Bacolod: The City of Smiles

Bacolod City General Info

Bacolod City is a mid-sized city in the Philippines. Located in the Western Visayas Region in Negros Occidental, it is given the nickname of 'City of Smiles'.

The moniker reflects the general disposition of its locals. Visitors from all over the country and from different nations come here for the warm atmosphere and the warm welcome.

Bacolod City is only 45 minutes by plane from Manila and is situated on the province's northwest coast. Other cities close by are Talisay, Silay, and Bago. Given its geographical location, the city experiences two pronounced tropical seasons - wet and dry seasons. The wet or rainy season starts May to January, which means you should expect more rainy days during these months. The rest of the year, which is the dry season, is perfect for a tropical escapade. Expect April to be way hot as it is the usual peak of summer here.

The city is a Business Process Outsourcing Hub in the region. There are several BPO companies that operate here like TeleTech and Teleperformance. The city also has language centers that provide courses for those interested in learning more about the English language. The colleges and universities in the city also offer such courses as well.

A Bit of Bacolod City History

The name of the city is from the local Hiligaynon dialect and literally translates to a 'stonehill'. The city began in 1770 as a settlement on a stony hill area. This settlement was moved in 1787, due to marauder raids, and became the capital of the province in 1894. The city itself fell into the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army in May 21, 1942 but was liberated three years later.

Reasons to Visit Bacolod City

People come to Bacolod City for great food, beautiful tropical beaches, historic sites, and warm hospitality. The historic sites in the city give you a glimpse of how life was way back in during the Spanish and post-Spanish era. The Carmelite Monastery, for instance, will array the peculiar life of nuns while the San Sebastian Cathedral is a masterwork of baroche architecture. Other historic sights here are the Theodore Vinther Monument, Negros Museum, Palacio Episcopal, and Fort San Juan, which was constructed in 1888.

Other places of interest in the city include the Centennial Park, which was built in tribute to the Philippine National Hero, Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club, Negros Forest Ecological Foundation, and the Panaad Park and Stadium, which hosts sporting events.

Bacolod City also has fabulous white sand beaches and with resorts that have great accommodations. One of the popular resorts here is the Punta Bulata Beach Resort. Other resorts that might interest you include Easy Diving and Takatuka.

Perhaps the most popular festival in Bacolod City is the Masskara Festival. This is a festival that lasts for an entire week in October. A distinct highlight in this festivity is the fact that people put on masks exhibiting smiles as they assemble in the city streets. Food festivals, street dancing, pageants, agricultural trade fairs, and garden shows are the affairs of the day during the weeklong festival.

Where to Eat in Bacolod City

There must try delicacies you should sample whenever you're in Bacolod City. Fresh lumpia is a delicately wrapped spring roll with vegetables, shrimp, and pork. Other delicacies you shouldn't miss are inasal, piyaya, batchoy, and pinasugbo. If you want to try these and more just visit any of the restaurants we have in the list below.

To sample the local cuisine, you may visit Bob's, Ting-Ting's, Quan, Jo's Chicken Inato, Imay's, and Aboy's. If you feel for something Italian you may try Carlo Restaurante Italiano while Kaisei is the place for Japanese food. Now, if you're not in the mood for something gastronomic you may go for the usual fastfood. The fastest way to get your fastfood is to go to malls like SM City.

Bacolod City Accommodations

There are accommodations in the city that are of different grades. Mid-priced hotels will have rates beginning from $15 to $20 while two to three star hotels here will have their rates around $25 to $75. A couple of mid-priced accommodations are Circle Inn on Lopez Jaena Street and Check Inn, which is near the city hall. Some of the pricier hotels here are Grand Regal, Luxur Place, Sylvia Manor, Casino Filipino Hotel, and Sea Breeze.

Bacolod City Smiles On

The warm hospitality you get from Bacolod City is only complimentary to its ambience. Let the historic sites, beautiful tropical settings, and tourist sights leave a smile in your heart. Sample the delicacies and enjoy the moments you spend with the happy smiling people of Bacolod.


Probably one of the most popular and highly progressive municipalities in Negros Occidental, Bacolod is aptly called the ‘City of Smiles’ because of its friendly and vibrant people. With a population of almost half-a-million people, it has one of the highest population rates within the Visayas. Additionally, the discipline, hard work, and perseverance of its citizens have helped it earn the right to be referred to as one of the best places to live in the Philippines.

Tourists visit Bacolod for three main reasons, which are its rich history, great tasting food, and clean white sand beaches. Known for having a colorful past, this city takes great pride in the wonderful events that transpired before. Aside from the natural tendency and nature of the people here to be extra friendly, there are concrete reasons why people continuously visit this wonderful place.

One of these reasons is the Negros Museum, which holds some of the sweet remembrances of the days of old. For those who want to take a closer look at the history of Bacolod, as well as the other memorable facts about the Philippines in general, this is definitely the right place to get all those vital information. This building contains useful memorabilia and other tools used in the influential sugar enterprise that helped the economic stability of the region from the past. Furthermore, it houses various kinds of dolls from different traditions, some of which even have international backgrounds.

Another excellent reason why people flock Bacolod is the Masskara Festival, which literally means the festival of masks. Filled with colorful and unique designs, the masks are paraded by some of the local residents while the entire city celebrates in joy the rich and colorful tradition of their place. Besides the festival, people can visit other exciting and highly informative places such as the Salas Park and the Mount Canlaon National Park. The Salas Park provides an excellent view of the entire city, with mahoganies and pine trees providing the place with a very cool and relaxing atmosphere.

To get a clear glimpse of what the old Bacolod really looks and feels, the Balay Negrense offers visitors and guests a quick trip down to memory lane with an excellent view of ancestral homes and a very old Catholic church building that can be traced back to as early as 1900. Meanwhile, the Mambucal Resort is a set of natural springs that is situated at a very high altitude, giving the place a cool effect in addition to the soothing and relaxing effect of its various hot springs.

Finding budget friendly options in London is indeed possible. People just need to do their homework and consider various factors. Finding accommodations should become a priority for tourists since it will take a huge amount of their budget.