Sugar rush, bucket list, and ‘Everyday I Love You’

Ruins

The Ruins, Talisay City, Negros Occidental

Balay Negrense, one of the ancestral houses of Silay, Negros Occidental

Balay Negrense, Silay City, Negros Occidental

View from Bacolod Baywalk!

View from Bacolod Baywalk!

Yummy ube piaya!

Sugar rush! All of these, and so much more, when I’m trying to lose a couple of pounds!

It all started over coffee, one afternoon. I told one of my best friends that one day, I would like to go to Negros Occidental and see for myself the beautiful ancestral houses there. I told her that, in particular, Silay City is on my bucket list of places that I would like to see in my lifetime. Since I have been to Vigan three years before, Silay is my next goal.

She sipped her coffee, smiled at me and then she said, “Tara!” I looked at her, quite surprised as normally, being a mom like me, she needed to arrange things at home before we can go somewhere, even for our ‘coffee and movie dates’. I asked her again to be doubly sure that she would like to go with me and that we will do it now, instead of in the future. She said yes! And so we planned our trip, the first out-of-town one we took together.

I got in touch with one of my old friends who is now based in Negros Occidental, as well as a former colleague who is from Bacolod City. My friend gave me a list of places I can check out when I asked him for a recommendation on accommodations. My friend and I would like to stay within our budget, so a simple, clean one will suffice. We only need the place for sleeping and to park our things. However, I have another requirement – that it should have a TV as I don’t like to miss an episode of On the Wings of Love, even while on vacation!

He also suggested we base ourselves in Bacolod as the places I want to see are not that far from the city. That way, he said, we can travel around, and at the same time explore Bacolod. His idea is actually brilliant and it saved us from packing and unpacking and moving from one place to another. That way, we also got to explore more places, like he said. I chose the cheapest on his list, if I remember correctly, and the most accessible from Bacolod’s main street. I also read the reviews, looked at photos online, and the place seemed okay.

We took the first flight out of Manila via Philippine Airlines towards the end of September as it was cheaper than the other schedules. By taking that flight, my friend and I had our first ‘Everyday I Love You’ moment, as Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano were on the same flight!  We wondered if they have a show in Bacolod since it was around the start of the Masskara Festival season. Our question on where they were going was answered two days after, when we made it to Silay.  We saw Enrique getting out of the pick-up they used in the movie near the church there! He and Liza were in the area for the location shoot of their movie!

We landed at the Bacolod-Silay International Airport more than an hour after we left Manila. I was told by the pension house where we will be staying that there are shuttles from the airport going to hotels and inns in Bacolod at Php 150 per person. However, my friend and I opted to take a taxi as it would just cost Php 100 extra each on our part. We have one luggage each, plus our carry-on bags. The taxi costs Php 500. The guys manning the taxi line were very nice and as promised, and after passing through a bit of only sugarcane fields and not much houses, we arrived in Bacolod, and at Pleasant Travellers Pension House after 30 minutes or less, I think.

Pleasant 1

The place is a bit off the main road, but just a short walk from Lacson St. It is quieter here than Bacolod’s main street.

Pleasant 2

Sitting area near the lobby and the ground floor rooms towards the front of the inn.

The check in at the pension house is at 1PM so we had to wait. We were unable to check-in early as our room was not yet available. The staff showed us to the area where we can rest and wait. We left our things there to eat breakfast. First, we checked their canteen, but the food there didn’t appeal much to our stomachs at that time. We decided to venture out to Lacson Street,  Bacolod’s main street, even if was raining a bit. Luckily, a taxi dropped off some people at the pension house when we were about to brave the drizzle. The first place we checked out, base on my Lonely Planet guide-book and my map, was undergoing renovations, so we walked a bit more, and found this very nice coffee shop at the L’ Fisher Hotel complex. We thought it would be on the expensive side, it being in a hotel complex, but it’s not. They offer nice and very filling breakfast meals, breads and mouth-watering cakes and pastries, and nice coffee too!

