The Mercury Is Rising!

maskara
It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party.

Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone!

MassKara Festival Legend

Bacolod City has long been the hub of the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines, where sugarcane is King and is grown all over the province. Sugarcane made many people rich but around 1980, the world sugar market crashed and the good times in Negros Occidental soon became hard times. The provincial economy was in crisis. The people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental were still reeling from the sinking of the ship, MV Don Juan, taking the lives of more than 700 people. Aboard the ship were members of the more prominent families in Bacolod and in Negros Occidental. It was a terrible tragedy.

The first MassKara Festival was organized in 1980 with the intentions of brightening the dreary mood of the people, which surrounded the city and province like a mist. The people needed to be revitalized, energized and reminded that no matter how bad things appear, they can overcome the hardships facing them. The idea of the MassKara Festival was an innovation that has lasted for decades and it will continue onward in the hearts and lives of the people, as this annual event grows more elaborate each year.

The Main Events

The vibrant and pulsating celebration of the MassKara Festival is far reaching and involves many aspects of the community. There are job fairs, trade days, occupation recognitions and seminars, golf tournaments, other various sporting events and competitions and celebration of the actual Charter Day of the City of Bacolod. The Philippine national soccer team, the Azkals, will be playing a game at Panaad Stadium. There will be medical and dental missions in the city for those who cannot afford health care. There are also religious and praise services held everyday.

Entertainment during the MassKara Festival rocks the entire city! On a smaller scale, there are karaoke singing contests, cooking competitions and art exhibitions. On a major scale, everyone is getting ready to party down at the street dancing competition and exhibitions, the battle of the bands, the light shows, fireworks displays, the beauty pageants, mask and costume competitions and special appearances by some of the most famous Philippine entertainment stars of music, TV and cinema.

Once the festival ends and all the cleaning up is finished, guess what? The very next day, the organizers and planners of the MassKara Festival begin making preparations for next year’s festival! It is a year round affair. MassKara Festival 2013 will be my 5th one since my family and I moved here in 2009. No doubt, this year’s festival will be as refreshing as that first one I attended years ago!

If you are in the Philippines in October, the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City is one event you will not want to miss! Even if you can only attend one day of the events, you should try to be here.

It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party. Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone! MassKara Festival Legend Bacolod City has long been the hub of the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines, where sugarcane is King and is grown all over the province. Sugarcane made many people rich but around 1980, the world sugar market crashed and the good times in Negros Occidental soon became hard times. The provincial economy was in crisis. The people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental were still reeling from the sinking of the ship, MV Don Juan, taking the lives of more than 700 people. Aboard the ship were members of the more prominent families in Bacolod and in Negros Occidental. It was a terrible tragedy. The first MassKara Festival was organized in 1980 with the intentions of brightening the dreary mood of the people, which surrounded the city and province like a mist. The people needed to be revitalized, energized and reminded that no matter how bad things appear, they can overcome the hardships facing them. The idea of the MassKara Festival was an innovation that has lasted for decades and it will continue onward in the hearts and lives of the people, as this annual event grows more elaborate each year. The Main Events The vibrant and pulsating celebration of the MassKara Festival is far reaching and involves many aspects of the community. There are job fairs, trade days, occupation recognitions and seminars, golf tournaments, other various sporting events and competitions and celebration of the actual Charter Day of the City of Bacolod. The Philippine national soccer team, the Azkals, will be playing a game at Panaad Stadium. There will be medical and dental missions in the city for those who cannot afford health care. There are also religious and praise services held everyday. Entertainment during the MassKara Festival rocks the entire city! On a smaller scale, there are karaoke singing contests, cooking competitions and art exhibitions. On a major scale, everyone is getting ready to party down at the street dancing competition and exhibitions, the battle of the bands, the light shows, fireworks displays, the beauty pageants, mask and costume competitions and special appearances by some of the most famous Philippine entertainment stars of music, TV and cinema. Once the festival ends and all the cleaning up is finished, guess what? The very next day, the organizers and planners of the MassKara Festival begin making preparations for next year’s festival! It is a year round affair. MassKara Festival 2013 will be my 5th one since my family and I moved here in 2009. No doubt, this year’s festival will be as refreshing as that first one I attended years ago! If you are in the Philippines in October, the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City is one event you will not want to miss! Even if you can only attend one day of the events, you should try to be here.Read more at: http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/mercury-rising/ | Retiring to the Philippines

It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party. Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone! MassKara Festival Legend Bacolod City has long been the hub of the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines, where sugarcane is King and is grown all over the province. Sugarcane made many people rich but around 1980, the world sugar market crashed and the good times in Negros Occidental soon became hard times. The provincial economy was in crisis. The people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental were still reeling from the sinking of the ship, MV Don Juan, taking the lives of more than 700 people. Aboard the ship were members of the more prominent families in Bacolod and in Negros Occidental. It was a terrible tragedy.Read more at: http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/mercury-rising/ | Retiring to the Philippines

