Bacolod at a glance
Bacolod, located at the northwestern part of the Negros island, has land area of 156.1 kilometers.
The city is bounded by the Guimaras Strait on the west, Talisay City on the north, the town of Murcia on the east, and Bago City on the south.
A highly urbanized city, Bacolod posted a population of 562,000 in 2015, with majority of the people speaking Illonggo and the rest, Cebuano.
The name of the city was derived from the Ilonggo word “bakolod” which means “stonehill,” since the settlement was founded in 1770 on a stonehill area.
Bacolod City is the capital of Negros Occidental, the Philippines’ major sugar producer, contributing over half of the country’s output.
Visitors accommodation, excellent professional service, gourmet food and modern facilities have contributed to make the city a major tourism destination in the Visayas.
Bacolod is known for its sweet delicacies such as the famous piaya, a flat cookie with muscuvado sugar filling; napoleones, butterscotch, barquillos, and caramel tarts.
Bacolod, also called the city of smiles, celebrates its charter anniversary every October with the raucous Mardi Gras festival known as the Masskara Festival. For residents, Masskara—coined from the words “mass,” meaning multitude, and “kara,” a Spanish word for face—is an expression of gratitude for the abundance of blessings life brings. The festival was born in the 1980s amid the sugar crisis that hit Negros Occidental following the steep drop of prices of sugar in the world market. The depression was further aggravated when a Bacolod-bound vessel, MV Don Juan, sank on April 22, 1980, resulting in the deaths of about 700 people.
The San Sebastian Cathedral in downtown Bacolod, a must-see landmark, is originally built as a small chapel in 1882 using coral stones from Guimaras Island. Beside the cathedral is the Palacio Episcopal or Bishop’s Palace which was constructed in 1830. -Compiled by: Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives, bacolodcity.gov.ph
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