Discovering Bacolod: Four Things to Do in the City
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recognized as the city of smiles, Bacolod is known for more than just its popular masskara festival (celebrated on the third week of October every year) and for being the country’s identified sugar capital. The place–reminiscent of Manila in the eighties, is the epitome of relaxation and good living. The city is known for its incredible spread of excellent restaurants minus the exorbitant prices as well as sweet and decadent desserts you would not find anywhere else in the Philippines. For city dwellers who are leading perpetually busy lifestyles, a visit to Bacolod might be shocking at first. The absence of traffic and sky-high skyscrapers might be a bit jarring, but once you get used to it you realize it is the perfect ambiance for laidback living and relaxation.
However, the true charm lies with the friendly locals whose melodious accents and warm smiles would be a testament to their claim of being the city of smiles. If you ever find yourself in this delightful city, here are some of the things you should not miss out on doing.
1.) Sample the famous chicken inasal
One of the main highlights in visiting Bacolod is the food. The city has a plethora of restaurants which inevitably became a main attraction of the city. Apart from the wide range of cuisines, one can sample in the city; the famous chicken inasal should make it to the top of your list. Bacolod’s Chicken inasal is arguably the best tasting grilled chicken ever. It is unlike any other grilled chicken served in the country and indeed the locals can take pride in that. Grilled just right and served with garlic rice which you can slather with chicken oil, the meal itself would be an experience. Try the famous inasal either at Aida’s Chicken Inasal or Masskara Chicken.
2.) Take Instagram-worthy photos at The Ruins
Located in Talisay City, The Ruins is perhaps the most visited landmark in Negros Occidental. The place dates back in history and is known for its dramatic and romantic past. It was said to be the ancestral house of one Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a rich and young Filipino Sugar Baron and had been built in the 1900s in memory of his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga. The mansion was razed by fire during the world War II, however, to dissuade Japanese Forces from using it as their headquarters. As a result, all that is left is the ruins that remain standing today. Despite that, the place has a romantic aura about it and would make a fetching photo from any angle. Those who are looking to update their Instagram feed would certainly find this place a delight.
3.) Climb Pope John Paul II Tower
Situated near SM City Bacolod, the Pope John Paul II stands in the reclaimed area where the late Pope had held a mass on February 20, 1981. The tower was built to commemorate the momentous event when the late Pope had visited. At its entrance, you can find an eight-foot structure of the pope which is made out of fiberglass and synthetic bronze. If you climb to the top, the tower gives you an excellent view of the sea as well.
4.) Indulge yourself with the sweet desserts
Under no circumstance should you ever leave the city without sampling their desserts. You are in the sugar capital after all, so a visit to the sweet shops should be in order. Apart from that, Bacolod’s famous dessert shops are not found anywhere else in the Philippines but the province itself (which explains why people from back home would constantly bother you for cakes as “pasalubong). Sink your teeth into the delights offered by the likes of Calea and Cafe Bobs and give your taste buds a little treat and bring some of that sweetness back home.