C's

C’s at the L’ Fisher Hotel Complex. Their cakes and pastries are a feast for the eyes!

C's Breakfast

For this much food, and more, it only costs us less than Php 300 each per meal. We were not able to finish everything, too much for our tummies! We ate three of our four breakfasts in Bacolod in this place!

We went back to the pension house after breakfast and waited until we managed to check in past 12nn.

Pleasant Rooms

Our room is at the second floor, at the back part of the inn.  It was okay, big enough for my friend and me, with two single beds, a bedside table, a closet, a dresser, a bathroom with hot and cold shower, and of course a TV! The place is clean and cost Php 780 per night (the one without a TV is around Php 200 cheaper). The blankets were thin (those white ones, and it got very cold at night, even if we adjusted the air conditioning). We requested for extra blankets (and pillows since there was only one each) at an extra, but minimal cost. I also wore socks to bed. Problem solved!

LC 2

Lacson Street. Photo was taken while at the overpass going to Robinson’s Mall, streets away from where we stayed. It took a 10 minute or less jeepney ride to go to this place from our pension house! We needed umbrellas as we forgot to bring one.

Lacson Street 2

Bacolod’s streets are laid out in a grid form, along Lacson Street, so it is easier to find your way around. Our inn is at 13th street, parallel to Lacson. We usually just walk to Lacson and travel from there. All jeepneys and taxis pass through this street. My Bacolod colleague told me that Lacson is also their national highway. Indeed, you can access the North Terminal going to say, Talisay, Silay, through Lacson.

In between traveling to Silay and Talisay, we managed to explore quite a number of places Bacolod in the four and half days we have stayed there. Here are some of the activities we did, and you can do, while in the City of Smiles:

Food trip/coffee time moments along Lacson Street. Aside from the usual chains of restaurants you can find in Metro Manila and other urban centers, there are quite a number of local restaurants, and cafes along this busy main street. Here are some of the places we have been to:

  1. Ann Co Cakes
AC 1

We checked out Ann Co Cakes on my friend’s recommendation! This one in Bacolod is a branch of the much bigger and more beautiful one in Silay City!

AC 2

The cafe has a very nice, and very interesting, art interiors. I love the paintings on the seats!

AC 4

AC 4

I chose the Toblerone cheesecake, and unable to resist the macaroons too! The cheesecake was to die for. The coffee was also good. Two cups coffee, two heavenly cakes, and the macaroons cost only a little over Php 400!

2. BongBong’s

B1

Buy mouth-watering pasalubong that would send you to instant sugar rush at this pasalubong center. The place also serves coffee, piaya and some delicious basic merienda staples like pancit. All three only cost less than Php 100!

B3

B4

Bongbong Coffee

3. Calea 

Choices, choices and more choices!

Choices, choices and more choices!

Calea 2

Calea 3

I felt like I landed in cake heaven when I entered this place one evening!

Calea 5

My yummy strawberry cheesecake and cafe americano cost less than Php 200!

4. C’s at L’ Fisher Hotel

Mind boggling cakes and pastries! A friend who has a very sweet tooth will really go crazy at this display!

Mind boggling cakes and pastries at this nice coffee shop! A friend who has a very sweet tooth will really go crazy at this display! I didn’t get to try any of these anymore, just the pastries that come with the breakfasts we had at this place!

C2

5. Starbucks (for the Bacolod mug)! 

Starbucks

I checked out the Starbucks in the city since one of my friends asked me if I could get her a Bacolod Starbucks mug for her collection. Well, I was not able to resist my favorite caffe americano as well!

Starbucks 2

So cute, I bought one for myself too!

Walk around Negros Occidental Capitol Park and Lagoon!

Negros Capitol 1

Negros Capitol 2

Negros Capitol 3

Negros Capitol 4

Negros Capitol 5

Negros Capitol 6

 Visit the Negros Museum.

NM Facade

The museum is behind the provincial capitol!

NM Opening Hours

The museum entrance fee is Php 100 per person. Take the guided tour.

