Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated

June 24, 2022
Batangas, Philippines

Date of Trip: June 17-19

I like going to places where my friends are living because it’s free tour! haha. And you get to know more of them and their history. The locals know where the best of the best are so thank God, Negros happened! Negros Occidental was an unforgettable trip of food, friends, alcohol, mountains, history, and of course more food.

Negros Occidental is a province in the Philippines located in Western Visayas. It is known for chicken inasal (roast chicken in skewer), cansi and boosting sugar industry. It is named as the sugar bowl of the Philippines due to the fact that it has enormous sugar cane plantation. It is also home to one of the active volcanoes in the country – Mount Kanlaon. The capital city of Negros Occidental is Bacolod.

Restrictions

Negros Occidental is accepting leisure travelers provided that they follow the standard health protocol. No medical certificates, S-pass, RT-PCR test or vaccination card to be presented to some establishments or checkpoints. But I suggest to always bring your vaccination card and for your protection, have yourself vaccinated.

Getting Around Negros Occidental

We flew from Manila to Silay airport. It took us 45 minutes to get to Silay Airport.

We went on a road trip in Negros Occidental via private car – from Bacolod, Talisay, Silay and Don Salvador Benedicto. I was with friends – Toby, Makis, Paul and Alvin.

If you go on commute, the only major bus operator in Negros is Ceres Liner.

Budget

My budget for this trip is Php6,000-00 inclusive of my flight expenses which cost Php3,000-00.

Bring cash all the time, most establishments only accept cash. ATMs are mostly everywhere in Negros

Accommodation

We stayed in Sukro hotel. It is a budget hotel with 4 floors. I actually liked our room, it’s spacious and clean. Also, it only cost us Php1,500 per night but my friend paid for our stay so I can’t complain too much haha.

Language

Negrenses are the locals who live in Negros Occidental. They speak Ilonggo (native tongue), Tagalog and English.

Day 1 June 17

It was already late lunch when we arrived in Bacolod, the capital city of Negros Occidental. Bacolod is known as the City of Smiles, the history of this tag name was when in April 22, 1980, the MV Don Juan, a luxury liner on its way back to Bacolod City from Manila, collided with an oil tanker, MT Tacloban, off Tablas Strait in Mindoro, leaving 176 dead and several others missing. They then decided to create Masskara festival as a defiance to adversity.

MassKara Festival is a Mardi Gras-like festival and a spectacularly vivid mix of dance, color and music that is celebrated every October. Bacolod is also known as the Land of Sweet People, and for its culinary heritage – inasal, cansi and sweet dessert treats!

Masskara Chicken Inasal
BS Aquino Dr, Bacolod, 6100 Negros Occidental
Php500-1,000/5 pax

Our first food stop was of course inasal (roasted chicken skewers). I liked everything they served – intestines, chicken skin and chicken breasts. I also like the fact that chicken oil condiments were everywhere, it added to the taste. I like their inasal – it’s savory, smoky, decent in price and oozing with tenderness. Highly recommended!

Felicia’s Pastry Shop
Php150-300

Next stop was a dessert place, I am not a fan of cakes or anything sweet because I am already sweet! haha so it’s a shame that I did not like the cakes in this pastry shop. The cakes tasted okay not the best and not my favorite.

Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB)

Our next trip was in Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB), dubbed as the summer capital of Negros Occidental due to it’s cool weather. It took us 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to DSB from Bacolod, seeing Mt. Kanlaon during the road trip was breath taking! It offered panoramic view of the mountains and wilderness.


Kusinata
Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental
Php200-Php1,000

We went out to have coffee and eat local delicacies in Kusinata. The venue is staffed by Ata tribesmen and women, and mentored by volunteer chefs and professionals with a pro-indigenous people. It also offers a breathtaking Malatan-og Falls Viewing Deck. I really like this kind of place. It is highly recommended. I liked the food as it’s fusion of ethnic cuisine. They serve variety of healthy options as well. My favorite is budbud with tablea (cholocate). It is a sticky rice that you pour your hot chocolate to taste. Although the ginger was evident in the rice cake, I still enjoyed it. One for the books!

Gina’s Seafood Restaurant
San Juan St, 6100 Bacolod
Php500-1,000/5pax

After our sumptous snack in DSB, we came back to Bacolod for yet another food trip. haha This time, for seafood! Yay! What I love about Bacolod, it offers variety of food to choose from, the price is decent and it’s very delicious! You get to choose which fresh seafoods you wish to eat and they can cook them for you. Happy tummy

Esquinita Bar and Cafe
Narra Avenue 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
Php500-1,500

Right after we freshen up, we went out to drink at Esqunita bar, it’s one of the known bars in Bacolod and they served good cocktails. I liked that it’s al fresco with live band. I liked that they have variety of cocktails to choose from so I ordered frozen lychee mojito, it was refreshing and minty just what I liked. But the problem was I drank beer after and then sipped rum which was a really bad idea haha. In this bar, vomiting has penalty of Php500-00 so you better puke discreetly hahaha. It was a crazy night, I almost fainted. I did not like that feeling but I love alcohol so I will still drink but not in that sequence. haha

Day 2 – June 18

Cafe Bob’s
21st Lacson Street Bacolod
Php500-Php1,000

For our breakfast, we tried Cafe Bob’s in Bacolod. It has huge options of pastries. I loved their grilled ensaymada (brioche bread) with majestic ham. It was baked in perfection. It has buttery bun glazed with just the right amount of sugar. It is well complemented with ham. Scrumptious to the last bite!

Silay,Negros Occidental

30 minutes away from Bacolod is the province of Silay, dubbed as the Paris of Negros Occidental because of its European-inspired houses. It is the center for arts, culture and ecotourism and it has well preserved European colonial houses.

