Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bacolod's Sweet Scenes and Treats

Sweets are the first thing that comes to my mind when ‘Bacolod’ is mentioned. The sweet smiles of the locals, sweet time from partying at the Masskara Festival, and sweet goodies from home-grown businesses and family secret recipes. The province of Negros Occidental is known for its sugarcane plantations as well, and most of the affluent businessmen who thrived from the sugar industry are said to reside in Bacolod. My main mission the first time I went there was to witness the colorful Masskara Festival, but I would be stupid to miss some of the city’s popular foodie delights.

ruins bacolod

Before pigging out, I was met by my cousin who took me to different places of interest around the city. Our first stop was the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol Building that was used during World War II as headquarters of the Japanese Army. Despite its bitter roots, its architecture didn’t fail to impress me. I especially liked this area because of the prominence of trees and lagoon. I am envious that Bacolod has a nice park compared to the city that I grew up in. :|

bacolod park

Afterwards, we decided to go around Lacson Street, a place you must not miss since there are lots of good establishments situated along this lane. There were actually way too many options to pick that we decided to first settle at a coffee place to decide. I am not a coffee drinker so I was confused as to why we were heading to Starbucks. But I was wrong, the city has their own beloved coffee place called Café Bob’s which does not only specialize in coffee, but also offers meals and other drinks too. Comparing to big coffee houses, I noticed that the price in Café Bob’s were actually affordable and justifiable (I would never spend more than a hundred bucks for a drink). Since we weren’t in a mood for a big meal yet, we shared a lasagna, and got myself a strawberry frappe. I have heard that they now have gelatos! I wouldn’t be able to resist!

After more strolling around looking at the different establishments at Lacson, we realized we were hungry again. Now, we only had a decent budget but I couldn’t remember why we eventually chose the sophisticated-looking 21 restaurant (I suppose since Café Bob’s and 21 were only a couple of meters apart).  Anyway, we thought what the heck, we might as well splurge a little. I am surprised that the menu was not intimidating and the prices were not that bad. I initially thought we would share a meal, but I even ordered two dishes. My friend kept on insisting that I try their Batchoy and kept on telling me that it’s really good, but I wanted to have rice so I got chicken teriyaki and fried siomai. No regrets.

chicken teriyaki

Our next stops are known for desserts, and you know me, I have a massive massive sweet tooth! My officemate couldn’t stop raving about Pendy’s when she knew that I would be going to Bacolod so I knew I just had to try. We were told that one of their bestsellers and often bought as a pasalubong is the Half Moon Cake. My friend and I shared an apple pie and some Napoleones, but I had two servings of Half Moon Cake… just because. So, the cake is actually a sponge cake with just egg custard on top.  I thought it was a great after meal snack, not too sweet either. It reminded me of yema cake but with less sugar I guess.

apple pie

pendys bacolod
the famous half-moon cake

We decided to take a breather and let our stomach’s rest while trying to digest all these good stuff. We headed for The Ruins, so it’s not particularly in Bacolod but at the neighboring city of Talisay. It’s almost a given that if you have been to Bacolod that you must have seen this magnificent structure at least once.  We opted not to get a guide but unfortunately, my companion doesn't knowssquat about the history of the area since he is actually from Ilo-ilo. Haha

the ruins

What used to be a huge mansion owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, was burned to the ground by guerilla fighters to prevent it from being used as a base of Japanese forces. Built during the early 1900’s, it is said to have luxurious furniture and decors and was even constructed with the finest materials. There also used to be a beautiful garden that was tended by one of the daughters of Don Mariano. I wonder how it looked like in its full glory.

Sadly, we hoped to stay until the evening to see how the area looks like fully illuminated but we were told that time that they only allow tourists to stay until 6PM. What a bummer.

ruins bacolod sunset
sunset glow at The Ruins

Last but not the least, was a visit to Calea. It’s probably one of the most talked about institutions in Bacolod so if you missed this out, then too bad for you, sir. Too bad. This shop sells cakes and pastries and they have so many stuff to choose from! I wasn’t particularly hungry (lol after all that eating, no!) but I know I can’t miss trying their popular Chocolate Cake. I used to have an officemate from Bacolod and she would bring a cake from Calea every time she goes home and I know I had to have one slice! I have had lots of chocolate cakes but this one from Calea is really unforgettable.

bacolod chocolate cake

negros mountains

If someone would give me a free roundtrip ticket to anywhere in the Philippines, I would consider going back to Bacolod just to eat! Seriously! I’d probably draft a two-day itinerary to visit more restaurants that I missed and of course, to go back to some of the places I visited, because of sweets! I’d probably explore more of Negros Occidental as well to discover what’s in store for me outside Bacolod.

Thanks for the sugar rush, Bacolod!


  1. Haha! I go to Bacolod just to eat! Yummy! I go to 21 for their batchoy! And next time you add these to your eatinerary: Cansi at Sharyn's Cansi House, pala-pala, and the chicken at Aida's in Manokan Country.

    1. Thanks for the recos! Will also ask you the next time I go to Cebu!


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