Flying by plane is the fastest and easiest way to get to Bacolod City, but the airport is situated in the metropolitan area of Silay City instead of Bacolod City. It will usually take 45-60 minutes from Manila and 30 minutes from Cebu. The airport is connected to these cities via Philippine Airlines (PAL), and Cebu Pacific.
Known as the “City of Smiles”, Bacolod will surely never fail to bring a smile on your face once you visit it. It is home to the very famous Original Chicken Inasal, the sweet Piaya, and to numerous tourist spots and historical landmarks. It is also well known for its colorful and grandiose “Masskara Festival” which is held every third week of October.
Bacolod City, the capital city of Negros Occidental was considered as the “Best Place to Live in the Philippines” in 2008 by MoneySense Magazine and was awarded as the “Top Philippine Model City” in 2017 by The Manila Times.
So before you get all excited and start packing, here are some of the best tourist spots and landmarks that you should include in your itinerary.
20.) Side Trip at the The Ruins
Technically this fascinating sight is not located in Bacolod City but in Talisay City, but the little commute from Bacolod will all be worth it once you laid eyes on the marvelous beauty of this place.
The Ruins is considered to be the Taj Mahal of the Philippines since the construction of this colossal landmark is because of love. It is the ancestral home of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, and was built in the early 1900’s in memory of his Portuguese wife Maria Braga whom he met in one of his trips in Hong Kong.
19.) Pahanocoy Eco Adventure Park
If you are the adventurous kind of person, then Pahanocoy Eco Adventure Park is the perfect place for you. It is only a 15 minute-drive away from the city proper. The park offers adrenaline filled activities that will surely make your hearts pump; from wakeboarding to ATVs.
The park has two wakeboarding lakes; one that measures 80 meters which is suitable for beginners and the other one at 145 meters with obstacles perfect for professional wakeboarders looking for that kind of fun.
And for just Php150, you can navigate the half-hectare ATV trail and drive your way out of the different obstacles and bumps. Overnight camping grounds and private rooms are also available in the park.
18.) Villa Iska
This resort villa is perfect for those who are not fond of long drives, located in Brgy. Punta Taytay in Bacolod, this resort offers white sand shoreline and fresh seafoods together with a calming and relaxing breeze.
Villa Iska offers fully airconditioned rooms for overnight stays, nipa huts, restaurants, function rooms, KTV rooms, viewing deck, and its infinity pool. Swimming fees are pretty cheap at Php35 for children and Php75 for adults, their entrance fees are even cheaper at Php10 for kids and Php25 for adults.
17.) Fountain of Justice
The Fountain of Justice, found in front of the old City Hall of Bacolod, marks the old location of the house of Jose Ruiz de Luzurriaga. This is considered as a historical landmark since this is where the Spanish authorities surrendered to Filipino forces led by Gen. Aniceto Lacson in November 9, 1898.
True to its name, the fountain is usually where rallies and marches by organizations, private sectors, public sectors, labor movements and political sectors take place.
16.) Art District
The Art District located along Lacson Street is the Bacolod version of the BGC High Street. Lined with restaurants, nighlife bars, and street graffiti, surely this place is a favorite hotspot for millennials and the creative crowd.
Art District is the perfect place for those who wants to party hard and dance the night away.
15.) Gallery Orange
Gallery Orange is the first of its kind in the province, its history can be traced way back in 2005. It was the first professionally run gallery and was dedicated to showcase visual arts. The gallery can be found at 2/F Art District Main Building, Lopue’s Mandalagan, Bacolod City.
It is where various forms of arts such as curated exhibitions, installation arts, and many more, can be found. The gallery is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 2PM to 9PM, and Sundays by appointment.
14.) Mambukal Mountain Resort
Mambukal Mountain resort is the gateway to Mount Kanlaon Natural Park. The resort can be found along Gatuslao St., and was said to be 1,200 feet above sea level. This geographical location is the reason why it has cool temperatures all year round. Endemic species of animals such as the giant golden-crowned flying fox and the Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat can be found in the area.
13.) Virgen Sang Barangay Chapel
Virgen Sang Barangay Chapel is one of the most beautiful churches in Negros Occidental. It is located in the upscale subdivision of Santa Clara which is said to be the Forbes Park of Bacolod.
The Chapel was built in 1983 and was adorned with shell mosaics. The centerpiece of the chapel is the 9 by 21 feet mural mosaic of Virgen Sang Barangay. This masterpiece is made of 95,000 pieces of polished shells made by Leticia Sia Ledesma. The shells used are collected by the locals from the shores of Negros and took more than 60 men and 100+ hours just to polish the shells.
12.) Bantug Lake Ranch
Located in Granada Alangilan Road, Bacolod, Bantug Lake Ranch is the perfect getaway when you want to escape the fast-paced life of the city. The place is the perfect place to slow down a bit and have time to appreciate nature.
There are also lots of activities that you can do at the ranch; Fishing, Canoeing, Horseback riding and many others.
11.) Museo Negrense de La Salle
Located inside the campus of the University of St. La Salle, Museo Negrense de La Salle is the only museum in the region to be inside a school. It officially got its name in 2007, when the school administration decided to combine the University Research Institute and the addition of art collections given by the Vega Family.
