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October 16, 2017

10 Awesome Things to Do Around Bacolod and Silay! @TourismPHL

October 16, 2017

10 Awesome Things to Do Around Bacolod and Silay! @TourismPHL





by Abigail Javellana & Juanico Fernandez

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Going to Bacolod for Masskara? Make sure to drop by these nearby attractions!

Bacolod is the gateway of Negros Occidental. Known as the "City of Smiles" and the "Sugar Capital Philippines", its a land blessed with wealth, charm in its people, and pride in its cuisine!

From historic sites and trekking adventures, to places to eat and white sand beaches, we've got you covered!

 

Bacolod Series in Our Awesome Planet

• BACOLOD FOOD TRIP: Eat Like a Local in Bacolod!
 MASSKARA: Our Awesome Guide to Bacolod's MassKara Festival!
• SILAY FOOD GUIDE: What to Eat in Silay & KAON TA! Food Festival?
• LAKAWON: Negros' Secret Paradise Retreat & TawHai Floating Bar!
• 10 Awesome Places to Visit Around Bacolod!
White Hotel vs. Hometown: The Old and New Backpacker Hotels in Bacolod City!
 BACOLOD PASALUBONG: What to Bring Back Home from Bacolod?


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#1 Lakawon Island + TawHai Floating Bar

Drone Lakawon 07

Say hello to Lakawon Island Resort & Spa, a 13-hectare banana-shaped island off the coast of Cadiz in Negros Occidental. The island is conveniently located just an hour away from Bacolod-Silay Airport.

 

Drone Lakawon 21

It's a world-class beach resort famous for its pristine white sand and crystal clear waters. It's the perfect definition of relaxation and fun in one.

 

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(Photo Courtesy of Lakawon Island: Resorts and Spa)

Another thing that the island is known for is the widely popular TawHai, the largest of its kind Asia. It's a floating bar where you can enjoy a sip of margarita or chug a few beers while cliff jumping and partying 'til sunset.

LAKAWON ISLAND RESORTS & SPA
Lakawon, Cadiz Viejo, Negros Occidental
Website: www.lakawon.com.ph/
Facebook: @lakawonisland
Instagram: @lakawon
Email: reservations@lakawon.ph
Contact: +63 917 555 6979

Read more: LAKAWON: Negros' Secret Paradise Retreat & TawHai Floating Bar! @LakawonIsland

 

 

#2 The Ruins

Silay City

Visiting Bacolod City won't be complete without a trip to The Ruins of Talisay City. Built by the Sugar Baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in 1911 as a testament to his ill-fated love Maria Braga, the mansion's history is comparable to the Taj Mahal of India. 

It holds many interesting tales within it's concrete walls. Besides having your picture taken, we strongly suggest taking the group tour. Tours can start any time of day and are very entertaining with many interesting facts and jokes about the mansion.

With dramatic lighting and a beautiful sunset, it’s also the best place to grab a beer!

 Silay City

Negreñse dishes are known for the fusion of Ilonggo and Spanish recipes. Chefs April Lacson-Justiniani and Michelle Lacson are the great grand daughters of Don Mariano now manage the restaurant and have inherited generations of family recipes.

The cafe serves the same heritage dishes cooked when the mansion was still whole!

 

The Ruins

For something refreshing, order the sugarcane margarita (P180). The drink was meant to highlight sugar, the main industry of the city. The best part of the drink is biting on the sugarcane itself, which could either be a new or nostalgic experience.

KBL (P255) is a favorite local dish composed of pigeon peas, pork, and green jackfruit. The pork is boiled until tender and the broth has a distinct sour taste from the batwan and kadios, which are used in the base. The batwan is a native fruit only found in the Negros & Panay Region and is used in many local dishes.

 

The Ruins

Among the family recipes is the Callos (P300), a Spanish savory stew flavored with spicy chorizo. The meat is slow-cooked for 6-hours, making it very tender. We also loved the savory stock that’s rich and thick.

You can also take home a bottle of gourmet tuyo (P240). What makes April's tuyo special is that they shred the tuyo to remove the bones and cook it in olive oil and special spices. It’s very savory and doesn’t use any preservatives.

