10 Things to Do in Bacolod City
MORE REASONS FOR SWEET SMILES
- Taste the famous chicken inasal at Aidas at Manokan Country or Byron’s Back Ribs
- Relaxing Comfort Food at Sharyn’s Cansi Soup or Sandok’s KBL
- Sweeten Life at Calea Cakes, Milas and other pastry shops
- Wellness by eating healthy at Veggie Bites, May’s Organic Garden, Fresh Start Organic or Alter Trade
- Take a picture at the iconic Las Vegas-inspired Welcome Sign, Bacolod Plaza Bandstand, meet locals or enjoy a blind massage at NGC
- Watch the sunset at the wide lands of BREDCO or in one of Bacolod resorts: Palmas del Mar, Sta. Fe Resort, Campuestohan, Mambukal, Resorts Negrense
- Enjoy a scenic Jog at Capitol Lagoon or Panaad park
- Commune with nature at Mambukal, Duyan Cafe or Lantawan
- Revisit our history at Negros Museum or The Ruins
- Celebrate with lavish festivals such as Masskara, Panaad Festival, Bacolaodiat, Diwali and Bacolod Chicken Inasal
Capital of Negros Occidental, Negros Island, Western Visayas, Philippines
Partnership and companionship are one of God’s greatest blessings to humanity (Genesis 1-2). When you happen to visit Bacolod, here are some of the good things the local scene has to offer.
I curated places and foods in Bacolod City and some are where I toured my clients/visitors before. This article is a combination of my perspective and my friend’s feedbacks. I hope this list would give you more reasons to Smile. Also see my Bacolod Travel Guide.
Some articles may have some links beneath it that would lead to a more in-depth information about a certain place/activity.
🍲🍲🍲Bacolod Food 🍲🍲🍲
“Kaon Ta” (Let’s Eat). Tell this to people around you when you are about to eat and you may win a friend or a winsome conversation with an Ilonggo.
bite the JUICY Inasal
Bacolod is an inasal paradise – favorite by both locals and visitors.
Don’t leave Bacolod without tasting the tastiest and juiciest chicken inasal, perfected with years of local knowledge of the craft, marinated with rich local ingredients, this meal will surely delight your tastebuds.
Inasalans or those who serve inasal can be found almost in every area of the city – malls, streets, three-wheeled, barangays.
Get to taste inasal at Aida’s and other Manokan Country stalls of inasalans, Inasal & Co. at the Golden Field, Chicken House, Lion’s Park, Masskara Chicken Inasal, Chicken Deli and Nena’s Inasal.
For me the best-tasting is at Aida’s. Price is P93.00 for pecho or pecho-pak, P88.00 for paa. Also try isol, li-og, pakpak, baticolon, heart and bul-o. Don’t forget to try Garlic Rice. See other menu here.
Also try Talaba (oyster) at P50.00 which you can order just at the front of Aida’s but will be billed together with you.
The location of the overall stretch of Manokan Country is great because of the array of foods, festive atmosphere due to the flock of tourists and because it’s near SM and just a walking to almost the “heart of the city.”
But I think the location needs more security from beggars too, since I find it as unpleasing for tourists and travellers.
Lord Byron's Baby Backribs
Lord Byron’s is a major Bacolod backribs player that contributes to the city’s multi-disciplinary food expertise.
Lord Byron’s had small beginnings but the success story is evident as they are now expanding to many parts of the city which includes SM Bacolod.
Baby Backribs (the picture above) costs at P95 including rice. The “senior” backribs at P165 which basically is a bigger cut. You can find their branches beside Riverside Hospital, Home Grown in front of Bob’s Lacson, SM Bacolod and Homesite.
Cansi Comfort Soup
Never leave Bacolod without getting a taste of “kansi” – Bacolod’s version of Bulalo. Kansi is a hot steaming bowl of marrow soup usually served with hollow bone or tender meat. What makes the soup special is the unique ingredient called “batuan” which is only found in Bacolod / Negros region. Try the world famouse Cansi at Sharyn’s Cansi House in Shopping. You may also drop by and taste it at Eron’s or Connie’s.
Sweeten Life with cakes
Calea is a famous spot for visitors it’s locted at Balay Quince, Corner Lacson- 15 sts
How to Commute: From SM/Public Plaza/San Sebastian Cathedral, go to Dunkin Donuts / Mister Donuts. Ride Bata/Mandalagan Jeepney and it will pass directly in front of Calea in Lacson Street.
KBL (Kadios Baboy Langka)
Another local specialty that the batuwan fruit makes special is the KBL. Just like Cansi, the batwan fruit gives this exquisite soup a unique local flavor.
It’s a hearty simmering broth of pork, jackfruit, beans and “batwan” that will definitely comfort your local cravings.
