Bacolod made its name to the world more popular when Masskara Festival started gaining attention. And with the wonderful and generous support of the local and national government, no doubt, Masskara Festival is considered to be one of the most celebrated festivities we have here in the county.
Masskara Festiva - a festival I am sooo longing to witness!
I've been to Bacolod last June. And though, Masskara Festival is too far from the date I chose to visit the province, I had a wonderful time peeling off the mask that showed how beautiful the City of Smile is.
Coming from Manila via an airplane, we saw ourselves, I and two of my superfriends, standing in front the newly opened and high-class airport of New Bacolod-Silay. We came at high noon, so seeing every corner of the said place was a bit of delight to us.
Upon arriving at the airport, we were welcomed by the province's tourism desk. We were welcomed very well and they event assisted us as to how to go around the province. Though, our plan was to save the best for last for our Eat, Pray, Love Trip, we just had a glance of this highly modernized city and exited to one of its port to see first its neighboring successful provinces, Iloilo and Guimaras.
I'm glad that Bacolod has this access points to other places - one proof that the city is abundant in many ways.
After experiencing the different world of Ilonggos, we went back to Bacolod and just had the time of our lives. Eat in Guimaras, Pray in Iloilo and the Love in Bacolod.
If you ask me why we tagged our trip in Bacolod as Love, well, simply because, I think that Bacolod offers the best of both worlds - a tummy-filling nest and a culture-rich spot right in the middle of this blessed country.
We actually had a handful of plans for our visit here, but since our time was quite shortened due to bad weather, we just got to see - and taste - some of the province's pride.
When we got back to Bacolod, we were all starving - as in starving!!! And the first foodie spot that gave us an unforgettable Bacolod treat was Manokan County.
I thought I'll be having the same chicken inasal I had back in Manila here, but I was all wrong. Theirs was a lot tastier and the authenticity was all but sumptuous. The best part of it was the price! I can't believe that with all its wonderful taste, the price was very affordable! Don't forget to try their steamed oysters too, a seafood treat that you'll freshly enjoyed! ^_^
After that sumptuous late lunch, we were all craving for some sweet delights. And there's only one place we have in my mind to fulfill this craving - Calea.
I was introduced to Calea through the blog posts of my friends, so without any hesitations, we hailed a cab and had one of the most delicious desserts in the whole world.
For a minute, we decided to stay there a little longer because saw cute Green Archers (landi lang hihihih), but when we noticed that the darkness was starting to bite the bright sky, we finished our plates of sweet treats and went straight to Bongbong's to buy some pasalubong for our love ones.
If you noticed, we love spending, so I guess that's another point why we had our Love Trip here. Hehhe. But it was unintentional, promise! Hahaha!
Anyways, since we bought so much, we went back first to King's Hotel, our home during our stay here in Bacolod, to drop off some of our "loads" then continued exploring the city. ^_^
Moon came in so quick that day, so the plans of seeing The Ruins and the old houses in Silay was dawned upon as the dusk sucked the skies of Bacolod City. But the sadness was quickly vanished when we decided to take a walk and head to SM Bacolod.
SM Bacolod was very much alive that time because it's sale season! It was like we were just in Manila with all the people going gaga over shopping. Fun, fun, fun! And since the Pope John Paul II Tower is just around the area, we decided to checked it too! Unfortunately, it was already close then. :-(
Pope John Paul II Tower
With that another sadness, we decided to walk again, back to our hotel. As we took the road leading to our hotel, we stumbled upon the Bacolod Public Plaza and its adjacent structure, the San Sebastian Cathedral.
Bacolod Public Plaza
San Sebastian Cathedral
The limited light coming from the public plaza was balanced by the majestic light coming from this grand church that was hard to miss.
We got back to our hotel kinda unsatisfied. With our itinerary all messed up, our first and last day at this very lovable province was sooooooo "bitin"! If you we could just extend our vacation... Unfortunately, again, we just some corporate slaves who have to be at work the following day.
But despite of all the unfotunate stuff, we were still somehow glad that we have a lot of stuff to take back home - delicious stuff that we know our love ones will appreciate. So, I guess, by that, I can say that our trip here in Bacolod was "quite" fulfilling.
Believe it or not, since we all wanna experience Bacolod in a lot of ways, we had our late dinner right at the downtown area that same night, where we had these yummy barbecues! Delicious and affordable - an unforgettable Bacolod experience, which I believe only few first-timer would dare to do. Hihihi.
Barbecue at Downtown
Our flight back to Manila was scheduled at 6am, and with that, one of the cab drivers that we hailed earlier agreed to pick us up on our hotel and take us to the airport.
I dunno what, but I guess, God noticed our unhappiness so he granted us one good driver - one nice and very friendly Bacolenos. The said man who woke up early to take us to the airport at a very friendly rate, drove us fast back to Silay. But before he drop us off to the airport, upon learning that we didn't get a chance to see The Ruins and the old houses of Silay, he told us that he'll be glad to take us there even just for some minutes.
And so, with that wonderful news, we said yes without a blink! Wee!
Balay Negrense is just some 5 minutes away from the airport, so we knew that we wouldn't be having a hard time running after our plane back to Manila.
It was pass 4:00 in the morning then, and even though the house was still close, we just feel so blessed to see it. It was stunning even at night, a place I would definitely visit on my return.
We arrived at the airport just in time to check-in our luggage. We bid a sweet goodbye to our cab driver who's been so nice and all to us. We gave him additional tip for his kindness of course. ^_^ We will surely have him when we return here. ^_^
Some of you will surely say that I somehow had a great time in Bacolod - if you'd ask me, I'd say yes, I had a hell of a great time there. With all the delicious dishes and treats I had tasted, who wouldn't right? A first visit worth remembering, indeed.
But if you'd noticed too, there are still a lot of places and food that I haven't tried - one great reason to make a comeback here. And together with the Masskara Festival fast approaching, making a comeback soon is all what I need to totally fulfill this life-long dream.
I still have a lot to see, a lot to taste and a lot to experience - and I think to experience all that I've missed during year's Masskara Festival is just right to fulfill this dream of mine - in a more colorful and extravagant way! And I'll make sure that this time, I'm going home fulfilled - filled with delicious food, filled with historical knowledge and filled with cultural heritage that will make me more proud as a Filipino!
I wanna see you again soon, Bacolod!
I wanna see Masskara Festival!
Experience MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival and Lanzones Festival this October. Airphil Express flies daily to BACOLOD, ZAMBOANGA and CAGAYAN DE ORO from Cebu and Manila. Visit www.airphilexpress.com to book!