BACOLOD CITY– Home to Chicken Inasal, The Ruins, and Masskara and the Bacolaodiat Festival, this city will definitely leave a smile on your face after your visit.
#TravelwithTia to Bacolod:
I think it’s about time to post a travel guide to my hometown, and as someone who’s been living here for all her life, it’s only fitting that I show you the best places to go, the most amazing things to do, and the yummiest places to eat while you’re here. I’ll also be showing you some cool side trips that you can visit outside the city.
Known as the City of Smiles, Bacolod is a highly urbanized city located in Negros Occidental and is an hour plane ride away from Manila. It’s also known as one of the “Best Places to Live in in the Philippines” according to Sunstar Newspaper and a survey from MoneySense Magazine. I guess one of the reasons I like living and being here is how you can do so many things in a day and still not rush with everything.
Here are the things to consider before heading here:
There are daily flights from Manila to Bacolod. I always check Cebu Pacific Air for my flights and I book them in advance to get lower prices. You will land in Bacolod-Silay International airport and will need to ride a few minutes more before you reach Bacolod. Opt for a Van service at around 150 Php, or by a taxi. Taxi’s are a bit more expensive when coming from the airport. They usually charge around 200-500, so I would recommend getting a Grab Taxi.
2. Pocket Money
For the budget, you don’t need to spend so much here. Most of your money will probably go to food since there are so many restaurants and cafes here. If you don’t have a friend who can take you around here, then you can also set aside money for transportation especially if you are planning to visit beaches and go out of town.
3. Things to Remember
Whenever I travel, I always make sure to bring my camera so I can take pictures as a remembrance. I always bring my Fujifilm camera with me since it’s so handy and has great color quality already. When going to bacolod, expect to bring home food back to where you come from so packing light is also advised so you can make space for all the food you bring back to your friends and family. Wifi is not a problem since most cafe’s here have wifi.
WHERE TO STAY:
There are a variety of places you can stay in when in Bacolod. There are hostels, Airbnb’s, Boutique Hotels and Business Hotels available.
The Hostelry Bacolod – P420-475/night
La Salle Avenue
Bacolod City, Philippines
Phone: (034) 432-2663
Boutique hotels/ Bed and Breakfast
– Hometown Hotel Bacolod at P 878 /night
26TH Lacson St, Bacolod City
. +63347073145 (LANDLINE) +639565919534 (GLOBE) +639323867883 (SUN/SMART)
Bed and Breakfast at 1,200/night with breakfast for two
11th Lacson St. Bacolod City
(034) 433 9191
-La Luz Airbnbs– 1500-2000/night
3/F, La Luz Building, Lacson St. Mandalagan Highway, Bacolod City
0933 243 0806/ 0925 850 0077
Seda Hotels Bacolod – 5000-7000/night
Located just along Lacson Street where the festivities usually happen, Seda Capitol Central is the best place to stay in since its only 20 minutes away from the Bacolod-Silay airport and 8 minutes from the Port of Bacolod. It is also located in the Ayala Capitol Central complex, allowing easy access to other business and lifestyle establishments. I loved how I can just walk to restaurants, bars, and even jog and swim so easily during my stay here.
Lacson Street cor. North Capitol Road,, Bacolod City, 6100, Philippines
THINGS TO DO:
ENJOY THE FESTIVAL!
One of the highlights of visiting during Chinese New year is the Bacolaodiat Festival.Bacolod Celebrates the Chinese New year with a blast. The main street is closed and is filled with dazzling giant lanterns, fireworks, floats, and food alleys. Get entertained with Dragon and Lion Dances, Gift giving and chinese traditions. “Bacolaodiat” — comes from two words, ‘Bacolod’ and “Laodiat’ meaning celebration in fookien.
Read more about the Bacolaodiat Festival here.
EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURING CITIES/ BEACHES:
Bacolod’s neighbouring cities are actually gems waiting to be discovered, if you click my previous post about sidetrips you can take when visiting Negros, you’ll find that theres still so much more to see still.
The First destination you’d probably pass by from the airport going to your hotel is the Ruins. It’s an old house that burned for 3 days straight but eventually still stands with its foundation intact. It’s one of the most famous and photographed destinations in Talisay/ Bacolod.
One place I’d suggest you visit is Carbin Reef. Located in Sagay City, this destination is a long stretch of sand in the midst of a marine reserve. I’d recommend relaxing here for a couple of hours and from there, you can take a boat onto Suyac Marine Eco Park and explore the mangroves of have freshly served seafood for lunch there.
nother famous tourist spot here in Bacolod is Mambukal. Although located in Murcia, its the most accessible place to visit. Here, you can bathe in hot springs, get a massage from the Blade Spa, ride a boat in their lagoons and even take bath when you hike the seven falls.
Next, you can also visit Duyan Cafe if you want a relaxing day in the mountains.
A new destination to add to your summer go-to list, the cafe is located just less than 30 minutes away from Bacolod City! This instagrammable spot gives off Bali vibes and also serves a mean grilled cheese and chicken sandwich!
