NEGROS OCCIDENTAL: LAND OF SWEET SURPRISE
Negros island is blessed with beautiful attractions and never goes short of sweet surprises.
With its beautiful mountains, coastal beaches, waterfront luxury, culinary scene, heritage sites, and urban grooves, Negros Occidental has the best deal in the western Visayas after Boracay!
Known as the “Sugar Bowl of the Philippines,” Negros Occidental is home to sprawling haciendas planted with sugar canes.
But apart from its amazing tourist attractions and its enormous production of sugar, Negros Occidental offers a great deal — it is home for marine industries, cottage industries, bottling plants, power generation, prawn culture, steel fabrication, aqua-culture ventures, agri-business, and BPO industries.
To give you a rundown of its fantastic lineup of attractions, here are some of the reasons why Negros Occidental is a land of sweet surprises.
Land of sweet and affectionate people
The primary dialect of the locals in Negros Occidental is “Hiligaynon,” but English is widely spoken and understood by the majority, making it easy for any foreign guests visiting the province.
Hiligaynon ’s intonation is noted for its soft and melodious accent , making even a curse unrecognizable by people from other regions.
Land of Colorful Festivals
Imagine living in a province composed of 19 municipalities and 13 cities each with its own festival showcasing the rich local culture of the place. Not only that, most Barangays and Poruks even has its own festivity, technically making the entire province a land of Colorful Festivals and fun loving people.
Let me run down a few festivals in Negros Occidental that you should witness:
Stressing about Negrense’s zeal for life, that was in 1980 when Negros experience an economic snag brought about by the sugar crisis. Bacolenos created the “Masskara Festival” aimed to uplift the spirit of the locals and bring back their smiles. Masskara Festival is now a world-renowned festivity and one the happiest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines.
Sinulog sa Kabankalan and Dinagsa sa Cadiz
The Sinulog sa Kabankalan was even staged before the Cebu City’s Sinulog was created. But if you want a different kind of experience, you must visit the Dinagsa sa Cadiz Festival (Ati-atihan). At Dinagsa you will be amazed by a time-honored practice of “lamhitanay” where festival visitors are roaming the streets smudging water-based paint on each other faces.
Pasalamat Festival, Bailes de Luces,and Pintaflorez Festivals
Want more festivals? Witness the Pasalamat of La Carlota City and see the street dancers in their flirtatiously move to the rhythm created by the drumbeaters. You should never miss also the Bayles de Luces of Castellana with its dancers dressed in colorful lighted costume powered by LED Lights. Another fun festival worth experiencing is the Pintaflores of San Carlos City with dancers garbed in colorfull costumes and accessorized by flowers and body paints.
Panaad Sa Negros Festival
If you want to see all the festivals in Negros Occidental in one day, you must witness the Panaad sa Negros Festival. Dubbed as the Festival of Festivals in Negros Occidental, Panaad sa Negros is the grandest festivity hosted by the provincial government of Negros occidenta.
Indeed, Negros Occidental has so many festivities to offer to its guests.
For more Festivals in Negros Occidental, click on our various stories below:
- Negros Occidental List of Festival
- Panaad sa Negros Festival
- Sinulog sa Kabankalan
- Masskara Festival
- Top 7 Festivals in Negros Occidental
- Dinagsa Festival
- Bacolaodiat Festival
- Babaylan Festival
- Hugyaw Kansilay Festival
- Pasalamat Festival
- Minuluan Festival
Land of Century Old and Unique Churches
Negros Occidental is dotted with century-old churches that are beautifully preserved through the years and unique type of churches making them an attraction in itself.
The Virgen sang Barangay
This chapel located in Sta. Clara Subdivision in Bacolod City features an amazing 9 ft X 21 ft mural mosaic of Virgen sang Barangay (Madonna and Child) composed of 95,000 pieces of polished mother of capiz and mother of pearl shells in various shapes and colors. The station of the cross displayed around the chapel as well as some altarpieces are also a collage of 30,000 polished shells. The grand chandelier hanging at the center is made of 14,000 pieces of capiz shells.
Angry Christ Church
Its official name, St. Joseph, the Worker Chapel, is famous for its modern altar painting known as the Angry Christ. The chapel is located inside the Victorias Milling Company. The Chapel is considered as the first example of modern sacral architecture in the country.
The Chapel of Cartwheels
Another unique chapel in Negros is located in Hda. Rosalia, Manapla.Shaped like a “salakot” with walls made of numerous pieces of cartwheels. The chapel is adorned by various old farm types of equipment.
Click here for Manapala Travel Guide | Chapel of Cartwheel
San Sebastian Cathedral
Being one of the century-old churches in Negros Occidental, this is the top-listing destination for locals and tourists. It is located in Bacolod City and stands as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod. It is said that the cathedral symbolizes unity and selfless generosity of the people of Bacolod. The hacienderos donated properties to the Church, the local folks volunteered to lift stones and bricks, and the artisans offered the best from their talents. People gathered together to work for one goal — to build a magnificent cathedral. Where else can you find this kind of unity? Only in Negros Occidental!
