The Ruins in Talisay City

The Budget Travel Guide to BACOLOD and NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines

Negros Occidental is one of the biggest provinces in the Philippines in terms of land area and population. Yet, a big part of its territory remain unknown to many non-residents. But at the rate that the country’s tourism is growing, it looks like it is only a matter of time before many of its best kept secrets will be discovered and rediscovered by the travel-crazy public.

Bacolod City is most well-known for three things — sweets, chicken inasal, and Masskara Festival. But there’s more to the city and the rest of the Negros Occidental province than its food and festivities. Its coasts are strewn with white sand, its streets flanked with historic buildings, and its islands blessed with rich natural resources. Not to mention that its people are some of the friendliest I have had the honor to meet, making a trip to this jewel of the Visayas an unforgettable experience each time.

The Ruins in Talisay City
The Ruins in Talisay City

How to Get to Negros Occidental

Flying is the easiest and fastest way to reach Negros Occidental. The Bacolod-Silay Airport is the gateway to the province, opening the door to curious guests who are ready to go back in time, indulge in sugary treats, and wander in the arms of nature. Here are some airlines that fly to Bacolod and the cities they fly from:

  • Cebu Pacific – Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro
  • PAL/PAL Express – Manila, Cebu
  • Seair/Tiger Philippines – Manila

Just to be clear, the airport is not in Bacolod City but in Silay City. Hence, I highly encourage you to visit the attractions in Silay on your last day (so you won’t be stressed out and too worried about being late for the flight).

Where to Stay in Negros Occidental

I have only been to Negros Occidental once so all I can share for now are those that I have tried during that trip. I’ll be updating this list as soon as I pay the province another visit. In the mean time, here are the inns and resorts that I have some things to say about.

The Circle Inn Bacolod
The Circle Inn Bacolod

baldevia pension house
Baldevia Pension House, Silay City
punta bulata bacolod
Punta Bulata, Cauayan

Danjugan Island, Cauayan
Danjugan Island, Cauayan
  • Circle Inn, Bacolod.  A budget hotel at the corner of Lopez Jaena and Malaspina Streets, near Robinsons Bacolod. The rooms are okay, clean, and big enough. Friendly staff. Excellent service. Double rooms from P1090 per night. 63-917-445-9972
  • Baldevia Pension House, Silay City. Set in an old building, it has hospital-ish atmosphere. (That’s sort of a bad thing.) The rooms are comfortable and clean but there’s plenty of room for improvement. The staff is very helpful and friendly, though. +63 34 495 5140
  • Punta Bulata, Cauayan. Tucked in a remote corner in Cauayan, five hours south of Bacolod, this resort can give you the peace and quiet you need. It’s pretty hard to reach but the service is fantastic and the beach is gorgeous. Double rooms from P2000. +63 34 433 5160
  • Danjugan Island, Cauayan. One of the best island getaways I have had in my life ever. Danjugan Island is a true paradise off the coast of Cauayan. It is blessed with spectacular natural beauty! A snorkeling and diving paradise. Catch is, the whole island uses solar energy so electricity is very limited. Basic accommodations only. +63 34 4416010

What to Do, What to See in Negros Occidental

Like I said, the province is vast and there are countless activities and countless sites waiting for you here. But I’ll try to list down some what I have gathered. You may click on the photos below for a more detailed look at how I enjoyed the activity.

The Ruins
The Ruins

Bacolod Capitol Park
Bacolod Capitol Park

Calea Cakes, Bacolod
Calea Cakes, Bacolod

Manokan Country, Bacolod
Manokan Country, Bacolod

San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod
San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod

San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Silay City
San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Silay City

El Ideal Bakery, Silay City
El Ideal Bakery, Silay City

Cinco de Noviembre, Silay City
Cinco de Noviembre, Silay City

Balay Negrense
Balay Negrense

Bernardino-Jalandoni Museum, Silay City
Bernardino-Jalandoni Museum, Silay City

Punta Bulata, Cauayan
Punta Bulata, Cauayan

Danjugan Island, Cauayan
Danjugan Island, Cauayan

Other points of interest in Negros Occidental include Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia and the beaches and dive spots in Sagay and Victorias, and Sipalay.

 

Preparing an Itinerary

Check out this post for the details of our itinerary: Preparing a Bacolod Itinerary

Skechers GoWalk

Expenses

Allow me to share with you the list of expenses during this trip. Yes, you will be making different choices when you go there but just to give you an idea on how much wallet damage this trip can cause, here it is.

