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The Beautiful Finds In Bacolod

In Bacolod, also known as the “City of Smiles,” you’ll find more than a few things to make you flash your pearly whites.

A well-known cultural and food destination, Bacolod is steeped in rich history and in this big, provincial town, you’ll find no lack of activities to make your next trip truly worthwhile.

Here are some of the favorite tourist sites and other hotspots worth a stopover on your itinerary.

 

The Ruins

More famously known as the “Taj Mahal of Negros,” the Ruins is a beautifully preserved architectural gem, and was the ancestral home of the wealthy sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. It was built in the early 1900s in memory of his wife, Maria Braga Lacson, who died giving birth to their 11th child.

Its weathered cement shell is what remains of that magnificent mansion because during World War II, it was burned down by the guerrillas to prevent the invading Japanese forces from using it as a military base. 

 

 

San Sebastian Cathedral

Renovated numerous times over the past century, San Sebastian Cathedral’s current structure was constructed in 1876 under the leadership of Fr. Mauricio Ferrero. Weathered but formidable, the structure makes use of coral stone from Guimaras island and hardwood trees from Palawan.

On the church site, you’ll find its two bell towers, remnants from the 1880s. The bells were moved from the belfry to the churchyard in 1976, during the Cathedral’s centennial celebrations.

 

The Capitol Park and Lagoon

Found right at the heart of Bacolod City, the Capitol Park and Lagoon is a favorite destination among tourists and residents. Here, spend a day walking around the beautifully tended gardens, which features a playground for the kids, expansive greens for family picnics, and a lagoon filled with healthy fish, which you can feed. At the center, on the opposite side of the lagoon, is the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol building, which serves as the official seat of the governor.

Two iconic sculptures made by Italian sculpture Francesco Riccardo Monti (the same artist who’s made pieces for the Metropolitan Manila Theater) can also be found on the premises: one of a woman and her water buffalo, and the second, on the opposite site of the lagoon, a man pulling his buffalo.

 

Aida’s Kitchen

While everybody knows that when in Bacolod, one mustn’t forget to make a stop at Manokan Country, the food strip beside SM Bacolod, to have your fill of Chicken Inasal. Aida’s Chicken is a crowd favorite, and many order their inasal, barbeque and array of isol, atay/ baticolo, Bul-o and etc. But while there, don’t forget to try as well their fresh and steamed talaba. At P50 a plate, you definitely won’t feel guilty giving into your cravings!

 

Calea

Those with a sweet tooth will find themselves on Cloud 9 at Calea, which is located along Lacson Street, right in front of the iconic L’Fisher Hotel. Find more than 20 cakes and pies, each freshly baked that morning.

It’s sumptuous must-trys include the Chocolate Mud Pie and the Strawberry Cheesecake, which ooze with richness. It’s a treat worth all the calories!

 

Virgie’s Pasalubong

From Pastillas de Manga to Napoleones, decadent brownies and sweet, crunchy meringue, find hundreds of different delicacies to take home as pasalubong.

Virgie’s Pasalubong was first established in 1974, and from its small operations, which occupied just a 10sqm space at the corner of their home, it has now grown to cater to the whole of Bacolod.

On your next trip, don’t forget to buy your picks of Mango Tarts, Caramel Tarts, Barquillos, Piayas and many more!