The Ruins of Talisay
One of the must visit place in Bacolod is the remnants of the mansion of Don Mariano L. Lacson in Talisay.
Time come and go. Though the mansion is irreparable, it was acclaimed as one of the most fascinating ruins of the world.
- Historical Travel
Lacson Street has it all! There are many places where to eat and hang out along Lacson Street. Japanese, Italian, Filipino, etc. restaurants are everywhere! Also, coffee shops are commonly seen around this area. One of the places we’ve been to is Sorrento. Sorrento is a building where numerous bars can be found and also if you feel like shopping, you can drop by the TOP SHOP- the items are affordable, usually original branded stuffs (e.g. Puma, Ambercrombie, etc.) but since it’s an outlet store, the items are sold on a cheaper price!
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Another fine market.
Readers of my pages, particularly my Asian pages, are probably heartily sick of me writing tips about markets, markets and more markets. Well, here is another one and I make no apology for it. I rarely buy anything, not usually having the wherewithal to cook but I adore wandering round them especially late at night or early in the mornng, dependant upon whether or not I have been to bed.! I find them to be vibrant places and endlessly interesting. Also, you rarely get travellers in them so you get a true flavour of how the local people live.
I have already written about the wonderful Pala Pala Market in Bacolod which specialises in fish and seafood but this tip concerns the general market which has a good fish section but also all sorts of other produce as you can see.
Well worth a visit if you are up and about at that hour.
- Budget Travel
What a wonderful market.
I visited this market literally within about 30 minutes of steppng off the ferry in Bacolod, accomanpied by my VT friends Buena ad Gregg. The reason for this was that we were buying produce that was to be prepared for us in a nearby restaurant (see seperate tip)
It is well-documented on VT my love of both fish and markets, especially Asian markets, so I was absolutely in Heaven here. The quality of the produce here was amazing, it seems the local seas are still bountiful despite what I have heard about over-fishing in the region.
It is on San Juan Road, junction with North Capitol Road and is known as Pala Pala market. The best time to visit is early evening when the produce is freshly landed. Even if you are not going to one of the nearby restaurants (and you should), it is still a wonderful place to visit. I didn't see any other foreigners there but the stallholders and shoppers did not seem to mind being photographed and it is a great place for that.
- Food and Dining
A quirky little place.
Whilst I love Bacolod, there are not a huge amount of what you might describe as tourist attractions. One such is the Negros Occidental Museum whch turned out to be an unusual little place. Having paid my 50 peso admission, I found myself in what appeared to have been a large old colonial house.
A large portion of the ground floor appears to be taken up by art exhibitions, with many items for sale. This gives the place slightly more of a feel of an art gallery than a Museum, although there are some exhibits. Climbing the very grand staircase to the second level reveals the Museum proper.
It is not a Museum as I would understand it, and there is nothing of great antuquity. The exhibits seem to belong to the last couple of centuries but they are very interesting. There are various tableaux depicting various facets of life in the past, the store, the pharmacy (historically important as it was a centre for collecting revolutionary funds) and my favourite, the colonial area drawing room.
My favourite exhibit was the small team locomotive used in the sugarcane plantations although the traditinal boat laden with all sorts of incongruous items like old Chesterfield cigarettes, Pepsi bottles and 78 rpm dance records. Younger readers should ask someone older what 78's were!
Unfortunately, the Museum does not appear to be accessible to the mobility impaired. It is open Monday to Saturday from 0900 to 1800. It should take you no more than an hour for a good look round but it is worth the trip, I learned quite a bit about the region there.
- Museum Visits
Last chance to see.
The Negros Forest and Ecological Centre right in the middle of Bacolod saddens and encourages me in about equal measure. It is an institution devoted to attempting to save endangered species from the Visayas region, specifically Negros.
I am not a huge fan of zoos generally as I think that animals should not be caged in but I can see the reasoning behind this. I do not think there would be enough animals here to establish breeding programmes but it is lovely to see them up close.
The Centre is not huge and an hour will let you see it all at leisure. Here is the lowdown on how to visit. If the gate is closed during opening hours, and it often is, just put your hand through and open it yourself. That is what a helpful local did for me. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 0900 - 1200 and 1330 - 1600. Go to the hut on your right and pay your 20 pesos and off you go.
Photography is allowed but obviously do not use flash (you would not need to anyway) as it might startle the animals.
Let me take you through the images. The handsome fellow in the main image is the Visayan Warty Pig, Baboy Tulanon to the locals and Sus Cebifrons Negrinus to the boffins. This poor chap is on the critically endangered list whch means that his kind will be extinct in under five years if we do not do something about it. This species is thought to be the most endangered wild pig species on Earth. A pretty sobering thought.
Next up is the flying fox, four of which species of the seven in the world are found here. He was wonderful. When I stopped to look, he was hanging off the roof and, obviously curious, came over to look at me. I wasn't quite sure who was the exhibit!
There are many species of birds on display here and the next image shows the lovely Philippine Cockatoo, known locally as Katala or Kalangay. Another on the critically endangered list. Just think, five years from now, if this one survives that long he or she may be the last on Earth. It really is tragic.
The chap with the splendid red bill is the Visayan Writhed Hornbill (Aceros Waldeni) and is, again, critically endangered.
Apologies for the quality of the last image but these anmals are very shy and I did not have a long lens with me. This gorgeous creature is the Visayan Spotted Deer (Cervus Alfredi) which is on the endangered list. This means the species has the potential to be extinct in ten years time. It really does not bear thinking about.
