There are a lot of ways to get to Bacolod, of course — and depending on where you are coming from, travel time and fare would vary. But from Iloilo City, it’s just a little over two hours by fastcraft on a reasonable fee.
Anyway, though Bacolod’s pier is still a work in progress, it’s just a stone’s throw away from SM City Bacolod and the public plaza.
This means once you arrive, you could even immediately begin your adventure especially if you are under time constraints. And it’s okay though as when you are done, Bacolod got a sort of modernized bus terminal which is nicely situated along the highway.
So, let’s check on many of the pretty sights in the city.
While the Provincial Capitol Lagoon looks cool, who would not be amazed by the architectural beauty of Bacolod’s Cathedral as well as The Ruins (yeah, tho it may not exactly be within the city itself, it has always been synonymous to Bacolod) which we would be having a video or a series of photos about it — so, come follow us!
Anyhow, just like my visit to Iloilo, I also wished I could have really seen one of Bacolod’s attractions which is the Baywalk. The concept is similar to Dumaguete’s boardwalk and Iloilo’s riverwalk but with a different appeal (just wondered why they placed an entrance fee to it, though just P20). Unfortunately, it was closed that time; and incidentally, the Negros Museum, too.
Still, if you are wondering how would your life be if, say, you were to relocate to Bacolod, no worry — they certainly got good schools, an adequate public market and pretty good roads along with renown malls like SM and Robinson’s for you to enjoy.
Now, it’s just a matter of taking that leap. Even for a visit, say the MassKara Festival celebrated every fourth Sunday of October!
So, we are now in the final segment of our Luzon to Visayas adventure trip — and what a ride it has been! Yes, just one more sea travel and two land trips then finally, we’re back to Cebu City; but not after a few memorable days in Bacolod City, of course.
Anyway, while traveling by plane is cool — as you get to your destination faster and thus have more free time when you arrive — traveling by land and sea are simply much better. After all, if it’s adventure you really seek, then long land and (at times rough?) sea travels would get really your juices flowing right off the bat — yep, whether locally or internationally!
Okay, okay, adventure is out there in your intended destination — whatever part of the world it may be — but really, aren’t they just mostly beaches or slices of nature? See?? Then why not make the Philippines part of that experience? Yeah, especially if you’re a local, otherwise, a foreigner who is already in the country or planning a vacation somewhere on earth. See for one, the Philippines’ got thousands of islands to hop around and consequently beautiful sceneries and beaches to relax and enjoy! So.
Bacolod City to San Carlos City. Bus. 2h 20m. P153. Now while San Carlos is still part of Negros Occidental, understand that it is almost 80 kilometers away from Bacolod, so you got to get to South Ceres Bus Terminal first which is in Luzuriaga Street for that bus ride.
In this trip, you would be passing by the towns of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto before reaching San Carlos. There are actually some nice sceneries and tourist spots (like the Negros Chocolate Hills, mountain resorts and some man-made forest of sorts) along the way that if you are traveling by car and got some spare time, you could actually stop first and make some memories. I was in a bus, so the most I could do was take pictures on the go. Not bad.
San Carlos City to Toledo City. Fastcat. 1h 10m. P150 + P20 terminal fee. It was about 4:10PM when the bus arrived at the San Carlos bus terminal. And I found out that there were still two trips scheduled for Toledo City, 5PM (Fastcat) and 6PM (Lite Ferries) — and so, I started asking around about the place like accommodation, malls, places of interest and stuff. You know, maybe I could spend even a night or two first before boarding the ship to Cebu. Haha.
Then again, I’ve just been away too long and it’s already a new year so okay, better next time since I am also planning to climb Mount Canlaon (2,435 meters in Negros Occidental) anyway. Yeah, hopefully sometime this year I’d be at its peak. Hopefully.
Toledo City to Cebu City. Van. 2h. P100. Here I took the 5PM trip to Toledo and arrived after an hour. Yeah, it’s nighttime once again. And they say there are only two Ceres buses that ply Toledo that by the time I arrived, only vans remain for trips to Cebu City. And so, after taking some pictures, I then joined some of the ship’s passengers in the tricycle (P10 per head) to the van’s terminal.
20 minutes later, our van left Toledo for Cebu City.
After more than a couple of days in Iloilo, I could not really say anything negative except for how I wish I could stay there a little longer? Haha. Indeed, I liked the place. Urbanized yet still maintains that cozy atmosphere.
Still, if I would extend my stay, I’d just end up getting behind my schedules so it was simply time for me to pack up and head for Bacolod City, yes, another of those key cities in the country.
