Backpacking 3 Negros Occidental cities in 6 hours (Bacolod, Talisay and Silay)

Lacson Ruins

Bacolod City is the capital province of Negros Occidental. Pegged as the city of smiles, Bacolod is home of the famous annual Maskarra Festival held every October. If you are travelling Negros Occidental, make sure to visit Bacolod and its nearby cities as the region is not only popular for warm and friendly people but is also rich in culture and heritage.

Having a limited time backpacking could be challenging. Well, this happened during my Bacolod trip.   I had to tour around the area from morning until early afternoon as I had to be in Dumaguete the same day. Coming from Iloilo City, I took the earliest possible fastcraft from Iloilo to Bacolod. I arrived in Bacolod port at around 8:30 AM. (related: How to get to Bacolod from Iloilo)

8:30 AM – From Bacolod Port to Nowhere

I was clueless which way to go when I arrived in Bacolod port. I just rode one of the jeepneys waiting in the port and made sure that it was headed to the city proper. While in the jeepney, I started googling and checking tripadvisor for tourist attractions in Bacolod and nearby cities. I was lucky enough to have seated to very welcoming and friendly locals. They  gave me tips on what to visit and where to go in Bacolod. It happens that the nearest tourist spot from the port is the famous “Lacson Ruins” in Talisay City.

me with some locals
me with some locals

As instructed by one of the locals, I disembarked in Bacolod north bus terminal (Ceres Terminal) in Lacson street and took a cab instead of tricycle. A special tricycle trip from the main road to the site of Lacson Ruins would be more expensive than taking a cab. I hailed a cab from Bacolod north bus terminal and arranged a two-way trip from the terminal to Lacson Ruins. 300 Php was not bad for a two-way trip considering that the taxi driver will have to wait for me while touring Lacson Ruins. Note that the ruins is quite far from the main road and there are rarely taxis or tricycles that would bring you back to the main road.

9 AM – Lacson Ruins in Talisay City

I was very excited to check-out the Lacson Ruins as it is one of the most photographed tourist destination in Negros Occidental. I asked the taxi driver to come with me inside Lacson Ruins since he hasn’t been inside the complex. Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him outside the parking area while I’m touring around the vicinity of Lacson Ruins. Luckily, the attendant was very nice that he let my taxi driver in for free.  I also paid the discounted rate of 50 Php for PWD instead of a 100 Php regular rate.

Lacson Ruins
Lacson Ruins

Lacson Ruins or also known as The Ruins is said to be the Taj Majal of Negros and os one among the 12 fascinating ruins in the world. The ruins is said to be the remains of the burnt mansion of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. It was built-in 1920s and was burnt in 1942.

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Talisay City to Silay City

Right after touring and taking photos around Lacson Ruins, we headed back to Bacolod north bus terminal. The driver was offering to bring me to Hofilena Museum in Silay city. I refused the offer since it would cost me additional 300 Pesos. Since he dropped me off in the bus terminal, I just asked few locals which bus should I take going to Silay City.

I paid for a 12 Php fare, hopped into the bus and asked the fare collector to drop me off near Hofilena Museum.

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The bus dropped-me off in along Rizal street just across an old Spanish architecture building of El Ideal bakery in Silay City. Using google maps, I walked to Hofilena museum which is just three blocks away from El Ideal.

10 AM – Hofilena Museum in Silay City

Hofilena museum is located along Cinco de Noviembre street. Hofilena ancestral house is said to be the 1st house in Silay city to be opened to the public in 1962. It is also the first house in Silay, still inhabited, to be declared as a museum in 1980s.

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Hofilena museum is said to be the home of one of the Philippines’ fine art collections such as antiques owned by the Hofilena family.

10:30 AM – Stroll the street of Cinco de Noviembre, Silay City

Since I was already in Cinco de Noiembre street, I decided to stroll along the street. It was fascinating to see that most of the houses are preserved making Silay city a must visit destination for architecture and heritage enthusiasts.

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Cinco de Noviembre (5th of November) street was named as such because it is was in November 5, 1898 on the exact place where locals rose in revolt against Spanish.

11.00 AM – Balay Negrense

Also located in Cinco de November street, Balay Negrense is also known as Victor Gaston Ancestral home. This mansion was built using baling hardwood in 1898 and is said to have the most beautiful exterior of any house in Silay.

Balay Negrense Silay City
Balay Negrense Silay City

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Balay Negrense entrance fee is 60 Php for adults and 30 Php for children. I paid a 45 Php discounted rate for PWD/senior citizen.

After touring inside Balangay Negrense, I further wandered around Cinco de November and nearby streets. If you are into architecture, culture and heritage, walking around Silay would truly be a delight.

Silly City has 29 heritage houses which are considered today as Negros Occidental’s architectural landmarks.

