Category Archives: Negros

Bacolod City: The City of Smiles

Bacolod City, is dubbed as the “city of smiles” because of its people’s friendly faces.  It is now one of the best cities in the Philippines when talking about the standards of living.  It is one of the most livable cities in Asia, and in 2012 was dubbed as the most livable city in the Philippines by surveys.  Personally, if I would be given the chance to settle in Bacolod, I would.  It is really an ideal place to start a family with and establish your own business or career.  For the benefit of the people who haven’t heard of this place yet, Bacolod city is home to the prestigious Bongbong’s Piyaya, Inasal na Manok Bisaya, and it celebrates Masskara Festival every year.  It is one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines.  It happens around every third saturday or sunday of October.  Too bad I was not able to try Masskara yet, but sooner or later I shall return.

How To Get There:  From Cebu City:  You can travel to Bacolod by Bus through a roll-on and roll-off ferry via route Cebu-Toledo-San Carlos-Don Salvador Benedicto-Bacolod (4 to 5 hours) or Cebu-Tabuelan-Escalante-Bacolod route (6-7 hours). Check on Ceres Bus hotline for more schedule info.  You can also travel Cebu-Bacolod by air through Cebu Pax.

From Manila:  You can travel by Air through Cebu Pax and Philippine Airlines and by sea through 2go Travel.

From Iloilo – Travelling Iloilo-Bacolod is the easiest.  There are four fastcraft companies who serve the Iloilo-Bacolod route and they have daily schedules, just check on their travel schedules.

Where To Stay:  Bacolod Pavilion – Bacolod Pavilion hotel is the place I suggest since it is located near the port and it is also near downtown area.  You can just take a walk in going to SM.  In our case, we took the room in Bacolod Pavilion Resort, just across the hotel.  It has pool as well.  We got the room for only 900 php per night (with CaTV, aircon, pool use, and the room was nice).

Places To Visit 

Negros Occidental Capitol Grounds 

San Sebastian Cathedral  

                                  Of course, who would forget the controversial list of who to and not to vote?  San Sebastian Cathedral was the first one to post a banner on this campaign.

Bacolod Public Plaza  

Bacolod City Downtown Area The old city hall

Pope John Paul II Tower  

SM City Bacolod 

The Ruins  

The Ruins is one of the jewels of the Philippines.  To know more about this place, visit my separate entry about The Ruins.

Mambukal Mountain Resort  Mambukal Mountain Resort is located in Murcia, a town near Bacolod. Travel time is about 20 to 30 minutes going to the place. See more pictures and info about this place.  Try to check on my separate blog entry about Mambukal Mountain Resort.

Things You Should Not Miss

Aida’s Chicken in Manokan Country 

Bongbong’s Piyaya  (This are actually items from Bacolod, Iloilo, and Guimaras)

And Lastly, You should not miss this one… 

I really enjoyed eating this one because it is my first time to eat this street food.                        

If anyone happens to know this, please tell me the name of this street food because got to know more about this and how to do this one. 🙂

Bacolod City is a strict and prosperous city.  It has a lot of things for you to experience.  I suggest you visit the city on the third week of October to celebrate with their feast.  I am sure that you would surely have fun in Bacolod!

And Oh, do not ever forget to be yourself when you are in Bacolod, because they say no to “plastic.”  lol.. 🙂

Choose Bacolod! Choose Philippines! Smile!

To know more travel itineraries, visit The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

The Ruins: Maria Braga’s Gift of Love

The Ruins of the Lacson Family Mansion is now a certified tourist spot.  It is one of the best ruins in the world –  that is according to the hilarious tour guide where he declared that the ruins is the 12th best ruins in the world out of 12 ruins.  When I first get to see the ruins, I immediately had the goosebumps, not because I was frightened but because I was just overwhelmed with the elegance of the Mansion.

The Lacson family is one of the richest and well-known families in Negros Occidental up until today.  Mr. Lacson way back years and years ago, fell in love with Maria Braga and had children, but sadly Maria Braga died.  And with the love of Mr. Lacson for his wife, he built this majestic mansion for the love of his wife.  Several years later, he married again with another woman but he decided to leave the mansion because it was, for him, exclusive for Maria Braga.  Can you imagine how in love he was?  Anyways..  Later on, it was destroyed by the Americans during world war 2 because the Americans heard that Japanese will use the mansion as barracks or place of refuge.

Whatever the fate of that mansion is before, all that matters now is it is an attraction that is gaining the international tourists.  We Filipinos must be very proud!

How To Get There:  From Bacolod City ride the jeepney bound for BATA, or ride the jeepney with the route Libertad-Bata.  Ask first if it is bound for Bata because you might end up going to Libertad.  Tell the driver of the jeepney to drop you off the corner going to the ruins, then you can ride a motorbike for 25php going to the ruins.  You can also choose to ride a taxi from the city and tell them the destination, I am 100% sure that they already know the place.

