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Bacolod City: Feast for the Eyes, Treat for the Belly
We have always wanted to go to Bacolod City because of their food; chicken inasal, cakes, and pastries, to name a few but didn't have the chance. Our trip wouldn't have come to fruition if not for the hopes of getting a job offer to work in Ireland.
When hubby's brother, who has been living in Ireland for quite some time, rang us one day saying that a good friend of theirs who owns an agency was looking for nurses for Ireland, we said we will not pass on the opportunity. The interview would be done in Bacolod city, where this friend hails from. This was when we got excited that we would finally get to experience the wonderful city of smiles and taste their wide variety of sweets.
Eating Out in Bacolod City
We stayed on the main street of the city, Lacson Street. This is where the interview would take place and very accessible to the places we would be going - pastry shops, tourist spots, and malls. The hotel we booked was in a business area and we expected high rates. So what we had was a compromise of beautiful and affordable. L' Fischer hotel just gave us that. Best of all, it was just in front of the best cake shop in Bacolod.
It was easy for us where we would be going, our first choice was Calea. We heard they have the best cakes in town. And to be honest, so far, their cakes are the best. We didn't miss their special ice cream cake. Our daughter loved it, and she's one person who doesn't eat sweets, let alone cakes. We love their Pecan pie and bought one for ourselves when we got home. Then we shopped in Merci for treats to bring home and got to taste the Napoleones.
We did not miss out on filling our bellies with their signature chicken inasal in Manokan country. There were several restaurants in Manokan country all serving chicken inasal, but we forgot the name of the famous one. Funny thing is the cab driver told us to go to "Mang Inasal" because they have UNLI RICE. This was his criteria for the best chicken inasal. Mang Inasal is a fast food chain, we are no strangers to it because we always dine in one of their restaurants in Cebu. I can't blame the driver though, because, like us, the offer of unlimited rice refill is all that matters. But no, when we got to Manokan country, we found the name Aida's Chicken and had this gut feeling that this is the best chicken in town, and rightfully so.
Seeing the Beauty of Bacolod City
We visited some famous spots in Bacolod, a good friend of ours suggested to us several places to visit, such as the New Government Center, Negros Museum, and of course, the Ruins in Talisay City. I know the Ruins is not in Bacolod, but it is a must to see it. We were time-pressured, so we weren't able to visit a lot of tourist spots.
Bacolod is known as the city of smiles but we are unaware of the real reason. Bacolod was a prosperous and rich city when there was high demand for cane sugar. Then corn syrup came, which is a lot less expensive. A few other unfortunate events happened that brought gloom to the city. Then the MassKara festival was born. People wear masks with smiley faces, a sign of hope that they can rise above the circumstance. For us, even without masks, the locals of Bacolod always have warm smiles on their faces and they're very hospitable.
The whole trip to Bacolod city was fun, filling (literally), and fulfilling. We got to experience a little of their culture and mingle with the locals who, we thought, don't know how to get mad. Probably the way they talk, because us Cebuanos talk fast and have strong stresses in our words, but Bacolodnons talk like they are singing. So lovely to the ears. We missed the MassKara festival and Panaad festival was coming up, but we are definitely coming back, that's our "Saad". Apart from all the eating and sightseeing, our tip to Bacolod was worth it because hubby got the job.
See more of our trip and some lovely photos of the mouth-watering desserts. Visit Exploring Bacolod: Sidelining a Business Trip for a Sweet Adventure