Authentic Chinese food in the china town of Bacolod – the original settlement of chinese immigrants in the 20th century.
Narra Street, Shopping Capitol Center, Bacolod City.
Garden Salad, Organic Nachos Penma Salad, Mushroom Pops, Organic Pizza, Veggie Meals
Potato Cake or Bitchokoy at Mila's
Mila’s let you enjoy the taste that originated from a southern Negros city, Hinigaran City. My personal favorite is Bitchokoy- a sweet, crusty, cheesy and soft bread that melts in your mouth.
Also try their Royal Bibingka (P21/pc, P252/box), Buko Pie, Potato Cake (P39/slice), Potato Squares. Chicken Pie, Chicken ala King and Potato Squares. Next to bitchokoy, buko pie is my favorite because of the creamy and rich taste that local coconuts bring. Potato cake is a crowd favorite, but for me not so much because it’s too sweet for my taste buds.
They also locally-renowned meals. Try their Negros version of the exotic Filipino food called Dinugu-an, basically it’s pig’s blood, meat and internal organs cooked together in a masterful Filipino craftsmanship.
The location is Robinson’s Triangle, Brgy. Villamonte. Take a Grab Taxi or take a jeepney with the route Shopping-La Salle or Shopping San Agustin. Tell the driver to drop you to Robinson’s Triangle. Walk to the back portion facing BS Aquino Street.
Veggie Bites is one of the veggie food players in the Bacolod Market. The salad above is called Pema Salad and is available at their store in Hi Strip 3 in the East (near Bacolod Government Center).
If you are in for healthy options, Bacolod has something to offer. Food is mostly vegetarian and plant-based but absolutely tastes good!
Location: Hi-Strip 2 East – 2nd floor, Circumferential Road (Carlos Hilado Road), infront of PanAsiatic Call Center. Ambience is good- mixture of calmness, health and stylishness.
BAMC – Bacolod Adventist Medical Center
Must Try: Garden Salad, Organic Nachos Penma Salad, Mushroom Pops, Organic Pizza, Veggie Meals
order online from altertrade
Order organic farm-fresh goods from Alter Trade from their online store.
Alter Trade is a Negros-based company that was established due to the socio-political-economic crisis in Negros in 1985 brought about by the going down of sugarcane industry.
👩👨Where Locals Go 👨👩
Blind Massage at the New Government Center
Drink coffee, jog and walk around the New Government Center and meet locals especially after office hours, weekends or holidays. The grass has become a picnic area where families and kids sit and eat. Most people flock around 5 to 7 PM and 5 to 7AM.
You may also indulge in an affordable way to relax while enjoying the view and the crowds at Bacolod NGC and feel good to help our blind brethren. You can then enjoy a delightful dinner at the local inasal shops just across NGC or some posh eats at the Hi – Strip or some night hangouts at the Marketplace.
- Ulo kag Likod (Head and Back Massage) | P50 pesos
- Upper Body | 20 Minutes | P100 pesos
- Whole Body Massage | 45 Minutes | P150 pesos
Sunset at BREDCO
Bacolod locals usually go here to watch the sunset after a whole day’s work, go for fishing or practice driving. BREDCO boulevard offers a good view of the sunset.
BREDCO stands for Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation and is a 124-hectare reclaimed area on the seashore area of Bacolod. It contains the majority of shipping lines and cargoes, as well as ships to and from Iloilo City.
I don’t encourage going here at night because the road is too dark and may go unfamiliar especially if you are not a local. One must have a vehicle in order to enjoy the urban sunset setting.
Entrance is P10.00 – P12.00 and the way is either from SM BREDCO or Banago entrance (near Ayala Mall).
Relaxing Walk at Lagoon
Lagoon or also known as Provincial Capitol Lagoon is a beautiful, central and iconic park at the heart of Bacolod City.
Since the entrance of Seda Hotel (2017) and Ayala Mall Capitol Central (2018), lagoon has become even more beautiful- with beautiful lights at night, picturesque landmark and well-maintained surroundings.
You may meet locals jogging around the fish pond, doing the Zumba, enjoying at the playground, skating at the ramp or just relaxing at the benches.
This landmark features famous Negros sculptures such as the pag-himud-os.
You may want to take a picture at the kilometer zero where the starting point of Bacolod for all maps starts.
Exercise & Breath fresh air in Panaad
Jog around the rubberized track/ oval for free or stroll in the midst of eucalyptus trees inside Panaad Park and Stadium.
This provincial government-owned facility has hosted international sports events since its inception.
The Azkals and Ceres-Lasalle Football team are a local favorite.
The park is also a host of the annual Panaad Festival- a weeklong showcase of all the cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental where you get to know each place in a one area.
Hop into Our Malls
Locals and local producers are also flocking into the mall – some reasons include: more convenience for parking and during the rain, more security and less tendencies for power outage.