It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party. Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone!Read more at: http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/mercury-rising/ | Retiring to the Philippines

It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party. Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone!Read more at: http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/mercury-rising/ | Retiring to the Philippines

It’s about to happen! One of the biggest Festivals in the entire Philippines is about to explode in full tilt boogie beginning on October 1. Since 1980, the MassKara Festival has been an annual event in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, and every hotel room in the city will be booked for 3 solid weeks. That is how big this festival is! It is a combination of Mardi Gras and Carnival, only without the public nudity, and people from all over the world will come to Bacolod City for the three week party. Are you ready to get your groove on and get your mojo working? Get ready because it is all happening October 1-20, 2013. One of the great parts of the MassKara Festival is that every mask wears a smile, just like the people in Bacolod, who live up their their reputation of being the City of Smiles. Festival events are scheduled all over the city on any given day and there is something for everyone!Read more at: http://retiringtothephilippines.com/entertainment/mercury-rising/ | Retiring to the Philippines

Pizzaro Pizza in Victorias City

Pizzaro
We were in Victorias City yesterday and we noticed Pizzaro Pizzaria located next to Lopues as you first enter the city. We have eaten at Pizzaro in Goldenfield, Bacolod, so we know they have good pizza. We would soon learn that this branch in Victorias City has fabulous pizza. Our son is a pizza expert and he knows good pizza! He and the rest of us give two thumbs up to Pizzao in Victorias City.

Pizzaro
We really enjoyed the atmosphere at Pizzaro, as it has the feel of an outdoor pizzaria!

Pizzaro
Pepperoni Pizza

Pizzaro
The perfect combination! Pizza and San Miguel Pale Pilsen!

Pizzaro
If you are interested in dessert, one option is Melona Refreshing Ice Cream Bars in 5 different flavors.

In the first two photos of my article, you can see that Pizzaro is much more than pizza with their large menu posted on the front counter in banner style. I do not personally know too many people who do not enjoy excellent pizza but if they go to Pizzaro, there are a number of other dishes to choose from, including pasta. There are also a few Korean dishes on Pizzaro’s menu.

The next time you are in Victorias City, you can check out Pizzaro and I do not think you will be disappointed. Their pizza is thick, meaty and cheesy. The large pepperoni pizza we ordered was P325 and it was awesome!

~ Gary ~

http://www.retiringtothephilippines.com

Filipino Chop Suey

chop suey
As I always say, some of the best food around is made right at home! There are many fabulous restaurants in the Bacolod Area and we have our favorites. We also enjoy trying one of the many new restaurants that seem to constantly be opening in our area. Someone asked recently, “Which products are missing from the Philippines?” Everyone seems to have some obscure request that is not available in the Islands of Paradise and it is true that there are many foreign food items that you will not find here. However, with the passing of time, that list is growing smaller everyday.

What is Filipino Chop Suey?

The Chinese translation of chop suey is “assorted pieces.” Originally, Chop Suey is a Chinese-American dish but in the Philippines, Filipinos have added their own version. Chop suey is certainly not new, as I remember my mom making it when I was growing up in the 1960s in the USA. I remember my mom used La Choy brand Soy Sauce! And she always added fried chow mein noodles.

Someone once said that the sky is the limit when making chop suey! There are so many thousands of different chop suey recipes, so you are only limited by your imagination as to your personal favorite chop suey dish. Usually, chicken, pork, beef, prawns, fish balls or other seafood are added, either alone or in combination. Among the popular vegetables  added to chop suey are cabbage, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, okra and celery. Please do not forget one key ingredient in making chop suey and that is corn starch. If you use okra in your chop suey, this thicken the dish even more.

Sesame oil, oyster sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce are among people’s favorite additions to chop suey. Do not be afraid to experiment, as it is not easy to mess up when making chop suey! You can also add onions, garlic, green onions or even ginger for that matter.

You can cook all the chop suey ingredients in one wok or one skillet but it is best to add the cauliflower, broccoli and snow peas last, as not to overcook and keep them with crunch. Broth will add to flavor when boiling but spiced water will work, too. Add your favorite spices to the water. I found it best to saute the garlic and onions, together with the meat or seafood first, before adding the remaining ingredients and letting them boil for about 10-15 minutes.

In the cover photo of my article, prawns, cauliflower, snow peas, red bell peppers and quail eggs stand out. This is by far our most popular recipe at home for making chop suey.

You now have the basic idea how to make chop suey, so let your imagination run wild and kick it up a few notches! If you come up with a great innovated chop suey, please let us know on All Around Bacolod!