NM 1

The guide will walk you through pre-colonial Negros through the murals on the walls on the ground floor, before going up to see various exhibits in connection with Negros history!

NM 2

Replica of a train used in transporting sugar canes from the fields!

NM 3

The way to mill and refine sugar canes in the old days!

NM 4

NM 5

NM 6

The exhibit on Cinco de Noviembre.

NM 7

NM 8

Don’t miss the special section of the museum (sorry, not allowed to take pictures in that part of the museum). You are in for a treat. Inside this section, beautiful toys and other collectibles from all over the world from the collection of Ms. Mara Montelibano, are on display. Your tour guide will take you there towards the end of the tour!

Have another coffee time at the Negros Museum Cafe.

MC 1

MC 2

MC 3

MC 4

MC 5

MC 6

MC 7

Cooked Talisay Ham Sandwich!

MC 8

 

• Explore Downtown Bacolod!

BC 1

Take any Libertad bound jeepney/taxi and get off at the cathedral.

BC 2

My photo of the beautiful interiors was blurry! 😦

BC 3

SM Mall

Walk through this mall and you will see the John Paul II Tower!

JP II Tower

We didn’t go up the all-glass building, as it was already a bit dark, but the view from up there must be incredible!

JP II Tower 2

Bacolod Baywalk

Beyond the John Paul II Center is the Bacolod Baywalk. I can’t remember how much is the  entrance fee to this place But it is just either Php 10 or Php 20!

Bacolod Baywalk 2

There were not much activities there that we saw. But it is a place for walking around and getting a bit of ocean air in your system! Muni-muni moment!

Bacolod Baywalk View 1

Bacolod Baywalk View 2

Bacolod Masskara 1

Bacolod Masskara 2

Gearing up for the Masskara Festival!

Masskara 1

Bacolod Masskara 3

Dine at Aida’s Chicken at Manokan Country

Manokan Country

Inasal

Taste the best inasal in the city at Aida’s! This, on the recommendation of my local friend. Manokan Country is just before SM Bacolod and after the Cathedral!

Menu

Shop for souvenirs and pasalubong at the Negros Showroom along Lacson Street. The place has a lot of beautiful and very nice local products. Aside from these two, I also bought a beautiful abaca bangles which is now a favorite accessory!

Negros Showroom 2

Canvas tote bag with hand painted design I found at this place.

Sugar Rush Logo

Print on the t-shirt I found at the Negros Showroom!

Go to Panaad Park and Sports Complex. Our Negros Museum guide told us that a real train that was used in the transporting sugar canes in the old days can be found in this place, so off we go, especially after we decided not to go to Victorias Milling on this trip. I was also curious about this place as I remember that a Philippine Azkals game was played at the Panaad Stadium. Panaad is far, if we will measure the distance from where we have been, which was the Negros Museum.

Pana-ad

Panaad Train

Panaad Bacolod Replica

Replica of the Bacolod City Hall. You can find the  replicas of all the town and city halls of Negros Occidental in this complex!

Panaad Bago Replica

Panaad Grounds

Panaad Silay Replica

Mall fix at The District. Getting out of Panaad commuting became a bit of a challenge as we were not familiar with the jeepney routes, and the area itself, anymore. Not much taxis either in that area. Luckily, we found this very nice taxi driver after a while. We asked him to take us to The District in the neighboring Talisay for our mall fix. He was also the one who took us back to the airport the following day for Php 500. We ate lunch there, had coffee, and then just went around.

The District 1

The District

Bacolod City Hall

We passed by the new Bacolod City Hall on the way to The District. I just asked Manong if he could stop so I can take some photos. My friend told me to check it out as well, especially late afternoon, but we were not able to do so.

The Art District in Mandalagan. We managed to reach it after getting lost. We missed the stop to Mandalagan. There was not much activity in the area when we went there in the afternoon. Maybe, it is best to go there in the evening as I noticed there are several places where you can sit out and drink.  After braving a dark stairway, we found the Gallery Orange and the current exhibit there.

