Bacolod is not just the business center of Negros Island. It is also the quiet little town that offers plenty of attractions. Apart from its convenient location across the Guimaras straight from Panay, Bacolod boasts its great food and a lively bar and club scene. The city sits in the heartland of the Negros Province once thriving sugar industry.
The island’s historic wealth is preserved in the excellent Negros Museum and in the fading grandeur of the sugar baron’s haciendas in Sillay and Victorias. South of the city, Mt. Kanla-on rises dramatically from the sugar cane fields, a challenge to be taken on only by the hardiest trekkers.
How to pay:
Some cities are named after a certain behavior that the residents carry. This city is called the “City of Smiles” because of its Joie de Vivre, Mardi Grass like festival. The name Bacolod was derived from the Hiligaynon word, “Buklod” meaning stonehill, as the city was first set up on a stonehill. Due to Muslim invasion it was then transferred to the shoreline. The original town is now called Daan Banwa. It means an old town. Aside from being named as the “City of Smiles” but is also known as the Land of Sweet people due to its culinary heritage where it is famous for its chicken Inasal and sweet dessert treats.
Where to go:
Nearly everything in the Negros Museum, in the Old Capitol Building, relates to the colonial sugar industry. It opens from Monday to Saturday at 9am to 6pm. The Old Capitol Building, built in 1921, sprawls from Gatuslao to Lacson St. Across the treet from the Negros Museum is the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation’s Biodiversity Center. The center is devoted to preserving what remains of Negros’ indigenous flora and fauna. It opens from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. In the Goldenfield Commercial Complex, bars, and karaoke joints galore stay open daily from 9pm to 2am. Quorum, near the back of the complex at the Kundutel, is an enormous arena with space-tech flair.
When to go:
The third week of October sees the celebration of the Masskara Festival, a mélange of Mardi Gras and Rio party Styles.
What to do:
For quality and ambiance, Goldenfield Commercial Complex has bistros and café or the area of Lacson Street between 20th and 24th Street, Cyberazia in an internet café and trendy neon bar. The cost for the internet is half a dollar per hour and is open from Monday to Saturday at 9am to 2am. Nearby Chicken House on Lacson Street at the corner of 24th Street, roves that not all chicken is created equal. The center market downtown offers sweet delicacies, including piyaya and bayi-bayi. For excellent Japanese food at bargain prices can be enjoyed at Inaka on Lacson Street, near the 22nd Street intersection.
Bacolod is on the Northwestern tip of Negros Occidental. The ferry pier sits west of the plaza. Lacson Street bisects the city. Three blocks closer to the coast, Araneta Street begins at the plaza and continues south to the airport. Between the two, Gatuslao Street passes the post office and Negros Museum. Burgos Street intersects Lacson and Araneta Street and ends at the ferry pier. In the east, Burgos Street cuts across Lopez Jaena Street which hosts the bus terminals.