Bacolod is the capital and most populous city of the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. It is known as the "City of Smiles" because of its MassKara Festival, a Mardi Gras-like parade and a spectacular vivid mix of dancing, colour and music. Bacolod is also known as the "Land of Sweet People", and is known for its culinary heritage, including its inasal (a kind of roast chicken on skewers) and sweet dessert treats.
Bacolod is a major transport hub for reaching destinations anywhere in the Visayas, from within the large island of Negros (which contains two provinces, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental), to the islands of Panay and Guimaras to the west just across the Guimaras Strait, which are both accessible via regular ferry trips to Iloilo, the main city of the former, and to Cebu to the east, just across the Tañon Strait, also accessible via ferry.
The name Bacolod
The name Bacolod was derived from the Hiligaynon word, Buklod meaning stonehill, as the city was first set up on a stonehill. Due to Moro (Muslim) raids it was then transferred to the shoreline. The original town is now called Daan-Banwa, meaning old town.
The settlement was set up by Austronesians from the Taga-Ilog and settled on a stonehill (which where Barangay Granada stands today). Later on the Moros attacked early one morning and within a few hours many people had been slaughtered and houses ransacked and/or burnt. The people then decided to move a little farther from the place down to the shore, abandoning the stonehill as a result.
Bacolod was made the provincial capital of Negros Occidental in 1890. It was the focal point of conflict between the Negrenses and the Spaniards in 1898. The commanding officer of the Spanish forces; Col. Isidro de Castro, surrendered to the Filipino forces, and the signing of the Act of Capitulation was carried out at the house of Don Eusebio Luzuriaga which once stood in front of the City Hall. This resulted in the formation of an independent Negros Island Republic.
On March 1899, American forces, led by Colonel James G. Smith, occupied Bacolod. During American Rule, The Rizal Institute was set up in the city in 1903 providing education to the Bacolodnons. La Consolacion College was then founded on 1919 by Augustinian Sisters as a private school. The City of Bacolod was declared to be a city on June 18, 1938. Inclement weather meant that the inauguration had to be postponed twice. It was finally held on October 19, 1938; today the first two weeks of October is celebrated as Masskara and October 19 as Charter Day celebration declared a holiday. Bacolod was occupied by the Japanese forces on May 21, 1942 but was then liberated by the American forces on May 29, 1945.
The small settlement grew and emerged as an urbanized metropolis with a population now around 500,000 (which tends to swell during the daytime because of incoming workers from neighbouring cities and towns) and named as one of the two cleanest and greenest highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, it also recognized as the most business and child friendly city, and best in disaster risk management. It has been appointed by the European Union as the pilot city for democratic local governance for Southeast Asia in the Philippines.
Bacolod is one of the 13 cities in the province of Negros Occidental, it is the provincial capital and the center of governance, economy and education in the province. To the east lies the town of Murcia, to the north is the smaller city of Talisay, and to the south is Bago City. The city has a coastline to the west, bordering the Guimaras Strait. Bacolod is then divided into barangays, which is akin to that of districts or city wards, the districts are then divided into subdivisions.
Bacolod contains 61 barangays (abbreviated as Brgy.). However, we only listed 8 barangays, and here are the following:
- Downtown Bacolod/City Proper/Central Business District (CBD) — Business transactions, malls and marketplaces, famous landmarks, and small diners are all concentrated in this district, often crowded especially in holidays and weekends this is the spot where the first malls, cinema houses, markets and humble beginnings of businesses started.
- Singcang — Bars, casinos and fun, what else more? The former is used as a venue for motor-cross events and concerts.
- Villamonte — another growing business district for the city. Shopping centers are located here and it is expected that due to the location of the New Government Center there would be a rise of business establishments within the district. St. Joseph-La Salle Integrated School, Panasonic Solutions, Lopue's East, Victoria Arcade, Yuan Thong Temple and numerous business establishments which include a hotel are located here. High rise accommodations are being constructed here and where the middle and high class helps the economy running.
- Alijis and Mansilingan — A residential area where there is also expected an economic growth due to the location of the construction of a terminal.
- Punta Taytay — Beaches and pottery is what Punta Taytay is usually known for. Just like Estefania/Fortune Town and Villamonte, this district has a lot of subdivisions. Beaches might had been mention but it's quite disappointing that it is neglected now by the public that the waves of the sea bring garbage to the shore making it dirty, reforestation of the mangroves is being done to revive the disappearing ecosystems of the city.
- Granada — where the first settlement of Bacolod was founded.
- Mandalagan — is a growing economic center for the city where one of the first high rise buildings of Negros is under construction. Bacolod's first fully functioning mall is located here, and many businesses have found their home in this district. You can grab a drink here, party all night, enjoy a meal of either regional or international fare, or enjoy exhibitions of local artists. There is also a monastery here.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bacolod has two pronounced seasons: wet and dry seasons. The wet season starts in May and continues until January, with heavy rainfall during August and September. Bacolodnons would pack their bags with umbrellas before leaving their homes and some would even bathe themselves in moisturizer! Perspiration with humidity levels high would just make you feel uncomfortable, the city's clogged and small sidewalk streets would add up to the heat. Low-lying barangays and surrounding cities experience floods in the wet season, usually classes are suspended when such news arrives. Another reason to not travel in the city during this season is that some of its streets would have puddles and sometimes a flood would appear in the middle of the city when it heavily rains and when drainage canals get clogged. It may be bad news for travellers but for the industry, it's jackpot! However by October–January the skies clear up and rainshowers are isolated and would not last long, the weather is changing starting on October as it prepares for summer, the sun is high and the skies cloudy.
The dry season starts in February and ends in April, with April being the hottest month of the year while December is the coldest. The island and the whole country experiences droughts during the dry seasons sometimes in extreme conditions. It is sometimes not a good thing to travel on a dry season especially when everyone foresees there would be water or electricity shortages, but the chances are low, especially here in Negros, where both water and electricity are being derived from natural and renewable sources. Bacolodnons would retreat themselves inside their homes with an electric fan, in front of them and a glass of a cool beverage, stay inside an air-conditioned place, while others would go to other parts of their island, and even nearby islands for a getaway.
This "sugar-loving" people are no "sugar-coated" people, most of the Bacolodnons or Bacoleños are of Austronesian (specifically Visayan) ethnicity and there is a minority of East Asian (mostly Chinese, but also Korean and Japanese) and European-descent peoples as well. In the past decades, families of mixed native and foreign (especially Spanish and Chinese) descent have dominated the regional sugar industry. In contrast to the past the generation of Bacolodnons, in this present day, they are composed of those who are highly educated and independent and somehow liberal on the side and conservative on the other. Bacolod is now a diverse community with the Austronesian, Chinese, Indian, European-descent and those who have migrated from nearby cities, islands as far as Mindanao and with a growing community of those who seek more affordable education from nearby foreign shores all contributing to a pillar of the city's growing economy. Another reason why the city was called City of Smiles is that its people hid their worries, sorrows, and fears in an economic crisis in the sugar industry in the earlier times and till now they still try their best to put up their smiles and that's another story how the local MassKara Festival was created with the concept of Happy Bacolodnons in dark times, often the Filipinos of the other island perceive Bacolodnons and the rest of Negrenses as people who speak with sweet words.
The city began from a town with Negritos, Negros or dark-skinned aborigines from which the island that Bacolod sits on got its name from, then gradually, the population began to expand, starting with Austronesian and later, began a majority in the population. Present day Bacolodnons may have a great gap from those of the earlier generations of the Spanish and American era, the Bacolodnon today tries to be in trend despite the fact that it doesn't have that many high couture stores as Manila and Cebu does and the benefit of the new generation is that they have easier access to education therefore new professionals are created.
Foreigners since then have migrated to Bacolod, Indians have established their own businesses in the city and now have their multiple branches selling home appliances, electronics, watches etc. while the Chinese have also dominated the business arena since then especially in the field of electronics. Bacolod, like any other major city in the Philippines, is also an English-learning hub for those coming from East Asian countries, especially Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. As a result, the city has also become as more of a tourist destination to them. The people who have migrated from Mindanao come to Bacolod to seek greener pasture along with them they bring their faith, Islam, such as that a small mosque has been constructed and a small madrasah has opened. Oversease Filipino Workers (OFWs) have come back home with their foreign spouses and had settled down in the city which had slowly contributed to another Mestizo minority.
Bacolodnons love their Mayor and Provincial Governor because of much improvement they had done and investment they had attracted from foreigners that had led to Bacolod as a highly urbanized center. Long before, the people had been strong supporters of the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and all her allies, but since she stepped down the amidst the controversy, people have been divided in who they will support. Majority of the province's representatives are in favour of anything that improves the situation of the city and the entire Negros Island, and are opposed to abortion, voting against a bill that would dramatically change the country's healthcare system according to those in favor of it. Like other Filipinos, Bacolodnons are devout Christians, and they raise their children with the Christian faith, they might have a conservative side yet they see to it they exercise their liberty correctly. The rich-poor divides are not that talked about in the city, there is a rise in number in those who could afford to stay in subdivisions, buy a decent car and have their own houses yet there is still a problem about illegal settlers in the city, the growing economy had attracted people from nearby towns end up as illegal settlers due to tight budgets.