The museum houses several collections including the Ledesma Collection, the Vega Collection, the Esteban Collectiion, the Velayo-Javelosa Collection, and also the Puentavella Collection.
10.) Mariano Ramos Ancestral House
The Mariano Ramos house, located along Burgos Ave., was built in the 1950’s and was converted to a museum in 2007. The house is the old home of the first appointed Presidente Municipal of Bacolod City, Mariano Ramos.
The architecture is a combination of Tuscan and Castilian. The house has three storeys and also has a tower room or “torre”. Vast collections of old photographs, ceramics, jewelries, crystals, glasswares, paintings as well as religious ornaments. Just beside it is the Dizon-Ramos Museum.
9.) Laguerta Home of the Vintage Glasses Museum
Owned by Tomas Claridad Casiano or Tomiko as the locals call him, Laguerta Home of the Vintage glasses. Tomas or Tomiko used to be a florist at Beverly Hills, California before he returned to the Philippines for good and built Laguerta Home.
Laguerta Home is filled with different shapes, sizes, as well as colors of glasses in various forms like plates, bowls, mugs, drinking glasses, decorative glasses, and many more. The whole place emanates elegance and beauty at its finest.
8.) Campuestohan Highland Resort
Located at the boundary of Bacolod City and Talisay City, Campuestohan Highland Resort brags a 5 hectare property which exudes the grandeur and also lavish green forests of Mount Makawili.
There are lots of activities that you can enjoy in the resort; there is Sky Bicycling, Ziplining, and also for those who are brave enough, the Rope Course. They also have a playground for kids and kids at heart, which is actually perfect if you have children coming with you. The place is also a perfect choice for an overnight stay if you want to stay away from the pollution and noise of the metro.
7.) Manokan Country
Your trip at Bacolod will never be complete without tasting their famous original Bacolod Chicken Inasal. Original Bacolod Chicken Inasal is one of the best Inasal in the country and will surely never disappoint you. Manokan Country chicken inasal is considered one of the best chicken inasal in the province. Aside from the usual grilled chicken, you can also try their “tinae” or intestines and their “isol” or chicken’s rear end.
How to get there: You can always ask the jeepney drivers if their route will pass by Manokan County, if not you can hail a taxi and surely the driver will know.
6.) Panaad Park and Stadium
The Panaad Park and Stadium was used during the South East Asian Games in 2005 and was the venue of the 2007 ASEAN Cup pre-qualifiers. The stadium features a football field, Olympic sized pools, rubberized track, as well as other sports facilities. The place can hold up to 20,000 people including the standing areas.
The Stadium is also home to the “Panaad sa Negros Festival”, which is a week-long celebration held annually every summer. The festival is intended for
5.) Pope John Paul II Tower
The Pope John Paul II Tower was built to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II. In February 20, 1981, he held a mass at the exact location as the building now. The tower stands at the reclaimed area of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp.
The entrance of the building showcases an eight-foot tall sculpture of the late Pope made of fiberglass as well as synthetic bronze. This masterpiece was created by Brother Tagoy Jakosalem.
4.) San Sebastian Cathedral
The San Sebastian Church which is located in downtown Bacolod City, it used to be a small chapel and was later on declared as a Cathedral in 1933. The church, just like most century old churches in the country, features a Baroque architecture. The church is made of lime and coral stone sourced from the neighboring Guimaras Island.
The upper part of the structure was restored after being damaged after the 1985 fire. This church is also considered as one of the most beautiful church in Negros Occidental.
3.) Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Center
Also called “Negros Forest”, this ecological area is located on the southern side of the Capitol Grounds and Capitol Lagoon. The center is home to various species of animals found in the region along with trees as well as plants native to the province. Sadly, most of these animals and birds that reside in the area are endangered species threatened to extinct because of the continuous destruction of forests.
The Center is open Mondays to Saturdays except for holidays. Admission fee is pretty cheap at Php20 for adults and Php10 for children under 4 feet tall. For a considerably low price, you get to breathe fresher air and also meet some exotic animals.
2.) Capitol Grounds and Lagoon
The Capitol grounds and lagoon located along Lacson St. is the official headquarters of the provincial government of Negros Occidental. During the Second World War, the Capitol building also served as the command center of the Japanese Imperial Army. The Capitol building features a Romanesque architecture and also is surrounded by a beautiful park and an artificial lagoon.
The lagoon boasts fascinating sculptures including works of the Italian sculpture Francesco Riccardo Monti who is also the one behind the masterpieces found at the roof of the Metropolitan Manila Theater.
1.) The Negros Museum
There is no better way of getting to know a place than by visiting its museum. Located in Gatuslao St., the Negros Museum houses numerous collections of artworks, artifacts, as well as relics that showcases the splendid history of the City. Contemporary and modern arts made by local artists can also be found displayed in the museum.
The Negros museum is open from Mondays to Saturdays 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. The entrance fee is reasonably cheap at Php40 for adults and Php20 for children.
With all these breathtaking and magnificent places Bacolod has to offer, you will definitely never run out of places to put in your itinerary and will surely make you want to go back again and again.