Bacolod City At A Glance

Known as the "City of Smiles," Bacolod City is home to the friendliest people I've ever met in my entire travelling stint in the Philippines. Their sincerest smiles and warm hospitality make anyone who visit the capital of Negros Occidental instantly feel at home. Besides its friendly people, the city is also a famous for its heritage houses and culinary gems, not to mention the city being a gateway to some of the best beaches, as well as snorkeling and diving spots in the Philippines. No wonder, the city has become one of the country's tourist magnets.

Located on the northwestern coast of Negros Occidental, Bacolod City is bounded by Talisay City on the north, the town of Murcia in the east, Bago City on the south, and the Guimaras Strait in the west.
Bacolod is said to have two pronounced seasons: wet and dry. Rainy season starts from May to January with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season starts from the month of February until the last week of April.

How to get there:
From Manila, take a flight to Bacolod. Major airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have daily direct flights from Manila to Bacolod. To make the most of it, get the earliest flight.
From the New Bacolod-Silay Airport, board a shuttle to the city proper. There are shuttle vans parked outside the arrival area. Fare is at Php 150.

Where we stayed:
While there are a good number of hotels and inns in Bacolod City (famous ones include L'Fisher Hotel, Saltimbocca Inn, and Go Hotels), we chose to stay at a pension house aptly named 11th Street Bed and Breakfast (well, on 11th Street, of course!).

We chose this because of the location: it's not on the main road which is Lacson Street so it's not noisy during busy hours, but it's just a few meters away from the highway where restaurants and cafes like the famous Calea and Enting's Specialty of Sagay are. It is also accessible as jeepneys ply Lacson Street almost 24/7.

The entrance to 11th Street Pension House

Aglow at night
There's an old and a new wing at 11th Street Bed and Breakfast, and we stayed at the new wing. The air-conditioned room good for two people costs Php 990. This already includes breakfast for two, wifi, cable TV and private bathroom. Fan room rates starts at Php 400. There's also ample parking space for those who will bring thier own car.

Double occupancy room at the new wing

The bathroom
The rooms are clean and relatively new, plus it has a cozy feel. We actually felt like we were in a house than in a hotel.

The staff--from the guards to the front desk to the restaurant servers--were all courteous and efficient.

The restaurant
The free breakfast, though plated,was filling and decent enough. We opted to have the chorizo (more like the ones from Cebu which are round and sweet) and corned beef. Both were ok!


C
horizo, scrambled egg,and plain rice

Corned beef, scrambled egg, and plain rice
Overall, if you're just looking for a place to spend a night or two in Bacolod and you don't need the fancy amenities other luxe hotels offer, 11th Street Bed and Breakfast is actually a good option. The prices are budget- and backpacker-friendly.

Where to eat:
It is no question that Bacolod's dining scene is one of the most interesting in the country, so if you happen to visit the City of Smiles, make sure you have enough tummy space. Forget all about your diet!

Calea is perhaps the most popular dining place in Bacolod, and is especially noteworthy because of their cakes and pastries. Aboy's on the other hand, is famous for seafood, while Manokan Country is home to the iconic chicken inasal. These restaurants however, had been reviewed by a lot of reviewers already, and we feel that they won't be given good reviews for nothing. So for us, we wanted to try something different and less popular. We only had two opportunities to dine in Bacolod: dinner upon arriving from Sagay and lunch upon arriving from Punta Bulata Resort and Spa in Cauayan.

Since we still have some 'seafood hangover' from our day trip in Sagay, and since we couldn't get over those plump, flavorful grilled scallops with anatto oil, we decided to look for Enting's Specialty of Sagay, Bacolod branch. Good thing, the restaurant was not too far from 11th Street where we were staying.

Enting's Specialty of Sagay is located on Lacson Street just across a BPI bank and few meters away from L'Fisher Hotel.


We were actually looking for the grilled scallops on the menu but we couldn't find it, and we were so tired to ask the waiter so we ordered pork sisig instead. When we finally had the guts to ask about the scallops ( which they offer but it wasn't on the menu), it was already too late.

The pork sisig was nevertheless delicious, too! It's a combination of crunchy and grilled pork bits with a bit of chili and a spoonful of mayonnaise. In all fairness, I think Enting's deserves a spot in every foodie's list of restaurants to try when in Bacolod. The prices are reasonable and the servings are huge. The grilled scallops for instance (priced at around Php 200+) are served in about 10-12 pieces depending on the weight.

Enting's Specialty of Sagay's Pork Sisig
On our last lunch in Bacolod, we tried the famous Lord Byron's back ribs. We went not to the main branch but to the newly opened branch in front of Cafe Bob's on the corner of Lacson and 21st Streets. This is just walking distance from Robinson's mall, where there are shuttle vans to the airport.

The menu
For the price (Php 150 per slab with java rice), the serving is huge and can actually be shared by two people. As for the taste and quality, I find it tender and tasty, however, I feel that the taste is just relianton the sauce,as the part that is not covered with the sauce (like the mid part of the back ribs) is a bit bland and oily. I couldn't help but compare it to Casa Verde's (Cebu and QC), the Ongpauco's version at Hawaiian BBQ (Tagaytay and QC), and of course,my all-time favorite baby back ribs at Forest House (Baguio). The sauce is a tad sweet for me. Don't get me wrong...it's still worth trying out but for us, there's nothing special.

Lord Byron's Back Ribs
Going back to the airport:
Since we were already near Robinsons mall, we decided to take the airport shuttle called 'Basia' bound to Bacolod Silay Airport. Fare is Php 150. If you are taking this shuttle, make sure to check the schedule and arrive at the waiting area ahead of time especially during peak days so you can secure a seat. There are also shuttle vans stationed in SM Bacolod.


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11th Street Bed & Breakfast
 #14 11th Lacson Sts, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
+6334.4339191
+63922.8433919

Basia Transport Service
+6334.453.1585 / +6334.4466031
+63915.7954337 / +63922.8193940 / +63939.4294552
basiatransport@gmail.com

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