You would see occasional booths of Negros producers in SM.
The newly-opened Ayala Mall of Bacolod, Capitol Central (December 2018), seems to have a permanent place for Negros products.
Also visit Robinson’s Place Bacolod (one of the first malls), Lopues chain of malls (a local player), Gaisano City, Ayala District in Talisay and 888 Premiere.
I placed The Rust Cafe here because I always see locals flock in to this place.
I have eaten here and the food is nice and very affordable.
It’s located along Locsin Street just beside a major road. At the morning, they serve good coffee and meals too.
You may also try to visit Marketplace at night, 13th Streat Food Zone and Hi-Strip East.
Enjoy karaoke with friends at Watever KTV bar at O Residences, 2 Storey Kitchen at the East and Cafe Molinos at the back of Save More Fortune Towne.
🏛️🏛️ Historical 🏛️🏛️
When I visit places, I like to visit museums and historical places.
Ride a Bata Jeep and tell the driver to drop you at the Negros Museum which is only at the back portion of the Provincial Lagoon and Capitol.
This central place allows you to visit Negros’ Past and how culture in this island came to be. I bring my visitors here when they like this category.
You will see paintings of Negrenses, maps from the ancient Spain, artifacts during the Negros Revolution, photos of past Malay settlers and other memorabilia of the first settlers of the island. We also came to visit a room filled with toys.
Located just at the side of the back of Provincial Capitol Lagoon. Just take “Bata” jeep if you are from Plaza or SM. Make sure to ask the driver first.
The past helps me to reflect on my present and be wiser for my future. This tourist spot in Bacolod should always be on the list for you to know deeper about our history. There’s a separate page where I wrote an extensive article about this.
When we went here on a Sunday afternoon, around 1PM, the famous tour guide named Roger was there. His visitors were always breaking into laughter every two lines that he release. If you’re after his experience, better to catch him in his time of duty.
When I bring my friends or visitors here, and there are no tour guides available, I enjoy acting as one because it allows me to voice out our past and causes us to interact with topics like Feudalism, Economics, Politics and Geography.
This Italianate Mansion remains is located in Don Mariano Lacson Road, Talisay-Bata Border, Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Other: Check out Bacolod History, previous mayors and local infos inside NGC (New Government Center). Also visit the Dizon-Ramos Museum (which is now White Hotel) converted into a laidback hotel in the middle of the city at Burgos Street.
🌿🌿🌿 Commune with Nature 🌿🌿🌿
Bacolod City is blessed to be an urbanized city and at the same time very close to the heart of nature. You won’t suffer that much traffic, nor too much remoteness to the convenience of civilization. In few minutes or hours ride, you can arrive at green destinations that will surely soothe your soul.
Dip at Mambukal
Approx. 1 hour away from Bacolod City is a provincial government-owned mountain resort that is both affordable and awe-inspiring.
Soak at therapeutic hot springs, get to a romantic boating, trek to some of the seven falls, enjoy watching big bats flying or simply relax at the cool atmosphere.
See my Mambukal Article here.
Adobo Festival in Silay
Adobe Festival in Silay is a newcomer on my list but this has been done for the 19th year already last November 10, 2018.
This festival highlights the Filipino trademark cuisine which has been popular both in the Philippines and abroad where OFWs are. It usually involves pork, vegetables or chicken as its main ingredient marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, laurel leaves, pepper and garlic.
Lyn Gamboa, founder of Adobo festival, said “”In the beginning, there was no refrigeration and the easiest food to keep was adobo because of the vinegar ingredient. They used to keep adobo in a wooden vessel. With that, most families have their own adobo recipes.”
Bacolaodiat is Bacolod’s celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year. As a city that has significant number of Chinese immigrants from the 20th century, Bacolod City recognizes this and has officially in instituted Bacolaodiat Festival. Come and celebrate with us Chinese New Year and it’s usually every February. This 2019, it will be on February 5.
One of the most colorful, longest-running and non-religious festival in the country, Masskara Festival is a showcase of Bacolodnon’s creativity, artistry and hospitality.
Book the last weekend of your October and experience Bacolod’s collective celebratory effort during the Masskara Festival. I wrote extensive details about it.
Held every summer, this weeklong festival showcases the treasures of every town and city of Negros Occidental.
You get to see pageants, parties, foods hosted by the Negrosanons.
Bacolod Chicken Inasal Festival
This is the newest member of the group- the first Bacolod Chicken Inasal Festival was held last May 2018.
It features one of the most famous foods Bacolod is known for.
I guess this will held every May starting then and the main location is in Araneta Street (which is the south road of Bacolod City).
I think this street party is also an effort to boost tourism and development in the south street of Araneta because Masskara street party is held at Lacson (the North-bound street).
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