The Sweeter and Happier Life: The Bacolod City Invasion


Yes, we went South again. Just to experience the City of Smiles and taste their famous Chicken Inasal!So we had another trip down south, and this time, it’s the City of Smiles. Welcome to Bacolod City everyone!

We really didn’t have any plans on what to do – no itinerary, no nothing. As my travel buddy would put it, we wereย  just there to taste GENUINE CHICKEN INASAL.

We stayed at Circle Inn Hotel.ย  The place was nice, the rooms were clean, the people were very accommodating. And yes, everyone was smiling. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

So here are the highlights of our Bacolod City trip!

With the bubbly people from Bacolod City

Thanks to these wonderful people, our trip went easy breezy. They took us around the City and made us experience whatย  Negros Occidental has to offer.ย  They were more than happy to tour us and there was never a dull moment with them. I mean, look at those photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

So in the most organized manner, here are the places we visited.

Bacolod City Government Center

They took us to the “White House of Bacolod City”ย  – the Bacolod City New Government Center. A built landscape to behold.

The following day, we were early to see more of Bacolod City, Silay City and Talisay City.

Balay Negrense, Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Negros Occidental, particularly Silay City, is known for its heritage district where it has a “boulevard of heritage houses”. We only visited one heritage house – the Balay Negrense. You only need to pay PhP 40.00 for the entrance fee.

Built 1897, the Balay Negrense is the restored residence of Victor F. Gaston, son of Yves Leopold Germaine Gaston. Left unused by the family and after becoming among other things, a dance studio, the house deteriorated until a group from Silay decided to restore the house. By the time restoration began, parts of the house had fallen and its furnishings dispersed.

Heritage Features:The house is a later and more airy version of the bahay na bato. The first floor, raised from the damp earth is pierced by windows that make the interior brighter than older houses. The first floor is no longer just a storage space but large foyer which leads to rooms and offices. The lower floor connects to the upper story through a grand staircase. The upper floor has bedrooms flanking the living room. To the rear is the dining hall and kitchen. The upper story is made of wood with generous ventanillas that allow air to circulate throughout the house. The house has been furnished with furniture and appurtenances donated by various persons. Arranged as a lifestyle museum, Balay Negrense is also available for social functions, like wedding receptions.


Here are some of the vintage items found inside.ย  You just get amazed at how visiting museums such as Balay Negrense make you appreciate history, art and the culture of the people and the place you’re visiting. Imagine, seeing an archaic telephone.. ninuno ng mga iphone at android. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mapapakanta ka na lang ng “wala pa nung Cd o DVD, meron lang betamax!”

Balay Negrense, Silay City, Negros Occidental

For our next stop…The Ruins, Talisay City, Negros Occidental

The Ruins would just make you speechless the moment you see it. Seems like words are not enough to describe this landscape. Grabe. It was just breath taking. Unfortunately, we were not able to see its beauty during sunset. But the visit was more than enough to blow me away. Saya pa-picture! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Ruins showcases what is left of the Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson Ancestral Home in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.In the 1900s, the mansion was the largest residential structure ever built. It boasted of its garden of lilies in and around the four-tiered fountain on the mansion’s front lawn and the finest furniture, chinaware and decorative items that its owners brought from their travels across Europe and Asia.It was built by the sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga, a Portuguese from Macau whom he met in his vacations in Hongkong. Stories about the mansion says one of Don Mariano’s sons supervised the construction of the mansion making certain that the only superior concrete material was used. Therefore the mansion withstood the flames when it was torched during World War II by the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East), to prevent the Japanese Forces from using it as their headquarters.

I would really want to see The Ruins at dusk and experience its beauty at night. ๐Ÿ™‚

We were also fortunateย  to be there for the Masskara Festival. However, it was just the opening and the public plaza was surely crowded so we opted to stay at the hotel instead.ย  And besides, i had to nurse a sick tummy.

Our flight back to Manila was scheduled Sunday afternoon, so we heard the mass at 9am at the San Sebastian Cathedral. It was the first time i heard mass on a different language! ๐Ÿ™‚

So how did Bacolod City taste?


The Taste of Bacolod City

From lower left (clockwise): TingTing’s Native Food for lunch (super solved!) – where we ate our first Bacolod meal, the Lechon Manok with a little something-something inside :), vinegar dip for the oysters,ย  Me-Anne eatingย  inasal at the hotel room because someone was at house arrest, burger (last meal before we left Bacolod. i forgot the name of the burger joint), the man enjoying his oysters, and the fresh, live, oysters!! Thanks to these oysters, Reggie was able to literally leave his mark on every stop over.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Calea Cakes and Pastries, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

CALEA. Oh how i miss your cakes. We went here (theย  branch near L’Fisher Hotel) after checking out. Calea is a popular dessert place found only in Bacolod City. Death by sugar talaga. We tried their best sellers – the blueberry cheese cake, mango ice cream cake, and a chocolate cake. I could stay all day at Calea just looking at the cakes! A place you shouldn’t miss when going to Bacolod. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines  2011

Indeed, Bacolod City is a City to admire. Thanks to the generous crowd who accommodated us and made us feel really welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Life is sweeter and happier in Bacolod City, not just because of the sugar canes and its “City of Smiles” brand. During that 3 days and 2 nights stay, we were able to meet a lot of people and visit the must-see places to maximize the time that we had. The food was great and the places were really memorable. I know Bacolod City is one of the places we’ll look forward to visit again. ๐Ÿ™‚


3 responses »

  1. Pingback: [In the news] DAR beefs up Neg. Occ. forces to boost CARPer- | Human Rights Online Philippines

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