 

THE RUINS
Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Numbers: +63 34 476-4334, +63 917 832-6003
E-mail: ruins@theruins.com.ph
Facebook: TheRuins
Website: www.theruins.com.ph

DON MARIANO'S GARDEN
Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Numbers: +63 92580-00401, +63 34-4764334
E-mail: donmarianosgarden@yahoo.com.ph

 

 

#3 Silay Heritage Houses

Silay City

Silay is famous for its ancestral houses and lifestyle museums, with 28 heritage structures declared by the National Historical Commission as "National Treasures", giving Silay City the highest number in a locality in the country.

 

Balay Negrense Museum

Silay City

Balay Negrense Museum is a heritage house that was constructed by sugar baron Don Victor Fernandez Gaston, a French man who introduced large scale sugar cane hacienda-type planting. The two-storey house made of stone and wood fuses Spanish and American Colonial architecture and features a double staircase made of kamagong hardwood. It houses many furniture pieces from different families in Silay, earning it the name Balay Negrense--the house for the people of Negros.

BALAY NEGRENSE
Barangay III, Cinco De Noviembre Street, Silay City, 6116 Negros Occidental
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Phone: +63 34 714-7676
Website: www.balaynegrense.com

 

Hofileña Heritage House

Silay City

The Hofileña Heritage House is the first ancestral home to open its doors to tourists. It's known to have the most interesting and longest-running cultural tour in the city. The tour consists of Ramon Hofileña's art collection of authentic period furniture, good books, and even the smallest doll in the world!

 

Silay City

We loved Ramon's collection of paintings from renowned artists that date back to the 19th century--Luna, Hidalgo, Rizal, Amorosolo, Manansala, and more! Talking to Sir Ramon himself was a delight; you spend the whole day chatting with him on anything from history and arts to the local and national topics that you won't read about in history books.

Hofileña Heritage House
(Opens Mon-Sat on an appointment Basis)
14 Cinco de Noviembre Street, Silay City
Phone: +63 034 4954561

 

Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

Bacolod City

Another of Silay's old houses is the Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, also known as the "Pink House".

Trained guides will help you get to know Silay City and show you how the affluent lived during the turn of the century in Negros. (Entrance: P50 free group guide tour)

 

Bacolod City

The Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
Rizal St., Silay City Negros Occidental, Philippines
Operating hours: Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (closed on Mondays)
Phone: +63 34 495-5093 

 

 

#4 Pulang Tubig Waterfalls

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Hidden high up in the mountains of Patag is the majestic Pulang Tubig Waterfalls, an 80m-high single waterfall located inside the highly dense and protected Northern Negros Natural Park.

 

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To reach the waterfall, you first have to hike/trek narrow paths for about an hour and a half starting from a small community in Patag.

 

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It was a very challenging hike, but along the way, you'll encounter beautiful scenery and sometimes even wildlife, so it surely makes up for it. Pulang Tubig is hands down one of our favorite waterfalls in the country.

 

  

#5 Manokan Country

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No trip to Bacolod would ever be complete without a visit to the famous Manokan Country in the Home of the original Chicken Inasal.

 

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Of course, the Best Bacolod Chicken Inasal can be found in Aida's. For Bacolodian and Manileño foodies, when it comes to Bacolod Chicken Inasal in Manokan Country, Aida's is the best choice.

 

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What we like about the chicken in Manokan Country is that it’s always fresh and juicy. And what makes the chicken tasty is the way they cook it, which is only upon order. Truly the best and only way to start and end your trip to Bacolod.

 

AIDA'S CHICKEN - Manokan Country
Fr. M. Ferrero St., Nenas Rose II, Bacolod City 6100
Phone: +63 34 433 8727
Operating Hours: Sun-Sat 7:30am–3am

 

#6 Silay Food Crawl

Silay City

Craving for Silay delicacies? Find all of these--from piaya, inasal, and lumpia ubod, to pancit molo, batchoy, guapple pie, and pili squares--in one place!

Silay City is not just the land of wealthy hacienderos, it is also rich in history and heirloom recipes that have withstood the test of time and have become the present generation's pride and legacy. 

