Bacolod (part 2): In and Out of the City!

continued from part 1...

Day 3

Bob's Restaurant

We began our day a little later today because everyone was still tired from our tour of Bacolod City yesterday.  Today's itinerary involved going out to the mountains so we stopped by a restaurant called Bob's in the city to have lunch.

 Bob's is an institution in Bacolod City, a family-owned restaurant started by the Sicangco's in 1965.   Wow, that's over 40 years! The first time I tried Bob's was in their newly opened branch in Magallanes.  Comparing the price and the taste, I'd say nothing could beats the original in Bacolod.  Take for example, their fruit punch.  In Magallanes, I didn't like it that much.  But when I tried the one in Bacolod, yummy!  By the way, bob's and cafe bob's are two different places but owned by one family.

The place is obviously a favorite because despite having two floors, it was packed!  Aside from the usual dishes on their menu, Bob's has an eat-all-you-can mongolian stand.  And guess for how much? Only P250/$6), it's so worth it!  However, I still craved for Bacolod's famous chicken inasal because of our dinner last night (read my blog post on Manukan) so I went for the platter instead.

Mambukal Hot Springs

After having our fill at Bob's, we proceeded to the mountains.  The place we're headed to is called the Mambukal Hot Springs.  It took us almost an hour's drive from Bacolod City to get there.

"The Mambukal Hot Springs lie 1,200 feet or about 366 meters above sea level and serves as a gateway to the Mount Kanlaon Volcano. Mount Kanlaon is the highest mountain peak in Visayas or the Central Philippines. It has a height of 8,088 feet or about 2,465 meters and a base diameter of 30,000 meters. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the country and is part of the Negros Volcanic Belt."

Upon reaching the place, the first thing we did was to go around to check for activities we all wanted to do.  The first one that caught the oldies' (which is everyone aside from me) attention was the Ishiwata Bath House.  According to the guide, the bathhouse was one of the oldest structures in Mambukal hot Springs, built in 1927.  For people who has this thing about personal space, the bathhouse is perfect!  It has 5 private cubicles with hot sulfur water passing through all of them.  The rates are P150/$3.75 per person for 30 minutes and P50/$1.25 for every 30 minutes after that.  Unfortunately, the bathhouse was being renovated that day so we couldn't try it.

On my end, I found something more interesting.  ZIPLINING!!!  There, they actually call it 'Slide for Life'.  Why not?  If you're risking your life for 200 meters held only by a bunch of strings, the name is definitely apt for the experience.  The fee for this activity is P50/$1.25.  You're given only a helmet to protect you before they strap you into this contraption that's so wiggly and uncertain, then dropped 200 meters to the other end with nothing beneath your feet but lakes and trees.  Go ahead and laugh at me but I did it twice just because my mum didn't get a good picture during my first try ;)

After the grueling 200 meter drop, we headed over to the hot springs.  The same water flows through these pools and the Ishiwata Bathhouse.  The only difference was in the bathhouse, you get to have your own cubicle. In the hot springs, you obviously have to share the pool with other people. It's still semi-private though because unlike the one big public pool in the middle of the resort, this set of pools is hidden from the rest of the guests.  Entrance fee is P50/$1.25 per head.

Right beside the dipping pools was the Mambukal Spa.  They have services such as manicure, pedicure, hand spa, foot spa, scrubs and massages.  Prices range from P200/$5 and up.  I wanted to have a massage but when I peeked inside, I saw that they didn't have cubicles.  Just beds beside each other and  I wasn't too keen on the idea of having a stranger just inches away.  Personal space issues.

Town Plaza

We went back to the hotel to freshen up and rest before having dinner.  After all things have been settled, we decided to visit the cathedral since it was too early still to eat.

We also visited the Town Plaza across the street. 

Bongbong's Pasalubong

On the way to dinner, we stopped by Bongbong's to buy Bacolod delicacies for family and friends back home (aka "pasalubongs").  Another good place to buy pasalubong is at Merci's since the store gives a 10% discount when you present your boarding pass.  Unfortunately, we learned about it only after buying a hefty load from Bongbong's.

In my opinion, the best-tasting delicacies I bought were the napoleones, the butterscotch, the mango tart, the tuna chicharon and the barquillos.

Pope John Paul II Monument and Tower

after buying all of the pasalubongs, we decided to make one last stop at the Pope John Paul II Monument and Tower.   I was still too tired from our day trip to Mambukal Hot Springs, so I couldn't climb the eight-storey tower, not even for a photo op!

