Local Living in Bacolod: StreetSmarts Guide
Transportation to and Inside Bacolod
You can get to Bacolod via the international airports of the Philippines in Manila, Clark, Cebu, Iloilo or Davao. Bacolod is 50 minutes by plane from Manila, and ~30 minutes from Cebu. Bacolod Airport is ~20 minutes from the city proper. If you have more time, you can tour Iloilo and get a 1.5 hour ferry to Bacolod. You can also take a bus to Bacolod from Cebu (7 hours) or Dumaguete (6 hours).
Inside Bacolod, you can use jeepneys to travel to mainstream destinations such as markets, universities and malls. Take a taxi for destinations where not much public vehicles pass by. Tricycles are available inside subdivisions or barangays, or roads where there are no jeepney routes.
For car or taxi apps, use Grab Car or Grab Taxi. Use a new ride-sharing app called In-Driver where you’re the one to determine your fare.
Where to Stay in Bacolod
Stay where your most destinations are. Here are top hotels:
Lacson Strip and North: If you’re heading at Lacson or north, stay at the standard class hotels like Negros Sweet Captel, Seda, LFisher, Ecotel, Avenue Suites, Westown Mandalagan, Go Hotels. Affordable inns are LOC Residences, Pleasant Pension 1 and 2, Saltimboca, Bacolod Pension House.
Downtown Bacolod: The heart of the city near the Public Plaza or SMX. Standard hotels are Westown San Juan, Bell Hotel, The Suites at Calle Nueva, SM Radisson Hotel (soon). Affordable inns are Leeman’s Dormitel at Old Cityhall and San Juan.
South Bacolod. Near Libertad, terminal to South Negros and Mambukal. Standard hotel is Planta Hotel, Negrense Suites / Oyo 543. Affordable inns are Nirvana Pension, Tamera Plaza Lacson, Mainstreet Pension House, Citi Grand Inn Taculing, Khookoon Inn Singcang.
East Bacolod. Transpo ride to Campuestohan and airport access road is here. East View Hotel/ Oyo, East Way Inn, Varcatelle / Reddoorz.
For long-term stays in condos, you may consider Sukro in Lasalle Avenue. Recommended AirBnB condos are O Residences.
For house rentals, popular spots are Villamonte area, Fortune Towne, Taculing and Alijis.
|Government-Recommended Hotels (Bacolod City) Reference 1 | 2||Contact Number|
|Check In Hotel||707-7770|
|GT Hotel Bacolod||432-1886|
|Royal Am Rei||435-1837|
|Seda Capitol Central||703-8888|
|Stone Hill Suites||435-9206|
|Tamera Plaza Inn||432-1708|
|Citi Grand Inn||708-1976|
|JP & D Hometel’s||435-3004|
|Pleasant Travelers Inn||709-8550|
|The Suites at Calle Nueva||708-8000|
Budget Food Sources
Budget place for market purchasing:
- Farm Goods & Spices: Libertad Market
- Beef, pork and eggs: Taala Farms (an established farm-to-market producer)
- Grocery: KJ Fairmart, Consuelos or any supermarket
- Native Coffee: Libertad or Burgos
- Fish: Pala-pala area
- Chinese products: Shopping, Huakong
- Organic: Libertad, Negros Weekend Organic Market, Ayala Mall
BACOLOD EMERGENCY HOTLINES
|Help||Hotline (Updated Jan 2020)|
|Police, Fire, Ambulance||911 or 432-3871
|Bureau of Fire||434-5022 to 23|
Red Cross: 435-0324
|POLICE ASSISTANCE||434-5022 to 23|
|The Doctor’s Hospital||468-2100|
|Station 1 – San Juan||704-3687|
|Station 2 – 13th Lacson||704-3614|
|Station 3 – Mandalagan||474 0209|
|Station 4 – Villamonte||708-3771|
|Station 5 – Granada||708-8291|
|Station 6 – Taculing||468-0341|
|Station 7 – Mansilingan||446-2802|
|Station 8 – Tangub||704-3133|
|Station 9 – Sum-ag||704-3435|
|Station 10 – Handumanan||709-9151|
|Bacolod City Tourism Office||(034) 708-3066 | [email protected]|
|Office of the City Mayor|
New Government Center
|(034) 707-0000 / 435-0055
|Source: Bacolod City Tourism Office|
Handy Facts about Bacolod City
The province where Bacolod City belongs is Negros Occidental. Negros originally and literally meant “land of black people.” It was from the first impression of the Spaniars when they first touched the shorelines of the island.
Today, one of the original settlers of Negros can still be found in Kabankalan. They are the Carul-ans, and still has their own distinct dialect.
Bacolod city belongs to the Western Visayas Region or Region VI. The Visayas is the central portion of the Philippines and is composed of many islands including Cebu, Leyte, and Panay.
The islands of Negros and Panay (Iloilo etc.) are at the west side of this group, hence the name. In this region, you will also find Antique, Boracay, and Guimaras.
