By air there are 4 flights daily to-from manila on Philippine airlines. 3 flights daily to-from manila on Air Philippines. 3 flights daily to-from manila on Cebu Pacific. Last flight in to Bacolod is 6ish in the evening. Last flight out is 6:30. On slow months, last flight is 5:40pm.
From Cebu there are four flights flight daily via Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific. Two in the morning and two in late afternoon/night.
By sea, from Iloilo there are 3 ferry companies; Weesam, OceanJet and SuperCat. Each company has more or less 4 trips to-fro. Its a one-hour trip. The pier is 5 minutes from city center. First trip departs Iloilo 6ish am.
By sea (roll-on, roll off) from Iloilo there are 2 trips on Montenegro= travel time 2.5 hours. From Dumangas, Panay there are 2 trips on Jomalia= travel time 1.5 hours
By land from Cebu there are 4 or 5 trips on Ceres transports. Trip takes 8 hours
By land from dumaguete there are trips every hour on Ceres transports. Trip takes 5 hours
Upon recommendation of my cousin-in-law, we opted to charter a taxi going to Bacolod City. We used the services of Faith Taxi, which my cousin-in-law always uses when he has business trips. We could have taken the airport vans, but hubby wanted to make sure his bag for photography gear is not cramped with the bags of other travelers. The Faith Taxi unit we used was new, clean (and smelled clean,too), had really cool air condition, and a radio by which the driver and the office can communicate with each other in case of accident or car breakdown.
Hubby and I were impressed the first time we used the services of Faith Taxi. The driver assigned to fetch us at the airport was very professional, clean-looking and a nice guy. When I asked if our taxi would be passing by the church or any old house along the way to Bacolod City, he said no, but he offered to bring us to the Silay Cathedral. He also drove us around the City to see some old houses. Faith taxi rate is P500 from the Airport to the hotel in Bacolod. Tip is optional; we gave P100 tip.
From Bacolod City to the airport, we again got the services of Faith Taxi. Rate was the same, P500. We gave only P50 tip because we went straight to the airport, no favor asked for side trip elsewhere.
Update: When we went to the 2011 Masskara Festival, we were fetched by my cousin from the airport. After the festival, we got the services of Faith Taxi again. I canvassed from other taxi/car rental and they were charging us much more than P500.
NYALA got vans and cars for rent. So if you go to Bacolod and want to go for an out of town trips, you can call up NYALA. Their van/car price varies, depending on the type of vehicle and if there's no driver or not.
They also have shuttle vans going to and fro the Airport.
Bacolod is just a ferry away from Iloilo. Iloilo is in a neighboring island called Panay. So if you are in Bacolod, you might as well visit Iloilo City. It is a simple city, where most government offices for Western Visayas Region are located. Iloilo is also home to old churches, nice people and good food.
Going there, there are plenty of fast ferries that operate everyday. They depart on scheduled time and are all located in BREDCO in the Reclamation Area of Bacolod. Such ferries are Weesam Express, Oceanjet and Supercat. Fare is usually P450-500, roundtrip and around P300 one way. They leave more or less after 2 hours. Travel time is usually 1hour 30minutes or depending on the sea condition.
Bacolod is the Capital of the province, Negros Occidental. People from neighboring towns and cities would usually flock in Bacolod for business transactions, shopping, eating, even for schooling. Going to and fro places outside Bacolod, there are buses which leave on scheduled trips.
The largest bus liner in the province is Ceres. Fare depends on where you are going and how long the distance would be. There is the South terminal for places south of Negros and the North terminal as well.
In areas which the jeepneys dont pass by, especially going to Subdivisions or Housing, there are always tricycles ( improvised motorcycle with a side-car) which can be relied on. A tricycle can accommodate 5 passengers but sometimes it can reach up to 10, which of course depends on the size of people it carries. Filipinos are usually small so it can fit.
