Bacolod is popular among Filipinos as the City of Smiles. Found in the Visayas group of islands more particularly in the Panay Island. This quiet and unassuming city is just an hour’s flight away from Metro Manila. However, its nearest airport is in its neighboring city of Silay, Bacolod is just thirty minutes away by private car.
Once you reach Bacolod, you are welcomed by the warmth of its inhabitants. A walk along downtown Bacolod can bring you just about anywhere. Its plaza is a great place for musings as you admire the city’s simple landscaping. Malls are just a stone’s throw away as well as localized tiangges to satisfy the bargain hunter within.
The primary means of transportation in the city is via the jeepney. Although its jeepneys look a little bit different from those seen in Metro Manila, these jeepneys are pretty much the same. It wouldn’t take you minutes before you learn the vernacular as to how to stop the jeepney or to give your payment.
One must try in Bacolod is its chicken inasal. Why the Ilonggos, those in Bacolod are commonly called, even have their own haven of chicken inasal that they fondly called Manukan Country. Manukan is the Ilonggo term for chicken.
Feast your eyes on a series of simple stalls all serving chicken inasal. Chicken inasal is barbecued chicken with the Ilonggos own kind of marinade. These are served on a banana leaf with white rice mixed with garlic. And if you should try the chicken inasal, you might as well try it the way the Ilonggos try it! Drizzle chicken oil generously on your rice and dip your chicken in a mixture of sili (local chili), vinegar and soy sauce. It is absolutely delicious.
Sampling the chicken inasal in Manukan Country is definitely better than any other commercialized representation of the inasal in Bacolod. Its simplicity is what gives it that edge.
Just an hour away from Bacolod’s city proper is Mambukal Resort. The resort is located on a mountain. Hot springs could be found all over the resort. It is said that these springs have a therapeutic effect on those who try it. Be careful though because the resort also offers several safety measures to visitors.
Another sidetrip that one can try at the resort is a trek to visit the seven falls. As the name suggests, seven falls can be seen during the hike. These falls offer cool and calming water to every Bacolod visitor.
These are just some of the attractions one could find in Bacolod. Of course, all these are best enjoyed among the Ilonggos who never seem to fail to smile.