Family Vacation in Bacolod

I am not really good in making travelogues. I have been to a lot of places but I don't think I was even able to write about two or three. But I will try this time to cover the memories of our family trip in Bacolod.

Bacolod is the home of the Maskara Festival and known as the City of Smiles. It is the capital city of Negros Occidental.

We flew into Bacolod Silay Airport via Cebu Pacific around 6:30 in the evening. The airport is more or less 30 minutes away from the city proper. There are taxis and vans in the arrival area. We took the van, since they said it is more economical. It cost PhP150 each. But going to the airport on our last day, we took a taxi for PhP500. If you are traveling alone, it's really economical to take the van but if you're in a group, you can just divide the taxi fare. Van terminal going to the airport is located in front of SM.

Transportation in the city is very accessible. You can choose taxi, jeep, bus, tricycle or pedicab. Walking is also good because there are interesting places just around the capitol area.

Places of Interest
If you are into nature trips, go to Mambukal Resort in Brgy. Minoyan, Murcia. We rode a bus from Libertad market and after one and a half hours we arrive at the welcoming entrance of Mambukal Resort. There are a lot of things you can do there--swimming in the fresh water pool, mud bath in the hot spring, wall climbing, boating and zip line--but we chose to trek the seven falls.

Our trek guide said that most people stop at the third falls then go back down. But we challenged ourselves to climb up to the seventh. We were worried about our 59-year-old mom but even her took the challenge. After the third falls, the path is a bit steeper but there was no turning back. The water falls are breathtaking! We took some time to rest at the sixth falls because the last falls is 15 more minutes walk. At the seventh falls, the water was so cold, it feels like you are dipping into an iced water.
From the seventh falls, we walk back around 10 minutes and from there, we rode a single motorcycle to go down back to the resort. We paid PhP50 each.

The following day, we had our city tour. Thanks to a friend who showed us around. Places we have been include the Capitol Center, Provincial Park and Lagoon, Pope John Paul II Tower, San Sebastian Cathedral, Palacio Episcopal, Bacolod Plaza, and ANP Showroom.

The Pope John Paul II Tower is an interesting place. It is situated behind SM mall, a seven-floor tower you can climb to the top, learn about history and view the cityscape and port area. The island of Guimaras and Mt. Kanlaon are just on the background.

ANP Showroom showcase different native products are very affordable prices. But if you are a foodie, do not forget to bring home piyaya and barquillos from Bong Bong's.

We stayed in Bacolod Pension for only PhP550 a night. Pension houses are very convenient if you are on a budget. Also, most of them are located in the city proper and very accessible to transportation and places to eat.

Bacolod is really a food place. On our first meal is Chicken Inasal--the food Bacolod is famous for. Many said that you did not go to Bacolod if you have not tasted their chiken inasal. True, the taste of authentic inasal is different. Try Chiken House at 24th Lacson.

Do not miss Calea, too. It is best for dessert and coffee. It is also located along Lacson Avenue. It was recommended by my brother's friend. We searched and walked one night to find it. The ambiance of the place is relaxing coupled with the warm smiles of their waitresses.
Finally, also a must eat, Bulalo (or Kansi) at Sharyn's located at Narra Street. Sharyn's Cansi House was awarded by Department of Tourism and Philippine Daily Inquirer to have the best bulalo.

The funniest sign ever! This is the sign that you are already near the seventh falls.

To cap my Bacolod trip, I went around SM and saw my book Jollyboats: Journeying through College at the PCBS store.

Lastly, a reminder to all travelers: leave your umbrella at home or place it in your check-in luggage or it will end up in this box. ;)

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