11:30 AM – Benita Jara Ancestral House, Silay City Hall and Church of San Diego de Alcala

I was ready to head back to Bacolod City and passed by several landmarks.

Benita Jara Ancestral House Silay Negros
Benita Jara Ancestral House Silay Negros


Silay City Hall Negros Occidental
Silay City Hall Negros Occidental


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Church of San Diego Alcala was built-in 1925 with the donation of Don Jose de Ledesma. The Italian architech Lucio Bernasconi is benind beautiful architectural design of Church of San Diego de Alcala.

After checking out the beautiful architecture of old houses and landmarks in Silay City, I took a Jeepney headed to Silay terminal which is just across the Bacolod north bus terminal. From there, I rode a jeepney bound SM Bacolod.

12:30 PM – Manokan Country in Bacolod City

Just across SM Bacolod is Manokan County. If you are a foodie traveller, do not dare to miss eating at Manokan Country. This food complex is the best place to fulfill your Bacolod gastronomic adventures. Manokan Country has a wide array open-air restaurants serving Bacolod Insal.

Yummy Chicken Inasal
Yummy Chicken Inasal


I visited one of the many restaurants in Monokan Country. For my full review visit Where to Eat in Bacolod City – Manokan Country.

1:30 PM  – Rest at SM Bacolod

Right after a sumptuous authentic Bacolod inasal meal, I decided to go to SM Bacold to freshen up and relax.  After resting in a coffee shop for about an hour, I hailed a cab and headed to Bacolod South bus terminal where I’ll take a bus going to Dumaguete.

Overall, I enjoyed my short trip to Negros Occidental. I should say that the highlight of my trip was seeing the beautiful architecture of houses in Silay City. Having the authentic Bacolod inasal was also great. I know that there are many tourist attractions in Negros Occidental and I’d definitely return to the province. The next time I visit, I’ll make sure to stay longer and not just wander around the province in 6 hours.

Where to eat Chicken Inasal in Bacolod City? Manokan Country

Aida's Manokan Country

Bacolod City is the capital of Negros Occidental province. Pegged as the City of Smiles for being a friendly city, it is also the home of the famous annual Maskarra festival. Aside from its friendly people and its highly anticipated festival, Bacolod is also popular for its specialty dish – Chicken Inasal.

Chicken Inasal is a marinated chicken pieces in a mixture of vinegar, pepper, annato and other spices then grilled using coals until done. The unique blend of marinade and basting make this typical grilled chicken extra sprecial! Today, chicken inasal has become popular and various restaurant chains serve this yummy Bacolod dish all over the Philippines.

Where  to eat Chicken Inasal in Bacolod City? Manokan Country

Manokan Country Bacolod City
Namit ang manok sa Bacolod! Chicken in Balod is delicious!

Manokan Country is a popular food destination among locals and tourists. It is a food complex with wide array of open-air restaurants serving Chicken Inasal.

Located in Father Ferrero street, Manokan Country is just across SM City Bacolod’s north wing. If you are coming from any place in Bacolod, just hail a taxi and inform the driver to bring you to Manokan Country. If you are coming from Bacolod Ceres Bus terminal, cross the road and go to Silay terminal. From there, ride a jeepney bound to SM Bacolod. Just ask the driver to drop you to Manokan Country.


Manokan Country Map

After visiting The Ruins and several old houses in Silay City, I immediately headed to Manokan Country to try the authentic Bacolod’s Chicken Inasal. Manokan Country reminded me of Mahogany Market in Tagaytay. The only difference is that restaurants in Manokan Country offer Chicken Inasal instead of bulalo. (Related post: Where to eat cheap bulalo in Tagaytay?)

I observed that Aida’s Chicken restaurant was jam-packed with guests. Since there are many restaurants to choose from, I decided that Aida’s restaurant must be the place to eat Chicken Inasal in Manokan Country.

Aida's Manokan Country BacolodAida’s Restaurant in Manokan Country Bacolod

Affordable Menu

Aida’s Chicken restaurant offers inasal dishes at an affordable price. The most expensive dish at Aida’s is chicken pecho which only costs 80 Php and garlic rice at only 30 Php. If you are a fan of chicken innards, they also serve atay, heart and tina-e (isaw).

Yummy Chicken Inasal
Yummy Chicken Inasal at Aida’s Manokan Country

I was surprised by the generous serving size of Aida’s chicken inasal! I have eaten inasal countless times in Manila but Aida’s was really way far better! It was perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful! I even had to order my second rice to finish the generous serving of their chicken pecho.

Aida's Manokan Country
Garlic Rice (30 Php) & Chicken pecho (80 Php)

I’m a fan of soy sauce with calamansi but I barely consumed the sauce I prepared. The inasal itself is very delicious and is already good without sauce.

Overall, I super enjoyed the gastronomic experience in Manokan Country. It was nice to eat Bacolod Chicken Inasal right where it originated. I would definitely return to Manokan Country on my next visit to Bacolod City!