Iloilo City to Bacolod City. Fastcraft. 2h 20m. P200 + P30 terminal fee. With maximizing time in mind, I took the 10:30AM trip to the City of Bacolod and after a little over two hours, our ferry safely arrived at the port of Bacolod, Negros Occidental. Hmm. Looking at the map, it’s actually like just a stone’s throw away from Iloilo City, however, since we were coming from the river of Iloilo plus we need to navigate around Guimaras Island province, such explains why these fast ferries take over two hours of travel. Right.
Anyway, unlike my earlier trips, I’m fresher here having had a few days of rest and leisure in Iloilo — that in fact, right after I arrived in Bacolod, I just dropped off my luggages in my hotel room and left for “The Ruins” right away. Yeah, The Ruins! And that landmark is even like outside of Bacolod City already!
Of course, I needed to eat lunch first. And so after having Bacolod’s specialty in Chicken Inasal, I was ready and off to The Ruins!
Leaving The Ruins though is more of a challenge since it’s isolated and there are not many tricycles that ply the road out there, so do not be surprised if you are asked for a P50 fare going back to Bata terminal — yeah, even with somebody else on board. I was.
Anyway, we’ll be having a special blog about The Ruins — in pictures!
TRIVIA. Did you know that it was in this tourist spot that I had the most “selfies”? And would you believe that I literally had a thousand photographs in all of this 2-week travel escapade?? Unbelievable, that if I do not be selective and just post each one of these pictures daily, that’s good for like a 3-year spread in social media! Wow!
Coming up, the last leg of our holiday travel spree!
The holidays inarguably gives most of us more free time not to mention a little more funds at hand; and so encouraging us to do something a little more adventurous as well. And perhaps that’s exactly what happened this Christmas season of 2017 to many of us..
With a business trip to the north, Luzon that is, I felt that it was time for a different kind of experience — at least after my purpose has been done, of course. And so, a two-week adventure!
MY ROUTE: Cebu City to Manila to Batangas City to Calapan City to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro to Caticlan to Iloilo City to Bacolod City to San Carlos City to Toledo City and back to Cebu City!
Wow, I could have just flown back again to Cebu! But yeah, this time it was a mix of air, rough seas and long hours of land travel that even included night and dawn trips, most of which you could not imagine how exhausting they actually were — but in the end, just all worth it.
For your reference and in case you plan to do such an adventurous trip, oh connecting trips, as well — guess there’s no real need to tell you the exact days of my travel (since you may want to cut it short or prolong your stay in one or several places depending on your time, interest and budget) but just the costs (as of December 2017), the time it took and some comments. Take note that these are basically my travel expenses and not counting the hotel stay, laundry, meals, snacks, supplies, souvenirs, in-city fares, tourist spot fees and some emergency money. And so, without further adieu..
Cebu City to Manila. AirAsia. 1h 20m. P2,300. The plane trip left as scheduled but was actually 20 minutes ahead of its ETA (estimated time of arrival) which has sort of become a signature for AirAsia as this has always been the case whenever I fly the airline. Hmm, that’s good. The airfare, on the other hand, varies depending on when and where you booked and when you wish to fly. Frequent flyers know this. The nearer your flight date, the more expensive it becomes. On the contrary, the farther your flight date, the lower the airfare would be, of course with consideration to the airline’s price threshold.
Manila to Batangas City. Bus at Taft Ave. cor. Buendia. 1h 40m. P168. When in Manila, be mindful of the traffic so watch your sked. Anyhow, considering the distance (103 km) and traffic, my long-time friend informed me that the trip could take 3-4 hours. But to my pleasant surprise, it only took less than two hours. So yes, great!
Batangas City to Calapan City (Mindoro Oriental). Roro ship. 2h 30m. P200 fare + P30 terminal fee. I actually got to the pier at about mid-morning in hope that I could leave by lunchtime at least — but the rains just had so many passengers caught in disarray that even with several shipping lines open for booking, I was only able to secure mine for the 3PM trip that only left at around 3:30PM.
Calapan City to Roxas (Mindoro Oriental). Van. P200. While both places are in the same province, the distance was really quite far (119.3 km) so it took the van 2h 30m to reach Roxas in this north to south trip. What’s tough in riding a van though is the placement of your luggages. With most everybody having at least a backpack or two and no real compartment in the van, you would be forced to just let your baggages sit on your lap for the trip. At least, initially.
Mindoro’s basic disadvantage: No buses. So, consider your itinerary.
Watch out for our second part, The Boracay Enigma!
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