 

Silay City

The best part is when you land at Bacolod-Silay Airport, you're just minutes away from a gastronomic journey showcasing the best of Silay City. 

Here's our food guide to what to eat in Silay and the KAON TA! Festival...

Read more: SILAY Food Guide: What to Eat in Silay & KAON TA! Food Festival? @TourismPHL

 

  

#7 Cakes & Dessert Food Trip

Silay City

Being the Sugar Capital of the Philippines, it's no surprise that Silaynons & Bacolodnons love dessert. It is home to many pastry shops offering a wide variety of ridiculously affordable and mouthwatering cakes! Desserts are a must when visiting Negros!

Watch out, Calea, because we think Ann Co's cakes got even better! The baking business started in the 1960's with recipes from Ann Co's mom that Silaynons are all too familiar with, like her famed Mocha Sansrival.

We love the Silay branch. It's much bigger and is located just outside Ann's House. Decorated with bright, colorful paintings from Charlie Co (her husband), the artsy cafe is just full of life.

 

Silay City

Avocado Cheesecake (₱80)

Order their newest addition, the avocado cheesecake, which is to die for! (Seasonal)

 

Silay City

Frozen Brazo de Mercedez (₱80)

What also won over our sweet tooth is Ann Co's frozen Brazo de Mercedez. It is a frozen cake with layers of egg white, yummy yema filling, and sugary graham crackers on top.

Mocha Sansrival (₱85)

Their mocha sansrival is also good. We liked that it wasn't too buttery and sweet for our tastes.

Ann Co Cakes
Margarita's Bldg., Rizal St, Brgy.Mambulac, Silay City, Negros Occidental
Landline: +63 34 441-7196 

 

 

Bacolod City

White Chocolate Cheesecake (P90/slice, P835/1 whole)

Our favorite and also one of the bestsellers is the white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce on the side. It's creamy good, with the sweetness balanced by the tangy raspberry sauce.

 

Bacolod City

Choco Mud Pie (P100/slice) 

Ice cream lovers would be delighted by the Choco Mud Pie. Chocolate ice cream cake with thick chocolate syrup sprinkled with Oreo-like crushed cookie crumb and walnut slivers. It's choco heaven goodness with just the right amount of sweetness.

 

CALEA
G/F Balay Quince, 15 Lacson St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Operating Hours: Mon - Thur 8AM to 10PM, Fri- Sun 9AM to 11PM 
Phone: +63 34 433-3143

 

Bacolod City

NSA Felicia's Choco Cake (P85/slice)

Locals point to Felicia's for the best chocolate cakes in town. The yummy cake was moist with just the right amount of sweetness. :)

NSA Butter Sansrival (P80/slice) 

Also order their other bestseller, the Sans Rival. We liked that it wasn't too buttery and sweet.

 

FELICIA'S PASTRY CAFE
6th lacson street, DOLL building, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Sun-Thu: 9:00 am-11:00 pm, Fri-Sat: 9:00 am-11:45 pm
Phone: +63 34 709-1123
Mobile: +639 27140-7892, +639 2898- 6253
Facebook: Felicias.pastry.cafe
E-mail: feliciasbacolod@yahoo.com

 

 

#8 Punong Gary’s Place

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One of our favorite places in Silay has got to be Punong Gary’s place. This sprawling luxury farm is tucked away inside the owner's hacienda. This Balinese-inspired resort/restaurant/events place is just breathtaking, and there's nothing quite like it.

 

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Upon entering, the place gives off this romantic vibe and is perfect if you want to impress a date or stage your proposal/wedding. The overgrown Balete trees give you that feeling that nature has taken over the place.

The resort is perfect for dates and special occasions. They offer a 5-course meal for P900/person for dinner and P750/person for lunch. 

 

Silay City

Sample Menu

Appetizer: Chicken Ala King Popover, Kang-kong Crisp, Taro Chips
Salad: Tahini Salad
Soup: Creamy Kalabasa Soup
Mains (choice of): Fish Hibachi with Citrus Ponzu, Grilled Fish in Lemon Caper Sauce, Ginataang Isda with Vegetable Fritters, Chicken with Bolognese Sauce, Slow Cooked Pork, Chicken Pesto Pasta, or Creamy Seafood Pasta
Dessert: ChocNut Souffle

Among our favorites is the refreshing Tahini Salad filled with watermelon and mangoes.

