"Bacolod, is it really a dullsville?" Bacolod City by matt10gonzalez
Bacolod City Travel Guide: 453 reviews and 1,143 photos
Most memorable things that happened to me here:
- When my fluffy Japanese pit got squashed by a truck! The head was missing and intestines were piling up the road. Of course it was bloody.
-When my beloved rabbit was eaten by the dogs! The head was decapitated and the butt was missing. Poor rabbit...
-My trip to the abandoned hospital in Manapla- who can forget that? It was much better than the Disney Land haunted house! It was eerie, it look like a scene from a horror movie (Fragile to be specific) and best of all, it was abandoned... (That's right, just us-no tourists, nobody else, just us and the guard.)
-My trip to the Ruins, it's really a magical place to visit.
-How can I forget all the gross and bad words of our dialect, Ilonggo? Whcih I learned from my classmates and friends like.. (Censored!)
-All my friends here! Though it's true not much happens in Negros or Bacolod but if you have friends, it's really a fun place to live in!
-Of course! How can I forget my hometown? It's where I was born 5 minutes after the taxi dropped me in Riverside hospital and I'm still living here!
OKAY! Now's time for the serious stuff: Bacolod. (Kids, prepare to get bored! And for the fun-loving people, just stroll down all the way the bottom!)
Someone told me: “Why Bacolod? Not Boracay? What are you going to do there? It’s boring there!”
So, is Bacolod really boring? Let’s avoid being biased.
Well, okay, sight-seeing wise and sometimes reality wise, oh dear, Bacolod can be kind of boring.
Okay, it isn't as wild as Boracay and it isn't as quiant as Vigan and reality wise; It's really meant to be boring- after all, it's a very laid-back city that moves in a pace as slow and relaxing as a snail.
You see, as a result of being very laid back and lacking famous clichéd sights like Boracay, Banaue, Bohol and so on, Bacolod has become quite off-beaten!
So that means! If you really want to SEE or FEEL the real Philippines, Bacolod is a good place to try it!
And Bacolod really does have excellent advantages:
- It’s 5 times cleaner in air, streets than Manila, you won’t die from pollution here.
- The traffic here moves, unlike Manila where you can be stuck on the same highway and just end up falling asleep!
- When it rains, it floods here, but not as much as Manila
- It’s not on a typhoon belt (A typhoon rarely hits Bacolod) unlike much of Luzon and Samar. But the weather is still crazy. (A horribly hot, clear, afternoon can turn into a violent storm in just 5 minutes!)
- It’s CHEAPER than Manila! This is true especially for accommodations! In Bacolod, it’s not so hard to find double air-con rooms for 400 pesos below and much cheaper if you just take fans only and it can still be comfortable! In Manila, this is somewhat hard to find and uncomfortable!
- It’s modern: There are 3 mega malls, SM, Robinsons and Gaisano all packed with giant supermarkets, so you won’t starve to death!
- But it can also be authentic: Trips to small towns, jungles are just an easy jeep ride away. Nice for pictures and that feeling of ‘Away from the tourist trap.’
- Just anywhere around Bacolod or around Negros Occidental is quite off-beaten already.
Of course, since Manila is more cosmopolitan and bigger,
-Manila's malls are 10x bigger.
-There's more nightlife, entertaiment options in Manila.
-There's more job opportunities in Manila.
Depending on the person, Manila can also be more fun than Bacolod.
Oh well! There's no perfect place!
And finally! It’s the people of Bacolod, which gives the city a spirit and life!
Of course, it would be naïve to think all the people here are saints and angels, and it’ll be delusional to think just because you stayed here for a week, everyone will say hi to you right away. (Bacolod is not a town, it’s a big city.)
But believe me, they really are nice people: Though majority of them, are shy (and go in herds, in my experience in dealing with them) you too, shouldn’t be afraid of them and just stare at them! Smile back at them too!