Balay Negrense

Also known as Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House is a museum in Silay City, Negros Occidental. showcasing the lifestyle of a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. It is the first museum to be established in the province of Negros Occidental.

Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

also known as the Pink House, is located right along the main road in Silay’s heritage district. It was built in 1908, it was really rich in history and everything from the house came from Germany. I learned a lot.

Melken’s Seafood Restaurant
Brgy. Balaring, Silay City, Negros Occidental 6116 Silay
Php500-1,000

We had our lunch in a seaside floating restaurant. It was quite relaxing as you can smell and feel the breeze of sea air. It’s a different approach to dining but I am not a fan of the served food – sisig, sinigang and deep fried pork. It’s bland to my taste. nevertheless, I was hungry so I just ate. haha. Not my go to seafood restaurant in Negros.

Manokan Country
Lion’s Park Grill House
Php500-Php1,000

It is a long stretch of stalls serving Bacolod’s chicken inasal. This time we tried Lion’s Park Grill House. They served chicken inasal, chicken skin, intestines and more barbecue skewers. To be very honest, I liked Masskara better than Lion’s Park. But, it’s still recommended to try Manokan Country. You won’t regret it, you will smell roasted chicken right after but it’s worth it haha!

Tippy’s Bistro
Php500-Php1,000

After we freshen up, we went of course to drink again. haha. This time we headed out to the bar for millennials. It is a resto pub that served exclusively crafted in-house beer in a gigantic mug. I don’t know what they put in the beer but my friend was wasted right after. hahaha

Day 3 – June 19

I woke up to a worst stomach ache and bruised legs – I fell on a trip to DSB. I thought it was just scratch but it turned out to be a bad fall. I also found out that my friend couldn’t complete the last day of the tour due to hyperacidity, he couldn’t get up, I don’t blame the alcohol but the internal organs we ate. hahaha!

Even with injuries, I managed to finish this trip, I needed to. I don’t know when I will be back in Negros so I wanted to make the most of it.

Eron’s Cansi House
Php200-500

One of the best food I ever tasted in Bacolod, cansi. Cansi is an Ilonggo/Negrense bone-in beef shank soup. It is a fusion of sinigang and bulalo less all the vegetables. I couldn’t get my mind off this magical dish. I loved how the meat was so tender and slow cooked in perfection and the soup has similar sour flavor notes just like sinigang but more complex as they use batwan, a fruit native to Western Visayas and used as a souring agent in dishes instead of sampaloc. It’s mind blowing to the palate! This dish is highly recommended and would go back for more cansi when I return to Bacolod. I enjoyed this dish even with stomach ache so I will never forget!

Calea Pastries and Cake
Balay Quince, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Php150-300/slice

Known as the sugar bowl of the Philippines, Bacolod has huge selection of pastries and cakes. Sweet, decent in price, and huge servings. Unlike my brothers, I am not a fan of sweets. I usually just take a bite in a slice of cake. I mostly had some of what they say best cakes in Manila but still one bite is always enough for me. But God damn, Calea’s choco mud pie just took it to the next level! It’s a touch of heaven in every bite, I can take a whole cake everyday of this. It’s a chocolate ice cream cake, almonds on top which was rich and creamy. This last day of food trip was so good, I didn’t want to leave Negros yet. I think we really saved the best for last!

The Ruins
Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Built – 1920’s. Burnt – 1942
Php165-200

The Ruins is known as the Taj Mahal of Negros. The Ruins Mansion is the remains of an ancestral home built in 1920 by a wealthy sugar baron named Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. He constructed this mansion as a testament of his love for his Portuguese wife, Cora after she passed away in 1911.

It is situated in the border of Talisay and Bacolod. It was later set aflame in 1942 by Filipino guerilla fighters employed by the United States Armed Forces during the Second World War to prevent its use as a military office by Japanese invaders. It was burned for 3 days until only its current cement frame was left standing. It’s one of the architectural wonders in the Philippines.

It is really indeed beautiful, it was huge, rich in history and romantic. Many events are held here so make sure to visit their FB page to check if they are open during the time of your visit. It’s a must visit in Negros Occidental, the trip will never be complete without seeing this mansion.


BongBong’s Piaya and Barquillos
Php200-Php1,000

In the Philippines, we usually buy pasalubong/souvenirs/goodies to our loved ones as a show of our care. One of the most popular souvenir shop in Bacolod is Bongbong’s. We were supposed to make a piaya but time did not permit us so I just bought 1 box for my brother and Batangas family including our dogs. Here are the Negros Occidental famous delicacies.

Piaya– a muscovado-filled unleavened flatbread. It is served delicious while hot.
Biscocho – crunchy bread, topped with butter and sugar
Butterscotch – Sumptuous buttery bars sprinkled with native oven-roasted cashews
Barquillos – thin rolled cookies of Spanish origin. It is made by pouring thin butter onto a wafer iron (barquillera) which is rolled into a tubular shape, enhancing its crunchiness.

Mimi’s Cafe and Restaurant
Php200-500
25th Corner Lacson St., Brgy. 1, Bacolod CIty

This cafe was highly recommended by my friend, they serve half moon and another famous delicacy in Bacolod which was napoleones. I was supposed to buy these for my brother but it would be best to consume within 2 days. I was going to see him in a week after the trip so I gave these to colleagues.

Half moon – It literally looked like a half moon, it is fluffy sponge cake with yema- flavored richness.
Napoleones – flaky, melt-in-your-mouth filled with custard filling and sugar glazing on top.

We came back to Manila at 11pm on the same day. It was an exhausting trip but one for the books! I didn’t know I could eat that much on a trip haha! I’d love my brothers to see this place or anyone who has sweet tooth because they’d fall in love with Negros.

Love,
Tooth Fairy, Sometimes, Niskie