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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Going to Bacolod City with Family for Masskara Festival!

Name of Trip: The Negros Island Navigation 2009
Date: October 18-21, 2009
Destination: Bacolod/Talisay/Silay cities & Murcia, Negros Occidental and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Travel via: Air (Philippine Airlines), Land (van, tricycle and Ceres Liner bus)

cannot hide my excitement! :D

It was indeed more fun if your family will have a vacation out of town. We were 6 in a group and we were so excited to visit one of the grandest festivals of the Philippines: The Masskara Festival in Bacolod City. Actually, it's me and my sister's second visit to the festival. For this trip, my mother, our cousins Evelyn and Aris and our nephew Niño will be joining us to experience what Masskara Festival looked like for that year.

But before that, we booked our flights via Philippine Airlines' website through promo fares to and from Bacolod last July 2009: . Our fare on that time cost only PHP1600 round trip, that was inclusive of taxes and surcharges. It was lower than the usual PHP2800 round trip tickets. We expected to increase since it was a festival but luckily we got promo tickets, Yehey!! :)

We get the earliest flight to Bacolod which was 4:55AM on October 18 since this was the last day of Streetdance competition and it was a battle of the best in the city. So last October 18, we went to NAIA Terminal 2 (since our flight was PAL) at 3:00AM for our check-in (For more information on NAIA Terminals, please refer to this link: Cebu-Bohol trips)

From our house in Cubao, Quezon City, we took a taxi and it cost PHP225 pesos by that time. Our travel time was only 30 minutes since no traffic during midnight.

Tips: If you hailed a taxi from Manila, make sure that it was accredited so that you will be charged by taxi meter. I prefer you to take a taxi that has a mixture of other colors than white. Please take note that the taxis in Manila are majority in white. Those taxis are company owned. Example of those are MGE Transport, Basic Taxi, Dollar Taxi, R & E, EMP Taxi and others. For more info on other taxis icluding their contact numbers, please check it here: Taxi Directory in Metro ManilaFlagdown rate is PHP40 and PHP3.50 for every 250 meters. Make sure that driver flag down a meter since you will be going to airport. Insist to a driver to flag down a meter or if not, better find another taxi cab.

we passed Security checks

less crowded airport

much less crowded airport

my mother, sister, me and cousin Evy 

me, my cousin Aris and my nephew Niño

look, my boarding pass!

Yellow boarding pass for Economy/Fiesta Class

arrived at Gate S1

Flight Number: PR131
Route: Manila-Bacolod
Airline: Philippine Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus 320-200
Flying Time: 65 minutes
Departure Time: 0455H
Arrival Time: 0600H

boarding time

got my boarding pass checked

our plane

on board a plane!

it's a full flight, I guess

me and my mother

it is a full flight!

ready to depart!

Bacolod, Here we come! :)

Our flight was smooth as expected. We touchdown at Bacolod-Silay International Airport exactly 6:00AM. Fair weather greeted us and we arrived the newly built airport. Before it was in Singcang, Bacolod City where my sister landed last October 2007. The airport was opened last January 2008 so it was more than one year old. The airport looked nice compared at Singcang. I wasn't able to take photos due to battery empty :( but I recharged once I arrived to the pension house. Before we went off the plane, the crew greeted us "Enjoy the Masskara Festival!" which delighted us and we thanked them for the greetings.

We went to at the arrival area and got our baggage. I immediately called Manong Jhun who will be our driver for our tours in Bacolod. He fetched us at the arrival area. He greeted us and got our things and went first to our pension house.

Tips: Again, it is better to book early than to do last minute bookings. Masskara Festivals are one of the major festivals of the country so expect influx of tourists. I myself were worried about the shortage of hotel rooms in Bacolod. It was only July by that time and some of the hotels were fully booked in time of the Masskara Festival. Good thing that this website is helpful in checking some hotels including address and contact numbers. It was a referral from a friend in forum. Check on this site: ( and (List of Hotels/Pension Houses). Another tip will be on using a transportation while in Bacolod. actually, going to Bacolod is easier since they have many modes of transportation used: from tricycle to multicab jeepneys to buses and taxis. But if you are in a group, I prefer you to hire a van and the driver will take care the rest. It will lessen your time and money since it will be on package. We rented a van through Nyala Tours and I spoke to Manong Jhun and good thing there was a van for us since many tourists also hire a van during the festival. Rates are somewhat affordable but it was higher than we expected maybe due to festival season. For more info on rent-a-van, check it here:

I booked Rosita's Hometel which was just right across the main event. We were not expecting to splurge on the hotel. What we need is a clean and safe place to stay and most of all, low price. The airport was at Silay City, which was 15 kilometers to Bacolod downtown area. It took 30 minutes until we reached the pension house. Once we arrived, it looked like simple but it is somehow okay. The price was a great deal PHP600 pesos per airconditioned room good for three persons. So we are six in a group and we only got 2 rooms for 4 days / 3 nights for only PHP3600 pesos or PHP600 per head. It was really a great deal for us.

our home for 4 days

waiting room with Masskara decors at wall

stairs from the hotel desk


the hotel/pension house

Good Morning Bacolod!

Continue on next blog for the Masskara Festival coverage! :)

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