48 Hours in Bacolod

Staying overnight in Sugarland? Bacolod native Tiffany Yapjoco shows you how to make the most of your trip.

By Tiffany Yapjoco
January 17, 2012

Rich in history, arts and culture, this often overlooked destination is a haven for every kind of travel enthusiast.

Food lovers will enjoy the wide range of local delicacies, history buffs will delight in its sugary sweet past and those craving for a unique cultural experience will surely appreciate what Bacolod and Negros has to offer.

Bacolod is more than just the world-famous Masskara festival. Explore the city, eat good food, and get to know the locals and you'll find that Bacolod is more than just your average one-time destination. I guarantee you'll fall in love with the city.

Day 1

7am: Arrive at the airport.

You can arrange for your hotel to pick you up at the airport and fees usually range from Php500-600 or you can opt for a chartered taxi for a little less about Php400-500. For those on budget travel, air-conditioned vans going to Bacolod City are available for a fee of about Php100-200 where you will be dropped off at the Bacolod North Terminal. You will need to ride a taxi or PUJ to go into the city proper as these vans are now banned from going into the city.

Photo by Tiffany Yapjoco

8am: Check-in to a hotel.

Check-in at The Sylvia Manor Hotel on San Juan Street. Your home away from home, right in middle of the bustling downtown of Bacolod.

10am: Visit the Negros Museum and Capitol Lagoon.

Take a stroll around the Capitol Lagoon, marvel at the Capitol Building of Negros and take a look at the sculptures before going inside the Negros Museum, which is dubbed the "Sugar Museum" because it showcases the Negrense history and lifestyle. If you have time, you can visit the Negros Occidental Ecological Foundation and Biodiversity Center along the South Capitol Road where they rehabilitate endangered animals indigenous to Negros.

12pm: Have lunch at the Museum Cafe.

Natural and Organic eats! Try the salty Pata Negros (Cured Ham) or the Fresh Made Young Cheese from Sagay on your choice of whole wheat, gray sesame, French baguette or corn bread served with organic greens.

Photo by Tiffany Yapjoco

1:30pm: Dessert at Calea.

Their best seller is their Imported Chocolate Cake, but we recommend you try their Pecan Pie and their array of ice cream cakes!

2:30pm: Visit the ancestral houses of Silay and Talisay.

Silay is the Paris of Negros, the center for arts and culture during the Spanish Era. Revisit the past by driving through the streets and taking in the numerous preserved ancestral houses. Take a look inside Balay Negrense (Silay) and Balay ni Tana Dicang (Talisay) to see how the rich sugar industry influenced life back then.

4pm: Go to The Ruins.

These are considered as one of the most beautiful Ruins in the world. For only P50, the in-house tour guides will take you back to the time of war, romance and tragedy. Don't forget to drop by their coffee shop for some souvenirs or a slice of guapple pie and a cup of coffee. On a clear day, watch as the sunset transforms this gray ruin into a golden wonder.

Photo by Tiffany Yapjoco

7pm: Dinner at Manokan Country.

Bacolod undoubtedly holds the title for having the best chicken inasal in the country. This slightly sweet and very savory dish is marinated with coconut vinegar and an array of local seasonings, best eaten with rice covered in chicken oil (drippings from the inasal). Choose from the many stalls at Manokan Country, but your best bet is Aida's.

9pm: Drinks at Sorrento.

Take your pick from the local bars─Red Ginger, The Sugar Pub, Gypsy Tea Room, Iguana and Pepe's and get to know the friendly locals.

Day 2

10am: Pasalubong shopping at Association of Negros Producers Showroom at Robinson's Central Citywalk.

ANP has branched out to one of the newest lifestyle centers in Bacolod. They showcase the Best of Negros from food, furniture, home accessories, jewelry, bags and even clothes. Take time to look around each producer and their unique products!

While you're there, drop by Fresh Start Organics store and try their Artisan Piaya and other natural and organic eats. Then head back to the hotel and check out before heading to Silay City for lunch and one last round of sightseeing.

12pm: Lunch at Café 1925

Located in Silay City, this quaint little café serves delicious appetizers, pasta, sandwiches and desserts! Specials change every month. Have a hearty lunch wit and finish it off with their Ricotta doughnuts and Churros con Tsokolate. Don't forget to take home a mascovado bar or two.

Photo by Tiffany Yapjoco

2pm: Visit a Sugar Mill and church with Angry Christ mural.

Book a tour with the Victoria's Milling Company and see how sugar is made. Don't forget to make a stop at the church inside the Canetown and marvel at the artwork found in every nook of the church. Take in the beauty of Negros en route to the destination.

After this, you can either head straight to the airport, or, if you are leaving early the next morning and have the afternoon top spare, have dinner.

6:30pm:Dinner at Aboy's

       This popular restaurant caters to Bacolodnons, balikbayans and visitors alike. The seating is ideal for big families and travel groups. The menu consists of a wide array of Filipino dishes from fresh seafood to barbecued pork to different kinds of soup dishes and viands. Pair your dinner with a glass of Sago't Gulaman.

8:00pm: Wind down at The Art District

This is one of the newest places to grab a few drinks. Lots of open space, food, drinks and people. The Gypsy Tea Room has a branch here too. New watering holes have sprung up and the popular ones are Cafe Joint, Juja and 11 Degrees.