Majority of the people are Christians, predominantly Catholic, next to Catholicism, the Baptists, the Iglesia ni Kristo(Church of Christ) members, Anglicans and Seventh Day Adventist form the next largest groups while there is a growing population of Muslims who migrated from South Cotabato while the Chinese-descent follow the Taoist faith.
Commercial establishments and offices in Bacolod open as early as 07:00 and close as late as 22:00 however the regular working hours that applies to all commercial establishments and offices is 08:00/9:00-18:00/19:00. Malls open up till 21:00/22:00, in case of midnight sales they open up till 02:00. Holidays such as Christmas limit working hours, during Holy Week business stops for a while making the Central Business District almost like a ghost town except for a few shops which open because they're non-Christians and this starts from Maundy Thursday till Black Saturday with Good Friday being the day with most of the establishments closed.
The majority of the people of Negros speak Hiligaynon/Ilonggo as their native language as it is the predominant language in the province of Negros Occidental, while there are some who can speak Cebuano and Kinaray-a (a Visayan language closely related to, yet distinct from Hiligaynon). English is mostly the second language of the city's population, much more so than Filipino. For visitors, communicating with the people wouldn't be that difficult. The Chinese form a minor part of the population who most speak Minnan or Hokkien with a knowledge of either Cantonese or Mandarin. A significant minority of people who migrated from the islands Mindanao (primarily from the Cotabato region) speak in their native languages, but usually they have also common knowledge of speaking in Hiligaynon (since a majority of the Cotabato region shares that same language) and somehow Cebuano. But no worries! English is widely understood and spoken by the locals of all social statuses.
Hiligaynon has more loanwords than Tagalog, while buying, telling time, some verbs, rooms, objects and many other words and phrases are of Spanish origin, however grammatical structure and adjectives are different from Spanish.
- Philippine Airlines have connections to and from Metro Manila, Cebu and Clark.
- Cebu Pacific have connections to and from Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.
- The terminal fee at Bacolod airport is ₱200 and is collected for all departing passengers.
- For arriving passengers who want supplemental guides to the city or free maps, the Department of Tourism and the Local Government has a desk in the arrivals area where you can grab free maps or have a dose of information from the people over the desk. Hotels, resorts and car rental companies have kiosks in the arrival areas where you can easily book a room and just head to your hotel room without any hassle.
- There are minivans leaving for the airport at SM City Bacolod, Bacolod Provincial Hospital, Old Bacolod Airport and Victoria Arcade/Lopue's East/SaveMore Supermarket, the regular fare per person is ₱100. It is not suggested to take a taxi to the airport, it will just cost more than the regular fare vans offer.
- You can get a MiniVan going to the Bacolod airport from most places to stay in down town Bacolod. just ask you hotel to phone/text the van for you. the cost is ₱150 per person hotel to airport. if you get on the Minivan from outside the SM mall the fare is ₱100 per person.
Getting to Bacolod by bus from elsewhere in the province is smooth and easy as there is little chance of congestion on the roads. Arriving by bus from other provinces is also possible; you can use the so-called RoRo which means Roll-on and Roll-off. During Holy Week, Christmas and New Year, often buses are cramped, delayed and overloaded it's advisable to avoid traveling by bus during the Holy week and the Christmas season.
- Ceres Liner, Ceres Rd., Barangay Mansilingan, ☏ (Main office), (Main office), (North Terminal), (South Terminal), fax: . Provides RoRo services and provides daily services to and from Escalante, Sagay, San Carlos, Hinoba-an, Don Salvador Benedicto, Canlaon, Culipapa, Bayawan, Binalbagan, Toledo City, Zamboanga City, Cebu City, Dumaguete, Kabankalan, Cadiz, they have 2 terminals in Bacolod, South and North Terminal. Trips within the Negros island costs from about ₱80-300 depending on the distance of your destination, trips outside Negros Island using the RoRo service costs from ₱250-400..
There are two major terminals in Bacolod, both operated and used by Ceres liner.
- Ceres Southbound Terminal (Ceres South Terminal), Luzuriaga St, ☏ , . Buses departing for and arriving from Dumaguete (via Mabinay) arrive and depart in this terminal. Buses from this terminal also go to Cebu City
- Ceres Northbound Terminal (Ceres North Terminal), Lopez Jaena St (From China Bank you will already see the entrance of Lopez Jaena St., walk to the street and you will see the Terminal), ☏ . Buses departing for and arriving from Bayawan (via Cauayan and Sipalay) and Kanlaon City (via La Carlota, La Castellana, Moises Padilla).
- Bacolod Seaport or Bredco Port serves inter-regional trips from major destinations such Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo.
- Iloilo seaport is 45 minutes from Bacolod and is one of the easiest to access because every hour there's a trip.
- Ocean Jet, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. return fare from ₱395.
- Weesam Express, Bredco Port. 06:30-16:30. Ticketing offices are located at Bredco Port. Economy Class (one way) from ₱235.
- 2GO Travel Super cat.. Ticketing offices are located at Bredco Port. One-way fares from ₱240.
- Fast Cat New ferries, from ₱200, 3 times per day.
- 2Go Travel has ferries to and from Metro Manila and Cagayan de Oro.
Transportation within the city and to adjacent towns is by taxi or jeepney, but uses as well as rental cars are also available.
The city's streets follow a rough grid at the downtown core, but becomes a mess as you head out for the suburbs and nearby cities and towns. Traffic jams have increased since the city's economic boom, and traffic jams are common during rush hours especially during the evening at 5-6PM where commuters head home. The situation is worse during the Christmas and New Year season, as well as during Masskara.
Jeepneys are the common way to get around Bacolod, but the vehicles used are different from those you will see around Manila. Fares start at ₱8 for the first 4 kilometers, and increases by ₱2 for every kilometer added.
There are over 18 routes, converging at Bacolod's two major public markets, the Central Market and Libertad Public Market, but one useful route is Central Market - Shopping, which runs between downtown and Bacolod's Chinatown at barangay Villamonte.
By the meter!
This is a common trend in the Philippines and is known nationwide, both foreigners and locals are its victims; some taxi drivers offer a fixed price if you're a foreigner or a local who has the money to pay. This is illegal. Don't take the taxi if he offers you a fixed price; threaten him too so that he'll let you pay by the meter. If you encounter a situation like this you can report it to local officials and some action might be taken. Check if the meter is working. Fixed prices for a trip from Silay Airport are OK, but do ask the driver how much is it or if it is by the meter.
Getting around the city by private car or taxi is quick and affordable. There are no problems with traffic jams at all because of the good road layout of the city. Around Bacolod the taxis have a flagdown rate of ₱30 and ₱2.50 for every 300 meters thereafter. Filipinos usually give the change as a tip but it is not mandatory, if the meter states ₱87.50, they typically give the entire ₱100.
- RMC Taxi, ☏ , .
- Nyla Rent-A-Car, ☏ .
- Meca Rent-A-Car, ☏ .
- BASIA Transport service, ☏ .
Tricycles are another alternative to taxis (and are more common), and is common around the downtown. Fares depend on the distance of your destination from where you rode.
Consider walking if you are in a hurry, but the streets of Bacolod are not suitable for this as their sidewalks are full of illegally parked vehicles park.
Jaywalking is illegal in Bacolod, and is strictly implemented, but pedestrian crossings are hard to spot even at downtown.
There are a number of historical attractions in Bacolod showing the history of the city and the Province of Negros Occidental.
- 1 Fountain of Justice (Just in-front of Old City Hall). Used to be where Jose Luis de Luzuriaga's residence used to stand, It was where the Spanish forces surrendered Bacolod to the Filipino forces. While it is a common gathering area for protesters in Bacolod, it is illuminated by lights every night. Free as it is for public viewing.
- Iron Dinosaurs (Vintage Steam Locomotives) (At the La Herencia Entrance and Bacolod Murcia Milling Co. compound). Locomotives were used in Bacolod to transport sugarcane from the fields to the azucareras or sugar factories, thus they were part of making Bacolod the sugar bowl of the Philippines.
- Mariano Ramos Ancestral home, Burgos St (Adjacent to Dizon Ramos Museum). The ancestral homes of the Ramos before they moved to the present day Dizon Ramos Museum. The family who had lived in this mansion was an affluent family of Bacolod, known to have helped the sugar industry in the province.
- 2 Bacolod Public Plaza, Rizal Street (A 5-10 minute walk from the City Hall and adjacent to San Sebastian Cathedral). The plaza is like the Bacolod version of Central park but the smaller version, fountains are scattered around the plaza and a gazebo stands in the middle and they are actually the main attractions, just like other parks, trees are scattered around it. The last but not the least, the Unknown Soldiers Monument also known as Theodore Vinther Monument is found here. It is the common place where events like the MassKara festival is held as well as other activities such as Arnis(Filipino martial arts) and other martial arts practices usually happen, it is also a hub for joggers and people doing aerobics during the morning.
