To put a check on “Random Travel” from my bucket list, I decided to go to the city of smiles on my birthday. From Mactan International Airport, I took a 25 -minute direct flight to Bacolod (You can also take an 8-hour land trip from Cebu South Bus terminal to Bacolod). A first timer in Bacolod with no itinerary, I scanned foursquare for the nearest attraction in Silay Bacolod Airport and while at it, a van driver approached me and offered to tour me around Silay and then drop me off my hotel in Lacson Street for less than a thousand pesos, a really great deal! The main dialect in Bacolod is Ilonggo but most residents are fluent in both Tagalog and English.
Many 19th century houses are well preserved in the city of Silay. The mansion of the son of the first Negrense sugar baron, Yves Leopold Gaston, Balay Negrense is one of them. Built in 1897, the house features a huge front lawn, a huge receiving area and a beautiful staircase to the second floor. The second floor also has a receiving area with 3 bedrooms at each side of the house. Balay Nengrense is located at Cinco de Noviembre Street and is open from Tuesday to Sunday , 10:00AM to 6:00PM, Tel. No. (034) 4954916.
The Hofilena Ancestral House was under renovation that time, so I wasn’t able to get to look inside the house. Built in 1934 by Manuel Severino Hofileña and his wife Gilda LedesmaHojilla, it is an excellent example of a house style characteristic of its time and area. Its grand staircase came from Gilda’s ancestral house built nearby at the time when automobiles did not yet exist. Visits to the Hofileña house is by appointment, tel. no. (034) 495 4561
Then the last stop of my Silay Heritage Houses tour was Bernardino Jalandoni House. Built in 1908, the house features how wealthy Silaynons live in the 19th century. It is located at Rizal Street, it is open from Tuesdays-Sundays from 10Am to 6PM with telephone number (034) 4955093 .
San Diego Pro-Cathedral is a 20th century church and is the only pro-cathedral outside of the national capital, Manila. It is also a unique church in Negros Occidental as it’s the only church in the province featuring a dome.
Well, that’s about it for my Silay City tour. Next stop the city of smiles, Bacolod.
The Ruins. What remains of the home of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson after it was burned down by the U.S. Army to prevent the Japanese from using the Mansion as headquarters. This is what’s left of the mansion built by Don Mariano in memory of his wife Maria Braga, who died while giving birth to their youngest child in 1911. The mansion’s classic beauty reverberates to the time of the wealthy hacienderos of Negros.
I had my birthday dinner here but was disappointed with the food not to mention a bit pricey. Service was good though.
The best time to visit The Ruins is at sunset. <3
How to get there: The Ruins is located in Talisay City, Negros Occidental and is around 10- 15 minutes by cab/taxi from Lacson Street from the city of Bacolod. Telephone #: (+6334) 476-4334 . Mobile (+63917) 832-6003
The present cathedral of San Sebastian was built from 1876-85. This bell is donated by Fr. Julian Gonzaga which was removed from belfry in 1976 during the centennial celebration of the church.
Negros Museum is a blend of artwork and artifacts. The Negros Museum is located at Gatuslao St in Bacolod City and is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 10AM until 6PM. Entrance Fee: 30php.
The Capitol Park and Lagoon. Just a walking distance from the Negros Museum and China town is Bacolod’s provincial park.
Pope John Paul II Tower, Bacolod. The 7 floor building stands on a reclaimed area where the Pope held a Mass in February 20, 1981. It was built to commemorate the event that when the late Pope John Paul II visited Bacolod City. The view at the top is awesome. You get to see the a beautiful view of the Guimaras Straight and the city of Bacolod. Entrance: 20php
Bacolod Baywalk. A few minute walk from the Pope John Paul II Tower is Bacolod Baywalk, a very popular spot to see the beautiful sunset in Guimaras straight. Entrance fee: 20php
Bacolod City Hall.
Traveling to a new place is not complete if you dont indulge on the best food the city has to offer. A few of my favorites are Nene’s Chicken at Manokan Country, Pepe’s Salpicao and roasted ribs and Calea’s desserts.
That’s the most I can go around and visit on my short 3 days and 2 nights in Bacolod. Will surely be back in this wonderfully laid back city. ‘Til we meet again. 🙂
( Bacolod mode of transportation: Taxi, Jeepney, tricycle | Malls: The District, Ayala | Sm City Bacolod | Robinsons)