More on Bacolod Region
The name Bacolod is an old Hiligaynon term “bakulod” or “baklod” which means “hill, elevation, bond of land mass or a high ground.” It was given by previous settlers in Negros because of the elevated topography in the eastern section of Bacolod which is now Granada. Granada was the center of Bacolod in the colonial period, hence was named after Granada of Spain. Bakulod has semantic relationship with the Filipino term “buklod” which means bond.
Bacolod language. The language of Bacolod City is Hiligaynon. Actually, Hiligaynon is not recognized as a language but a dialect. We have the same language as Iloilo City and Iloilo province, as well as Negros Occidental, with the exception of some northern places like Sagay to San Carlos (w/c are a mixture of Cebuano already).
The distinctions. Some people call our languange as Ilonggo. I think that is acceptable, knowing the evolutionary nature of language. An ilonggo can be a person who is a local of Iloilo or Bacolod, or the language itself.
To be more precise, the people of Bacolod are called Bacolodnon. The people of Negros are Negrenses or Negrosanon. The people of Iloilo or Ilonggos.
Below are some of the maps which could be useful for you.
If you travel during wet seasons, most likely you won’t enjoy your vacation if you are after the beach or some outdoor activities. Here are my experiences of the weather:
Because of the presence of the mountains at the central part of the island, the Westerlies or the Habagat winds are being blocked somehow, minimizing their impact. The mountains also serve as a blockage against storms which always come from the Pacific ocean.
Late part of May to Early August: So far this is the rainiest season of the year. It’s the wet season so expect rains, low pressure, tropical depression or even storms. But not all the time. Sometimes its cloudy and sunny. Storms may also come during the “ber” months.
October to January: The coldest months of the year.
Late February to Early May: Summer or the hottest times of the year.
Survival Ilonggo Phrases
Tip: Using naturally-accented ilonggo words may cause you win local friends and will also save you in the market or informal souvenir shops whenever you buy some pasalubongs because the souvenir owners would not perceive you as a tourist.
Note: I crafted the translations as the daily conversational ilonggo words, skipping the formal versions I can see in Bibles.
- Good morning!
- Good noon!
- Good afternoon!
- Good evening!
- Good night!
- How are you?
- How much is this?
- Can I bargain the prirce?
- Where is this?
- May I know your name?
- My name is….
- I would like to go to….
- Please bring me to….
- Where is the bathroom?
- Where is my hotel room?
- How can I go to….?
Ilonggo / Hiligaynon
- Mayong aga!
- Mayong ugto!
- Mayong hapon!
- Mayong gab-i!
- Mayo nga pagtulog!
- Kamusta ka na?
- Tagpila ni?
- Wala na ni ayo? (note the o is hard o just like the tagalog “tampo”)
- Sa diin ni?
- Sin-o gni ngalan mo? (do not round the “o” just like “mango”… instead end it with the “o” of “Pablo…” you know what I mean)
- Ako gale si….
- Gusto ko tani magkadto sa (polite)
- Paki dul-ong ko sa… (with command)
- Din gani ang banyo?
- Din gani ang room ko?
- Paano ko gani kakadto sa…?
Tour A: Iconic Places Tour within Metro Bacolod
- Breakfast at Sanders Coffee & Sausages
- Visit The Ruins in Talisay – for better experience, I suggest going before before 11AM before the intensive noonday light or after 5PM, just when the the sun sets and the lights of the archaic mansion turn on.
- Negros Capitol Lagoon
- Negros Museum
- Visit New Government Center
- Dinner at Aida’s in Manokan Country
- Eat dessert at Calea
Tour B: Eat with Locals
- Coffee at KKD or Kape Danay
- Eat at Chong’s – a rising tapsilogan and sizzlers sprouting key places in Bacolod.
- Hangout at Rust’s
Major cities to Bacolod 🚙
Bacolod to Iloilo or Vice Versa via RoRo
- RoRo Ship from Bacolod to Iloilo, Boracay or Panay or Vice Versa- go to Boracay after Bacolod City. With RoRo, you can bring your car with you either you are coming form the famous island or going to it from the City of Smiles. With RoRo, you get to enjoy the convenience of your car up to the next island.
Bacolod to Iloilo or Vice Versa via Fast Craft Ferry
- Want the fast option without bringing a car? Get the FastCraft from Bacolod to Iloilo or Vice versa. Fast Craft lets you enjoy the sister city of Bacolod, which is Iloilo, which also offers another world of exciting destinations, community and culture.
Bacolod, Negros to Guimaras or Vice Versa
- This is a lesser known route but you can go to Guimaras directly from Negros via Pulupandan via a Pumpboat twice a day or vice versa. Guimaras is an island between Negros and Panay which also offers different forms of wonders. You can get to enjoy Alubihod, Andana, Guimaras Mango Festival and Guimaras Wind Mills.