- 3 Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol Building and Lagoon, Gatuslao corner Lacson streets. This is the official seat of the provincial government and served as the headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II and formerly was the Negros Museum. The building is of Romanesque architecture and also has a nice surrounding park and lagoon, which includes the Ang Paghimud-os statues done by Eduardo Castrillo, "Ang Paghimud-os" is a Hiligaynon word for "The Struggle". The building is considered the most impressive building in Bacolod City
- Lizares-Rodriguez Mansion, Lizares Street.
- New Government Center (Take Central Market - Homesite jeepney route. Ask the driver if they stop at the Center). The New Government Center has replaced the Bacolod City Hall, the Government Center is mistakenly called the New City Hall. The building boasts an architecture of western style resembling government buildings in the west, a huge fountain is in front of it. Jeepney routes to the center have been introduced, an alternative route from Central Market is use the Fortune Town and Homesite route where you can stop at Lopue's East and walk it to the center. Visitors are welcome inside yet sometimes your attention can be called by guards or employees if you disturb office hours or either go up to the offices even if you're not a government employee. Free to the public.
Churches are a big part of life for a Filipino and all have historical, spiritual and religious meaning.
- 4 San Sebastian Cathedral, the Centennial Bells and the Palacio Episcopal, Rizal St. The Cathedral was first planned by Fr. Gonzaga whos started building it by collecting coral but died without completing it. It was then continued by the Government and the Priests and was completed in 1894. Now the coral-made cathedral is covered by cement.
- St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine, Barangay Alijis. This young church is dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus; the patron Saint of the Hopeless. The church boasts art within and outside. In particular, the church's altar is what stands out most of the churches in the city, and is considered as equal as the altar at St. Sebastian Cathedral or maybe surpassing its beauty. The altar's baroque designs are gold metallic plated and during evening masses, the lights give off the beauty of the altar. A mural spreads out at the ceiling of the altar making it much comparable with the Cathedral's beauty and wonder. Everyone is expected to respect and behave properly within the church premises, if you're unlucky the parish priest might give you a stern warning. The shrine also is in honor of The Divine Mercy.
- Panaad Park & Stadium.
- San Antonio Abad Church..
- 5 Carmelite Monastery, Mandalagan, Lacson St (Just a walk from Robinson's Bacolod), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Home to the order of the Carmelites, this church offers simplicity in its designs but what makes this place special is the prayer requests you can submit to the nuns, with a token of donation in any kind would be appreciated, and they could do a favor for you by praying for you. It is probably one of its kind in the city as it offers a quiet environment away from the hectic urban life and industrial air the city puffs out. By chance you might meet a Carmelite around, greet them and have a conversation, if things turn out well they'll give you advices. There's a store in the monastery that sell a wide range of religious artifacts which can serve as a souvenir.
- Sacred Heart Church and Seminary (Lupit Church), Lacson St. and Lizares St (Just near Neg. Occ. high school and Paglaum sports complex). Its magnificent architecture is obviously European inspired, its high ceilings and its tall antena like building might let you think you're inside a Gothic church but built with cement. Its interiors are much appreciated and from the outside might let you think it's a town church back in the United States in a remote town, even though it's a church it looks much like a cathedral, the church has mini chapels on the sides of the Cathedral which are in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.
- 6 Barangay sang Virgen Chapel, Sta. Clara Subdivision. This magnificent and spectacular chapel is designed by Archbishop Norman Campus, the chapel features a mosaic of the Barangay Sang Birhen(Barangay of the Virgin) made of 95,000 shells by Leticia Sia Ledesma, other images of saints, stations of the cross and altar pieces made out of 30,000 shells too.
- 7 Pope John Paul II Monument (PJPII Tower), Reclamation Area (Take a tricycle ride from SM Mall). This monument serves as a symbol of a progressive and developed city in the whole of the Philippines, it stand proudly at the site where the late Pope John Paul II served mass to thousands of Bacolodnons. The monument features artwork of artists on the life of Jesus and documents as well as artifacts of the late Pope serving as a museum. At its peak the whole of Bacolod City's Central Business District is visible offering a breath taking view of the sea as well as a nice angle shot for a skyline.
Museums and galleries
- 8 Museum Negrense De La Salle, University of St. La Salle, ☏ . M-F 08:30-12:00, 13:30-18:00. Student: ₱10.
- 9 Negros Museum, Gatuslao St (Take Mandalagan-Libertad jeep from Downtown Bacolod), ☏ . The Negros Museum's building used to be where the old Provincial Government used to operate, this museum provides a tour of the History of the province of Negros Occidental from its humble beginnings to the colonial oppression, rise of the sugar industry, cultural influences brought by foreigners, the revolution, past governors and murals done by Negrense Artists. The museum not alone stands as an image of historical study but as well as a hub for Filipino artists who hold their exhibits in the museum's cafe.
- 10 Dizon Ramos Museum, JRR Foundation 42 Burgos St (Near the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital), ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-12:00 & 13:30 to 16:00. The first 1950 lifestyle museum in the Philippines, formerly the house of Raymundo L. Dizon Sr. and Hermelinda V. Ramos. The main lifestyle exhibit is on the second floor and on the ground floor are seven galleries. One shows how Bacolod looked in previous times; others are: The National Artist gallery, The Holy Land Collection, The Alunan - Puentebella Dolls Collection, Rudy Dizon horse figures, Bro. Roly's crystal collection and the Masskara collection of ABS-CBN that was turned over to the museum. Adult: ₱30, Students with Identification card: ₱10.
- Orange Gallery, Lacson St (just before Lopue's Mandalagan). Showcases the work of local artists.
- Christmas Village, San Juan St (Near Sylvia Manor hotel). Open only during Christmas season. This is the work of a man collecting figurines and collections for 17 years, the details of the miniature model of a Christmas village are incredible, cliffs, lakes, mountains etc. are done carefully and hand painted by the man himself. The owner travels every year and collects figurines and displays it in the village. The miniature village might make you imagine how Santa's village in North pole might be. You're not supposed to take a picture however chances of luck might happen when he'll turn his back and you can flash a picture, if you're obedient but if you don't have a chance to do that, it's alright the owner sells souvenir pictures and postcards. Accepts donations of any kind and gives them for charity.
Wildlife and nature
Rebuilding Bacolod's nature
You might be wondering why beaches located in Bacolod aren't included in this travel guide, it is because it's not that scenic as you think it is; Bacolod's beaches in Punta Taytay should had boast itself with dark sand beaches but its beauty had been destroyed by pollution; rubbish and garbage float possibly from rivers and streams from the city to the shores of the beaches and had mixed with grains of sands. Centuries ago the whole island of Negros was covered with lush green tropical rainforests but now there is no such sight to see of it. Streets are clogged up with smoke from Jeepneys. River banks and sides of streams are inhabited by illegal settlers but hopefully the City Government is slowly relocating illegal settlers to develop land nearby SM City Bacolod while projects in mangrove plantations by schools, universities and colleges have been reported to be successful and strategic planning in handling traffic has been implemented such as that Araneta Avenue's end, located at Downtown Bacolod, has unclogged traffic through organization of vehicles. Though Bacolod has been rewarded clean and green there are still gaping holes for it to solve to really make use of the citations and awards it has received.
- Eco-Garden (Eroreco).
- Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc. ((NFEFI)), South Capitol Rd (Next to Hall of Justice), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A movement of concerned citizens in conserving the forests of Negros Island as well as animals that are in threat of extinction raised to a foundation which we know now as Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc. Visit the foundation and see their rare warty pigs, leopard cats, spotted dear, bleeding heart pigeon and many more animals which most are endangered. Help the foundation by adopting an animal or tree or either become an NFEFI volunteer.
- Buro-Buro and Bucal-bucal Springs. Located in the outskirts of Bacolod, Buro-Buro and Bucal-bucal springs which is popularly known as Bucal-Bucal which means boil however the water isn't hot but cool, they have an artificial swimming pool and a natural pool and some mini waterfalls nearby the artificial pool where you can get a natural massage from nature. Huts are available if you need them and the place is ideal for family barbecues, reunions, outings, etc.
- Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park. This natural park is a home to many endangered animals, such as Bleeding Heart Pigeon, Negros Fruit Dove and many more which makes it an ideal birdwatching spot.
- Bacolod Western Visayas Clonal Nursery, Barangay Alingalan, ☏ . The nursery features different kinds of plants that are important and part of the reforestation program of Negros Occidental. Contact the city hall for more information because it requires permission in visiting the nursery as most of the plants are of high importance. Free.
Fiestas and events
- Bacolaodiat Festival. Spring Festival celebrated by the Filipino-Chinese community in Bacolod. This is held in the Provincial Lagoon. Bacolaodiat is derived from the words "Bacolod" and "Laodiat"; a Hokkien word for "Sinadya" in Hiligaynon, meaning "Celebration". The Chinese New Year of Bacolod. Rows of stalls form the chopsticks alley which serve Chinese cuisine, live bands also play, aside from chopsticks alley and live bands, the display of Chinese culture and cookfest is also held.
- Holy Week. This religious event is held either in March or April is considered as one of the most important events in Christianity. Witness Cenaculo/Senakulo reenactments of the Passion of Christ, Du-aw — a Hiligaynon tradition of veneration of Christ's Crucifix and his Dead Body and Visita Iglesia — a Catholic tradition of visiting 7 churches and praying at each church.