Bar 21

Finally, it was dinnertime!  On our last night, we decided to eat at bar 21.  Despite its name, bar 21 actually offers a fine dining experience.  Like most of the restaurants we visited, this restaurant is also located on Lacson Street.

I wanted to order their specials but my mum and her friends ordered food to share for the whole table.  For starters, we got the calamari and the crispy shrimps.  For the main course, we got two servings of dory and two servings of a japanese stir-fried dish.

But my favorite dish of them all is crispy pata (crunchy pork)!  I was on my second cup of rice and the nth serving of crispy pata when a rice got stuck between my breathing tube and my throat! Augh.  The agony.  I took it as a sign to stop eating.

As for the soup, I wanted to order clam chowder but as I've mentioned, my mum and her friends ordered for us.  I forgot what the soup was called but according to the server, it was a Bacolod specialty.  Honestly though, it tasted like vegetables boiled in murky water.   But the fish entree they got was really good!  Glad we ordered 2 servings.

Cafe Bob's

After dinner, we headed over to our favorite cake shop.. Cafe Bob's.  i got Cafe Bianca (white chocolate) with French Apple Pie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Day 4

Ripples Restaurant at L'Fisher Hotel

Our last day in bacolod!  i wasn't ready to say goodbye to all that food :(  We started the day early by having buffet breakfast at Ripples.

Ripples is located at one of the newly renovated hotels called l'fisher.  Again, like all the other restaurants, the hotel is located on Lacson Street.

Actually, I wasn't planning on joining them for breakfast.  I was just contented with having coffee and sleeping in because i was so tired from yesterday's activities.  But Father Cachero insisted that I go with them even if I don't feel like eating breakfast.  Now i know why!  The food is really good.

Cafe Bob's

After all of that food, I really thought we weren't going to eat lunch anymore.  Well, that was the plan BUT we ended up eating again in Cafe Bob's before heading for the airport.  What was supposed to be a light lunch turned out to be an order of pasta and two whole pizzas! 

After lunch, we then proceeded to Silay City to buy the best lumpia roll there ever was!  So that's it :) I really enjoyed my Bacolod stay.  Hopefully this October, when they have their yearly festival, I'll get to visit... and reunite with all those yummy food again!

The Bacolod Series
Trip Date: June 2010

The Sugarland Hotel, Resto sa Baybay, Cafe Bob's, Negros Showroom, 
Monastery, Aboy's Showroom, Balay Negrense, The Ruins, Manukan, Calea

Bob's Restaurant, Mambukal Hot Springs, Town Plaza, Bongbong's Pasalubong, 
Pope John Paul II Monument and Tower, Bar 21, Cafe Bob's, 
Ripples at L'Fisher Hotel, Bob's Restaurant


  1. wow joie, you must've had a great time there! looks so fun!


    PS: Maybe you wanna check out the new blog my friend and I made. It's everything NYC and more!

  2. napoleones is so addicting!

    diyan kami tumaba dati ni april hahaha. we could finish half a box in one sitting :p

  3. betz. i'll check out your friend's blog now :)

    koryn. SUPER!!! where can we buy those in manila??

  4. Ha, I love how you put it - reuniting with food :)

    The drink in the 2d picture looks so unusual somehow but very sumptious! And I love it how you included some more or less sports activity - whatever you're supposed to call taht sliding on a rope thing, ziplining?? yay for doing it twice, I guess it measn you actually enjoyed it, and not just done it for a good picture's sake ;-)

  5. julia. everyone's saying that the juice/fruit punch looks like vinegar! haha! and yes, it's called ziplining. becoming fairly popular in our country. adrenaline rush attracts people to it, i guess ;)

  6. Now I'm craving for some napoleones and barquiron. xoxo

  7. may mga nakikita akong small stalls na nagbebebenta ng napoleones pero when i tried it, the napoleones doesn't taste as good :( siguro kasi di na ganun ka-fresh.

  8. I'm so glad that you're having a good time, my love! The food looks amazing at all of these locations!! :)

  9. leah. oh ya! its called baquiron there.. not barquillos :)

    koryn. ya, i guess its still different when its from there. although my mum's friend told us that he can express ship even inasal if we were really craving ;)

  10. The activity in the trees looks so fun.

    XOXO, C.

  11. c. was really a fun thing to do!

  12. ziplining? looks interesting and you looked like you had a lot of fun!

  13. tried cafe bob's when I went to Bacolod. good food and calea dessert too yummy! i so love mambukal resort - i stayed quite awhile in the hot springs when I was there. :)didn't get to see the falls there though.


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♥ joei