My Journey to the City of Smiles, Bacolod City

in Pinmapple2 months ago

Bacolod City is known as the City of Smiles and home of the Masskara Festival which is one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines. Bacolod is also known as the home of the best Chicken Inasal. Capital City of Negros Occidental located in Western Visayas. People from Bacolod are called Bacolodnons and the dialect we speak is Hiligaynon. Bacolod is derived from an Old Hiligaynon word “bakolod” which means “hills or stone hills” since the early settlements were founded on a stony, and hilly area, now called Barangay Granada where I lived.


How to go to Bacolod City (from Cebu City)

There are a lot of options on how to get to Bacolod City from Cebu. Either you can take a plane for fifty minutes (50 minutes) or land for more or less eight to nine hours (8 to 9 hours). By choice, I usually travel by land as it is much cheaper than taking a plane and also I get to enjoy the scenic view of the mountains every time we pass by San Carlos City and the Municipality of Don Salvador Benidicto.

There are two ways to go to Bacolod from Cebu North Bus Terminal. You can either take Cebu to Bacolod via Toledo via Don Salvador Benedict or Cebu to Bacolod via Tabuelan via Escalate. The difference between the two are the bus terminals in Bacolod where you arrive, the travel time, and the routes. For Cebu to Bacolod via Toledo via Don Salvador Benedict will be at Bacolod South Bus Terminal, estimated travel time is more or less seven to eight hours, gateway to Bacolod is San Carlos City port. While Cebu to Bacolod via Tabuelan via Escalante will be in Bacolod North Bus Terminal, travel time is more or less nine to ten hours and the gateway to Bacolod is Escalate City port.





Places I Went While in Bacolod
Bacolod Government Center

This was a huge sugarcane plantation on Circumferential Road owned by the Gonzaga Family which is one of the riches family in Bacolod City. A 5-hectare land was donated to the City of Bacolod to replace the Old City Hall at Araneta-Luriaga Street. This was inaugurated last July 2010.


Since then Bacolod Government Center attracted business and trade in surrounding areas. This area used to be a vast sugarcane plantation is now transformed into a developed area where you can find IT BPO buildings, condominiums, banks, restos, bars, and hotels. Even a new modernized jeepney routes have emerged in the area.

The grounds of BGC are a popular destination for Bacolodnons to spend their leisure time in the afternoon. People can have picnics with their friends and family, go jogging, do Zumba, and many other activities. From the afternoon until night, food stalls pop up in the surrounding area of BGC.



Upper East, Megawold

The Upper East, Megaworld used to be the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC) in the eastern part of Bacolod City. The 34-hectare land was developed to be the second township in Bacolod City.


Upper East rises as Bacolod City's first mixed-used community where IT BPO towers, condominiums, malls, transport hubs, recreational parks, and leisure facilities can be found.





Mambukal Mountain Resort

Mambukal Mountain Resort is located at Barangay Minoyan, Municipality of Murcia in Negros Occidental. The resort is owned and managed by the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental. Mambukal Mountain Resort is part of Mount Canlaon Natural Park.




The Mambukal Mountain Resort was originally designed by the Japanese architect Kokichi Paul Ishiwata as a bathhouse and picnic garden. It serves as a refreshing and cool retreat for the locals in Negros. The resort is also famous for its seven-tiered waterfall, where each level offers a 30-minute to an hour of tricking experience. Unfortunately, the trail leading to the falls was destroyed due to the pandemic and the Typhoon Odette that hit Negros Occidental in 2021.




There are several swimming pool located throughout the resort, each with different size and depth to cater to guests’ preferences. One of the most well-known pools is the Ishiwata Hot Spring, which contains water from a natural sulfuric hot spring due to the resort’s location at the foot of Canlaon Volcano. The water in this pool has a temperature ranging from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius.

My personal favorite swimming pool among all the swimming pools at Mambukal is the largest cold spring pool. It is perfect for a few laps and has ice-cold, refreshing water.


Mambukal Mountain Resort is a great place to stay with an array of accommodation options. You can choose from day-use cottages, overnight cabins, and function halls. It is also an ideal venue for special events like weddings, birthdays, and seminars. With its scenic views and excellent amenities, Mambukal Mountain Resort is a perfect destination for those who seek comfort, relaxation, and adventure.


Staying at Mambukal Mountain Resort is an excellent way to spend quality time with your family and friends. The resort is located close to the city and offers breathtaking views of the mountains, rivers, and fruit-eating bats. It provides a wide range of activities that you can enjoy with your loved ones, including zip-lining, hiking, trekking, exploring the 7-level waterfalls, swimming in either cold or hot pools, or just relaxing and taking in the beautiful sights around you.


Wow! The Mambukal Mountain Resort looks so surreal, like ones seen in postcards! What a lovely hometown you have there @ella-bella , no wonder why tourists always go to Bacolod for vacation because the place offers a wide array of tourist spots and I heard people there are friendly. Where is my piaya? 🤣

Next time I’ll bring piaya for you guys. I’ll post different delicacies we offer in Bacolod as well😉🥰

The natural scenery and night atmosphere in the city are really beautiful. It was an extraordinary experience to go there

Indeed, it was an extraordinary experience. It's been a while since the last time I went home.

It's first time I heard about this city, well the government palace look so big and the megawold looks so modern, many cool buildings but I liked most the mountain resort looks so relaxing place

I am happy that I have an opportunity to share anything about my hometown. I am really excited to share with you guys the food and restos I found as well

Bacolod city seems like such an amazing place to visit on!! The chicken inasal and Masskara festival makes me visit on that place. The Mambukal Mountain resort its like a paradise😭😭

One of the provinces I want to visit. Hoping soon I can explore it beauty and tourist spot

Would love to give you a tour of our beloved City💕

Hi proud Hiligaynon here 💛✨

Hi there!!! Where you from by the way?

I am currently in Cebu now. but my parents are in Banago

Had no idea there is a place out there called the City of Smiles, but that's so call! Even for the sake of the name which even if it's not an official name, should be visited by more people. Especially during this period when more and more forget how is it to actually smile..

The reason why it was called City of Smile because despite of hardships that we experienced over the past people just smile and let it be.

The best time to visit Bacolod City is every 3rd week of October wherein we celebrate the Masskara Festival. It is like the Brazil del Rio festival but it symbolizes the positive attitudes of Bacolodnons in times of hardships.

That's amazing! Good to know! Thank you for the tips!