Sta.Maria Magdalena Church
Located just along the highway of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, The Sta. Maria Magdalena Parish Church (St. Mary Magdalene Church) is one of the Spanish colonial churches of Negros and regarded as a cultural treasure and a recognized heritage of the 18th century during the Spanish Era.
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish Church
Constructed in 1876, this stone church is of Romanesque architectural design. It is made of coral stones which were transported from Guimaras, and red bricks from Silay City glued together by lime mixed with duck eggs.
Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Another church made of corals is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This imposing structure is located just along the highway of Valladolid, Negros Occidental.
Land of Beautiful and Historical Structures
Negros Occidental offers beautiful and historical structures which are now regarded as tourist attractions.
Heritage Houses in Silay City
Known as the Paris of Negros Occidental, Silay City is similar to Vigan City when it comes to their various heritage houses.
There are a total of thirty-one (31) recognized ancestral buildings in the city mostly built at the turn of the 19th century. Some are still inhabited, some have become commercial establishments while some were converted into museums.
Located in Talisay, Negros Occidental is a mansion built behind an enchanting love story — sweeter than Romeo and Juliet’s!
Constructed in the 20th century by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in memory of his wife, Maria Braga-Lacson, who died during the pregnancy of his 11th child. However, during World War II, it was intentionally set on fire by the Filipino guerillas employed by the US Armed Forces to prevent the Japanese forces to use the mansion as a headquarters. Today, it’s a not-to-be-missed attraction and a certified Instagram-worthy place.
The Gaston Mansion
Built in the 1930s, the mansion is still beautifully standing amidst lush, verdant and gorgeous garden of flowers, shrubs, trees, potted palms, and herbs. Within the grounds are a freshwater swimming pool (used as a hiding place during World War II), and a Victorian fountain. The mansion appeared a couple of times in some Philippine movies like Oro Plata Mata and Sonata. The mansion is located in Hda. Rosalia, Manapla.
Balay ni Tana Dicang
Built in1872, this huge classic Balay-nga-bato or house-of-stone standing in a 6,000 square-meter property is beautifully maintained including its furniture and furnishing. on a 6,000-square meter property. The Balay ni Tana Dicang located in Talisay City is a classic example of the opulent lifestyle of the sugar barons during the late 19th century.
Land of Spectacular Vistas
Be awed by natures spectacle when you visit Negros Occidental. Various spots in the province offer spectacular vistas which will surely make you fall in love with the land of sweet surprises.
Here are some of the places you must visit when in Negros Occidental:
Located on the mountain side of Silay City, Lantawan offers one of the best sunset views on the island. The vibrant colors of the sunset reflect on the uniquely shaped pool, making it even more beautiful and romantic. The viewing deck offers an unbelievable panoramic view of the Negros mountains.
When visiting the place, you can simply bring your tent and enjoy the place with the gang or you can have a different romantic date with your loved one at this place
Ilaya Mountain Resort
Just an hour drive from Bacolod City, The Ilaya Mountain Resort is one of the newest place developed in Patag, Silay City. The place offers the spectacular view of the lowland.
Negros Occidental is also famous not only for divers but also to hikers because of the long ranges of Mt. Kanlaon. One great camping spot located in Don Salvador Benedicto is the Jomax Peak. The site is a famous camping site because it offers an Instagram-worthy view. It encourages tourists to experience the Little Baguio of Negros Occidental.
Mayana Peak is one of the most-visited destinations in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. It is admired for its impressive view of the mountains. Although it’s quite far from other popular destinations, traveling there is worth it.
Land of Enchanting Waterfalls
Chasing waterfalls? Negros Occidental has numerous waterfalls which you will surely love. Some of these waterfalls are quite difficult to access, but most can easily be reach with pulic transportations.
Here are some of the waterfalls which you can easily see when visiting Negros Occidental:
Mag-aso Falls is one of the treasures of the South. The name was originated from the Hiligaynon word “aso,” meaning “smoke” because the twin falls create smoke as the waters cascade to the ground. Looks like what you see in the movies! No wonder why tourists keep coming back.
Located on the mountain side of Silay City, Patag has several waterfalls as an added attraction to its verdant surroundings.
La Carlota City’s Guintubdan
Guintubdan in La Carlota City is a place with several waterfalls just within the area. The local government unit has an accommodation facility which can house guests visiting the place.
Kipot Twin Falls
The enchanting Kipot Twin Falls is a stream separated by a sharp overhang that splits the path of water into two seemingly identical cascades.
Click here for Kipot Twin Falls Story
Located in Don Salvador Benedicto, this majestic waterfalls cascade down from a height of more than 70 feet amidst verdant forest cover and vegetation.
Mambukal 7 Falls
Mambukal Mountain Resort located in the Municiplaity of Murcia is run and operated by the provincial government. A part from other attractions found at the resort, you can also enjoy its 7 waterfalls . The waterfall can be access by foot and local guides are available to make your adventure safe and enjoyable.