More pictures of the ruins: 

Once you are in Bacolod for the Masskara Festival, do not ever forget to visit the ruins.  It is fascinating and educating!

Choose The Ruins, Choose Philippines!

To know more itineraries visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Mambukal Mountain Resort

Mambukal Mountain Resort is a resort that has hot sulfur spring and seven waterfalls.  There are lots of amenities to enjoy in Mambukal resort.  Situated in Murcia, Negros Occidental, going to the resort would take you 30 to 40 minutes travel from Bacolod city.  This place is great for family picnics and even for campers since they allow tents inside the vicinity.  There are also rooms and dormitory rooms for overnight stay.

How To Get There:

From Bacolod City downtown area ride a jeepney with the signage (Libertad-Shopping La Salle), for 7.50Php, ask the driver to drop you off in the bus terminal bound for Mambukal.  Take the bus with the signage Bacolod-Mambukal with 35Php fare.  It will take you straight to the resort.


Boating Lagoon

Butterfly Garden 

Riverview Hot Spring

Canopy Walk/ Hanging Bridge 

The Waterfalls 


Hot Sulfur Spring 

The Pool 

 Ishiwata Bath House 

There are indeed lots of things to do in Mambukal.  A day is not enough to enjoy all of the amenities..  For family outings, this place indeed is a must-visit.

Once you arrive in the entrance area, do not forget to visit the tourism office and ask for a map so that you will be guided accordingly on the attractions.  There are several signs/direction within the resort so that you wouldn’t get lost.

I advise that you bring food for picnic.  You can also do grilling in their designated grilling stations.


To know more itineraries visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Time travelling in Dumaguete City

Who would have thought that we could reach Dumaguete in no time?  It was a quick decision, or perhaps a spur of the moment.  Well, it comes with excitement though.  I do not have any idea or have researched about the place-where to stay, where to go, and where to eat.  We just decided to visit the place when we knew that Oslob is just few minutes away from Dumaguete; so without hesitation we rode a bus going to Liloan port and took the fastcraft( it’s not that fast) going to Sibulan port, a neighbor town of Dumaguete; just 15 to 20 minutes away.

 The Image of the “fastcraft” bound for Sibulan port.

 When we arrived in Dumaguete, the first thing we did is to find a place where we could leave our things for safekeeping.

After we left our things, we set foot first to their prestigious Rizal Boulevard.

Rizal Boulevard.

We took some pictures while walking along the Boulevard.

Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres Monument.

The popular “Sans Rival” of Dumaguete.

While walking the road along the boulevard, we were wondering if where we could find the first American University in the Philippines, The Silliman University.  But what we saw a few steps away just made our day.

The Silliman Hall

After our walk, we decided to ride a cab going to the Old Bell Tower of Dumaguete.

Kampanaryo de Dumaguete

Our visit in Dumaguete was indeed worthwhile.  We saw a lot of motorcycles (maybe because they are the motorcycle capital of the Philippines).  The people are friendly and they really are gentle.  A visit to Dumaguete is a must to those who want to unwind and relax.

How to get there:

From Cebu: Land trip:  Take the 3 to 4 hours bus going to Liloan port in Cebu city south bus terminal.  Aircon/nonaircon buses cost about 150 to 170 Php.  Take either a fastcraft or pumpboat from Liloan port to Sibulan town for about 20 to 30 minutes which costs around 40 to 70 php.  Take a 15- to 20-minute multicab ride from Sibulan to Dumaguete with the damage of only 11 php.

Total max budget one way:  251 Php for roughly 5 hours only.

Boat:  There is a daily fastcraft from Cebu to Dumaguete.  Take the oceanjet fastcraft.  It costs about 500 with travel time for 2-1/2 hours only.

From Manila:  You can reach Dumaguete through boat or air travel.  Check on your travel agencies.

Where to Eat/Shop:

Dumaguete has two main shopping centres.  They are:

Robinsons’ Place Dumaguete

Lee Super Plaza (located in downtown area)


When you are in Dumaguete you should not miss the Dumaguete Express in Lab-As Restaurant.

Sorry I forgot the name of this one, but this is very yummy.

You should not also miss the Dumaguete homegrown icecream shop, Panda.  It is home to the finest Fried Ice Cream. YUMYUM!

So Never miss these things when you visit Dumaguete.  It is like you have never really been to Dumaguete if you would miss them.

Where to Stay:

Go Hotels:  You can just book through their website or call 0922- GOHOTEL (4646835)

Vintage Inn:  Located at the heart of the city, Vintage Hotel offers affordable room rates.  For booking, just call (+63-35) 422-0827 landline.

Enjoy your stay and make it worthwhile and don’t forget to bring your smile with you!