Bacolod Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Bacolod, the largest city on the island of Negros, is the capital of the province of Negros Occidental. THE MOST LIVABLE CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES.
It prides itself as the only city in the Philippines winning a grand slam as the most cleanest and greenest highly urbanized city. Roads are wide and traffic congestion is not a problem.
Home for more than 480,000 people, Bacolodnons love to enjoy life. That's why it is called as the "City of Smiles". This attitude of the Bacolodnons is reflected in the world reknowned "Masskara Festival" and "Pana-ad Sa Negros Festival".
The city is home to the Pana-ad Park and Stadium, and Paglaum Sports Complex. Both fascilities were used during the 2005 Southeast Asian Games co-hosted with Manila and Cebu.
The city of Bacolod now hosts a number of Business Process Outsourcing Centers which gave a boost to the city's workforce and businesses.
Prior to the coming of the Spaniards in Negros in 1565, there existed a small village near the mouth of the Magsungay river inhabited by Malayans who belong to the “Taga-ilog” group. The early missionaries placed the village of Magsungay under the protection of St. Sebastian in 1700s and was later known as “San Sebastian de Magsungay”. In 1770, Bernardo de los Santos became its first governadorcillo or capitan municipal. Its first parish priest was Fr. Leon Pedro, having been appointed as propitario of Bacolod in 1806.
Due to the rampant attack of Moro pirates, the villagers moved inland and established a new settlement on a hilly terrain they called Buklod, the forerunner of its present name, “Bacolod”. Gradually, the people left the hilly terrain which later became known as Camingawan (loneliness).
In 1849. then Gov. Valdevieso y Morquecho declared Bacolod as the capital of the whole island of Negros. Subsequently, with the splitting of Negros into two provinces, Bacolod was named capital of the province of Negros Occidental in 1884.
On October 19, 1938, Bacolod became the fifth chartered city during the Commonwealth period under President Manuel L. Quezon, with Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. as its appointed chief executive.
From a mere settlement in the hills with only about 5,000 people in 1770, Bacolod has developed into a highly urbanized city in 1984. In 1996, Bacolod was named one of the “Outstanding Cities of the Philippine”. It was also adjudged the “Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City” in the country in 1997, 1998 and 2000, 2001, respectively.
Characterized by an unprecedented construction boom, Bacolod is a haven for investments and business opportunities. The lush greenery of its countryside provides an exhilarating backdrop to its pulse and dynamo as a bustling metropolis.
Bacolod’s charm lies in its people: smiling, warm, gregarious and optimistic, always surmounting all odds. This is best experienced during the internationally-famed Masskara Festival, a weeklong celebration nearest the City Charter Anniversary on October 19, when there is merrymaking in the streets and parties in private homes.
The people are also noted for their unrivalled good taste which is evident in their exquisite arts and crafts that find their way into the export markets, as well as in their delectable cuisine. Their gentility is also seen in the comforts and conveniences of world-class hotels and restaurants that helped propel Bacolod to its stature as the convention center in southern Philippines.
Bacolod’s famous landmarks include beautiful 19th century mansions of sugar barons, historical monuments and churches during the Spanish era.
San Sebastian CathedralThe San Sebastian Cathedral is located in downtown Bacolod. It was originally a small chapel which became a cathedral in 1933. The structure, made of coral stones from Guimaras Island was completed in 1882. Beside the cathedral is the Palacio Episcopal or Bishop’s Palace constructed in 1830.
The Sta. Clara Chapel in Sta. Clara Subdivision features a large mural mosaic of Barangay Sang Birhen, a local version of the Virgin Mary made of 95,000 pieces of polished shells. The stations of the cross, the images of the saints and altar pieces are a collage 30,000 Philippine shells.
The San Antonio Abad Church showcases national artist Solomon Saprid’s masterwork “The Risen Christ.”
The Provincial Capitol Building was built in 1927 using the Neo-Roman architectural design of American Daniel Burnham executed by Filipino Architect Juan Arellano. In July 2001, Gov. Joseph G. Marañon initiated the rehabilitation of the Capitol. It was inaugurated on June 23, 2004.
Arts, Crafts and Shopping
With the development of the sugar industry in 1950’s, Bacolod’s prominent families have acquired fine antique collections. Some are on sale in the city’s antique shops, others can be viewed in ancestral homes or private collections. Good buys include shell craft, ceramic wares and woodcrafts. Weaving centers produce “hablon”, a locally developed fabric which was the rave in the 1960’s.
The ANP Negros Showroom is a one-stop shop selling export-quality products such as garments, gift items, decorative objects, handicrafts, shell craft and pastries.
Central Market at the downtown area displays native products, textiles, native delicacies and fresh fruits.
Bacolod Shellcraft and Artwares has a collection of Philippine and Negrense shells which are made into exquisite mosaics, house accessories and gift items.
Casa Grande Antiques, Recuerdos de Bacolod and Sarlee’s sell fine furniture, heirloom pieces, antique “santos” or wooden images of saints and curio items.
Sports and Leisure Activities
Bacolod offers the sportsman various outdoor activities like water sports, tennis, mountain climbing and its biggest attraction-golf.
Bacolod is the golf center of Visayas. Its world-class courses have produced some of the country’s best swingers.
Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Had. Binitin, has a tight and compact 18-hole layout in a sugar plantation setting. It has a clubhouse, restaurant, swimming pool and locker rooms. It is open for tourists. For information call Tel. No. (034) 446-1794.
Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club in Bata Subdivision has 18-hole golf course that will challenge the intrepid golfers with its water hazards and the strong winds from Mt. Kanlaon. It has a clubhouse, tennis courts and swimming pool. Tel. No.(034) 441-1190, telefax 441-1191.