Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5 Amazing Things You Can Do in Bacolod!

This is a very delayed post, as more and more great finds were discovered, my Visayas Invasion entries were pushed further and further back. It was when fellow blogger Jane asked me about my Bacolod trip that I remembered that I still have a lot of stories waiting to unfold.

This was a spur-of-the-moment trip with my sister as we took the weekend off to hop around three different provinces in just three days! Our itinerary was to fly in to Bacolod and explore the city in just a day, take the boat out to Iloilo to spend our first night there, speed off to Guimaras for a fun full day under the sun and fly back to Manila via Iloilo. This was our dream itinerary and we were so happy that we have fulfilled all of the things that we've both wanted to do in this trip.

Let me start this series with my Bacolod story. We literally just had 8 hours to spare in Bacolod to make it to the ferry boat that will take us to Iloilo.

Here are Five Amazing Things that you can do in Bacolod in just ONE day!

1) Go Cultural and Visit Balay Negrense

balay negrense

My sister and I stumbled upon this by accident. This never came up in any of our researches before so we did not include it in our itinerary but the kind taxi driver who picked us up from the airport became our instant tour guide and brought us to Balay Negrense as a starter for our Bacolod immersion.

balay negense

Balay Negrense is located at Silay, Bacolod which is on the way from the airport to the city proper. It's a museum-like house showcasing the 19th century home of a sugar baron. It has a horse-carriage entrance at the back of the house and the rooms all have huge windows and doors. We were amazed at how they were able to preserve the antique furniture pieces too! There's a very minimal fee that you have to pay to enter and you instantly get a well-guided tour around the house.

2) Have a delicious Chicken Inasal lunch at Chicken House

Our main goal for going to Bacolod is to taste the authentic Chicken Inasal. We are both big fans this grilled chicken dish and we were both very excited to indulge in juicy Chicken Inasal Paa (leg part) and the calorific Isol (chicken ass). Taking the recommendation of our driver/tour guide, we had lunch at Chicken House which was way cleaner as compared to the popular Manokan Country. I wasn't also ready to use my hands when eating so I'm glad that they offer utensils here.

chicken house bacolod

We arrived at the restaurant and were quickly ushered to our table. The restaurant was filled with families enjoying their plates of chicken with yellow rice. I instinctively asked for a menu but was told that they do not have one. I then asked what they have available and the server just said "manok lang po" (chicken only). We then got our favorite inasal parts: a stick of Paa/Chicken Leg (Php. 57) each and a stick of Isol/Chicken Ass (Php. 28) each as well. This was served with a cup of Garlic Rice (Php. 17) that was very delicious as they have added a lot of inasal oil and garlic chips on top. As you can see, you can have a complete meal in less than P120!

chicken house bacolod

Locals would enjoy this dish with their hands as they would carefully debone the chicken and scoop up a good amount of garlic rice to go with their chicken meat. We enjoyed it with our set of utensils and a glass of ice cold soda. My sister noted how mouthwatering our chicken smells and the meat was very tender without being dry at all. This is true blue Chicken Inasal for you!

Chicken House is located at 24th Lacson street, Bacolod City.

3) Visit The Ruins 

the ruins bacolod

Heading over to Talisay City, we came face to face with one of the most photogenic mansions that I've ever seen only the interiors are gone and what's left is the main sturdy structure that has been holding the mansion together for more than five decades already. This was the former residence of a rich sugar haciendero Don Mariano Lacson and his wife Maria Braga. A walk into the mansion will show the intricate designs that tells about their love story and the wonderful life that the family has led back then.

the ruins bacolod

Take a walk around the garden and pose by the fountain. There's also a small tent selling art pieces and we were told a mini golf course located at the back of the mansion. Our taxi driver also shared that this is a popular place for locals to have their private functions in. Looking at it, The Ruins sure makes a nice venue for wedding receptions or pre-nuptial shoots. The next time we go back, I'll invite Paul to go there during the afternoon to be able to capture The Ruins as the sun sets.

4) Fulfill your sweet tooth at Calea

calea bacolod

This was one recommendation that I didn't disregard. A fellow blogger has been continuously raving about Calea's cakes and I made sure to drop by and enjoy a slice of their good ol' Chocolate Cake with my sister. Bacolod is Sugar Land and they surely made good use of their resources with all these delicious sweet treats! If only we had more time, we'd probably dessert hop but we were pretty satisfied with our slice of gooey and moist chocolate cake with caramel filling in the middle. Namit Gid!

Calea is located at 14th Lacson street, Bacolod City.

5) Grab some pasalubong at El Ideal

el ideal bacolod

Given that we just had three days to travel around, we found ourselves shopping for treats to bring home every single day! In Bacolod, a stop at El Ideal is a must for visitors as my sister and I enjoyed hoarding on packs of bread sticks, pies, the ever famous piaya, candies and a lot more!

el ideal bacolod

This popular bakery has been around since the 1920's and sadly they still have no plans of branching out to Metro Manila. Guess we'll have to take another trip to Bacolod to enjoy more packs of El Ideal's specialties.

El Ideal is located at 118 Rizal St., Silay City, Negros Occidental

Bacolod is a very colorful province filled with a rich history and delicious food. Given that it will just take you an hour to get to Bacolod from Manila, it makes for a perfect weekend food tripping get-away anytime. I will surely be back and will be ready to fill both my mind and tummy with more great sights and tastes that Bacolod has to offer.
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