- Panaad sa Negros. Held every April in Bacolod, is considered as the "mother of festivals" in the province of Negros Occidental. It represents the festive nature of the Negrense, commences with a mass, which is then followed by banners and displays of every town and city in Negros Occidental, and showcases of provincial products, from food to handicrafts. Firework displays at night also are held during the festival.
- Masskara Festival. 3rd Week of October. A big annual Mardi Gras-like parade event celebrated every 3rd week of October. Each of the city's barangays (districts) joins the fierce competition for the best-costumed groups, best in choreography, and many others. Lots of food and handicraft stalls, street dancing and an Oktoberfest-like event at the Bacolod Plaza area making the city for a span of a week, a city that never sleeps! "Masskara" means "Mask" in Hiligaynon and Tagalog. The use of colorful masks with large smiles represent the nickname for the city, "City of Smiles", the masks are usually the icons for the festival and sometimes of Bacolod itself.
Football (soccer) is popular throughout Bacolod; thus it is known as the Football/Soccer City of the Philippines. It has been notable for hosting the 23rd Southeast Asian Games Men's football. The Panaad Stadium is used for tournaments and such events. There are three golf clubs in the province of Negros, two located in Bacolod. For bowling, badminton, tennis enthusiasts and people who miss bowling and billiards, you don't have to worry as there are a lot of commercial establishments which offer services to those activities. For those who want to try hardcore games, shooting ranges are around the city while for those who want to see and experience the Sabong or Filipino cockerel derbies, there is a stadium where derbies are popularly held. Tai Chi is practiced in Yuan Thong temple. The Capitol Park and Lagoon is popular for joggers and people doing aerobics during the morning.
- Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club, Inc., Bata Subdivision, ☏ . This gilf club has 18-holes, with a panoramic view of the Mount Mapara and Patag. Weekdays, Local: ₱1000.
- Super Bowling Lanes, Goldenfield Commercial Complex, ☏ .
- Lopue's East Bowling Lanes, Villamonte.
- Center Court tennis courts, Magsaysay St, ☏ .
- Montevista Tennis Association, Barangay Montevista.
- Pong Hang Badminton Center, Capitol Subdivision, ☏ .
- MO2, Goldenfields Commercial Complex, Araneta St, Singcang.
- Lopue's East Billiards, Burgos-Circumferential Rd (In Lopue's East Department Store), ☏ .
- Yuang Thong temple, Burgos St., 6th Rd. Tai Chi is done during Sundays from 07:00 to 08:30. A Mahayana Buddhist temple. If you haven't seen Tai-chi before, this is your chance to see it.
Spas and swimming pools
- Caribbean Water Park, Goldenfield West Side, Goldenfield Commercial Complex, Singcang, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-22:00. The water park has the first water slide and biggest water slide in the whole of Negros Occidental, The water park's amenities are a pool with a depth of 4 feet as well as a kiddie pool with a depth of 2 and a half feet including a jacuzzi, the main pool has 2 slides; the first is 30ft high and the other is a 40ft, a pirate ship wreck replica is erected in the main pool where kids can explore. Function rooms, locker rooms, huts and air conditioned rooms are available for rent. Entrance fee, 4 years old and above: ₱120, Below 4 years old: ₱50, cabins and huts cost from ₱400-1000.
- Grand Royal Spa, Villa Angela East Arcade (Take a ride from Central Market using Cent.Market-Fortune Town or Homesite route and go down at Lopue's East, adjacent to the building is Villa Angela Arcade). Offers the Filipino alternative healing; Bentosa Cupping, they also offer facial spa, body scrub and massage. ₱150-500.
- Spa Natura, 2nd Level, Two Sanparq, San Antonio Park Square, Lacson Street, Mandalagan, Bacolod City 6100, Negros Occidental, Philippines (Easily accessible from the north or the south of Bacolod. You can take the Mandalagan or Bata jeepney or a taxis. It is beside Convergys and about two blocks away from Robinsons Place), ☏ , , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 24 hours. Day spa that features several body massage rooms (individual, couple or group), tatami room for Thai massage, two modern body scrub rooms with vichy showers, a foot massage lounge with several customized lounging chairs, nail care area, facial area, salon, lounge and cozy waiting area. They also have separate wet areas for men and women, sauna baths, steam rooms, and a Jacuzzi. Those who want to have privacy may opt to have their services rendered in the Lotus Suite. Services range from several types of body massage to body scrubs, therapeutic remedies like Filipino Lutay, ear candling, stone massage, aromatherapy, and moxa ventosa. Salon services are also available from 12:00 to 21:00.
- Sta. Fe Resort, Barangay Granada, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Built in the 1940s it is the oldest resort in Bacolod, and the only one with a chapel, mini zoo with crocodiles, rare birds, monkeys and other animals, and a complete gun facility. Pools are also accessible in the resort while dorms and rooms are available for rent if you need them. Sta. Fe isn't only a resort but also caters to conventions. Its other facilities include tennis and volleyball courts and other sporting facilities.
- Casino Filipino, ☏ . Operated by Pagcor.
- Slot Machine Arcade, Lacson St. As the name says, it only offers 89 slot machines.
Bacolod is the seat for many universities in Negros Occidental, ESL (English as Second Language) learning centers are open in the city making it in the toplist for cities for ESL programs along with Manila and Cebu and for the past few year an influx of foreign students who have chosen to study in Bacolod. According to statistics about 93% of the total population is literate.
- Bacolod City College.
- Colegio de San Agustin (San Agustin), B.S. Aquino Dr, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ Info@csab.edu.ph. Established on 1965, the college offers courses on nursing, technology, engineering, computer, and arts.
- La Consalacion College (LCC), Rizal St and Gatuslao St (Adjacent to San Sebastian Cathedral and next to Bacolod Public Plaza). Established on 1919, the college provides Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education. The college specializes and is known for its Hospitality Management courses as well as courses in Architecture. Other courses offered include Liberal Arts and Education. The institution is widely known for its reputation for English as Second Language (ESL) Programs for non-English speakers especially Koreans, its Integrated School has Korean students while a separate program for adults for the ASL is available.
- Riverside College (Riverside), Dr. Pablo O. Torre Sr. St., ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- STI College Bacolod (STI), 26 Lacson St (2nd Floor Era Mall). STI College Bacolod and STI Education Center, is a leading IT and ITES education provider in Bacolod and Negros Occidental. STI Bacolod is a member of the STI Education Network with branches all over the Philippines.
- AMA Computer College (AMA).
- University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), Lizares St (Libertad). This University was founded by Dr. Antonio A. Lizares and Dr. Francisco Kilayko in the 1940s and was named "Occidental Negros Institute". It was then acquired by the Agustinian Recollect Friars in the 1960s and renamed as University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. Today the University provides Colleges of Nursing, IT, Business and Accountancy, Engineering, Criminal Justice Education, Law and, Arts and Sciences.
- University of St. La Salle (USLS), C.L. Montelibano Rd (Behind Doctors Hospital). Established in 1952 by seven American Brothers, the institution was elevated to university status in 1988, with the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Accountancy, College of Engineering, College of Education, College of Nursing, College of Law, College of Medicine and the Graduate School.
- West Negros University (WNU) (Burgos-BBB Sts,).
Bacolod is famous for piaya, biscocho, squid flakes, guapple pie and its pina-sugbo. Great souvenirs from Bacolod are its sweet delicacies, dried squid or uga. These are often bought by most Overseas Filipino workers as a pasalubong or souvenir. Shell craft, wood craft and ceramic wares are also good buys. Antique wooden statues of saints are one of the best buys, even though if you're not Catholic or religious, it is good keeping as a collection, antique stores are scattered around the city however they are difficult to spot, Casa Grande Antiques, Requerdos de Bacolod and Sarlee’s are some of the famous antique stores in the city. Hablon, a shimmery fabric produced locally and was popular in the 60s, is still one of the best buys.
Where to exchange?
Money exchangers lurk around the streets of Downtown Bacolod (CBD) and are easy to spot, if you walk into those streets some of them will yell "Dollar exchange!" or they'd come forward and ask you, you can spot some major money exchangers with their self owned stalls. If you don't feel safe in exchanging with money exchangers, you can either go to pawnshops or banks for an alternative and safer option. Most money exchangers accept American dollars and euros, and before leaving the country, exchange your money to dollars to avoid difficulty in finding a money exchanger that exchanges your currency to Philippine pesos but if you don't want to exchange dollars but want to keep your local currency, go exchange your money in major banks to pesos.
Tip: Ask the exchange rate first and ask other money exchangers, compare rates and see the highest, go for the highest exchange rate.
- Bank of the Philippines islands. BPI. ATMs have a maximum withdrawal of ₱20,000.
- PNB, ☏ (Araneta), (Libertad), (Locsin). They have branches in Araneta St., Libertad and Locsin St have a max of ₱10,000..
- BDO, ☏ (Gonzaga), (Araneta). They have branches in Gonzaga and Araneta St have a max of ₱10,000..
- Metrobank, ☏ (Gonzaga), (Gatuslao), (BS Aquino drive). They have branches in Gonzaga Street, Gatuslao Street, and B.S. Aquino Avenue have a max of ₱10,000..
