6 Things to Absolutely Love about Bacolod

Sugarbowl of the Philippines.

I just recently rediscovered this moniker of Negros Occidental, one it earned because of the abundance of sugarcane grown there. This little tidbit, along with many other things I gathered while on a short yet unforgettable weekend trip to Bacolod.

Bacolod, the CIty of Smiles (cityofbacolod.com)
Bacolod, the City of Smiles (cityofbacolod.com)

I’ve never been to Bacolod before, so when one of my friends and former co-worker invited me to her wedding there, I was pretty excited. Apart from the actual wedding, I so looked forward to finally seeing the popular Campuestohan Highland Resort and The Ruins firsthand. Little did I know, I was not only going to see them, I would fall in love with them and with Bacolod as well.

Perhaps it was because such a joyous occasion brought me there, or perhaps it was because I was with such crazy hilarious company. I think though, that I mostly fell in love with Bacolod because it was just too hard for me not to.

Why, you ask?

Chicken Inasal.

This alone could be reason enough. I love chicken, and Bacolodnons know how to cook their chicken. It is gooooood. It’s especially good in Manokan Country, where chicken inasal is the main attraction.

Manokan Country - photo courtesy of Mark Cosep (http://www.markcosep.com/)
Manokan Country

*Side note: for those in Cebu who’d like to sample authentic chicken inasal without having to fly all the way to Bacolod, now you can! Aida’s (one of Manokan Country’s most popular fixtures) is now open in Cebu! For more info, check out this post.

Bevy of new and interesting restaurants and cafes.

There were A LOT of interesting-looking food places in Bacolod. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to visit them all! I really would’ve liked to visit them though, as I’ve heard nothing but great things about places like Lord Byron’s and Eron’s Cansi. And according to my friend at goodfoodtrips.blogspot.com, there are soooo many other new food places to try too!

Local sweets.

One of the main attractions of Bacolod that my friends and I were (unfortunately!!!) not able to visit was Calea. It’s known to have some of the best cakes and desserts around.

wikimapia.org
wikimapia.org

But this province being the country’s sugar bowl, Calea is definitely not the only spot in Bacolod to get your sugar fix. Plenty of other cake, pastry and pasalubong shops are scattered throughout the city, offering the sweet treats that Bacolod is well-known for: Napoleones, Buko Pie, Piaya, tarts, Butterscotch and many more.

Where am I? What? Oh sorry. I forget the world at the sight of Napoleones. (foodspotting.com)
Where am I? What? Oh sorry. I forget the world at the sight of Napoleones. (foodspotting.com)

Tourist spots.

Bacolod is blessed to have both natural and man-made tourist attractions. There are the Mambukal falls and hot spring, the fun and exciting Campuestuhan Highland Resort and the beautiful Ruins– and we made sure to visit them all.

A stream running through Mambukal
A stream running through Mambukal
Mambukal's hot spring... when they say hot, they MEAN it!
Mambukal’s hot spring… when they say hot, they MEAN it!
One of the many beautiful views at Mambukal. Photos courtesy of Mark Cosep (Check out his portfolio at www.markcosep.com/)
One of the many beautiful views at Mambukal. Photos courtesy of Mark Cosep (Check out his portfolio at www.markcosep.com/)
Campuestohan baby!
Campuestohan baby!
View from our cottage at Campuestohan
View from our cottage at Campuestohan
Goofing off with Campuestohan's famous King Kong statue
Goofing around with Campuestohan’s famous King Kong statue
Getting all posey at The Ruins
Getting all posey at The Ruins

The cityscape/landscape.

Bacolod has a very interesting mix of rural and urban landscapes. Even in the middle of the city, amid businesses and buildings you will find yourself surrounded by sugarcane fields. It makes the place somewhat idyllic. At the same time though, the city appears to be progressing with more urban establishments, and yet it doesn’t seem congested at all.

The people.

So far everyone I’ve known and met from Bacolod has been nothing but nice. When my friends and I were there we were welcomed very warmly by our generous hosts and helped a few times by friendly people. With such beautiful surroundings and an endless supply of sweet treats though, it’s no wonder that such sweet, beautiful people can come from this place.

Considering that we were only there for a couple of days and I’ve grown to love these things about Bacolod, I’m sure there would’ve been plenty more to love if we had stayed longer. Maybe next time. Until then, thanks so much for the short yet sweet stay Bacolod, and we hope to see you again soon! 😉

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