Airfare: Php 2,292.64
Rebooking fee: Php 939.68 (I had to change flights since I did not push through with Kanlaon)
Day 1-3: Php 3,682.00 (includes fare, meals, tip, terminal fees, souvenirs etc. from the time I left the apartment until the time I was back)
Accommodation: Php 1,600.00 (2 nights)
Total: Php 8,514.32
This is not a tipid trip especially that I had no one to share common expenses with and I rode taxis most of the time hehehe. But I guess it would still be more expensive if I stayed overnight in Mambukal, which I decided against since I’m sure it’s better to have companions there when staying overnight or more. 🙂
This time, I decided not to ask my friends to accompany me because I would really like to know how it feels to roam around alone. And I want to do it in a place where I am at peace because I know there are friends nearby hehehe
This is also an opportunity for me to know myself better and practice talking to strangers because I’m sure I would need to ask for directions or anything often. You see, I don’t research much on places before I actually go there so…I really have no idea at times
Bacolod City is thriving in business. I have seen 2 (or was that 3?) familiar call center companies there. It’s great that these companies decided to do business outside of the metros. It gives a boost to local economy.
Bacolod is a sugarcane plantation area. It’s sad however that some of these plantations are now being converted to subdivisions and business district. I am all for progress and development but I would prefer a diversified one. Hopefully, not all the plantation areas will be replaced with tall buildings. It’s still nice to see green around.
The Silay International Airport is built just a few years ago to replace the old one. They say that this is one of the best airports as it meets international standards. Long runway, located in a non-residential area, and seeing greens all around (IMO) to name a few.
Thank you Bacolod! I shall see you again. 🙂
Thank you Father God. I am forever grateful.
P.S. I’ll try to upload pictures if I’m lucky to still have them.
There was nothing left for me to do the next day other than pack, have my breakfast and leave for the airport in time for my 10:25 AM flight. They have shuttle services to the airport all over the place and I requested for one the night before to pick me up (rate is Php 150.00 per person). They were late for about 30 minutes though because the people from the other hotels were late. Hay. Filipino time :p. Anyway, thank God we still arrived on time.
When we were boarding the plane, the Cebu Pacific staff provided umbrella for the long walk from the waiting area to the aircraft as it was unusually hot that time hehhe. They hand it to you already opened and you hand it back for them to close it. I felt like an important person during this time. How about holding the umbrella for us next time, Cebu Pacific? Wahahaha! Uma-attitude bigla? Hahaha.
Back in Manila and ready to be out of the airport by 12:30 PM. Fides’ sister and her bf were also visiting that weekend and on Saturday night during dinner, they told me that they can drop me off to anywhere near my place from the airport. I was touched when they looked for me at the airport (we had the same flight) and waited while I was waiting for my luggage . I thought we were just sharing a cab but they parked their car at the airport when they left Manila. I was saved from airport taxi hehehe. We decided to just have lunch before heading home. We were looking for any place as long as it has parking and guess where we ended up? Bacolod Chicken Inasal in QC hehehe. Can’t get enough of the delicacy. :p
After The Ruins, I asked Manong taxi driver to bring me to the Negros Museum. Unfortunately it was closed since it was a Sunday. Disheartened a bit, I just proceeded to Calea coffee/pastry/cake shop for a snack. This was highly recommended to me by my friends. And true enough, their cakes and pastries are oh so yummy! I can’t get enough so I took home some for my breakfast the following day :). I would say this is a nice place to rest after a tiring tour of the city or if you just want to have quiet conversations. The place is small though with just several tables so it might be hard to have a seat during peak hours.
After spending several minutes in Calea, I hailed a taxi to take me back to San Sebastian Cathedral which is near Bacolod Pension Plaza for the mass. However, the ongoing mass was in Bisaya (Bacolod’s dialect) so I checked out the schedule of the English mass before heading off to SM for some treats to bring back to Manila. They have a different structure of SM. It was just a looooong building with 2 floors. Most of the shops, however are the same as in any other SM. Merci and Bongbong’s have stalls here as well. This is where you can buy your treats already. They are also available in the airport but the big Bongbong’s shop is quite far from the airport while Merci is inside the building, just before the departure area.
As per my friend, after SM is the reclamation area. However, I was not able to visit it anymore since it was already night time.
I went back to the church just in time for the English mass. I’m glad that the church was filled with people given its size. It’s an old structure so imagine the long aisle with a lot of pews. They had TV on the sides so people who were not able to enter can still see the activities inside. I think this is a good idea so that people can still really participate in the mass rather than do other things since they don’t feel the solemnity of the mass or worse, they don’t know where they are at because of poor speaker setup. One of the things I always want to experience in a new place is their mass. I know it’s the same ritual but I love to see how people in different places behave inside the church hehehe. In here, I was able to pray solemnly and I even got to sing the songs because they were familiar.
After the mass, it was time to head back to the hotel. The church is I guess just 5 minutes away from the hotel but I took a leisurely walk going back just to savor my last night hehehe. I was also looking for a convenience store since I was craving for ice cream but unfortunately, I did not see one. The good Lord perhaps decided that the cakes were already enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. 🙂
Back at the hotel, I settled my account for my last night and requested for a service to the airport the following morning. After which, I had dinner while watching the Sunday shows on TV. It was a quiet night of TV and book reading until I went into a dreamless sleep.
I slept until late morning hehehe. Ok, it’s really almost a sin to be sleeping instead of going around the place but then, I preferred it that way since I did not have any decent sleep days prior. I ordered food for brunch, stayed a little longer in my room to read and watch TV and then went out by mid-afternoon.
My first stop was to visit The Ruins in Talisay City. This can be reached by public transportation but I decided to hire a taxi and asked him to wait for me while I toured the place. Anyway, I won’t be staying long. He charged me Php 500. He did not give me maximum number of hours but he dropped me off to my next destination after 2 hours of picking me up from the hotel. There might be cheaper ones but I was fine with the rate.
