abaga Falls!
Misadventure 1: I injured myself in Abaga falls! Tsk! But my my guide Aling Analee and the other locals gave me first aid when I got back in the tourist center.
I met these two travelers on the way back to La Carlota City. I hopped on top of jeep and joined them! We had the best view! (and another misadventure when this jeep ran out of fuel.)
Vintage train in La Carlota city.
So that’s the simple life in Bacolod. Loved every minute of it!