Top 8 Bacolod City Tourist Spots & Things to Do: Ruins & Delicious Chicken Inasal Dish

Rachel Hawkins

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Bacolod City Tourist Spots

Discover the city of Bacolod, a haven for tourists with attractions like The Ruins and Capitol Park. Mambukal Mountain Resort beckons nature lovers for a rejuvenating retreat.

Bacolod entices visitors with its unique blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty. Known as the City of Smiles, it offers a warm atmosphere that complements its tourist spots. The Ruins, a remnant of a grand plantation home, serve as an iconic testament to the city’s historical past.

Capitol Park and Lagoon present picturesque, serene settings ideal for leisurely strolls and family outings. Mambukal Resort promises adventure with its hot springs, waterfalls, and mountain trails. Travelers can experience the festive spirit of Bacolod during the famous MassKara Festival, showcasing colorful costumes, street dancing, and jubilant celebrations. Engage in the rich local cuisine, with chicken inasal being a must-try delicacy that has gained nationwide fame. Bacolod’s tourist spots offer a tapestry of experiences, from tranquil nature encounters to exuberant cultural festivities.

Top 8 Bacolod City Tourist Spots, Attractions & Things to Do

1. Discover The Ruins

The Ruins stand as a testament to both the grandeur of a bygone era and the timeless beauty which persists through history’s pages. Often referred to as the “Taj Mahal of Negros,” this architectural marvel draws travelers with its fascinating backstory and striking visage.

Architecture And History

  • Design inspiration: The Ruins’ majestic Italianate architecture, with Neo-Romanesque twin columns, has captured the awe of visitors. Its design is influenced by the palatial structures of Europe.
  • Historical Significance: The mansion was built in the early 1900s by a sugar baron for his beloved wife. However, it was burned down during World War II to prevent Japanese forces from utilizing it as a headquarters, leaving only the edifice standing.

A Photographer’s Paradise

The Ruins’ remnants are more than just relics; they are a canvas for photography enthusiasts. The skeletal framework of the mansion, set against the lush greens of the plantation, provides a juxtaposition that makes for stunning photographs at any time of the day.

  • Golden Hour Brilliance: As the sun sets, the coral stone walls of The Ruins emanate a brilliant golden hue, providing a magical setting for photo shoots.
  • Interplay of Light and Shadows: The skeletal windows and arched doorways create intricate patterns of light, offering endless opportunities for a creative play with shadows.

Embracing The Legacy

Visiting The Ruins is an immersive experience that takes you back in time. As you stroll through the remnants, you’re met with tales of love, loss, and resilience that echo through the corridors.

  • Engaging Tours: Knowledgeable local guides narrate the poignant history of The Ruins, ensuring visitors leave with a deep appreciation of the site’s cultural heritage.
  • Cultural Events: Beyond its daytime allure, The Ruins often hosts events that blend culture, music, and the arts, further enhancing its role as a cultural hub.

Sustainable Tourism Efforts

As Bacolod’s pride, The Ruins is not just a monument of the past but also a beacon for sustainability in tourism.

  • Preservation Initiatives: Ongoing efforts are in place to maintain the integrity of this historic site while accommodating the influx of tourists.
  • Community Involvement: The management of The Ruins is committed to the local community, providing support and generating opportunities for the residents.

The Ruins of Bacolod are more than just a stop on a traveler’s itinerary. They are an encounter with history, a feast for the artistic soul, and a model for heritage conservation. Whether you’re a history buff, photography aficionado, or someone who appreciates the finer things in life, The Ruins beckon with a story waiting to be discovered.

2. Explore Negros Museum

Discover the cultural heart of Bacolod at the Negros Museum, a treasure trove of historical artifacts and local arts. Visitors can delve into the island’s rich past and traditions, making it a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and culture seekers.

Bacolod, the City of Smiles, isn’t just famous for its annual MassKara Festival; it’s also home to cultural treasures waiting to be explored. One such gem is the Negros Museum, a place that offers a dive into the rich history and heritage of the region.

Let’s journey through its halls to discover what makes it a must-visit for anyone touring Bacolod.