Malls and supermarkets
From air-conditioned supermalls to small shops to the busy Central Market and to the street vendors, shopping is everywhere! The Downtown area, and Libertad are notable for their shopping.
- 888 Chinatown Mall, Gatuslao St. 9AM-7PM. Sells mostly dirt cheap goodies, from pirated DVDs to imitations of famous brands to vintage clothing
- 1 SM City Bacolod. 8AM-8PM. The largest mall of the city. Just like any other SM Supermall in the Philippines, it has its large department store, grocery, shops of famous brands, restaurants of various types, and cinema. It is also one of the few SM malls of the country that has its own SMX Convention Center, where various events, from city-related gatherings to pop culture conventions, are held.
- Robinsons Place Bacolod. 10AM-8PM. It is the first fully-functioning supermall of the city (and of Negros island overall). From its department store and grocery to restos and other shops and establishments of leisurely activities, this mall is the second-largest in the city.
- Gaisano Grand. 9AM-8PM. There are two Gaisano supermarkets in Bacolod city.
- Consuelo Supermarket, Luzuriaga Street. 8:30AM-9PM. Lower cost supermarket.
- Ayala Mall Capitol Central (behind Provincial Capitol Building). Opened in Dec 2018.
- Puregold (in new 888 Mall). 8AM-8PM. 5 more Puregold supermarkets in Bacolod.
- CityMall 1 & 2 (Golden field and Mandalagan). 8AM-9PM. Has a Savemore supermarkets
- Lopues Supermarkets (old 888 mall). 9AM-9PM. there 6 Lopues supermarkets in Bacolod
- Ayala Capitol Central Mall, Gatuslao Street. 9AM-8PM.
- S K Plaza Divisoria Department Store, 34 Luzuriaga Street. 9AM-8PM. A low-price department store with so many things to buy
- S K G Shopping Plaza, Luzuriga Street (next to ongbun pension house). 9AM-8PM. low-price department store. sells cell phones. lower prices..
Lacson can be described as Bacolod's counterpart of Singapore's Orchard Road, not because of the malls present in the street but because of the fine dining restaurants found here, numerous boutique stores, a line of vintage and antique home decor stores.
- ANP Showroom, 9th Street corner Lacson Street, ☏ . A store that sells handicrafts made by proud Negrenses, it is the best source for souvenirs from MassKara masks, key chains etc. Aside from the Lacson street branch, they also sell their products in Merci's Pasalubong in Bacolod-Silay International Airport in the departures area. Most of the items are priced above average, expect to pay at a high rate however the price you pay is worth it as the store sells souvenirs better than the ones you buy outside..
- Mayfair Plaza, Lacson Street (In front of Piazza Sorrento, adjacent to Shakey's Lacson). This commercial establishment brings all the cheap finds of secondhand clothes, toys, home decor, DVDs etc. this mall is a fusion of high end and bargain due to the presence of fine dining restaurants and boutiques and the vintage vendors.
- Pottery Village, Brgy. Pahanocoy.
- Recuerdos de Bacolod arts and antiques. One stop shop showcasing antiques such as statues of saints, and woodwork.
- Central Market. A best option for affordable souvenirs such as native handmade products, sweet delicacies and Uga. This is the best place to bargain.
- Gaisano City, Araneta Avenue (In front of Grand Regal Hotel). Probably the second big mall to be constructed in the city, this mall had its glamor and might long before its strong competitor SM came into scene, it has humbled itself to a crowd-free mall. Famous for its frequent monthly sales and drop down prices of whatever-may-it-be from movie tickets to clothes, it has gained reputation for being budget-friendly.
- SM City Bacolod, Luzuriaga Street corner Father M. Ferrero Street. The mall is divided into two buildings; Northwing and Southwing. Fast food chains such as McDonald's, Jollibee and Pizza chains such as Pizza Hut are located here, from all the malls and shopping centers in Bacolod, this may be the best as its air conditioning is good as well as its interiors and architecture are modern. A department store and a supermarket store is also available, ACE hardware is also open. Facilities include a department store, supermarket, cinemas, food court, appliance center and has over 119 stores functioning.
- Robinson's Bacolod (Rob), Lacson Street (Taking a jeep to Mandalagan from Downtown). The first fully functional mall in Bacolod, its outdated architectural style does not put it the least of the rest but what makes this best is the brands of stores that makes it glimmer in the city and the newly opened modern-architectural CityWalk has given its edges to other malls in the city. It has high-end restaurant chains the city has to offer as well as authentic multi-national cuisine and multi-national brands, it enjoys its quiet days during the weekdays but weekends, sales and school days bring in a lot of customers who linger around.
- Pasalubong Centers are usually like mini-supermarkets but sell only pasalubong products such as piaya and biscocho, as well as snacks and drinks.
- Bong Bong's Pasalubong, UTC Mall, Araneta Street, Purok Lechonan, ☏ . This maybe more popular than Merci Pasalubong however they offer less options, their specialty is their piaya and barquillos. They have many branches in Bacolod; however, their main stores are at Araneta Street and Gaisano City.
- Merci Pasalubong, ☏ (trunkline), (trunkline), (Lacson Street), (Araneta Street), (Lopez Jaena). Merci's specialty is piaya, biscocho, and napoleones. They have a number of branches around Bacolod (at SM City/Gaisano Bacolod/Araneta Street/Lopez Jaena/Lacson Street), but has also spread into the rest of Negros Occidental. ₱10-100.
Much of the Bacolodnon (and the entire Negrense) cuisine is shared with those in the island of Panay, but is influenced by Negros island's sugarcane industry. In the modern times, Bacolod now hosts fine dining establishments, but the people maintain their native cuisine. Sud-an is Hiligaynon for main dish while kan-on can either mean "rice" or "eat".
- Lumpiang ubod/fresh lumpia (fresh spring roll; not fried) — One of the must-eat dishes, a delicately exquisite spring roll filled with ubod (fresh coconut flesh), meat (usually pork), and shrimp, with a garnish of scallion.
- Inasal — Meaning "cooked over fire", it is a local version of chicken barbecue and considered the best in the country. It is cooked with red achuete or annatto seeds (which gives its tempting reddish colouration), brushed on oil and cooked over the fire. It's delicious and affordable, a .
- Kalamay hati — Sticky sweet dessert made from glutinous rice and coconut milk and cooked over low heat till it becomes sticky. It's the local version of rice cake.
- Napoleones — Introduced by the French and derived from mille-feuille, this custard-filled pastry is also another popular specialty from Bacolod besides inasal. This European dessert isn't that so famous but considered as the best in the Philippines. Roli's Bakeshop is popularly known for this dessert, as well as Virgie's Homemade Products.
- Piaya/Piyaya — A sweet flat and flaky delicacy, as if a thinner version of hopia. Fillings vary, but ube (purple yam) and muscovado caramel are the most popular.
- Pinasugbo — A local version of banana cue, it is sliced plantain bananas, thinly coated with brown sugar and deep fried.
- Uga (dried fish) — Is one of the best and most appetizing foods, in the opinion of most of Bacolodnons. Its salty taste makes it delectable, not only for the mouth but also for the nose and eyes. Beware if you are allergic with this or are having high blood pressure.
Restaurants and food courts
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
Just like most major cities of the Philippines, Bacolod too has a defined fine dining scene, centered at Lacson Street. You can find Mexican, Thai, and European (mostly Italian and French) restaurants here, but most locals would usually go to those serving Korean, Japanese and/or Chinese dishes. Open air restaurants in Bacolod usually serve native Filipino cuisine at low and affordable prices, while fast food chains are either standalone places or inside malls. A branch of Starbucks is found along Lacson St., the first branch in whole of Negros Occidental and of the respective island. Bacolod is an urbanized city, meaning there wouldn't be hard time finding classy and high class quality types of food.
- Centroplex food court, Gonzaga street cor Locsin street (3rd floor.). 10AM-3PM.
- 888 China Mall food court., Gatuslao street (2nd floor). 9AM-8PM. Low-cost food court with some Vietnamese food.
- Terraplaza food court, Gatuslao street cor Rizal street (over the street from the plaza.). 8AM-8PM. air/con food court
- Jo's Chicken Inato, Reclamation Area, Gustilo St. Serves authentic chicken inasal cooked and served in the traditional way, on a large banana leaf. Spoons and forks are not provided, but you can ask for them. This is truly a great place to eat for someone who doesn't want to eat something too exotic, but wants to try a native dish.
- Marby Plaza, Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod. A great choice for people who wants to save money.
- Ting-Ting's Native Restaurant, Shopping. Get to Ting-Ting's native restaurant if you want your taste buds and tummy to be satisfied with Bacolodnon cuisine without hassle, food is cooked same as it is cooked at home difference is you won't be cooking. The place is open air and fresh air fills the open air area which is suitable for brunches and lunches. It is affordable and cheap too.
- Manokan Country, Father M. Ferrero St. A row of stalls and restaurants serving cheap local fare, and the home of the original chicken inasal recipe. ₱50-200.