Fare is usually P7.00, but on special trips or you are the only passenger, the driver may charge up to P50.00.
When you are in Bacolod and you plan to go to places around the City, transportation is not a problem. Plenty of jeepneys that operate on specific routes usually pass by the downtown area where most shops are located.
Some jeepneys operate 24 hours and there are others which are only until midnight. So it depends on where you are going.
Standard fare within the City irregardless of the distance is P7.50 pesos, around $10cents.
Bacolod City's jeepneys looked longer than the ones you see in Manila. Minimum fare is P7 only. Before you set out to go around the city, ask the front desk or hotel security guard what route you should take. The route is painted on the sides of the jeepney.
I gathered that there are four jeepney routes: Banago-Libertad, Mandalagan- Libertad, Bata-Libertad, and Shopping-Libertad routes. It is easy to learn which PUJ to take; they ply the direction of rectangular routes. PUJs are the most popular mode of transportation for travel around the city.
From the New Silay-Bacolod Airport, you can can take the air-conditioned vans going to Bacolod City. You will see them parked just after youi get out of the arrival area. We didn't use this shuttle service because we opted for a chartered taxi, but I gathered that fare is P150.
Modern air-conditioned metered taxis can be hailed to go around the city. Flag down is P30. We didn't have a hard time getting a taxi from our hotel because many taxis park infront to wait for passengers. However, we had a difficult time hailing one when we came from the Masskara Festival. Some taxi drivers can be choosy; they son't want to use the meter sometimes, especially when they sense you are tourists...but you have to be choosy. too, Don't get old cabs, and make sure the aircon is working well.
We were lucky to have been able to get the promo fare of Cebu Pacific. Cebupac announced the discounted rates last June 2010, and hubby had to stay online to get slots for the promo fare. Double whammy! The travel period for the promo fare included the dates for the Masskara Festival! We got the earliest flight (4:55AM) so we can have an early start in Bacolod City. So if you intend to go to the Masskara Festival next year, be alert to book early. Watch for promo fares of Cebu Pacific.
Oh, the ferry, let me tell you about the ferry. One thing I have noticed over the years is the stunning amount of ferry accidents in the Philippines. I now know why. We got on the first ferry, which had vehicles onboard. To say it was overcrowded is an understatement. We were the last vehicle on and there wasn't an inch to spare. As we made our way through the dangerous maze of vehicles (including a truck filled with pigs, who immediately shat all over the deck...yes, we had to walk through it) I though for sure we'd all be crushed between the trucks. Upstairs we crammed into a room with a lone TV playing a terrible, MTV type show.
Two hours later, we climbed throught he poop again and we were on our way.
There is another option, however. a high speed, passenger only boat that takes about an hour and costs about $1 more.
I highly recommend MECA-J Car Rental for its superb service. Aside from the cheap rental rates of their vehicles, the owner Mr. Jessie Jimenez is also very gracious. He doesn't hesitate to entertain any complaints. When we requested for a replacement vehicle, he provided one readily without hesitation. When I go back to Bacolod City, I will seek his service again. You can choose to have a driver or just self-drive. I prefer to self-drive coz the car is with you 24 hours. Better arrange for a pick-up & return in the airport for convenience. An Isuzu Crosswind rental price is P1500 per day.
Cebu Pacific Air has a direct Cebu-Bacolod flights landing in the New Bacolod Silay Airport. Better book early & avail of their cheap promos. A one-way all-in trip costs only around P500. It is just a short flight from Cebu City about less than an hour. More convenient than taking the 5 hours or more land trip from Cebu.
To get to San Carlos on the opposite side of Negros there are 2 bus routes. One goes round the coast and the other goes straight through the middle. As well as talking about 2 hours less the middle route is far more scenic. Ask at the bus station.....oh and you leave from the north terminal.
52 San Sebastian Street, ex. Bacolod Executive Inn, Bacolod, 6100, Philippines
Good for: Families
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