In the first two weeks of March 2020, our Sugar & Smiles Project Team was busy meeting with selected Negros-based writers, famous Negrense personalities, and prospective partners for this heirloom coffee table book. Looking back, I never knew that was the last time for the “old normal” life as we knew it.

Over the next days, weeks, and months, a series of national emergency announcements were made due to the pandemic that hit the entire world. Like other local government units (LGUs), Bacolod City has gone through the impact of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdowns from March 15, 2020 to the present.

Just when the city government had engaged to develop and sustain the momentum after being declared the 2019 Top Philippine Model City by The Manila Times along with several prestigious national and regional awards, the pandemic halted the local economy when community quarantine protocols were enforced to address the health crisis.

This journal is intended to impart the best practices of Bacolod City against the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Smiles’ trailblazing response has been benchmarked as a model for other LGUs in containing the spread of the dreaded virus.