 

Silay City

For the mains, the fish hibachi with citrus ponzu was delightful, and the slow cooked pork makes a comforting meal with the tender juicy meat bathed in a sweet glaze. 

 

Punong Gary's Place
(Strictly by reservation only)
Hacienda Tinihaban, Silay City
Mobile: +63 917 327-1729
Website: www.punonggarysplace.com
Facebook: punongsilay 

 

 

#9 BALARING

Balaring Mangrove

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In Balaring, you'll find the not so famous but still beautiful Balaring Mangrove, a fairly new eco-tourism site in the heart of the seafood capital of Silay. (P20 entrance fee)

 

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This 50-hectare mangrove serves as a protection to the town and is a natural source of food and income for the locals. It also provides shelter and protection for various marine animals and birds in the area.

 

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The mangrove itself features a long wooden walkway that takes you through the mangrove, giving you that quiet and immersive feeling. The Japanese government funded the project in the hopes of making the place environmentally friendly and sustainable.

 

Balaring Mangrove Eco-Tourism
Brgy. Balaring Mangrove Eco-Tourism Coastal Area
Mobile: +63 947 958-8910
Facebook: SeasideFloatingRestaurant

 

Balaring Floating Restaurants

Silay City

A small barangay in Silay City, Balaring is known for their affordable seafood restaurants by the coast. We ate at Seaside Floating Restaurant, the first floating restaurant in the area (there are now seven restaurants to choose from). 

 

Silay City

Talaba (₱60)

For starters, get a bucket of Aklan oysters. Ilonggos prefer to pair these with their local vinegar "langgaw", often mixed with soy sauce and calamansi.

 

Silay City

Mixed Seafood (₱250)

Their bestseller is the mixed seafood, a combination of shrimp, crab, fish, and shellfish bathing in their special sauce and usually served on a sizzling plate.

Other bestsellers include adobong pusit, boneless bangus, and buttered shrimp.

 

BALARING
Balaring-Bongol Rd, Silay City
Mobile: +63 947 958-8910

 

 

#10 Patag & Lantawan

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Located just an hour away from Bacolod City, Patag used to be the last stronghold of the Japanese Forces during World War II. Now, Patag is enjoyed by many tourists as the summer capital of Negros due to its high altitude location.

 

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Similar to Baguio, in Patag you can also enjoy the warmth of nature and the much colder weather. On a sunny day, you also get to enjoy some of the most stunning views of Negros Occidental.

 

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The place is perfect if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city but don’t want to travel far. There are also several resorts and private houses that you can rent for your next retreat or adventure.

 

Bacolod Series in Our Awesome Planet

• BACOLOD FOOD TRIP: Eat Like a Local in Bacolod!
 MASSKARA: Our Awesome Guide to Bacolod's MassKara Festival!
• SILAY FOOD GUIDE: What to Eat in Silay & KAON TA! Food Festival?
• LAKAWON: Negros' Secret Paradise Retreat & TawHai Floating Bar!
• 10 Awesome Places to Visit Around Bacolod!
White Hotel vs. Hometown: The Old and New Backpacker Hotels in Bacolod City!
 BACOLOD PASALUBONG: What to Bring Back Home from Bacolod?

 

Live an Awesome Life,

abi signature  & abi signature

ABI & NICO of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We visited some of the sites with the courtesy of the owners. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Visit the Chapel of Cartwheels at Hacienda Santa Rosalia

Silay City

The Chapel of Cartwheels found inside Hacienda Rosalia is a unique site. Built in the 1960's, the small church is mainly made from farm tools including cartwheels, plows, and mortar and pestle. The roof resembles a farmer's hat.

 

Silay City

Msgr. Gaston thought of using it as a place of worship in a farm setting because a lot of people at the time were uneducated. He wanted to teach them faith through graphic symbols in which they could easily relate.

The chapel is open to the public. Masses are still being held here.


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