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Bacolod City, Negros Occidental Province, Philippines


Brief History | Language/Dialect | Major Industries | Historical and Cultural Attractions | Special Interest Tours | Nature Adventure and Ecotourism | Festivals | Topography, Soil And Climate

CAPITAL: Bacolod City
LAND AREA: 7926.1 sqm km
ZIP CODE: 6100


Originally known as "Buglas" by its natives. This fourth largest island in the Philippine archipelago was given the name "Negros" by the Spanish navigators when Esteban de Rodriguez discovered the island in April, 1565 and found its earliest occupants to be dark-skinned natives belonging to the Negrito ethnic group. The natives then, occupied initially most of the southern portion of the province, being Binalbagan and Ilog. Two of the earliest native settlements which officially became towns in 1572 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now HImamaylan) and Candaguit.

In 1734, the island became a military district and Ilog became its first capital. Bacolod was made provincial capital in 1849. Then in 1856, Negros Occidental was raised to the category of a politico-military province. During this time, several more towns were established like San Carlos and Calatrava. Other towns were created, particularly Saravia, Escalante and Valladolid (1860) as a result of the growth of Population and the influx of immigrants coming from neighboring provinces such as Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, and Cebu. These growth in population and immigrants brought to the province in turn rapid material growth and development during the later part of the 18th century.

The major boon to the province at this time were two: the cultivation of sugar which brought economic boost as it later led Negros to pioneer other provinces in sugar production with its initial of 4,000 piculs of sugar in 1856 increasing to 2,000,000 piculs in 1897. With this, new machineries such as those operated by steam were used in the towns of Bacolod, Minuluan and Bago. Another boon was the opening of the ports like Iloilo and Cebu to foreign commerce.

During the last decade of the 19th century, several important events may be summarized: one, the making of Negros Occidental as a separate province in 1890.Two, the joining of the Negrense revolutionary leaders in the nationwide Katipunan Movement which overcame the Spanish garrison in the province on November 6, 1898 during one of the Filipinos´revolt against the Spanish rule. Three, the arrival of the Americans in the province in May, 1899 leading to the establishment of a Civil Government in Negros Occidental on April 20, 1901. Fouth, the ousting and surrender of the Japanese Forces in Negros (1945) after both civilian and military leaders in Negros Occidental pursued and organized a free government in the province.

After the upheaval and destruction brought by the first and second world wars, the next years following it, were dedicated to the rehabilitation and reconstructions of various sectors as Industry and Commerce, principally the sugar industry. Following this recuperation period, socio-economic growth in the province ensued.

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Negrenses, as practically all Filipinos, are poly-lingual. Of the 87 dialects in the country, two Visayan dialects are predominantly used in the province: Ilonggo, which is spoken by 80% to 90% of the populace, and Cebuano which is used by the rest. English, however, is widely spoken; thus the English-speaking visitor will have little or no communication problem at all.


Negros Occidental is primarily an agricultural province. Of the total land area of 792,607 hectares, 588,145 hectares are arable land of which appoximately 419,305.084 hectares or 53% are devoted to agriculture.

With diversification as a major provincial development program, new land uses such as more inland fishing, livestock & poultry, grains and new crops like coffee, cacao, black pepper, orchards, ramie and others are increasing.

The province of Negros Occidental is reported by the Bureau of Mines to be rich in both metallic and non-metallic mineral resources, notably copper, gold, silver and molybdenum. Among the non-metallic minerals are stones, gravel, and sand and other construction materials, also salt and guano.

The socio-economic life of Negros Occidental from the 1950´s up to the 1980´s depended mainly on sugar, producing annually about 60% of the country´s sugar output. The four corners of the archipelago have focused their wide open eyes and melting mouth to the glory of the Negrenses. Negros is where high living and high eyebrows were.

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Revolutionary Markers in Bago and Silay Cities and E. B. Magalona; 22 kms. and 15 kms. from Bacolod City, respectively; commemorate the spots where local revolutionaries fought against Spanish authorities during the Negros revolution of 1898 and the American forces later.

Araneta and Lacson Monuments, Bago City and Talisay
22 kms. and 6 kms. from Bacolod City, respectively; in memory of two great leaders of the Negros revolution.

Fountain Of Justice, Bacolod City
Where the Capitulation of Bacolod was signed between the Spanish authorities and revolutionary forces.

Instituto Rizal, Bacolod City
First public school established in Bacolod in 1902.

Church Of Talisay, Talisay
7 kms. from Bacolod City constructed in the early part of 1900's where the remains of Fr. Fernando Cuenca and Gen Aniceto Lacson are being kept.

Ancestral House Of Dr. Soriono, Bacolod City
Constructed in 1901, the house was made of hardwood with fine carvings; served as a hospital during the Japanese occupation.

Hofileña Ancestral House, Silay City
15 kms. from Bacolod City; home to a collection of rare art pieces, antiques and paintings done by Luna, Rizal and Hidalgo; venue of the first wood printing in Negros.

Hacieda Fe. - Ancestral House Of Don Eusebio Uriarte Y Hermanos, La Carlota City; 42 kms. from Bacolod City where the Circulo de Agriculture, a planters organization formed to undertake an anti-locust campaign

The House Of Don Mariano Ramos, Bacolod City
Ancestral home of the late Don Mariano Ramos, first appointed Presidente Municipal of Bacolod.

