15 April 2017

Bacolod: Of Sugar and Smiles

It may not look like it in this photo (or all the other photos because I was having too much fun making aura everywhere lol), but was definitely all smiles during our trip last month to the City of Smiles, Bacolod! Although it was a pretty gloomy weekend, I did not let the weather dampen the mood. It was my first time going to Bacolod and I'm torn between wanting to go back and not-- and for totally good reason. Know more below the cut!

Only spent a day and a half in the heart of Negros Occidental with my family, but I sure had fun! We caught an early Saturday morning flight from Manila, and wasted no time in exploring the city. After eating breakfast at our hotel, we set out to see Campuestohan, a famous resort just north of Bacolod City.

Entrance costs P150, which is inclusive of the fee to swim in their pools (including the wave pool), and frolick in the playground. There are also other activities you can try in the resort such as zipline and skybike, but for a separate charge. You can also rent one of the cabins and spend the night in the highlands.

Top from Greenhills, skort from Limited Too, sneakers from Adidas

After Campuestohan, we then crossed to city of Silay. For lunch, we spoiled ourselves with the freshest seafood catches at Melken's, a reputable seaside restaurant. With our tummies filled, it was time to nourish our cultural senses. As Silay is known for being a heritage town, we took it upon ourselves to visit at least one heritage house in the area.

We ended up in Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, a pink house that has remained in the middle of the city's many changes. It was owned by a haciendero and has since remained under the care of his affluent descendants. It was definitely interesting seeing how "simple" life was back then, as well as hearing about many anecdotes from the past, as told by the caretakers.

The museum is just one of Silay's many ancestral houses. As much as we would have loved to see more (such as the more famous Balay Negrense), we had to catch the sun in Negros Occidental's most famous icon to date -- The Ruins.

We got there just in time to join the tour conducted by the ever exuberant Roger, of Pinoy Big Brother fame. He definitely has an engaging way of telling the story of the place, and does not skip on the important details. As it turns out, The Ruins is a fairly new tourist spot-- having only been opened to the public in 2007. It's a good thing they transformed it into a heritage site and events venue, because it would be a shame to have such beauty secluded from the public eye.

Setup for a wedding reception scheduled on that evening
Feeling haciendera to the max-- welcome to my crib! LOL

After a long day, we rewarded ourselves with a hearty dinner of chicken inasal. We ate at Aida's at Manokan Country, and boy, I don't think it can get any more authentic than that. They ran out of pecho (breast part, AKA THE BEST PART), but the paa (leg part) was just as great! We also ordered atay (liver) and chorizo, which were equally delicious. Of course, I drenched my garlic rice with chicken oil and atsuete (annatto/ achiote oil). If I could take home some of that chicken oil with me, I probably would have!

And since there's ALWAYS room for dessert, we headed to Calea's which was conveniently just across our hotel (!!!). They recommended the imported chocolate cake, so we got a slice of that and also tried their fruity cheesecake. The chocolate cake was okay, so it's kinda surprising that they consider it their bestseller. The cheesecake, on the other hand, was "berry" heavenly.

The following day, we ate lunch at Bob's, a Bacolod family favorite. I stuck with one of their burgers (with BBQ sauce and onion rings inside), but maybe there where better choices on the menu. They actually have a wide variety of food offerings, so that's going to make you come back probably!

Spotted a GARAPATA mural en route to Bob's

Because we felt like we didn't have enough of Calea's goodness the night before, we thought it was the perfect idea to spend our last few hours in Bacolod by having some more cake. This time, we ordered their turtle pie and oreo cheesecake which was a popular combination among the tables of many customers. One bite and you'd understand they deserve all the praise! The turtle pie was a beautiful mess of melted fudge and chocolate ice cream, topped with almond shavings. The oreo cheesecake was fluffy and compact at the same time, proving that Calea's has got its cheesecake recipe down pat.

Alas, it was time to leave, but not without some sweets to take home with us! Trust me on this, no trip to the Sugar Capital of the Philippines would be complete without a box (or two, or more!) full of pasalubongs. You will not run out of choices-- from Bongbong's, Merci, Virgie's, and even El Ideal.

I left Bacolod with my tummy and heart filled, and my sweet tooth more than satisfied. Definitely missing the authentic flavor of inasal, and their many pasalubongs as I write this. My favorites? Their piaya and mango tarts!

I said in the intro that I'm torn between wanting to go back to Bacolod and not, and the reason is: every day there is definitely cheat day! Imagine all the calories I packed on just from spending roughly two days there. But hey, the indulgence was definitely worth it! In all seriousness though, 10/10 would love to go back!


  1. lovely

  2. I had never seen photos of or read about Bacolad before. I can see why it produces smiles. I love the look of the off-shoulder blouse from Greenhills you were wearing and the skort from Limited Too you paired it with.
    The photos from Bernardino Jalandoni Museum and of The Ruins are fascinating and amazing - you look fabulous in that amazing 'crib'!
    Those sweets look delicious!