TAD 1

TAD 2

TAD 3

TAD 4

TAD 5

TAD 6

Next, and that is after I have written the update to my fan fiction, my trips to Talisay and Silay! 🙂

 

Note: Sorry, this one is very long post. I put more information and photos, more than I would normally do, (including rates, prices of stuffs, fees, and also some links for more information) for those of you who would like to go there as well, and also for people who will end up in this blog, looking for information, like I do, before going to a place. I hope you will find this post useful!  

 

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  1. #1 by Virgie on November 30, 2015 - 4:36 PM

    Thanks for awesome pix…one of this day, when I retire I would love to visit Phil and spend 3 months to go places.

    Like

  2. #2 by Elsa Mendoza on November 30, 2015 - 3:09 AM

    THANK YOU MS A FOR SHARING THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN THE PHILIPPINES AT D P ME NKRTING SA LUGAR NA YAN AT NPKGGNDA PLA AT I WILL TRY TO GO THERE ONE DAY,TAKE CARE ALWAYS💞💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • #3 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:46 AM

      Take care too, Ms. Elsa! Have a great day!

      Like

  3. #4 by batiboj on November 30, 2015 - 1:01 AM

    Thank you for this posting Miss A its beautiful, next time I’m in PI this will be in my bucket list to do and I’m glad to know that you use Lonely planet too 😆😆 such a handy book, again thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #5 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:46 AM

      Yes, I have several LP, useful book kahit brief lang the information. I like paper guide-books, and maps, kahit may internet na. Aside from LP, I also bought others, for the places I have been to and would like to see in the future. May isa pang natitirang major place sa bucket list ko, Barcelona! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. #6 by Alpha on November 30, 2015 - 12:22 AM

    Thanks for sharing Antigone. Now, I’m missing it again…when still a child, I used to sneak & play around that train when it’s on parked.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • #7 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:42 AM

      Oh, you are from there Alpha. Sayang hindi na kami nakapunta sa Victoria! Malayo-layo raw kasi sabi nung napagtanungan namin sa Silay. Next time. Me, I don’t mind going back to the places I have been to, minsan masarap balik-balikan and see what changed and stays the same, also see the places the you’ve missed in your previous trips, tapos iyong mga good memories pa about that place. Like in Camiguin, I have been there three times na, and gusto ko ulit bumalik. Sagada, twice, and I’m planning to back there soon, also Banaue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • #8 by Alpha on December 4, 2015 - 9:53 PM

        Yes, lumaki sa Victorias. Been to Banaue & Sagada too, but not in Camiguin yet. We’re blessed with awesome places here in the Phils.😃

        Like

  5. #9 by anne on November 29, 2015 - 10:01 PM

    wow, ang dami talagang magagandang lugar sa bansa natin. and ang galing mong kumuha ng photos ms. A. through your escapade, para mo na rin kaming ipinasyal sa iba’t ibang lugar 👍👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • #10 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:49 AM

      Thank you sis anne! I love traveling. True, maraming magaganda. I like getting lost in places. Iyong may basic idea ka lang ng mga pupuntahan, then you discover more when you set foot in that place and ask the locals. Ngayon I have time na to do that again, laid-back traveling. 🙂 Matagal ko na ring gustong magsulat ng travel posts.

      Like

  6. #11 by day630 on November 29, 2015 - 8:41 PM

    Thanks Ms A. Seems like I went on vacation with you. Can’t wait for the next one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #12 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:50 AM

      Thanks too, Days, for the support! 🙂

      Like

  7. #13 by chasalva on November 29, 2015 - 7:51 PM

    Thanks for the info , it’s like I seeing in person , beautiful place

    Liked by 1 person

  8. #15 by kcrica on November 29, 2015 - 7:39 PM

    Thanks for having us a tour of Negros via pictures and information from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • #16 by Antigone on November 30, 2015 - 11:51 AM

      Thanks a lot too! Have a great day! 🙂

      Like

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