Click here for Mambukal Travel Guide
Land of Beautiful Beaches and Amazing Diving Sites
The Island of Negros is dotted with beautiful beaches and amazing dive sites. Here are some of the famous beaches we have in the province:
Danjugan Island, a 43-hectare of land and marine sanctuary is located in the Southeast part of Negros Occidental. It is in total 1.5 km long and 0.5 km at its widest point. What makes this place extra special than the other islands of the province? It has a total of 5 lagoons which may be enjoyed by those who are fond of such natural beauties. Similarly, it has a forest covered with unusual limestones which serve as the real haven and habitat of hundreds of animal species.
Click here for Danjugan Island Travel Guide
This tropical paradise is a one-kilometer stretch of white sand beach in Cuayan, Negros Occidental. The place is fantastic and used as a jump off point for Danjugan Island.
Being a seaside city, Sipalay boasts of its pristine beaches and its spectacular diving sites. Dubbed as the new Boracay, the place is attracting tourists both local and foreign.
Places to visit in Sipalay include:
Punta Ballo Beach
Perth Paradise Resort
Nataasan Beach Resort and Dive Center
Click here to read Sipalay Travel Guides:
Three kilometers off of Cadiz City you will find the Maldives of Negros, The Lakawon Island. The 15-hectare banana shape island boast of various attraction for various guests.
Sagay City’s Carbin Reef and Suyac Island
Carbin Reef is a sandbar which has been attracting tourists because of its natural beauty and charm. Apart from swimming, the place offers snorkeling activity wherein you can see numerous giant clams.
Just a few minutes from Carbin Reef, you can visit the Suyac Island wherein you can swim or simply relax and marvel at the beauty of the place. Century-old mangroves can be found on this island, which is now being managed and protected by the local community.
Click here for Sagay City Travel Guides
Land of World-Class Handicrafts
Known for its craftmanships and world class designs, Negros Occidental has numerous cottage industries producing beautiful handicrafts using mostly indigenous materials.
Apart from selling these products to the local market, most of these small companies are exporting their products abroad.
So the next time you visit the province, don’t forget to bring home a piece of Negros island with you.
Land of Organic Agriculture
While sugar is still the biggest industry in Negros Occidental, the province is now recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding provinces in organic agriculture. It has an estimated 16,000 of land use in organic farming.
Land of Delectable and Heirloom Flavors
Negros Occidental is a culinary destination in the Philippines. Many people are now visiting the province just to have a gastronomic experience offered by several establishments around the province.
Apart from its famous Chicken Inasal and Piaya, the province’s heirloom recipes continue to satisfy generations of locals and tourists. Don’t miss to try it’s Kadyos, Baboy, and Langka (KBL) powered by our special souring agent, the “batwan”.
Bacolod City has its own “Cansihan” at the Capitol Shopping Center offering the rich Beef Cansi (Negrense’s version of Bulalo) loaded with bone marrow. But If if you love seafood, almost all cities and municipalities has its own seafood restaurant offering fresh catch at a surprisingly low price.
Land of Splendid Lifestyle
Negros Occidental is a province that is heavily associated with the idea of wealth. Therefore, it’s about to welcome its most extravagant residential and commercial centers.
Now on its construction phase is a 7.5-hectare horizontal development “Northill Town Center.” Locals and tourists will soon shop to their heart’s content and satisfy their cravings with world-class cuisines offered at the center. Not to mention that it’s also surrounded by landscaped leisure parks and open spaces, Bacolod City would be the perfect package for everyone.
Since there’s a luxurious commercial center, what else? Well, soon to become Bacolod City’s most upscale residential village is “Forbes Hill.” It will feature its own courtyard garden entrance with a tiered fountain in the middle. It will surely be a vibrant community with maximum security. This 15-hectare residential development will provide absolute safety as it is designed to be flood-free.
From the crowded destinations to sacred ancient cathedrals, from the seashore up to the mountain peak, from commercial to primitive vistas, from cultural to international flavors, and from century-old stories up to the present ones — Negros Occidental indeed is the Land of Sweet Surprises!
How to get to Negros Occidental
From Manila, Cebu, and Davao
Bacolod City is the gateway to Negros Occidental. If you are coming from abroad and would fly in via Manila, Davao or Cebu, there are regular flights going to Bacolod City every day.
There are also regular Ceres Bus schedule flying Cebu to Bacolod.
From Boracay, Aklan and Iloilo (or any place in Panay Island)
Several land transportation vehicles going to Iloilo City regularly. The moment you arrived in Iloilo. Take a cab going to the Pier for Bacolod. Several fast crafts are traveling to and from Bacolod-Iloilo City at almost every other hour.
From Dumaguete City
Ceres Buses are plying the Bacolod-Dumaguete route from early in the moring until midnight.
Negros Occidental Essential Guides
- Negros Occidental Travel Travel Guide
- 5-Day Northern Negros Travel Guide
- Bacolod Travel Guide
- 12 Things to do in Bacolod City
- 3-day Bacolod City Travel Guide and Itinerary
- Talisay Travel Guide
- Silay Travel Guide
- Sagay Travel Guide
- San Carlos Travel Guide
- Don Salvador Benedicto Travel Guide
- Murcia Travel Guide
- Bago City Travel Guide
- Escalante Travel Guide
- Hinigaran Travel Guide
- Sipalay Travel Guide