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Negros Occidental: The Nitty-Gritty

It's unmistakable. Bacolod is the most laid-back the word 'laid-back' could get.  I like Bacolod City. Try googling Bacolod and you'll find out that it once ranked Number 1 as the Most Competitive Mid-Sized City in 2005 and was named as the Best Place to Live in the Philippines last 2008 by Moneysense magazine, with Makati as second and Manila down at 11.

If one believed in signs, a flight delayed for 7 hours might have been the end of it. Good thing I don't. Instead, I made good use of the time we've camped out at the airport to catch up on my reading. Thanks to Airphil Express, we had  to scratch everything on the itinerary and worked it out from there.


Where to Stay:
We finally arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport at 10PM. We saw flyers of Pension Bacolod, which according to the flyer, has been awarded 5 times as the Best Pension House in Bacolod. Their aircon room is priced at P395.  The AC rooms were all rented out so we took the double non-AC room priced at P315. The room was close to the restaurant which had free Wi-Fi. Pension Bacolod is perfect for those who need a cheap place to crash in at night. If you want to stay at something more luxurious, check out L'Fisher Hotel or Saltimboca Tourist Inn. Pension Bacolod is located at #27 11th Street, a short walk from Lacson St.

The pension house looks like a small castle with flags displayed outside. It's indeed 'international' since we saw mostly foreign guests. Contact them at (034) 433-33-77.

Our flight back to Manila was set at 5AM so we opted to stay near the airport on our last night.  We chose the Baldevia Pension House, located in the heart of Silay. Their non-AC double room is priced at P450. Contact them at (034) 496-51-40.

We were able to adjust and fit most into our shortened schedule, but we had to take Danjugan Island off the list. Danjugan Island is a marine reserve and wildlife sanctuary found off the coast of Sipalay, south of Bacolod. That's another reason (aside from food) why I have to go back!



Itinerary:

Day 1:
10:30PM -  Provincial Capitol Park and Lagoon - Can easily be found along Lacson St. Best seen at    
                        night!
11:00PM -  Dinner at Aida's in Manokan Country

Provincial Capitol
Lagoon


Day 2:
06:00AM -  Cathedral of Bacolod - Located at Rizal St., near SM City Bacolod. I forgot which jeep
                         route we took but most jeeps pass by this area. 
07:00AM -  Breakfast at Kaffe Sadtu
08:00AM -  Luzuriaga Family private cemetery which is apparently listed in the Guinness Book of
                          World Records as the the only cemetery in the world at the intersection of two highways
                           -- That was exactly what we saw and nothing more. The cemetery can be found at
                           Lopez Jaena corner Burgos St.
09:00AM -  New City Hall with the majestic Mt. Kanlaon as background - Located at the 
                          Circumferential Road. 
10:00AM -  Endangered species at the Negros Biodiversity Conservation Center
11:00AM -  Negros Museum 
12:00PM -  Negros Showroom for some pasalubong
01:00PM -  Lunch at Bob's
02:30PM -  Cake Time at Calea
03:00PM -  Balay ni Tana Dicang at Talisay -So far this is the best ancestral house in the region.
05:00PM -  Pope John Paul II Tower - near SM Bacolod
06:00PM -  Rest, rest, and freshen up!

Note: The Negros Museum, Negros Biodiversity Conservation Center and Negros Showroom are all located near the Provincial Capitol along Lacson St. It's best to do a walking tour of Lacson St. The whole length of this street is closed for the annual street party during the Masskara Festival.

Bacolod City Hall
Bacolod Cathedral (San Sebastian)
                     Pope John Paul II Tower                                       Flying Fox at the Conservation Center
Bacolod's version of M Cafe
Sugar Laboratory Display

Day3:
06:00AM -  Rode the bus bound to Victorias City
07:30AM -  Breakfast at Andrew's house
08:00AM -  Penalosa Farm
09:00AM -  Church of the Angry Christ - Located inside the VMC Compound
10:00AM -  Hawaiian-Philippine Company
11:00AM -  Rest, rest, and freshen up!
12:00PM -  Lunch at El Ideal
01:00PM -  Hofilena Ancestral House
03:00PM -  Balay Negrense - Here's a tip: Visit the Bernardino Jalandoni Ancestral House instead.
03:30PM -  Cake Time at Cafe 1925
04:30PM -  En route to The Ruins
05:00PM -  The Ruins - Located at Bata. Ride a jeep bound to Bata from Bacolod City. There is a
                         terminal where you can hire a tricycle to take you to The Ruins.
07:00PM -  Dinner at The Ruins

The Lovely Ruins - Photo by Aaron Manila


Here's my expense notes for the Negros Occidental Trip (all in PhP):


Jeepney fares not included.

There are cheaper alternatives to this. 
* We arrived at 10PM and had no choice but to take the van. A cheaper way is to ride a tricycle just outside the airport to Silay (P10 each if you're sharing the ride with other passengers). From Silay, you can take the bus bound to Bacolod at P15. At the Bata Terminal, cross the street and ride the Bata-Libertad route. The jeep will pass through Lacson St., where most hotels/pension houses are located.
** Ride a jeepeney going to Mandalagan and get down when you see SM City Bacolod. Manokan is along Fr. M. Ferrero St., right across SM.

Commuting is easy in Bacolod. There's a jeepney route in almost every place we visited. The minimum jeepney fare as of Feb.5 is P7.50.

I shelled out a total of P3904 for this trip, including pasalubongs and groceries. That's really cheap for a province that has lots to offer. 

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