Day 1 – TALISAY AND BACOLOD
P200 – Terminal Fee (NAIA Terminal 3)
P82 – Cab to The Ruins from the Airport (P246/3 pax)
P50 – Entrance fee (The Ruins)
P140 – Manokan Country dinner (with extra rice, LOL)
P 85 – Calea cake
P433 – Room at The Circle Inn – Bacolod (1300/3 pax)
P48 – Other transportation expenses
P1,038- DAY 1 SUB-TOTAL

Day 2 – CAUAYAN
P155 – Bus ride to Cauayan (via Ceres Liner)
P100 – Habal-habal ride
P880 – Room at Punta Bulata (Night 2)
P1500 – Danjugan Island Day Tour (with lunch and snacks)
P220 – Dinner at Punta Bulata
P100 – Total tips given (P300/3 pax)
P2955 – DAY 2 SUB-TOTAL

Day 3 – TALISAY
P155 – Bus ride back to Bacolod (via Ceres Liner)
P100 – Habal-habal ride
P19 – Ride from Bacolod to Silay
P50 – Trike to airport
P200 – Terminal Fee (Bacolod Airport)
P110 – Lunch
P634 – DAY 3 SUB-TOTAL

TOTAL
P2208 – Day 1
P2955 – Day 2
P634 – Day 3
P4,627 – TOTAL

Note that this does not include pasalubong. You might want to allot P1000 for pasalubong as their local products are really tempting.

When we were planning this trip, we weren’t really that hot about it. To be honest, the only thing I knew about Negros Occidental before this trip was, well, chicken inasal.

But I have to say this: this trip was a pleasant surprise. This trip is probably one of my favorites! I enjoyed every single second and every single thing I experienced in Negros Occidental — from the gastronomic treats in Bacolod, to a welcome history lesson in Talisay and Silay, to a much greater appreciation of nature in Cauayan. Negros Occidental is a gem in more ways than I expected.


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Yoshke Dimen

Captain Dreamer at PhilippineBeaches.org
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 Philippine Blog Awards and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.

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  • clawy

    do come back to our province & the City of Smiles. You’d have a blast if you visit during the Masskara Festival. =)

    • The Poor Traveler

      Hi Clawy! Unfortunately, I have another trip in October and my budget only allows one travel per month. :( Maybe next year. :D

  • bambi tubles

    well written, ang galing mo, hindi pa ako napunta ng visayas kahit minsan, at magbiyahe sa pinas ng ganyan, pag ako nakabalik ulit, gagayahin ko ang style mo. Thanks again very much, an informative piece on pinoy travel adventure.

    • The Poor Traveler

      Yiiiih. Kinilig naman ako sa comment mo Bambi! Hope you’ll have a chance to come back and explore the Philippines. :)

  • ennahness

    Hi,

    We are going to Bacolod on the 8-10 of September. And honestly, mas naexcite ako after reading your blog..
    very informative. thanks!

  • http://chingkyquijano.blogspot.com/ Chingky

    Hello!

    I just saw your blog now, I’m researching for a good itinerary for a 4D/3N stay in Bacolod. It was super helpful and I should thank you for stating every detail in your trip, I liked that!

    Good Luck on your future travels! :)

  • AngeL

    pasaman naman sa trips mo/nyo? ^_^

  • Odet

    Wow, impressive blog, clear and direct to the point discussions with beautiful unadulterated photos. No sales talk but very colorful. I am sold.

  • Anonymous

    this is a great blog. very informative and fun to read too. i’m going to pattern here the itinerary that i’ll make for our bacolod trip. thanks! :)

    • The Poor Traveler

      Thank you! :)

  • Jack

    Hey, many thanks to your blog… very very nice, funny and informative. Mwah!

    • The Poor Traveler

      Thanks Jack! :)

  • aooghee

    4days na kong nasa bacolod but now ko lang naisip magsearch ng gagawin dito sa n.o.? Good thing I landed on your blog. Perfect. Thanks for the tips, I hope the things here still apply this 2013, I mean esp. The budget . :) excited much.

    • The Poor Traveler

      Thanks! Let me know if rates have changed so I could insert an update. :)

  • zelle

    hi! thanks for the information, will be going there this May and since it will only be a side trip from Iloilo, I have now an idea about the things to try. Cheers to ur blogs! :)

    • The Poor Traveler

      No problem, Zelle! Let me know how it went. :)

  • Core

    I just got back from my vacation, I should had seen this, next time try “Nature’s Village Resort” , very affordable and quiet. It’s in between Talisay and Bacolod. Along the highway. Next time, I hope to visit Danjugan Island. Oh quite educational and very informative. Thank you for educating me, how to budget a trip

  • ava

    Great post, as usual. I enjoy your blog a lot, thanks for sharing your experiences and encouraging other travelers too. Danjugan is an amazing experience in my opinion too. We booked an overnight trip there a couple of years ago (P2500/pax,with full board: lunch, merienda, dinner, breakfast and merienda), and we had the whole island to ourselves(save for the staff, of course). We snorkeled, swam, kayaked, trekked, “bat-caved”, even saw a sea eagle at the lagoon. Awesome experience!

  • simplycess

    no pinterest button?:(