- Malaspina Inaslan, Malaspina Street (Near Bacolod-Mindanao Lumberyard, at the back of Bacolod Public Cemetery). 24 hours daily. ₱50-100.
- Pala-Pala Market, 18th corner Aguinaldo Street, ☏ . Pala-pala is a place where you can buy fresh seafood in the wet market then go to a restaurant nearby and have it cooked at an eatery nearby and offers affordable prices. From oysters to crabs to blue marlins are all guaranteed fresh and a blue marlin might cost less than P200. Note there are two pala-pala markets in Bacolod.
- Erika's Cup, East Block, Villa Angela. It would hard to find fried ice cream in Bacolod and it is not so common in the country fortunately Erika's cup serves fried ice cream, along with fried ice cream on their menu is also ice cream of course. People complain it's expensive because of the small proportions they serve however it's worthwhile trying fried ice cream for once in a lifetime.
- Royal Caribbean Jamaican Patties, La Salle Avenue. As the name suggests, the restaurant serves Jamaican cuisine and their specialties Burger Steak, Classic Pattie and Cheese burst. It might be the only restaurant in the city to serve Jamaican and Caribbean food perhaps. Well they serve Jamaican cuisine however it doesn't mean international cuisine should be expensive, priced from ₱50-100.
- Imbiss, Burgos Street. It serves international cuisine, the must try is their sausages, their specialties include Hungarian Sausage, Pizza Al Tonno, Veal Bratwurst, Garlic Sausage, Pizza Magarita, and Pizza Filipinas. ₱100-200.
- Sanders Coffee & Sausages Lacson Street. 7AM-1AM daily meals for around ₱100.
- D Bakers Baker Shop Gonzaga corner Bonifacio streets. Sells bread, cakes and pies. 3 branches in Bacolod
- Apollo Restaurant, Hilado Street. The oldest Chinese restaurant in town.
- Bascon Cafe, C.L. Montelibano Street (Just near Univ. of St. La Salle). Cafe that serves pastries and cakes, hop in if you have a sweet tooth.
- The Blue Mexican, Piazza Sorrento, Lacson Street, ☏ . Serves Mexican cuisine.
- Calea, Balay Quince, Lacson St (Infront of L'Fisher Hotel). This is one of the famous images of Bacolod, for some reason the nearby Ilonggos of Iloilo take a trip to Bacolod just to taste their irresistible cakes. You can dive in to have a slice of their cakes from cheesecakes to ice cream cakes which might exceed your expectations and you might hit cloud 9, but there's no assurance that all their cakes taste that good as some of their cakes don't really meet your expectations and disappoint you for too much or lack of sugar, too much icing or the texture of their cakes. Other than their Balay Quince branch, they also have one at Robinson's Bacolod
- Cafe Bob's. Different from Bob's Cafe as this cafe is owned by Bobby Meleto, the founder of the famous charity organization Gawad Kalinga. Treats include gelato and their must-try mini-cakes. Other than that their coffee and coffee-shakes are a must try too, Cafe Bob's is a quiet cafe with most of their customers coming to have a sip of coffee and the usual conversation.
- Inaka, 21st corner Lacson Street (Opposite Cafe Bob's 21 and next to 21 Restaurant), ☏ . Japanese Buffet, the food is good, has a wide variety of choice and priced favorably.
- L'Kaisei Express (At SM City Bacolod). L'Kaisei opened a smaller branch in SM City Bacolod which is much more accessible and affordable. They serve typical Japanese cuisine and they also serve bento boxes which is like a package of rice and viand which costs ₱90-150. Sushi, Californian Maki, etc., are also available. ₱30-200.
- Kuppa, Hilado Street (Across St. John's Institute High School). When it comes to coffee and tea talk, Kuppa tops the best, they serve Spanish chocolate and milk that actually is delicious. Their gelato too is worth trying, along with the tea, coffee and gelato, wouldn't it be better if you dined in too? they don't only offer tea and coffee on their menu but you can also dine in too and have a taste of their dishes.
- Mu Shu, Azotea Building, 20th corner Lacson Street, ☏ . Bar and Restaurant which serves a fusion of Asian cuisine. Try their pritchon or pritong lechon and a good sampling of Southeast Asian dishes like pad Thai, Hainanese chicken, nasi goreng and drinks to match.
- Roli's Bakeshop, Roli's Arcade, La Salle Avenue, ☏ , , . Roli's bakeshop is popularly known for its for their Napoleones or Mille Fuielle or either Napoleons, a creme puffed pastry originated from France and brought to the city.
- Tamarind, Central City Walk, Robinson's Place Bacolod, Lacson Stret. This newly opened restaurant serves Thai cuisine and unlike its neighbors in Central City Walk it has gained fame and a good reputation in just days since its opening. It's a hub for the socialites and the food-lovers of Bacolod, their Pad Thai and Curries as well as Thai Iced Tea are must-tries. It has decent interiors and their staff deserves pat on the back because of their good service, they would check on you once in a while whether you need more water (curries are spicy!) or need assistance, every curry dish comes with one bowl of rice.
- Quan, Araneta Street, ☏ . Quan's reputation as a one stop shop for native delicacies had made it famous throughout Bacolod, from Napoleones to Filipino rice-cakes like Kutsinta, this food-chain not only sells native delicacies but also serve meals. Most can afford the prices offered by the restaurant yet some still complain due to the big gap in the restaurant price and the marketplace price. Aside from native delicacies, why not spoil yourself with their ciabatta pizzas and lasagna? .
- Sweet Greens, Lacson Street. Serves organic food and sell organic food too.
- Bob's, Benigno S. Aquino Drive (Right in front of Riverside Medical Center), ☏ . One of the oldest restaurants in Bacolod, the restaurant serves typical Filipino authentic cuisine with a classy ambiance and wonderful interiors.
Restaurant below have some dishes not exceeding ₱600.
- Italia Restaurant, 23rd cor San Agustin Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 10AM-9AM. Serves pizza straight from the brick oven, a wide range of pasta dishes and Angus steaks. Also offers a good variety of fine wines. Italia is also the regular venue of several art exhibits of both local and national artists.
- 21 Restaurant, 21st corner Lacson Street. Serves great seafood which is directly taken from a specially built aquarium. It serves Authentic Filipino cuisine.
- Cafe Uma, Lacson St. Their price list might be too expensive for you that it will make your pockets have holes, well actually no, the cafe charges at an expensive rate however it's worth the price because serve is served in large portions and are temptingly delicious. The cafe usually serves international cuisine, from quesidillas to pasta they have it all to satisfy your cravings.
- Carlo's Ristorante Italiano (at the Goldenfield's complex). Italian Restaurant, other than the usual pasta scene in the menus of Italian restaurants, they also serve steak and known to be the best in town.
- L'Kaisei, 10th Lacson Street, ☏ . A good Japanese restaurant with reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Vienna Kaffeehauz and Vienna Coffee bar (Branches at Mayfair Plaza, 12th corner Lacson Street / Gaisano City, Araneta Street). Café: 8AM-midnight, Coffee bar: 10AM-9PM. Serves authentic Viennese and Austrian cuisine as well as their own coffee. It serves their own brand of coffee with 11 kinds from Espresso to Vienna's eiscoffee. It has two shops in Bacolod; Vienna Kaffeehauz in Mayfair Plaza and Vienna Coffee bar in Gaisano City.
Christians will not find it hard eating in Bacolod. However, Muslims and Jews will find it difficult, with Bacolod being a Christian city, Halal and Kosher options are difficult to find unlike the bustling streets of Metro Manila. Hindus, vegetarians and vegans will too find it difficult, however just request not to put certain things which are restricted for you to consume. A list of vegetarian restaurants is showed below.
- Bacolod Veggies and Health Food corner, Centroplex mall, Downtown Bacolod (Opposite Central Market). Operated by Seventh Day Adventists, mock meat, soy milk and whole wheat bread is also available as well as buffet etc.
- Sian Tian Health Food Center, Burgos St (near YMCA). Typical Chinese restaurant and sells mock meat. ₱35-45.
- Veggielicious, Chinatown 888 Mall food court. M-Th, S 10AM-7PM, F 10AM-3PM. A vegetarian fast food restaurant which sells burgers, etc.
The preferred beer is San Mig Light which is served at almost any restaurant, except fast food establishments. You might also try Tanduay, a very famous rum. Nice to pair with coke and ice. For native alcohol, the local tuba is made from fermented coconut juice. Great Bacolod sisig can be found at KSL or Kubo Sa Lawn where they serve ice cold SanMig Light.
Bars, pubs and nightclubs
Goldenfield Commercial Complex has been home to many bars, pubs, nightclubs as well as casinos for the past few years and is considered where the best nightlife comes to life in Bacolod. Other than Goldenfield, bars and pubs as well as nightclubs are scattered around the bustling city. If you're in Goldenfields you can either barhop, Goldenfields might give you like a mini-town which is just home to restaurants, a water park, clubs and bars. A dress code is applied and compulsory in some bars, pubs and nightclubs. Wear casually and not so revealing if you don't want to end up behind bars; no flipflops/slippers and no sleeveless shirts.
- Bar 21, 21 Lacson St. A bar that not only has a partying and club scene but also fine dining.
