Bacolod city is one the go-to destinations in the Philippines. It’s known to be the friendly city, bearing the title: “The city of Smiles”. Being the capital and the largest city of Negros Occidental, there are several things that you can do, but the question is: what can you do on an overnight stay?
How we get there:
There are various options to reach Bacolod, either by plane or by land.Since we’re from Cebu, we decided to try the longer way yet the cheaper one.
We started our journey from Cebu South Bus Terminal and rode a bus to Toledo. Due to several stops, travel time was around 2 hours. Fare was for Php. 80.00.
From Toledo, we hop into Fast Cat ferry for another 2 hrs. to reach San Carlos city, Negros Occidental. Fare was Php 150.00.
From San Carlos city, another 3-hour travel via Ceres bus from San Carlos city to Bacolod city via Don Salvador.
Where to stay:
We booked in advance to White Hotel Bacolod through Agoda. White Hotel Bacolod didn’t disappoint. The photos shared on the site were exactly how it looked like when we arrived. It was homey, spacious, friendly staff, bottom line — we had a good stay and we got what we pay for. 🙂
What to do:
Since time is of the essence, we need to manage it well.
Right after checking in, we immediately booked a cab to check one of the 12 most fascinating ruins around the world.
Tip: It’s best to visit around dusk. The time when the light is still visible on the horizon but the chandeliers were already lit up. This provides a dramatic feel to the place.
The ruins is located at Talisay city, Negros Occidental — a 25-30 minute drive from Bacolod. It is also known as the Taj Mahal of Negros due to the fact that it was built by a wealthy sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, in memory of his Portuguese wife, Maria Braga Lacson, who died during child birth. It was constructed during the 1900s, and was burnt down by the Americans during the World War II to avoid its use as a military base by the Japanese forces.
Before tourists can check out the Italian architecture, there was an entrance fee of Php 100.00 for adults, 50.00 for students, and php 20.00 for children. They have a different charge for photo shoots: Php 1000.00 for the first 5 persons and the rest can pay the regular fee.
We had our dinner at Palawud restaurant, as was recommended by our driver as one of the best sea food restaurants in town. It was the best place to dine while looking at Bacolod’s sunset, however, luck was not with us at that time — it was gloomy at that so didn’t catch the sunset. 🙁 On the lighter side, their Chicken Inasal was a bomb! We all head back to our hotel with a satisfied palate.
BONG-BONG’S PASALUBONG CENTER
Every delicacy you need, you’ll find it in Bong-bong’s pasalubong center. From the sweet treats to ref magnets and other Bacolod souvenirs can be found there.
It wasn’t really a complete city tour, it was more of a quick stop on our way to Mambukal Resort the next day.
a. San Sebastian Cathedral
b. Pope John Paul tower
c. Bacolod city Hall
Mambukal Resort is located in Murcia, Negros Occidental; a 45-minute to 1-hour drive from Bacolod city. It is considered as one of the most popular mountain resorts in the Philippines. At 1,200 meters above sea level, it is also one of the highest mountain resorts, serving as a gateway to Mt. Kanlaon National Park.
If we had the time to stay longer, we could have hiked into the jungle and checked out the 7 waterfalls of Mambukal, and enjoyed dipping into their warm sulfur pools.
CAMPUESTOHAN HIGHLAND RESORT
This was our last stop before heading home. With a Php 150.00 entrance fee, it’s already inclusive to roam all over the 5-hectare property, day use of their pool and hanging bridge.
We headed back to Bacolod right after lunch to catch the 2:30 pm bus back to Cebu city.
Here’s our detailed itinerary and expenses:
9:00 am – 10:30 am: Cebu South Bus terminal to Toledo (Php 80.00 ordinary bus)
10:30 am: arrived @ Toledo (Php10.00 – Toledo bus terminal to Toledo port
11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Toledo port – San Carlos (Php 150.00 ferry via Fast cat)
1:00 pm: arrived at San Carlos (Php 10.00 San Carlos port to San Carlos bus terminal)
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm – San Carlos city to Bacolod city via Don Salvador (Pho 150.00 Ceres bus)
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm – (Php 15.00 Bacolod South bus terminal to White hotel; Check in; freshen up)
4:30 – 6:00 – Went to the Ruins (We agreed to pay Php 400.00 back and forth)
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Dinner at Palawud restaurant
7:00 – 8:00 pm – Pasalubong center
8:30 – Back to hotel
5:00 am – wake up – prepare for day tour
6:00 am – coffee
6:50 am – check out
7:00 am – call time for day tour (we contacted the same taxi for Php 2500.00 whole day)
7:00 am – 7:30 travel to Mambukal Resort (quick stops on some landmarks: cathedral and pope john tower)
7:30 am – 9:00 arrived at Mambukal Resort (Php 50.00 entrance; breakfast; sight seeing; picture taking)
9:00 am – 10:00 am travel to Campuestohan resort
10:00 – 11:30 am: arrived at Campuestohan (100.00 entrance inclusive with day use of pool and hanging bridge)
11:30 – 12:30 – lunch at Campuestohan (150.00 – 200.00)
12:30 – 1:30 – travel back to Bacolod city
1:30 pm – arrived at Bacolod South bus terminal
2:00 pm – Travel back to Cebu city (495.00 all-in fare straight to Cebu city)
10:00 pm – arrived at Cebu North Bus terminal.