Living the best life in Bacolod | Inquirer Business

Living the best life in Bacolod

The Ruins is a popular attraction near Bacolod City.

Where is the best place to live in the Philippines? According to MoneySense Magazine and the social media channel, The Conyo Times, it’s Bacolod.

The capital of Negros Occidental is also known as the “City of Smiles” and is famous for its colorful and vibrant Masskara Festival. It offers rich experiences in culture, food and fun, and is said to have the ideal combination of urban progress and country charm. It further boasts of a rich history, scenic environment and a hospitable community.


For those looking to live outside the metro, Bacolod is one of the best alternative places to settle in. Find out how the City of Smiles lives up to its moniker, and why it just might be your next best home.


Reasons to smile

There are many reasons to love Bacolod. Though second to Cebu in terms of population in the Visayas, the city has a low crime rate and manageable traffic conditions. Like much of the Philippines, weather can be hot or cold, but Bacolod rarely suffers from natural calamities such as earthquakes, storms and floods. When it does, the damage is not usually lasting.

According to Arch. Robert Aguillon, a long-term resident and a practicing professional in Bacolod, the quality of life in the city is superb. The Negrense capital has lower costs of living when compared to Cebu and Manila. The climate is comfortable and neighbors are usually friendly and peaceful.

Famous for sugar plantations, the city offers native handicrafts and delicacies. The latter, in particular, has led to many thriving businesses even outside the region. With its chicken inasal, baked piaya and other mouthwatering dishes, Bacolod has a thriving food tourism that keeps visitors coming all year round.

Bacolod remains a green and peaceful city and is a popular tourist destination in the Visayas region.

Unique character of the city

Although Bacolod has lots to offer, the city is most famous for one particular event: the annual Masskara Festival. Celebrated every October, the festival is a display of colorful masks, exciting performances and entertaining fairs.


Initially held in 1980, the Masskara was originally developed to uplift people during a time of grief and crisis. Bringing together artists and performers, the city expressed hope and resilience through a parade of masks and activities. Today, the festival became the defining element of the city, and perhaps can be credited for the birth of the city’s moniker as the “City of Smiles.”

Apart from the Masskara Festival, Bacolod is also known for its heritage houses and churches. Prominent sugar barons of the past century built lavish mansions in their prime to display wealth and power. Today, many of these mansions stand as a testament to their fine tastes and appreciation for beauty. Some examples of such structures are Gaston Ancestral House, Daku Balay and the San Sebastian Cathedral.

Emerging suburbs

With its attractive features and elements, it is easy to understand why Bacolod has been hailed as the “best place to live in the Philippines.”  While many places in our country are equally deserving of this title, Bacolod offers the best of both the urban and provincial.

Today, Bacolod is flourishing in terms of its real estate. Many established developers have started to invest here to create modern condominiums, subdivisions and hotels. This year, in particular, saw the entrance of Rockwell, one of Philippines’ premier developers, in the capital of Negros.  The group seems to be the city’s match made in heaven, as both are known to cater to fine tastes and beautiful surroundings.

As the City of Smiles continues to develop in the coming years, let us hope that Bacolod’s rich character and culture will continue to be preserved amid modern environments. Despite its rich history, the city appears ready to accept new changes, especially ones that are made for the better. With Rockwell now establishing itself in the capital of Negros, it is exciting to see how much more Bacolod will offer in terms of quality living and exquisite tastes.


Arch. Roberto Aguillon

Arch. Catherine Anne Hermo

The Conyo Times

Xeltran via Wikimedia

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TAGS: Bacolod, City of Smiles, Masskara Festival

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