A SMILE WORKS MIRACLES HERE- though realistically, you might not win all the Bacolod people, but they might just laugh! (In this case, take the initiative to ask a question! Don’t be afraid to be open! Don’t be afraid to ask them about their children (To families) or about their school! (To students and kids, majority of the people in Bacolod like that.) Or they’ll think you’re the one who’s cranky!
But believe me,
A lot of them will be curious about you and don’t mind making friends at all! And if they like you, they'll tend to remember you for lifetime!
Now, isn’t this a nice element to add in your trip? Making friends- no matter how young you are, or how old you are, most people told me, the thing they remember most in a place is the people more than the sights.
And finally, don't forget about the Masskara! (Somewhere in October). It's a big party (Not all) but many Bacolod people look forward too!
Oh yeah, and by the way, a lot of foreigners (Adults and kids) told my mom (and me) that they love Bacolod and they don’t get bored because they eventually find friends here.
So in short, okay, Bacolod is not a tourist city where in it’s all about museums, museums, attractions, it’s better: It’s a city to live in. (And even retire!)
- Compared to really small towns (1000 pop. - 2000 pop.) in Montana (Like Gardiner or Dillon) or in France (Like the villages of the Pyrenees)
= No way! Bacolod isn't as tiny as those towns! It's a city! A big one with 3 large malls and a population of 500,000+! It just feels small.
-Compared to New York or Paris
=It's so unfair to compare architecturally, city landscape wise, Bacolod to those two! (There's no Eiffel Tower or Empire State in Bacolod! You crazy?)
But you can compare the lifestyle!
Bacolod is 10x less hectic than those two combined! Of course, everybody here gets stress and not all Bacolod people are relaxed but there's really a big difference: People here move REALLY slow, (They don't rush, rush, rush unlike in NYC or Paris.) they find one block far already! And things here (except the hazardous jeepney drivers, cars & the strict Mc.Donalds) move at a slow, relaxed pace and coming late to appointments is common. (Hence, known as the Filipino time, which is frustrating to those who wait. (Including locals too!)
Another good point is that Bacolod people, despite working from 8 AM-6 PM, still manage to find time to enjoy dinner at a slow pace with their family and watch their favorite soap opera shows!
And finally, blackouts here are common so prepare!
-Compared to Egypt-
=They don't ask for tips, bakheesh. (Thank goodness!) But there's also no camels, ruins and pyramids!
-Compared to Calcutta, India
=It's cooler and although there's plenty poor here too, there's not as much beggars compared to say, Sudder St. , Calcutta? And there's also no cows or cattle and they don't drive as crazy here compared to India! But there's also no ruins and no Holy city either.
-Students compared to Singapore
=A local Singaporean told me "In Singapore, they whip the kids to study: They have to study and study in order to be perfect so they can get a good job. It's not all that nice- the students are sometimes pressured, they commit suicide."
Well, how different (and much nicer) it is here! Of course, not for all students but for a lot, it's the complete opposite of Singapore!
Family reactions about the place:
Mom: I like Bacolod more than Manila- it's cheaper, more relaxing, less traffic and cleaner than Manila! But if you're young, Manila is more fun IF ONLY you have the money.
Dad: It's where I grew up so I like it.
Serious Gifted 15 yr. old girl Cousin: It's peaceful hence, boring.
Fun-loving 13 yr. old girl cousin: There not much English speakers here in
school! I think I like Manila more-more sophisticated.
Teenage 16 yr. old cousin- Definitely love Bacolod! Ka Bacolod gid ko! (I'm really for Bacolod!) (All her friends are here, that's why.)
Brother: We're forced to live here.
- Pros:Clean, green! Friendly, cheap and a place where you can find the ‘Real Philippines.’
- Cons:If don’t have friends here, and if you don’t plan living here, then it’s only worth for a few days or just an overnight transit point then!
- In a nutshell:Not a tourist city, a city to live in (and maybe retire).
And finally, there's the house. This pretty, mestizo (It has a lot of European influence) house sits proudly like an... more travel advice
What visitors usually miss when visiting Bacolod? Manapla's Sights! They're unique and it's in Negros! Church of the... more travel advice
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