Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mini Bike Tour of Bacolod, Negros Occidental

I went to my mom's hometown, Bacolod, last weekend. As far as I can remember, it was my first time in Negros since I was a toddler. And I brought my folding bike with me so that I could tour the Central Business District.
Brommie Skywalker at the 2GO Ferry Terminal in Iloilo City
I was coming from Iloilo City. I took the 7:30am 2GO Supercat Ferry. A round-trip ticket set me back P580.00 (US$14.00). The boat ride from Panay Island to Negros Island took an hour and twenty minutes. I arrived at the Bacolod Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) Port at 9am. 
The weather was fine that morning--sunny, blue sky with some clouds. It was a wee bit hot though. Anyway, I unfolded the Brompton and cycled towards the CBD. My first stop was the town plaza along Rizal Street. I rested under the shade of a tree and took pictures of the nearby fountains, gazebo and war memorial.
On the opposite side of Rizal Street is San Sebastian Cathedral, more commonly known as the Bacolod Cathedral.
From the church, I rode along Gatuslao Street and stopped at the Negros Museum. I wanted to go inside. Unfortunately, the museum was closed that day. Sayang, I heard it had nice exhibits.
I continued cycling north until I hit the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol. The Negrense have a really nice looking capitol. Clean and lots of open spaces.
In front of the capitol building is a huge rectangle lagoon. I hear it looks pretty at night. Too bad I couldn't ride my bike within the grounds. A security guard stopped me.
Afterwards, I biked back to Rizal Street and headed to SM shopping mall. Took my customary SM photo and waited for my relatives to pick me up. 
The whole bike ride starting from the port to church to capitol to SM was just 5.5 kms.
My cousin Tel passed by for me at SM. I unfolded my bike and loaded it in her car. She took me north to Silay City.
On the way there I observed that Negrense people (at least those living along the highway) planted nothing but sugarcane. For 13 kilometers I just saw sugarcane, sugarcane, sugarcane. Didn't see any ricefield at all. No wonder Negros is famous for its sweets. The dentists must be making a killing down there. 
Tel toured me around Silay and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it to be a beautiful heritage town. The people of Silay were so historical and cultural conscious that they preserved a lot of their old buildings and houses--even to the extent of having them declared historical landmarks by the National Historical Commission. Maganda talaga ang pag-preserve nila. I was really impressed.
The tourism officer, Ver Pacete, was a very friendly and helpful guy. They offer walking tours of their heritage district. If I had more time, I would've done it.
After the tour, Tel brought me to their house and we had lunch with her family. We ate the local specialty, chicken inasal.
Later in the afternoon, Tel brought me back to Bacolod, but not before taking a sidetrip to Felicia's pastry cafe along 6th Street for cake and coffee. The cake was very good. Next time, I have to try the other Bacolod favorite, Calea's. 
Tel dropped me off at the RORO Port for my trip back to Iloilo. By this time rainclouds enveloped the sky. I thanked Tel for taking me around and promised her I'd return with my family and stay longer. And I definitely will. I want to visit the Lacson Mansion Ruins in Talisay.


  1. Wow --- the photos are terrific!
    Glad you had a great time visiting family!!
    Peace :)