What To Expect During Your Visit

  • Diverse Collections: Artifacts showcased in the museum reflect Negros’ cultural diversity, including textiles, antiques, and photography.
  • Sugar Industry Chronicles: Discover the island’s sugarcane legacy, from old milling equipment to the lifestyles of hacienda owners and their laborers.
  • Art Galleries and Exhibitions: Periodic exhibitions feature local artists, offering visitors a glimpse of the Negrense artistic talent and creativity.
  • Heritage Programs: Engage in various activities and workshops that aim to promote and preserve the cultural heritage of Negros Occidental.

Wandering through the Negros Museum is akin to a walk down memory lane, with each exhibit presenting a narrative about the island’s social, economical, and cultural history. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, there’s something in this museum that will resonate with you.

It’s this connection with visitors that ranks the Negros Museum high on the list of unforgettable Bacolod tourist spots.

3. Pray At San Sebastian Church

This revered religious site not only promises a moment of peace but also showcases exquisite architecture that captivates both the faithful and art enthusiasts alike.

The History Of San Sebastian Cathedral

San Sebastian Cathedral stands as a magnificent beacon of history, with its foundation dating back to the late 19th century:

  • Construction timeline: The cathedral was first constructed in 1876, using coral stones from Guimaras Island, which gives it a unique and robust structure.
  • Architectural style: Reflecting a Romanesque architectural influence, the church’s facade presents a classic beauty that appears timeless against the modern backdrop of Bacolod City.
  • Religious significance: Serving as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod, the cathedral has been a central spiritual space for Catholics in the region for generations.

Engage In The Cathedral’s Spiritual Offerings

Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of San Sebastian Cathedral and partake in its spiritual offerings:

  • Weekly masses: Attend one of the numerous masses held throughout the week, where you can join in communal prayer and reflection.
  • Sacred art and statues: Admire the breathtaking religious art and statues that adorn the cathedral, each with a story that inspires faith and devotion.
  • Volunteer and community services: If you’re interested in giving back, the cathedral offers various volunteer opportunities that allow you to connect with the local community and make a difference during your visit.

The San Sebastian Cathedral is not just a place of worship; it’s a cornerstone of Bacolod’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re a dedicated pilgrim or a curious traveler, the doors of this historical church open up a world of spirituality and cultural heritage.

4. Visit Pope John Paul Ii Tower

Discover the towering tribute to a beloved pontiff at the Pope John Paul II Tower in Bacolod. This historical landmark offers a panoramic view of the city, enriching your travel experience with cultural significance and scenic vistas.

Bacolod isn’t complete without a stop at the iconic Pope John Paul II Tower. This striking monument not only offers a historical perspective but also a panoramic view of the city’s landscape. An essential part of the Sugarlandia skyline, it stands as a testament to the pontiff’s visit and the warmth of the local community.

Historical Significance

The Pope John Paul II Tower holds a deep historical resonance. Erected to commemorate the papal visit in 1981, it symbolizes peace and solidarity in the region. Visitors are often touched by the palpable significance of the event it represents, marking a pivotal moment in Bacolod’s timeline.

The Viewing Deck

  • Architectural design: The tower’s unique structure is inspired by the pontiff’s message of hope and unity.
  • Breathtaking views: Ascend to the top and be rewarded with a 360-degree panorama of Bacolod city, providing photo opportunities and a chance to see the city from a different vantage point.

Exhibits And Displays

Interwoven with the structure’s allure are the numerous exhibits housed within. They tell the story of Pope John Paul II’s visit through artifacts, photos, and mementos, allowing visitors to walk through a pivotal chapter in the city’s history. Each level of the tower reveals a new part of the story, engaging tourists and locals alike.

Accessibility And Visitor Information

  • Location: Centrally situated, the tower is easily accessible from various points in Bacolod, making it a convenient addition to any itinerary.
  • Visitor amenities: With consideration for all, the site offers facilities ensuring a comfortable experience for families, solo travelers, and those with special needs.

A trip to the Pope John Paul II Tower presents more than just a historical excursion; it offers an immersive cultural experience. It’s a place where the past and present converge, creating a compelling narrative for anyone looking to understand the heart of Bacolod.

5. Mambukal Resort

Experience the thrill of Mambukal Resort, a cherished gem among Bacolod tourist spots. Revel in its hot springs, waterfalls, and lush mountain scenery for an unforgettable day of adventure and relaxation.