As well as running the Centre here, the Foundation is very active in running conservation projects and the like. Even if you only want to spend a few minutes, your 20 pesos, not a lot of money, will go to assisting this work. Obviously, donations are gratefully received. Well worth a visit but, sadly, I have to caution you to visit soon, before it is too late.
- Budget Travel
Take in the Bacolodiat.
I have described on the intoduction page to my Bacolod tips that I had coincidentally arrived in town the night before the Bacolodiat festival started. This is a wonderful event, and timed to coincide with the Chinese Lunar New Year. I was doubly lucky in that I arrived in 2012, the start of the Year of the Dragon which is deemed to be especially auspicious.
The festival is three days of live music, eating drinking, dancing in the streets and wonderful fireworks displays and I really do recommend it to you. I cannot possibly do the whole thing justice within the confines of one tip, so I shall post a few images here and I would suggest you check the travelogues on this page.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Take the evening promenade.
Lacson Street is definitely the centre of Bacolod and seems to be the place where most things happen and if Lacson Street is the centre, the epicentre must be the area round the lagoon which fronts the old Government building. Whilst it is pleasant enough for a stroll during the heat of the day, it really seems to come alive in the evening when every young person in Bacolod (indeed, some of the not so young) turns up for a stroll round or a sit and a chat.
I am afraid I cannot enlighten you as to what the two statues depicted represent as none of my friends seem to know but one is evidently male and one female. From the vaguely heroic poses I think that they may be generic representations of the Philippine people.
If you want you can get food to feed the numerous fish that inhabit the lagoon, and they really do put on a bit of a feeding frenzy. I never knew fish liked popcorn! If you have had a large evening meal, this is a great place to come and walk it off before heading out into the night.
- Budget Travel
Witness The Masskara Parade & Presentation
Chase the Masskara parade and watch the Highlights presentation in the Plaza...............(loved this).......then join the street parade/dancing......take some souvenir pictures.........after all you went here in Bacolod to Witness the Masskara Festival..................;)
This is the most enjoyable part of the festival where you can watch all the 15 (i hope i got it right) baranggays/competitors battle for the title.....i think each part of the street has a designated area where each team will perform their dance routines at the same time they are judged......when the group has not yet reached that judging area it is the best time to get some souvenir pictures with them........
- Arts and Culture
See for yourself the Luzuriaga Cemetery
Here's something to look forward to...if you will visit Bacolod.Did you know that the Luzuriaga Cemetery is the only cemetery in the world which is in the middle of two highways.....actually busy highways...Its is bounded by Lopez Jaena Street and Burgos avenue.
I just thought...why and how did this thing happen...the local Government can just scrap that cemetery....for blocking the highways. But here's the answer I found.......
The Luzuriaga family is very prominent clan in Negros whose Patriarch Don Eusebio Ruiz de Luzuriaga is said to be from Basque Country in Spain and France. His son Jose Ruiz de Luzuriaga became part of the Philippine history when he became President of the Constituent assembly of the short lived Negros Republic.
It is said that the hacienda of Jose de Luzuriaga is where the Bacolod City hall stands.
No questions asked......end of the topic.......
- Historical Travel
Trying Hena tatoo for the first time
When I was walking in Lacson Street Saturday evening I passed this stall (there are so many boot’s there from canon to globe to t-shirt printing shops)…I liked the hena tattoo of the owner of the stall there so I asked her if I can have the same hena design…..( the design is the official logo for the MASSKARA 2011) just only took 15 minutes by their in-house artist.
Paid Php 35.00 (less than a dollar) instead of the regular rate of Php 75.00 (2 US dollars) ………..for the owner is a Chinese…..I am Chinese looking……so I just nodded when she asked me if I am a chinese….hahhaaaaa…that’s why I get the hena tattoo half the price………….:)
See also my tip on (Warnings and Dangers)
Visit Government Center at Night
This is the newly built Municipal hall….which have a fountain in the middle (They said that if the Mayor already went home they will close the fountain).
There are so may people here at night…..some practicing their dancing skills, chidren playing….., doing chitchat with friends…..taking photos of the placeor just taking your time…
What’s the best here is that it is safe even at 12:00 in the evening I have experienced that here.
Ride the Airport shuttle instead of hiring a taxi
This is more economical to do.Silay Airport to Bacolod proper you will just pay Php 150.00 or (4 US dollars), but if you hire a taxi from airport to Bacolod proper you will pay Php 500.00 (11 US dollars) big diffference isn't it…So chose…..:)
Try to use Jeeps and tricycles or even padyak
If you are in a budget…or you just want to feel the city…use the jeepneys, tricycles even the padyak……instead of taxi when doing the tour…its more economical…..We did it…and its fun…..Don’t worry the Illongos are helpful nman….i can testify…..;)
The jeepneys here are different from my hometown and what you will see in Manila...but the best side of it is that.....there's no traffic......and the air.....100x cleaner than in Manila......
A walk to remember
I am an early riser (or maybe I was just excited this time hahahahaha) no matter how…late I go to sleep……..every morning of Saturday and Sunday I walked around the lagoon in front of the Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental…….
Its a nice thing to do……there are so many people doing their jogging and other stuff there…..like arnis……exercise,tai-chi and dancing……
I also saw some photographers catching an early photoshoot at the lagoon and the Capitol building......................
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates