Showing posts with label attractions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label attractions. Show all posts

Malatan-og Falls: Don Salvador Benedicto's Cigarette Falls

Malatan-og Falls from afar

 Malatan-og is about an hour and a half drive away from Bacolod City in the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental. It is the tallest waterfall on the island and, some say, one of the most beautiful in all of the Philippines.

Getting there, however, is a bit of a pain if you aren’t used to hiking. Once you arrive in Don Salvador, head for the waterfalls viewing deck. Normally you’ll find it quite crowded, but it is such a beautiful sight.

From there, you will be asked to sign their registry and if you want a tour guide (it’s free, but they ask for a donation). Two hundred pesos is normal gift but if you can give more, please do. The money is used to keep the park clean, safe, and beautiful.

Masskara 2015 Schedule and Talk

Masskara 2015 is finally here!

Every year Masskara seems to be changing at least a little bit. This year, Masskara Araneta Fiesta Alley has been added along Araneta St. It's open after 5pm every day.

Here's what I'm wondering: Why did they put it there? The traffic is unbearable. Not to mention, where is everyone going to stand for the street dancing competition? Everyone is just going to move south another block? Ugh! Oh well, it's not like you can actually see the street dancing outside of the first row anyway, and everyone pushes so much that I'm afraid to bring any children.

Sta. Fe Resort

Exotic animals at Sta. Fe Resort Bacolod
An exotic bird in a cage at Sta. Fe Resort in Bacolod City
I have been wanting to go to Sta. Fe  Resort for a long time, and my wife quickly agreed to spend a day there. It costs, I believe, 50 pesos to enter and 50 pesos to use the swimming pools. They also have restaurants and rooms available.

Holy Week Celebrations in Bacolod

Holy Week is the week beginning on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday. In the Philippines, many Filipinos begin taking off work that Sunday (if they work that day) or Monday and start to head home. It is known as "the exodus". However, even though it begins as early as Palm Sunday, "the exodus" doesn't hit its highest point until Thursday (known as "Maundy Thursday" in the Philippines and "Holy Thursday" in most Western countries). At this point, the roads are incredibly crowded and it is definitely not recommended to travel unless you are part of this exodus.

Around Holy Week, there's always an influx of foreigners into the Philippines. This isn't because the foreigners are religious, but it is because Filipinos love Holy Week and want to share it with the rest of the world.

Panaad Festival

Panaad Festival is known as "The Mother of All Festivals" in the Negros Provinces. The festival is a conglomerate of 32 separate festivals from 13 cities sand 19 towns across Negros island.

"Panaad sa Negros Festival" takes place sometime between March and April at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City where history, culture, trade, agriculture, and tourism are showcased. The first four festivals were held at the Capitol Park and Lagoon but was transferred to Panaad Park after the celebration became so large that it became necessary for Bacolod to give the festival it's own area. In 1997, the festival moved to Panaad Park and Stadium where it now calls home.

The 23nd Panaad Festival (2016 edition) will kick off during the second week of April (11-17) with sporting event competitions, including boxing.

Bacolod Night Life

Bacolod City isn't necessarily known for its night life. Actually, all of the malls within the city close early compared to other cities-even SM City closes at 9PM and Robinsons at 8PM. However, there are several areas within the city that can give you life after dark, especially since the city is known for its call centers. Sadly, you won't find these areas around the plaza.

This area is the exact opposite of the rest of the city. Where downtown Bacolod is alive and thriving during the day, Goldenfields is virtually a ghost town. Likewise, when the downtown area is virtually dead, Goldenfields is one of the busiest areas after dark.

Bacolodiat Festival

The Bacolodiat Festival takes place once a year to celebrate the Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival). It occurs for three days with the last day occurring on the holiday.

The Bacolodiat Festival has various activities such as The Lantern Dance, Chopstix alley, fireworks, lantern contests, dragon and lion dances, a parade involving several of the "Chinese" schools, and more. You'll also find many of the malls in Bacolod celebrating this time of year by having discounts and their own events.

MassKara City

MassKara City is a planned area in the Reclamation Area of Bacolod City. The area will be home to the MassKara Festival with shops, restaurants and other activities year round that will feature Bacolod's heritage and culture.

The Bacolod Baywalk

The Bacolod Baywalk will open on February 14, 2013 (Valentine's Day)! The area will feature a walk path and an area to view Bacolod's sunset. Currently, the area features "restaurants" (tent areas selling bbq, inasal, and other Bacolod favorites), kiosks, and an entertainment area but will soon feature more activities available for families as the area develops. The Bacolod Baywalk is now charging 20 pesos as an entrance fee.

Bacolod Public Plaza

The Bacolod Pavilion in the center of Bacolod Public Plaza.

The Bacolod Public Plaza is located in downtown Bacolod City. It is a trapezoidal park with four circular fountains and a gazebo.

The Plaza (as it is commonly called) is located near city hall, San Sebastian Cathedral, Central Market, and malls like Lopues Araneta, SM City, and Plaza Mart, and Gaisano Main.

The Pope John Paul II Tower

A statue in front of The Pope John Paul II Tower in Bacolod City, Philippines

The Pope John Paul II Tower in Bacolod City is located in the Reclamation Area (near SM City) in Bacolod City. The tower was donated by Atty. Simplicio A. Palanca through an initiative started by the San Sebastian Cathedral priests.

This beautiful tower is set on the land where Pope John Paul II greeted around one million Filipinos, Asians, and travelers from around the world in Bacolod City on February 20, 1981.

Capitol Lagoon Park

The lagoon at Capitol Lagoon Park along the tourist strip.

The Negros Capitol Park and Lagoon (commonly called Capitol Lagoon Park, the Capitol, or the Lagoon by locals) is home to several Bacolod attractions. It is also in a great location (along the tourism strip of Lacson St.), so it's easy to find and spend a little bit of down time after a meal across the street. The Lagoon is part of the South Korea - Philippines development cooperation.

The lagoon is a large body of water with live tilapia fish swimming inside. Surrounding the lagoon is a pathway where locals jog or walk, especially during early mornings.

Negros Showroom

Negros Showroom on Lacson St.

The Negros Showroom in Bacolod City is located on the tourism strip (Lacson St.). However, if you are ever near Robinsons Place Bacolod, you can check out their extension in City Walk (behind the mall). They actually have almost the exact same products and items. The outside of the City Walk shop is more pleasing to the eyes and in a great place for when you are wanting to cool off and walk around Robinsons mall.

Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Center

The amazing Philippine Eagle-Owl at Negros Forest.

Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Center, often called "Negros Forest", is an ecological area located on the south side of the Capital Lagoon (across the street) in Bacolod City. The location is inside a marked gate and is open from Monday to Saturday, except holidays.

The cost of admission to Negros Forest is 20 pesos per adult and 10 pesos per child under 4 feet tall. You'll find the admissions area just to the right. The door is usually open, so just walk in.

The ecological area consists of trees and other plants native to Negros along with many fantastic animals found in the region. Sadly, many of the animals and plants are endangered or vulnerable due to logging and other deforestation due to commercial and agricultural expansion. In one of the pictures at the end of the article you'll see how virtually all of the Negros forest has now been destroyed.

Mambukal Mountain Resort

A beautiful stream running through Mambukal Mountain Resort.

A short drive south of Bacolod you'll find the wonderful, eventful, and mesmerizing Mambukal Mountain Resort.

Here, you'll find such activities as swimming, hiking, rock climbing, boating, giant bat watching, and being able to take a dip in the hot springs. Of course, none of those are the reason why the resort is so popular among locals and travelers alike. Mambukal Mountain Resort is home to the world famous seven falls.

Bacolod's Masskara Festival

A mask on display at Robinsons Place Bacolod.

The Masskara Festival is easily Bacolod's biggest tourist attraction and most celebrated festival. The Masskara Festival, sometimes called the Festival of Smiles, takes place during a three week period in October ending on the Monday following the weekend closest to October 19, the city's charter day.

The festival first began during the 1980's sugar crisis. The sugar crisis was when the United States changed to fructose corn syrup instead of using sugar. This greatly decreased demand for sugar cane around the world. Since sugar cane is the cash crop of Negros, many people saw economic hardship. As well, during the 1980's the people of Bacolod lost 700 people due to a boating accident. Because of this, the people set up the Masskara Festival as a way to show that there is always something to smile about and celebrate.

The Ruins, the Taj Mahal of Negros in Talisay City

The ruins in Talisay, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Ruins, also known as The Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson Mansion, is a 903-square meter structure located just outside Bacolod City limits in Talisay. The ruins are the left overs of a mansion owned by a rich sugar cane baron. It is sometimes referred to as the Taj Mahal of Negros since it was built for the baron's wife.