Ready for a day filled with adventure and relaxation? Mambukal Resort in Bacolod is the ideal destination for both. This slice of paradise offers a host of activities and sights that cater to nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

Trek To The Seven Waterfalls

  • Preparing for the hike: Before embarking on the trail to the seven waterfalls, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water.
  • Enjoying the scenic views: As you hike, each waterfall reveals its own unique beauty, offering breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
  • Engaging with nature: The trek allows you to immerse yourself in the lush greenery and wildlife that Mambukal Resort is renowned for.

The hike isn’t just a physical activity; it’s a journey through the heart of nature where the sound of water complements the melody of the forest.

The Butterfly Garden

If you are captivated by the delicate flutters of these colorful insects, the Butterfly Garden at Mambukal Resort is a must-visit. With a myriad of species fluttering around, it’s a magical spot to unwind and learn about local butterfly species.

Experience The Leisure Activities

  • Paddle boating on the lake: Take the chance to navigate the calm waters of the resort’s lake, a perfect activity for couples and families alike.
  • Wall climbing for the brave: Test your limits on the resort’s wall climbing facility, an exciting challenge for aspiring climbers.
  • Dip in the swimming pools: After a day of adventures, the swimming pools at Mambukal offer a refreshing respite to cool down and splash around.

Each activity at the resort promises its own flavor of fun, ensuring visitors of all ages leave with memorable experiences.

Savor Local Delicacies At The Resort’s Restaurants

Your visit wouldn’t be complete without tasting the local cuisine. The resort’s restaurants serve a variety of mouth-watering dishes that highlight the flavors of Bacolod. From sweet treats to savory meals, there’s something to satisfy every palate, contributing to the fullness of your Mambukal Resort adventure.

6. Eat At Manokan Country

Manokan Country, where the aromas of grilled chicken will lead you to Bacolod’s famous food strip. Renowned for its authentic Inasal, a visit here is a must for food enthusiasts and travelers alike. This local treasure frames a dining experience imbued with simplicity and tradition.

Discover The Atmosphere

Before sinking your teeth into the mouthwatering delights of Manokan Country, take a moment to soak in the atmosphere. The lanes are lined with eateries, each offering their special take on Bacolod’s signature dish, promising a feast for the senses.

What Makes Manokan Country Special

  • Historical Relevance: A true cultural icon, Manokan Country has been the epitome of Bacolod’s culinary scene for decades.
  • Variety of Choices: With numerous stalls to choose from, you’ll find each one with its unique blend of marinades and side dishes.
  • Budget-Friendly Meals: Enjoy hearty portions that are friendly on the pocket, ensuring a delightful experience for all.
  • Authentic Dining Experience: Savor your meal on communal wooden benches, engaging in the local way of life.

Engage With The Locals

As you navigate through the throngs of Manokan Country, use the opportunity to interact with the local vendors. Their stories and warmth add a rich layer of connection to the food on your plate, as you learn about the traditional cooking methods that set Bacolod Inasal apart.

Tips For First-time Visitors

  • Navigating the Stalls: Start your journey at the entrance and meander through, letting the inviting smells guide your selection.
  • Customizing your Order: Communicate with stall owners about your preferences for spice levels and parts of the chicken.
  • Best Time to Visit: Aim for early evenings when the smoke from the grills dances against the fading daylight, creating an enchanting ambiance.

7. Go On A Day Trip To Silay

Silay City, often referred to as the “Paris of Negros. ” This day trip will reward you with a glimpse into the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, with ancestral houses and vintage structures that line the streets, all telling tales of a bygone era.

Explore Ancestral Houses

  • Architecture and history enthusiasts will delight:
  • Silay houses an impressive collection of well-preserved ancestral homes, each echoing the splendor of the past with their distinct architectural designs.
  • The Balay Negrense Museum stands out:
  • Originally the Gaston family home, this museum showcases the affluent lifestyle of sugarcane plantation owners in the 19th century and is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the region.

Savor Local Delicacies

Visitors with a taste for the sweeter things in life should not miss the chance to try the local cuisine of Silay. The city offers an array of sugary confections that reflect its history as a sugar-producing giant.