- Breizh Cafe, Lacson St.. It doesn't have much nightlife in it however it's the best place where you can sit down and drink. If you want some private party, a karaoke television (KTV) rooms are available.
- Draft Bar, 21 Lacson St (Behind Bar 21). A bar where a non-stop drinking till you drop scene is seen.
- Gypsy Tea Room, Lacson St (Corner of Piazza Sorento). Beers, cocktails and appetizers are served here and surprisingly "Shisha" is available here, henna tattoo, permanent tattooing and palm reading are also available which might you think you're somewhere in a street in the Mid-East.
- Offshore Bar, Araneta St (Metrodome). Bands play live acoustic here and they serve Absinthe also, a popular destination for those who want to listen to acoustic music while sitting back and drinking.
- MO2 Restobar, Goldenfield Commercial Complex. One of the most popular party venues for nightlife, located in the bustling commercial complex of Goldenfield. It's usually a crowded bar.
- Mu Shu, Lacson St. In the day an Asian restaurant, in the night a nightclub, chairs and tables are moved aside to create a dance floor, the DJ makes the room alive and parties don't end even when in sunrise.
- Piazza Sorento, Lacson St. It's not that lively in the night though, it's more lively in the day. A huge building with inter cafes, jewelers, restaurants, boutiques, cafes and bars.
- Saltimboca Bar, Lacson St.. Not your usual destination if you want to party or get good drinks however some mini concerts for charity is held here for kids who are cancer patients. If you prefer to just sit down, drink, relax and listen to music this is your typical destination.
- Zagu. One of the most popular cold drinks in the city. This can be bought in different outlets, in SM, Robinsons, or during their sponsorship at various schools and events.
- Lee Lais Coffee shop and cafe, The Atrium arcade. Gonzaga street (next to Centroplex). 07:00-19:00. Native coffee, breakfast. Nice place to sit and drink a coffee or tea. from ₱13.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
- Sweet City Captel Hostel, North capital Road cnr Gatusiao Street, ☏ . Dorms. Has to be the most low cost place to stay in Bacolod. dorm bed ₱100 per person.
- Ong Bun Pension House, Luzuriagga Street (down town next to Central Market), ☏ , (cell phone). Check-out: 12:00. A/C single/double rooms with own bathroom and cable tv. Free wifi ib all rooms. Free drinking water. Has a restaurant, and can do laundry. ₱350 Fan/₱580 Air condition .
- Pension Bacolod, 11th street., ☏ . fan single room with own bathroom. fan double room with own bathroom. a/c single room with own bathroom. a/c double room with own bathroom and cable TV. Pension Bacolod has 76 rooms. Single room outside bathroom ₱190. ₱290/₱390/₱420/₱520/₱580/₱710.
- Bacolod Pension Plaza, Cuadra Street (near city Plaza), ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. a/c single/double rooms with own bathroom and cable tv, 66 rooms. from ₱800.
- Star plus pension house., lacson and rosario streets, ☏ . single fan room with common bathroom. single a/c room with common bathroom and cable TV. a/c double room with common bathroom and cable TV. a/c double with own bathroom and cable TV . ₱380/₱460/₱480/₱500.
- Rosita Hometel., mabini and san sebastian streets, ☏ . fan doubles with common bathroom. ₱400.
- Jacquelines pension, 13th street., ☏ . fan double rooms with own bathroom ₱500.
- 888 Pension house, San sebastian and Locsin streets., ☏ , . a/c double rooms with hot water and cable TV has WIFI. ₱700.
- L D Pensionne, L d bldg San Juan St, ☏ . Economy room. ₱550.
- Middle Town Inn, Rizal and Lacson streets (J r building), ☏ , . Check-out: 12:00. Big a/c double rooms with cable TV and own hot water bathrooms. free WIFI. ask for the 20% off rate. also has a month rate of ₱15000. ₱650.
- Tindalo Pension house, Tindalo avenue, ☏ . fan and A.c rooms from ₱350.
- CGC Pension, Cuadra Street, ☏ . standard a/c double room with hot water bathroom. cable tv. free wifi. from ₱700.
- Java Pension House, Gonzaga Corner Locsin Street (2nd floor DB Building). Check-out: 12:00. a.c double room with own bathroom and cable tv ₱700.
- Blue Roof Inn Pension House., Corner Rosario-Amapola Street.. Check-out: 12:00. fan single/double room with own bathroom and cable tv. ₱500.
- Negrense Suites, Rosanio-Locsin Street, ☏ . Check-out: 12:00. a/c single/double rooms with own hot water bathrooms and cable tv. free wifi. from ₱599.
- East View Hotel, Carlos Hilado Circumferential Road corner Esperanza Diola St, ☏ . Bacolod's modern hotel that has 66 rooms, conferences and banquet rooms, and an independent restaurant Bluegrass Café Bar and Grill that serves international cuisine.
- Northwest Inn, Rizal St. and Mabino St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. ₱1140-2740.
- O Hotel (Bacolod Executive Inn Hotel), San Sebastian St and Locsin St, ☏ , , fax: . 55 Air conditioned rooms with cold and hot showers, a deposit safety box, telephone and refrigerator, laundry service, cable TV, coffee shop and bar, aside from their own facilities, a Banco De Oro ATM is available. ₱1200-4000.
- Casino Filipino Hotel Bacolod (Casino Filipino Hotel and CasinoGoldenfield Commercial Complex), L'Fisher Hotel, 14th cor Lacson Street, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Rooms are airconditioned, with cable television, private bath, and refrigerator Average rate is US$73.
- East View Hotel, Carlos Hilado Circumferential Road Corner, Esperanza Diola St. ₱1400-4500.
- L'Fisher Hotel, 14th Lacson St, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Perhaps the most known hotel in Bacolod, this hotel has been popular for many years and probably considered a first class hotel and most of the locals might suggest it for accommodation while staying in Bacolod however it's more expensive compared to other hotel but the price is worth it. Rooms vary, executive suites have king sized beds, walk in closets, dining areas, receiving area etc., while cheaper rooms have ordinary facilities such as a cable TV, refrigerator, a dresser etc. $60-400.
- Luxur Place, Magsaysay Ave, ☏ , fax: . ₱1500-3000.
- Planta Centro Bacolod, Araneta St corner Roxas St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. A newly built first class hotel, the hotel has a swimming pool and a gym, rooms have an electronic safe, cable TV, minibar, WiFi connection and hair dryer. ₱1650-7200.
Bacolod is a lot safer compared to Metro Manila. As always common sense is the rule when travelling. Taking the taxi or renting cars or vans daily is better and quicker as most of the crimes in the Philippines today are done in tricycles and jeepneys. However there isn't a 100% Safe place, if travelling, tour in large groups 3-5 might do as there might be people around you, you may never know what they'll do to you. Be careful during the Masskara Festival. Don't display your MP3s, iPhones, iPods, phones, laptops or valuable things that will catch a snatcher's attention, keep it safe inside your bag and put it out when you'll take pictures. Don't bring bags or large purses while in night, just bring your phone and a small wallet that'll fit in your pocket to avoid being a victim of crime. Beggars usually are around the downtown area they inhabit in the plaza area and if they see you look rich, they'd approach you and annoy you asking you for money, ignore them if you have to and just go straight to your destination. Pickpockets are common in the CBD while house burglaries are common in residential areas, children involved in sniffing glue are dangerous so it's very important to have someone accompany you while walking during the night or either try to avoid dark and areas where there are fewer people.
- Police, Magsaysay Ave., Barangay Taculing, ☏ (166 for local).
- Fire, San Juan St., Barangay 8(located in the CBD), ☏ .
Tap Water is not safe for drinking though considered potable, the water supplies sometimes get dirty when Bacolod City Water District cleans up their pipes and the safety of tap water is somehow questionable, and no one really enjoys the pleasure of drinking it due to its cough syrup-like taste. Luckily water supplies during nationwide droughts are not affected as unlike other big cities, Bacolod pumps water from springs. Street Food is not as safe as those in Singapore and Taipei, the standards for street food is not properly imposed. There are few cases but not that rampant of being sick after eating street food. The quality of street food somehow is tolerated by health officials and citizens alike. Luckily street food is now on mainstream inside malls offering tourists and citizens alike to be assured of the hygienic standards. Dengue fever is a common issue especially during the summer season, apply mosquito repellent and avoid wearing T-shirts and shorts during the afternoon, wear sleeves and pants instead.
Private hospitals are given a passing rate in the city, most of them can cater to almost every patient's need. During summer, hospital beds are fully booked as dengue fever cases rise up to skyrocketing levels.
- Dr. Pablo O. Torre Sr. Memorial Hospital (Riverside Medical Center), B.S. Aquino Dr (Infront of Bob's cafe), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Considered to be the only first class hospital in the city.
- Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (Provincial Hospital). CLMMRH is a training, government-funded hospital similar to a county hospital in the United States or the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. It's a center of wellness catering to the general public who can't afford admission to private medical institutions. the level of expertise and care by its personnel is commendable considering the meagerness of its resources. free HIV tests are done here.
The hospital with most pharmacies surrounding its compound is the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.