Capitol Building, Bacolod City
Imposing structure of Romanesque neo-classical architectural design, official seat of government of the Province of Negros Occidental; served as headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Gaston Farm House, Silay City
15 kms. from Bacolod City; typical example of a "sugar baron's mansion"; converted into a museum and known today as the "Balay Negrense".

Old Fort At Himamaylan , Himamaylan
83 kms. from Bacolod City; served as a garrison when the town became the capital of Negros in 1795.

Yulo Acestral House, Bacolod City
By the sea; built in the early part of 1900's; residence of Don Alfredo Yulo, mayor of Bacolod at the coming of the World War II.

The Church Of San Diego, Silay City
15 kms. from Bacolod City; Basilica type of architectural work constructed in the 1920's.

Mural Of Birhen Sang Barangay, Bacolod City
Large mural mosaic of 95,000 pieces of shells of various species in their natural colors. A unique work of art found at the Chapel of Sta. Clara.

Chinese Temple, Bacolod City
Symbol of Chinese influence in the culture of the province.

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Iron Dinosaurs
Known among locomotive enthusiasts as the "Steam Paradise of the Philippines". Seven of the fifteen sugar centrals in the province maintain these machines in good working condition. Each milling season, one may occasionally encounter one of these "dragons" creeping along the cane fields like a mechanical caterpillar dragging along a host of cane field cars.

War Memorial Tours
Visit memorial shrines, places of significant events, and other war related activities commemorating World War II.

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Mt. Kanlaon
One of the mountains found in the north-central portion of the island of Negros. It is the highest peak in Central Philippines, the most dominant and attractive feature of which is the active summit crater of a volcano.

Mambucal Mountain Resort, Murcia
30 kms. from Bacolod City ; gateway to the Mt. Kanlaon National Park; built as a spa in 1927; situated at an altitude of roughly 2,000 ft. above sea level on the north-western foot of Mt. Kanlaon.

Sitio Guintubdan Nature Camp, La Carlota City
36 kms. from Bacolod City; a destination for nature enthusiasts; at the western foot of Mt. Kanlaon at an elevation of 700 meters above the plains of the sugarland.

Patag Valley Trekking, Silay City
45 kms. from Bacolod City; located 400meters above sea level between the highlands of Mt. Silay and Mt. Marapara; home of the Philippines spotted deer; highlight of the visit is a skyline ride.

Isla Puti, Escalante
101 kms. from Bacolod City; immense sand bar islet jutting out of the sea and measuring about 2 hectares in area

Danjugan Island, Cauayan
177.5 kms. from Bacolod City; 3 hectare reserve marine sanctuary, a virtual marine paradise to lovers of the underwater world.

Sagay Marine Sanctuary, Sagay
86 kms. from Bacolod City; established in1978; an aggregate area of 200 hectares covering the so called carbin reef, maca reef, maca shoal and panal reef.

Ubong Cave, Hinobaan
202 kms. from Bacolod City; system of cave passages situated at the coastline of Sitio Ubong. Ideal for "spelunker-to-be"

Pating Cave, Kabankalan
Highest cave found in the eastern part of Bgy. Magballo.

Hagdanan Cave, Kabankalan
Named so because of the natural formation of stairs made of stone inside the cave leading to the water under it.

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Masskara festival, Bacolod City; every October; a masquerade ball and beaming images of smiling masks street dancing and stomping to the frenzied beat of Latin sambas; depicts the Negrenses happy disposition despite adversities in life.

Pasalamant Festival, La Carlota City; every May; based on the tradition of giving thanks to the Gods of the elements after a bountiful harvest by the ancients in "Buglas".

Kali-Kalihan Festival, Don Salvador Benedicto; every November; celebration of age-old practice showcasing ancient skills in martial arts and beliefs in the forces of nature; walking on live charcoal is one of the highlights.

Pinta Flores Festival, San Carlos City; every November; coined from the words "pinta" and "flores", depicts the tradition of welcoming visitors through dancing as in the "pintados" during the coming of the Spaniards in the Visayas. Flowers instead of tattoos are painted on the bodies and costumes of the dancers.

Cadiz Ati-Atihan, Cadiz City; every January; festival in honor of the Sto. Nino, patron of Cadiz City believed to have created miracles protecting the city from the invading pirates long time ago.

Sinulod, Ilog and Kabankalan; every January; reenactment of the battle between the Christian forces and the invading Moro pirates in the Ilog river; commemorates the defiance of Datu Manyabog against the conquering forces of Gov. Emilio Saravia.

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The City is ideally located on a level area, slightly sloping as it extends toward the sea with an average slopes of 0.9 percent for the City Proper and between 3 to 5 percent for the suburbs. The altitude is 32.8 feet or 10.0 meters above sea level. The benchmark is the Bacolod Public Plaza.By soil type, the different varieties of soil covering the entire area fall into several broad types and qualities like Bago Fine Sandy Loam, Bago Sandy Clay Loam, Guimbala-on Fine Sandy Loam, Guimbala-on Loam, Hydrosol, Rough Mountainous Land, Silay Loam, Silay Sandy Loam and Tupi Fine Sandy Loam.Bacolod has two (2) pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season starts from May to January of the following year with heavy rains occur during the months of August and September. Dry season starts from the month of February up to the last week of April.


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