The challenge was to explore the City of Smiles for a day on a very decent budget. Thanks to Cebu Pacific’s piso fare and internet research that we were able to make this shoe- string budget trip possible.
By air, Bacolod is just a 30- 40 minute plane ride from Cebu City. We arrive at the New Bacolod Silay Aiport at around 6:40 pm. From there, you have to ride a shuttle van to Bacolod City for 150 php/person. Travel time to the city from the airport is 30 minutes. We were booked at the Ong Bun Pension House located in Luzuriaga St., Bacolod City. They offer very cheap and decent rooms. We got a room good for two with air condition and tv for only 530 php. See their rates here. After checking in, we were ready to explore the City of Smiles! And the first thing on our list is trying the famed chicken inasal. Inasal is a Filipino term which describes a way of grilling pork or chicken on hot coals while being basted with a mixture of marinate. From Ong Bun, we just walked our way to the Manokan Country near SM Bacolod. Here you will find a series of restaurants offering chicken inasal. We didn’t know which resto offers the best inasal hence we chose the one with the most number of patrons- we chose Aida’s Chicken. Savor Bacolod’s Chicken Inasal. One of the best chicken inasal I’ve tasted. We were very hungry we had to order a few more extra cups of rice!haha After that fulfilling dinner, we went to the city plaza which was just a walking distance from Manokan Country. From the plaza, we headed to the pension house and called it a day. Good morning Bacolod! We woke up early to be able to seize our last day in Bacolod. We first headed to the Cathedral of San Sebastian to hear mass. Lucky for us, it was the Bishop who presided the mass.
From the church, we headed to the nearby Bong Bong’s for some early lunch and pasalubong buying.
I ate lots of piayas!hehe
The plan was to find our way back to the airport by commuting our way to the ruins in Talisay then to the old houses in Silay and finally to the airport.
But first, we did our stop in the province’s Capitol along Rizal Street. Note that during our city tour, we didn’t hire any mode of transportation cause everything was just a walking distance, even the Capitol.
We then hailed a Talisay-bound jeepney just across the Capitol.You just tell the jeepney driver that you will be disembarking at the drop off point to the Ruins. Along your way, you get to pass at the Robinson’s Place. Fare is 14php and travel time is 10- 15 minutes. From the drop off point, you can walk a little so you can see tricycles lining up. Tell them you are headed to The Ruins. Fare is 20 php/person. You shall be entering a series of villages and sugarcane plantation on your way to the Ruins.
You shall be in awe of what you will see upon arriving- a rundown mansion amidst a vast sugarcane plantation.
It was in 2007 that this 903 square meter mansion was opened to public.
Just like the Taj Mahal in India, the house was built out of love. In memory of the sugar baron, Don Mariano Lacson’s wife, Maria Braga, the edifice was built after the latter’s death as home to their unmarried children. in which even though the sugar baron remarried, didn’t let his second wife stay in the mansion. Standing a test with time, the mansion met its sad fate during the World War II when the USAFFE forces burned the mansion to prevent it from being utilized by the Japanese forces as their headquarters. Yet, with the over-sized steel bars and the A- grade mixture of concrete, the structure withstood its test with time.
Entrance fee to The Ruins is 80 php for adults, 40php to students and senior citizens, and 20php to minors. The manor is an overflowing symbol of affluence and fine architecture.
One of the highlights during your visit in the Ruins is Roger, the funny tour guide/ caretaker. He would walk you through the mansion’s memory lane with his comic stints and funny ad libs. He was even featured in Korina Sanchez’s Rated K.
A restaurant is located inside the mansion’s premises. more picssss The mansion was such a sight to behold. I guess this place even looks more bewitching at night.
From The Ruins, we wen to the terminal where Silay- bound jeepneys are. The tricycle driver asked us 40php which I guess is too much given the short distance. Jeepney to Silay costs 26php and travel time is 20-30 minutes.
Arriving at Silay City, we were greeted by old houses and archaic infrastructures.
We only had an hour to explore the city.
Photowalk through Silay City.
We were finished exploring the city just in time. We didn’t get to explore the old houses since most were closed, it was a Sunday after all. The airport is just 4 kms away from the city proper. Vans for hire are available near the city plaza for 100php/person.
Selfie at the plane. haha