- Negros Grace Pharmacy. 08:00-20:00. Has many branches around Bacolod, Iloilo, Dumaguete. lower prices.
- Generika Drug Stores, Cuadra Gatuslao Street. 08:00-20:00. Generika have stores all over Bacolod. lower prices.
Clinics are easily found in Bacolod, some are located in malls while most of the hospitals have a dentist.
- DentalHub Bacolod, 2nd floor, MC Metroplex Bldg., B.S. Aquino Dr. 09:00-15:00. Part of the Philippine Dental Association, it offers services even in emergencies and opens during weekends.
- Mendez Dental Clinic, Ground Floor Mayfair Plaza Lacson St. 09:00-18:00. Part of the Philippine Dental Association, aside from general teeth problems they also serve people who have gum disease. Open during weekends.
- Paul Callardo Dental Clinic. Gatuslao street. 400 m down the street from the 888 mall going to the plaza. low cost dental work from ₱300.
Restrooms and toilets
Almost every commercial establishment, office and church in the city has a functional toilet however public toilets are often neglected around the city, an accessible toilet is available at the public plaza but one must have to pay before accessing the toilet, and the valid reason for such payment is for repairs and maintenance which gives us a hint that the city government doesn't even fund on its simplest amenities like toilets.
- See the Respect section of the Philippines article for more information
People who are elder than you (old enough to be your elder brother/sister or father/mother) - even if that person is a driver, janitor or maid etc. - you should call them Manong for Males or Manang for females before their common name like; Manong Jeremy or Manang May Ann, Manong can be shorten to Nong and Manang to Nang. If that person is old enough to be your grandfather call them Lolo for males or Lola for females before their common name like; Lolo Isidro or Lola Estrella.
Bacolodnons are traditionally liberal when it comes to clothing, except Muslims and Iglesia ni Kristo members who both are conservative religious people. Wearing shorts in public are OK but no very short ones if you don't want to attract attention and trouble, wearing bikini on beaches is OK and you would expect no trouble however you might get attention too. When inside churches, everyone is expected to be cautious of their actions as such actions might attract attention and negative perception towards tourists.
Dialing code for the Philippines is +63 while local area code for Bacolod is 34.
PayPhones provided by PLDT are available in some of the city center's nooks and corners however if you don't find any payphone around, ask any tiangge to lend you a phone which each call costs ₱5/domestic call, rates for international calls vary. Buying a Sim card is cheap, easy and no hassles, you don't need a verification of any kind and from ₱10 you can get a sim pack and are sold by Smart and Globe which are the two largest networks, Talk n Text, Sun Cellular and TM Mobile are other major networks. Sending text abroad cost ₱15/text while sending it within the Philippines cost ₱1/text.
Internet cafes charge ₱10-25 per hour, they are common throughout the city with small cafes opening up in local barangays and big commercial ones in the Central Business District. Head up to Downtown Bacolod if you need to surf for a while, these cafes can be found in almost every corner of the street and provides as modern recreational centers and hangout places for the youth. SM City Bacolod, Robinson's Place Bacolod and 888 Chinatown Square are the malls which provide free WiFi access to its customers, Jollibee and McDonald's have also joined the trend providing WiFi access to its customers. Most hotels provide free WiFi access to its customers.
- Pink Lion Internet cafe, Rizal street (Victorina arcade behide cebu pacific ticket office). 08:30-22:00. A/c net cafe. ₱10 per hour.
- net.aXs, La Salle Ave., ☏ . 24 hours. Offer domestic and international calls/fax in addition to internet access, scanning, printing, photo-uploading (and CD-burning) along with other cybercafe-related services.
- Shoji, Plaza Mart, Araneta St. (Infront of Lopue's Araneta). ₱15.
- Eukarmille, Plaza Mart, Aranate St. (Infront of Lopue's Araneta). ₱15-20.
- Bureau Of Immigration Bacolod Office, Aguinaldo Street, ☏ .
Newspapers and publications
Much of the local news in Bacolod is available in English which also applies to major national newspapers, minor tabloid newspapers are printed in Filipino and Hiligaynon. The Visayan Daily Star , Sun Star Bacolod and the Negros Daily Bulletin is also available.
Almost all of the radio stations air in the local language; Hiligaynon, with some of the FM Radio jockeys using a mix of Hiligaynon and Tagalog, as well as Taglish, in contrast to FM Jockeys; AM Radio jockeys speak in pure and fluent Hiligaynon as the audiences catered by AM Radio are usually senior citizens and residents who come from nearby town wherein speaking of fluent Hiligaynon is encouraged. AM Radio stations air current affairs programs, radio telenovelas, news and Hiligaynon songs usually old ones. FM Radio stations on the other hand air modern day English and local songs from any genre with shows hosted by Radio jockeys who use the usual Filipino slapstick jokes, the FM Radio is unfortunately bombarded by advertisements as it is one of the cheapest forms of media to market products in the country with the only safe time to listen to almost ad-free music is during the hours after 22:00. Some of the radio stations go off at midnight after airing the last tunes of the Lupang Hinirang.
- Magic - One of the two radio stations that airs in English, unlike the other local radio stations, this station airs talk shows that mixed bag issues whether may it be dating, sex, videogames, entertainment abroad, they also dislike over-airing pop songs but instead go for a salad bowl of genres whether alternative and independent to billboard and RnB.
- EasyRock - The other radio station that airs in English alone, just like Magic it dislikes airing pop songs, they go instead of alternative, jazz, slow songs and the like.
- ABS-CBN Bacolod, Channel 4 - This station is the regional station for ABS-CBN and serves Negros Occidental in two primary languages; Hiligaynon and Filipino. It might be only helpful to travelers who have knowledge in one of the languages as it airs nation-wide and provincial newscast as well as a weekend magazine regional TV Show which also covers the nearby Iloilo province.
- GMA Bacolod, Channel 13 - ABS-CBN's fierce competitor around the nation, this is also a regional stations and is aired in Hiligaynon and Filipino. It provides provincial newscast as well as national newscast.
- ABS-CBN News Channel/ANC - Available on Cable TV, it airs in English and Filipino, airs round-the-clock news in English alone with few exceptions on Filipino. This channel not alone airs news but also magazine shows which much talks about business and the lavish lifestyles of the elites in the country and documentaries which discusses the nation's problems.
- GMA News Channel - It is available on Free-to-air televisions if you're lucky enough to get a signal, unlike its rival news channel, it airs alone in Filipino and provides around-the-clock news nationwide. Though new to the industry of newscasting, it has taken over the ratings and replaced ANC as the leading news channel due to the fact that not all Filipinos are comfortable with straight-English news reports.
Christian denominations especially Roman Catholics, Baptists, Adventists and the Iglesia ni Kristo members won't find difficulty in finding religious services in the city.
- San Sebastian Cathedral (Bacolod Cathedral), Rizal St (Beside La Consolacion College Bacolod, Infront of Bacolod Public Plaza). Daily Masses
- St. Jude Thaddeus Church, Alijis Rd.
- San Antonio Abad Church.
Nearby towns and cities within the province are accessible by land. The island of Panay is 45 minutes by ferry from the port of Bacolod.
Within the province
Bacolod is the provincial capital of Negros Occidental, and like every capital, it is crowded and very developed. Refresh yourself by getting out of Bacolod to the quieter municipalities that surround it; there is an abundance of beaches and hot springs. Don't expect any traffic jams as the condition of the roads in the province is among the best of the country. Buses are the easiest way of getting around the province; jeeps are affordable, but are not suggested for foreigners. If you're traveling as a group or family, you can rent a car or a van.
- Bago — the main attractions they have to offer are the Kipton twin falls as well as mountain resorts, an ideal destination for trekkers
- Cadiz — popular for its white sand beach;Lakawon beach, an island off the coast of Cadiz
- Escalante — discover the diversity of ecosystems which is one of the richest in the island of Negros and one of the last surviving ecosystems in the island, see the mangroves and the sea grass along the shores as well as remnants of corals
- La Carlota — trek and hike in Guintubdan
- Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park — a natural reserve in Canlaon, the highest point in the Visayas and a favourite spot for Spiritualists and Mountaineers and Catholics during the Holy Week; the reserve is surrounded by flora and fauna, animals found here are deers, boars, etc.
- Murcia — the Mamabucal Resort is on a higher elevation than the city hence it has a cooler average temperature; its main attraction are its natural hot springs
- Silay — known as the Paris of Negros because of its European styled hundred year-old houses which are well preserved as historical monuments
Buses are the most comfortable and affordable ways of travelling outside the province; Jeepneys are cheaper, but not suggested for tourists and for long-range travel. Second to buses are RoRos (roll-on/roll-off) and ships, trips are available daily from Bredco Port, the main port of the city of Bacolod.
- San Carlos
- Apo Island — just off the coast of the town of Dauin and Zamboanguita (in Negros Oriental), this island is popular for divers and tourists alike
- Bais City
- Dumaguete — a popular university city with a clean seaside boulevard and a laid-back atmosphere
- Guimaras — taste its one and only temptation; its mangoes, which are known to be among the sweetest in the world
- Iloilo — its main attraction is the Miag-ao Church, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site; its capital city is also famous for its Dinagyang Festival