  • El Ideal Bakery is a culinary landmark:
  • Known for its vintage ambiance and delicious offerings, this bakery gives you a taste of Silay’s famous guapple pie and other local treats.
  • Treat yourself to heritage cuisine:
  • Step into any of the homey eateries and order a serving of authentic Ilonggo dishes, a flavorful representation of Silay’s culinary wealth.

Take A Leisurely Stroll Along Cinco De Noviembre Street

Breathe in the ambiance of a historic revolution on Cinco de Noviembre Street. This key location is an essential part of the city’s history where the first spark of the Negros Revolution against Spanish colonial rule was ignited, leading to its unique and proud heritage.

Visit The Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

  • Step back in time at this pink house:
  • The Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, with its stunning facade, invites you to explore the elegant interior furnishings that offer a peek into the genteel lifestyles of Silay’s past.
  • Discover curated historical pieces:
  • The museum houses an extensive collection of historical artifacts that enrich your understanding of Philippine culture and the city’s role in shaping it.

Experience The Unique Festivities

Your day trip to Silay would be incomplete without experiencing its festivals. The city comes alive with music, dance, and colorful costumes, celebrating its cultural identity and historical significance.

  • Silay City Fiesta: Celebrated in June, the Silay City Fiesta commemorates its patron saint, San Diego de Alcala, with festivities that showcase the local community’s talent and unity.
  • Admire the Hugyaw Kansilay Festival: This festival, held in November, paints the streets with its theatrical performances and lively parades, all in remembrance of the city’s historical revolution that played a crucial role in the country’s quest for independence.

Relax In The Delightful Parks And Public Spaces

Between the historical explorations, take a moment to unwind in one of Silay’s many inviting parks and public spaces. These areas serve as perfect spots for both rest and recreation, allowing you to soak in the city’s atmosphere amidst lush greenery.

8. Play A Round Of Golf At Negros Occidental Golf & Country Club

This premier golf club offers an experience that is both relaxing and invigorating, perfect for golf enthusiasts and casual players seeking a luxurious escape among manicured greens.

Experience The Club’s History And Prestige

  • Establishment date: Since its inception in 1957, Negros Occidental Golf & Country Club has grown into a distinguished establishment recognized for its rich history and tradition in the game of golf.
  • Renowned reputation: From hosting prestigious tournaments to private member events, it stands as a testament to excellence and offers a glimpse into the sport’s fine legacy in the region.

Tee Off Amidst Stunning Scenery

  • Verdant fairways: As you prepare to swing, marvel at the well-kept fairways that weave through a tapestry of tropical flora.
  • Picturesque views: Surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty, each hole presents an opportunity to take in panoramic views that are quintessentially Bacolodian, adding a serene backdrop to your game.

Enjoy Top-notch Amenities

For those who seek more than just golf, Negros Occidental Golf & Country Club is equipped with amenities to ensure a well-rounded leisure experience.

  • Clubhouse comforts: Relish the comfort of the clubhouse where you can unwind or share stories of your game over sumptuous meals and refreshing drinks.
  • Practice facilities: Enhance your skills at the driving range and putting greens, designed to cater to both seasoned players and those improving their swing.

Ideal For All Skill Levels

The golf course caters adeptly to both novices and professionals, guaranteeing a gratifying day out for all.

  • Challenging course layout: With its strategic bunkers and water hazards, each hole presents a unique test to one’s skills, ensuring both enjoyment and challenge.
  • Beginner-friendly options: Lessons and clinics are available for beginners, making it an inviting place to learn and fall in love with the game.

Join The Golf Community

Embark on a social journey as you forge new friendships or strengthen bonds with fellow golf aficionados amidst the fairways and greens.

  • Member events: Engage in a thriving community of golfers through member-exclusive tournaments and gatherings, perfect for networking and camaraderie.
  • Open competitions: Participate in open events to showcase your prowess or simply enjoy the spirit of friendly competition.

Takeaways From Your Visit

As your day at Negros Occidental Golf & Country Club comes to a close, it’s not just the scores that you’ll carry home with you, but the memories made, the tranquility experienced, and perhaps, a newfound appreciation for golf amidst the idyllic backdrop of Bacolod.


Bacolod beckons with culture and awe-inspiring sights, offering endless memories. From the iconic MassKara Festival to serene nature retreats, each location promises a unique experience. As this guide closes, your adventure is just beginning. Embrace the journey; explore the heart of Negros Occidental.

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