Bacolod at Night
Bacolod, the capital of Negros Occidental, a province of the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, is a city with around half a million residents, and food is its main feature. Before going out to have some drinks and dancing the night away at the famous Masskara Festival which takes place in October, one should definitely try out some of the special foods of this city which prides itself on its cuisine. Some of these delicacies are Lumpiang Ubod which is a spring roll with paper thin crepe stuffed with ubod which is a mixture of coconut, pork and shrimp as well as scallion and a special sauce drizzled inside.
“Inasal” is the Bacolod style barbecue of pork or chicken and the translation is “cooked in fire”. This is a cheap dish which includes annatto seeds and a sprinkle of oil.
Kalamayhati is a sweet dessert made of rice and coconut milk cooked over heat and is the local version of rice cake.
Bacolod is famous for its “Napoleones” which are a Bacolod version of a French pastry that has a custard filling but Bacolod makes it in a special way.
Other delicacies in Bacolod are seafood dishes of which there are many versions and places to try them. A dried fish that tastes good is Uga.
Restaurants to go out to to try these dishes include places like Pala-pala Market where the diner can buy his or her own fish and take it to the nearby restaurant and have it cooked and prepared. If you don´t quite like that option you can go to a regular restaurant such as Aboy´s Restaurant which serves affordable grilled seafood. Their best dish is baked scallops.
Nena´s Rose is the place to go for “insasal” chicken served with rice.
The best place for sweet things to eat is Calea, Balay Quince. Sugar is a main product of Bacalod and thus sweet dishes and products are expertly done in this city. In Calea they bake the best cakes in the Philippines. Tourists and locals alike visit Felicia´s Pastry Café, which is also famous for its chocolate cake. After dinner here there are quite a few things one can do to relax and unwind at night when the temperature goes down a little and it feels good to go out on the town and enjoy a little relaxation.
Wherever you go, take care and watch out for pickpockets which although not many, do require some attention.
Some of the things one can do at night are visiting the NGC or New Government Center Park, to the Promenade and view the floating installations inspired by the Masskara Festival which are floated in the pond which is quite large.
See Mag-Beer Muna Tayo which is part of the Masskara Festival Street Party. This event happnes at the Tourism Strip and in the Public Plaza and this is live music by local bands with dancing and shows happening on the streets and the event starts on the 1st of October and lasts until Charter Day. This street party lasts two days and has kiosks lining the street selling refreshing ice-cold beers. There are quite a lot of people participating so be prepared for quite a crowd.
Other places to have a great beer are the Sibeeria, where they serve below zero beers. This place is Bacolod´s mod place to go at the moment. It is a nice evening spot and there is a dress code, so don´t wear sandals, flip-flops, shorts, no tank tops for men. This is the “in” place for the Bacolod scene.
After a few sub zero beers it might be time for a little dancing. For this, head out to the Metrodome commercial mall to Ibiza Ultra-club. This place has two floors, the lower floor is general for everyone but the upper floor is a little more private. Dress code is no flip-flops-shorts or sleeveless shirts for men.
Bacolod residents head out to Mu Shu, their Asian restaurant that is unprepossesing and normal looking until at night when at around 10 it is magically and swiftly transformed into the ultimate party place with tables and chairs removed and a stage and Dj´s arrive to make it the best dance spot in Bacolod and the party starts and lasts almost till dawn. People dress smartly to go here.
If you don´t really like a lot of noise and want to simply sit down, relax and enjoy some quiet and a good conversation with whoever you are with, then perhaps Café Breizh is a good choice for you. This is a rather quiet place where they serve drinks and the dress code here applies to the rest of Bacolod which is a city whose residents normally dress a little formally to go out and socialize.
For a night stroll when the temperatures go down a little, try going to feed the tilapias in Capitol Lagoon before going out to any of the many places to be found on Lacson street.
Another thing one can do in Bacolod is go to the casino. There is an entertainment complex called Golden Fields and here you can visit Casino Filipino which has slot machines and card games.