How to get to Bacolod from Iloilo – Weesam Express, SuperCat 2GO, Oceanjet (ferry schedule, fare, travel time)

Weesam Express Iloilo Bacolod route

There are no direct flights from Iloilo City to Bacolod City. The only means to get to Bacolod City from Iloilo City is by sea. The fastest, most convenient and most practical option is by a fastcraft ferry. Geographically, both cities are just 43.78 kilometers apart. Distance is equal to 23.63 nautical miles. With a fastcraft ferry, travel time is only 1 hour to 2 hours.

From Iloilo City, hail a taxi  going to Iloilo River Wharf. Note that there are three seaports in Iloilo.  The Dumangas Port, Iloilo port and the Iloilo River Wharf. The latter is where fastcrafts to Bacolod are docked. Just inform the taxi driver to bring you to the port.

Fastcraft port ilolilo city
Fastcraft port ilolilo city
There are three fastcraft ferry companies serving passengers from Iloilo going to Bacolod (vice versa). Weesam Express, SuperCat by 2GO and OceanJet. Here are their trip schedules, travel time, fares and contact numbers:

Note that the below information are based on what I have gathered during my recent trip from Iloilo to Bacolod. These may be subject to change. I highly advise to at least contact the ferry operators before going to the port.

SuperCat 2GO

SuperCat 2GO
SuperCat 2GO
SuperCat 2GO Iloilo to Bacolod Departure Schedule

  • 7:30 AM
  • 10:30 AM
  • 2:00 PM
  • 5:00 PM

SuperCat 2GO Iloilo to Bacolod Fare

  • Tourist – 260 Php
  • Deluxe – 230 Php
  • Economy – 190 Php

SuperCat contact number: +63 9423909945


OceanJet Iloilo to Bacolod Departure Schedule

  • 6:05 AM
  • 7:35 AM
  • 9:05 AM
  • 10:35 AM
  • 12:30 PM
  • 2:15 PM
  • 3:45 PM
  • 5:15 PM

OceanJet Iloilo to Bacolod travel time: 1 hour

OceanJet Iloilo to Bacolod Fare

  • Opern Air/Tourist class – 230 Php
  • Business class – 365 Php

OceanJet Iloilo contact number: +63 33 3353255
OceanJet Bacolod contact number: +63 34 4335359

Weesam Express

Weesam Express
Weesam Express
Weesam Express Iloilo to Bacolod Departure Schedule

  • 6:30 AM
  • 8:30 AM
  • 9:50 AM
  • 11:30 AM
  • 1:10 PM
  • 2:50 PM
  • 4:35 PM

Weesam Express Iloilo to Bacolod travel time: 2 hours

Weesam Express Iloilo to Bacolod Fare

  • First Class – 300 Php
  • First Class (student) – 255 Php
  • First Class (senior citizen) – 240 Php
  • Tourist – 230 Php
  • Tourist (students) – 200 Php
  • Tourist (senior citizen) – 185 Php
  • Economy non-aircon – 200 Php
  • Economy non-aircon (students) – 170 Php
  • Economy non-aircon (senior citizen) – 160 Php

Weesam Express Contact Number: +63 3373282 / +63 9253496250

My Weesam Express Experience

Oceanjet has the earliest daily trip, for some reason, they do not have the 6:05 AM trip going to Bacolod that day.  I had a chance to book the earliest trip (6:30 AM) to Bacolod via Weesam Express. Terminal fee is 30 Php but I only paid 24 Php, PWD discounted rate.

There is a security check in the terminal. Unlike in Batangas port where there is a baggage x-ray machine, guards manually check the bags in Iloilo Wharf port.

Weesam Express Iloilo Bacolod route
Weesam Express Iloilo Bacolod route
I wanted to seat in a non-air-conditioned area, unfortunately the 6:30 AM fastcraft ferry bound to Bacolod did not have the economy non-aircon seats. I bought a first class ticket instead (at a PWD discounted rate).

The first class seats are located on the first level of the ferry. There are 3 LCD flat screen TVs, a mini store selling snacks and drinks, and a comfort room. The seat is comfortable for a 2 hour cruise from Iloilo to Bacolod.

Tourist class seats Weesam Express
Tourist class seats
Since I do not have a first class seat ticket, I am not allowed to enter the first class seats at the second level. I still managed to take a photo of the area. Well, it appears that first class seats are more comfortable.

First Class seats Weesam Express
First Class seats
The entire Weesum Express trip from Iloilo to Bacolod was a breeze.  I felt safe throughout the trip. I just did not realize that among the three fastcraft ferries, at 2 hours, Weesum Express has the longest travel time from Iloilo to Bacolod. Nonetheless, it has the cheapest rate and is ideal for slow budget travelling.