You didn’t really go to bacolod if you aren’t bringing home or tried the famous cakes from Calea, pigged out on chicken inasal, tried the famous barbecues from Cha Rose, or had batchoy from 21 AND gelatos from Cafe bobs right across.
I’ve listed down some things that you should definitely check off your to- eat list:
Pasalubong from Merzci– Bring home some bacolod goodies like biscocho, napoleones, butterscotch and piaya!
This way, you can still savor the sweetness once you get back from sugartown.
Enjoy the delicious Seafood at 18th St. Pala-Pala– it’s located just parallel to the main road so it’s accessible even just by walking. Their fresh seafood will definitely be the savory counterpart to all the sweetness here in this city. I recommend getting their scallops and their ‘kinilaw’ here.
Enjoy the Breakfast at Seda Hotels– if you do decide to stay here, then seda has some really great breakfast food and views. Not to mention they just opened their rooftop bar, so you can also have a few drinks there too.
Next, get your dose of savory food from Bar 21’s famous batchoy, Chilcken house’s Chicken inasal with spareribs and leche flan and Cha Rose’s hot off the grill barbecues.
Last but definitely not the least, Calea’s cakes Cheap yet sooo good– I love their mudpie, their ice cream cake and pecan pie here the most. It’s also really instagrammable and accessible so what’s to lose?
Sound like a good idea? nah, it’s a great idea!
Come night time, visit Bacolod’s magic-themed pub/ speakeasy at Trap door where you can enjoy a cup of butterbeer. They also serve desserts from which I would recommend trying their ‘Snow Storm’. Get the shock of your life when you visit their restroom and enjoy their interior aside from their great food and drinks like ‘Love and Hate’ and ‘Cream of Smiles’.
Bacolod definitely does not back down when it comes to drinking, so aside from Trap door, check out Portiko, Mushu, Que Dan, Brewery, Sitting Duck, or even Gorka, all along Lacson St.
SAMPLE ITINERARY and BUDGET GUIDE
• at the Bacolod-Silay Airport
• 18th Pala-pala St. (located at Lacson 18th St., Bacolod City)
• The Hostelry Bacolod (420/night)
TIME TO HAVE SOME REST BECAUSE WE’RE GOING PLACES!!
• You will surely love this place!
• Take pictures!
• You can buy food inside the Ruins.
• Stroll around and enjoy the scenic view!
• You can enjoy walking along Lacson St. and enjoy the music played while taking pictures.
CALEA PASTRIES & CAKE
• You can look for place to dine in along Lacson St.
Optional: WALWAL NIGHT!
• Trap Door Tasting Room
• Tippy’s Bistro, Portiko Café and Lounge (Drink moderately! HAHAHA)
Expenses: P 800, including your walwal night
CARBIN REEF & SUYAC ISLAND MARINE ECOPARK, SAGAY CITY
CARBIN REEF & SUYAC ISLAND MARINE ECOPARK, SAGAY CITY
How to get there?
• Ride a jeep from Jollibee Lasalle to New Bacolod North Ceres Terminal.
• Ride a bus going to Sagay (2hrs and 10mins)
• From Sagay Terminal, ride a trike and that’s 5-6 persons. Just ask the
driver to take you to the port going Carbin Reef.
• There will be fees before taking a pumpboat.
• Take note: Bring your own food.
• Don’t forget your favorite sunblock and tanning lotion. Wear comfortable beach wears and bring extra dry clothes. Enjoy the beach guys!
Fares per person:
Jeep – 7php
Bus – 257php
Trike – 20php
Pumpboat – 1,200 good for 1-10 persons
1,500 good for 1-15 persons
CARBIN REEF to SUYAC ISLAND ECOPARK
Lunch at Suyac Island.
Expenses: P600-800 depending on how many people ride the boat to Carbin and Suyac
How to get there?
• The easiest way to go to Libertad Terminal is to take a taxi. Tell the driver that you’re taking a bus going to Mambukal Resort.
• The bus is nit air-conditioned but it is actually fun to ride with.
• The travel time will take 45mins-1hr.
• And.. welcome to Mambukal Resort!
Fees per person:
Taxi – estimated 120 pesos
Bus going Mambukal – 35 pesos
Entrance – 50 pesos
Hot Spring – 50 pesos
Swimming Pool – 50 pesos
Japanese Ofuro – 100 pesos
Falls – Tip for the tour guide.
Boating – 30 pesos
Uhm, guys, In case you forget to bring food there’s a canteen below the bridge.
Back to the City.
• The bus is just outside the Mambukal Entrance.
• Last trip is 5PM-5:30PM.
DAY 4 (Optional)
• Ride a jeep going to New Bacolod Ceres Northbound Terminal.
• Take a bus going to Cadiz City.
• Travel time will take 1hr and 30mins.
• Ride a tricycle going to the port.
• Pumpboat schedule: 7AM onwards
• Don’t forget to catch a boat going back by 3PM!
• Hello LAKAWON ISLAND!
Jeep – 7 pesos
Bus – 200
Tricycle – 120 for 4 persons
Pumpboat – 320 (back and forth) *this includes Lakawon entrance fee, boat fee & terminal fee.
Floating Bar – 250
Cottage – 600 good for 6 persons
Expenses: P1000/ person