The Ruins showcases what is left of the Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson Ancestral Home. It was built for his Portugese wife and patterned after the Carnegie Hall in New York.
What’s amazing with the Ruins is that they have tourist guides who can take pictures of you. They know the exact spots where you’re supposed to pose to get a good shot of the ruins in your background. At the stairs, by the window, profile pics, jump shots, they have it. They even direct some of your poses hehehe. They know how to operate any camera (I suppose, as he was familiar with the settings of my camera without asking questions hehehe). This is the place where I had a lot of pictures. Wait, let me correct that. This is the ONLY place I had pictures I took wahahaha.
I think this can also be a place for reception. They also have a small coffee shop where you can take your snack after capturing the best picture of the place and yourself in it hehehe. The tour guides are really great IMO so give them generous tips ok? 🙂
After that hearty dinner, the rest of the gang drove back to Silay City while Weng and Leo drove me to Bacolod Pension Plaza to check if they have available rooms. I did not reserve a hotel room prior this trip so I just did walk in. Fortunately, they had available rooms so I just booked. I took the deluxe room which is at Php 800/night. This was recommended by Anne since it was where she and her cousins stayed when they visited Bacolod years back. I did not have any problems during my stay here. The staff were very kind in answering my questions especially on transportation. They also had a coffee shop where you can order food delivered right to your room :). I did that twice, for my brunch and dinner of Day 2 hehehe.
Bacolod Pension Plaza is located at:
Cuadra St., Bacolod City
Tel. No. (034)433-4547/(034)433-2203
Bacolod Pension Plaza is also near SM, city plaza and San Sebastian Cathedral.
For other accommodation options, you may check the official site of Bacolod
At around 2PM, we went back to Bacolod City to meet with Fides, Weng and family for a late lunch (take note, the one we had at the farm was breakfast :p). We ate at Chicken House. Of course, it’s chicken inasal hehehe. Beside Chicken House is the Negros Showroom where you can buy souvenirs. I would say this is the best place to buy as they have more choices as compared to Bong-Bongs or Merci.
After a hearty lunch, we drove Anne to Mambukal which is their meeting place with the rest of the guys climbing Kanlaon. It’s I think almost 2 hours drive from Bacolod City. For us not climbing, we stayed there a bit for the kids and kids at heart to enjoy even the Dipping pool (hot spring). I did not bring any change of clothes so I just amused myself by watching the other people. Full of foreigners I must say, especially from other Asian countries. I think it’s also nice to stay there for overnight. When I return to Bacolod, I’ll definitely stay in Mambukal longer. This is also the jump-off of the famous 7 Falls. I’ll also visit that when I go back :).
We were back in Bacolod City at around 8 PM and went straight to Aboy’s Restaurant in Goldenfields Commercial Complex for dinner. Delisyoso! They serve mostly Filipino food. I did not notice if there are other types of food but I’m sure there is. The place is good for reception. It has a well-maintained garden that’s good for pictorial. The resto is homey, spacious and well ventilated. Weng said that it was just a small place before but they’ve expanded more than 2x its original size. Business must be good for them :). Their customer service is good even though there were a lot of people at the time we were there. It’s one of the places recommended by locals.
It took us another hour to reach it. By that time, I was already really hungry and sleepy. Good thing we had a hearty breakfast of longganisa, dried fish and adobong gabi. Hay sarap. The adobong gabi was cooked in firewood and it reminded me of home. It was only then that I realized what the elders at home have always been saying about the difference in gas-cooked food and firewood cooked food. They say food cooked in firewood is tastier as compared to food cooked in stove but I didn’t see the difference until last weekend. And what the folks from home say is true :).
After filling our tummy, we had a tour of their farm. Leo started with his project just 6 months ago. He had several fish ponds, herbs, organic plants and lots of calamansi! Every time I recognize a plant, I remember home. 🙂
He also prepared tea for us. Lemon grass with calamansi and sugar and mint. He added hot water, waited for a few minutes and then—fresh tea! Yummy I would say.
Because of this visit, I was inspired to do the same thing at home. I should already start planting in my yard. I remember we had lemon grass before and I really liked it. I should resurrect those and try it here in Manila as well. Calamansi too! This is a must in my yard at home hihihi.
After the tour, it’s siesta time! Actually, we were just exchanging stories at first until finally each one of us was lulled to sleep by the serenity of our surroundings. I was lucky to be sleeping in a hammock. It was a short nap but it definitely re-energized me especially that I did not have any sleep the previous night.
Reached Bacolod at 6 AM. Leo (who we met back in 2004 through Weng and Fides) fetched Anne and me at the Silay Airport and we went straight to their home. He prepared breakfast for us but we requested that we just have it in their farm. We packed everything and left after he drove his wife to the taxi stand. Sorry naman hehehe. At salamat gid.
Next stop is at Weng and Fides’ home. They are now working in Singapore but Fides and the kids will be staying here for a while. Their kids were playing bubbles in their front yard when we reached their home. Very cute kids! Napakahinhin ni Ysa. Matunog magkiss si Simon hahaha. After planning for the day’s itinerary, we proceeded to the farm. Unfortunately, Weng, Fides and the kids can’t join us because of the rough road and their available cars are not for it.
Last July 31-Aug. 2, 2010, I was supposed to climb Mt. Kanlaon and meet with friends. Unfortunately, that same week, I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis so I opted out as I don’t like to put the whole group at risk.
I pushed through with the trip however to still meet with our friends and check out what else Bacolod has to offer.
Let me just say in advance that I didn’t have many pictures in this trip. I only have stories to share hehehe.
*Image from a friend.*