Sunday, September 17, 2017

Negros Island is known as the “Sweet Spot in the Philippines". The sugar that it produces can supply the whole country. But Negros Island has a lot more to offer aside from sugarcane and products derived from it. The island region also boasts numerous tourist attractions, from ancestral houses to natural resources that both reflect the colorful culture of the Negros Island.

1.       Sipalay, the “Jewel of Negros”

© Dustin Minjares

   It is located 200 kilometers both from Bacolod and Dumaguete City. It is surrounded by islets reminiscent of those in Pangasinan, Hundred Islands. Sipalay has a beautiful marine life which people go to for diving and snorkling. It also has beautiful beaches like Campomanes Bay and Punta Ballo Beach.

© My Nomadic Habits

How to get there:

  • From Dumaguete or Bacolod, take a direct bus to Sipalay (4-5 hours).
  • From Sibulan Port, ride a jeepney or tricycle going to Dumaguete City, then transfer to another tricycle that will take you to the Bus Terminal bound to Sipalay.

2.       Mag-Aso Falls 

If you’re looking for a refreshing vacation spot in Negros Island aside from beaches, the turquoise water of Mag-Aso Falls is the perfect destination for you. It is located in Barangay Oringao, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. It is a resort owned by the city government. 

© Weng Jover
How to get there:

  • From Bacolod, Catch a bus in Bacolod South Terminal bound to Kabankalan City 

3.       Mabinay Caves

For people who are looking for a more adventurous trip, caving in Mabinay might be the best for you. 

Mabinay is dubbed as the “Cave Town” of Negros Oriental. It is situated in the northwest part of Dumaguete City. The town of Mabinay is said to be surrounded by 400 caves but only 45 caves were identified by Belgian-Dutch-Philippine Club in 1989-1990.

Panliwagan Cave
© Negros Tourism Facebook Page
One of the caves is Odloman, the second longest cave system in the Philippines. It is 8,870 long and has a vertical range of 82 meters. The other famous caves in Mabinay are Bulwang, Cayaso, Baliw, Mambajo, Kabugan, Panligawan and Pandalihan.

Odloman Cave
© Negros Tourism Facebook Page
How to get there:

  • From Dumaguete City, ride a bus at Robinsons Mall to Mabinay.

4.       The Ruins, the "Taj Mahal of Negros"

The mansion is located Talisay City, Negros Occidental. It was built in early 1900’s by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. The two-story mansion is Italiante in design, which is evident by its Neo-Romanesque columns all around, finest furniture, and decorative items. The Ruins is visited by a lot of local and foreign tourists because of its timeless beauty and picture perfect sceneries.


How to get there:
  • From Bacolod City, ride a jeepney to BATA and get off at Robinson’s Mall. Walk to GO Hotel and ride a shuttle to The Ruins. 
  • By private car or taxi, take Lacson Street going north to Talisay City. After the flyover at the CERES North Terminal and PEPSI bottling plant, turn right towards the mountains on Don Mariano L. Lacson Highway and in about 2.3 kilometers you will arrive at The Ruins.

5.       Lakawon Island Resort 

The banana-shaped island paradise is can be found in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental. It boasts white sand beaches, crystal clear water, marine life, and serene view. The term “Lakawon” came from the root word “Lakaw” which means “to walk”. Because during low tide, people can walk a long distance from the island. The resort offers diving, surfing, jet-skiing, and other water sports. 

© Lakawon Island Resort

Tawhai Floating Bar
© Lakawon Island Resort

How to get there:

  • From Bacolod City, take a 45-minute bus trip to Kaduha-an in Cadiz City.
  • From Kaduha-an, take a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo. The trip will take 15 minutes.
  • From Cadiz Viejo, small motorized boats will be waiting to take you to Lakawon Island Resort. The trip by motorized boat will be approximately 15 minutes.

Fun Escapades in Negros Island Region

Bacolod City may be known far and wide as the home of chicken inasal.  Nevertheless the popularity of a quaint yet yummy soup known as kansi is not far behind.  Kansi soup, a unique serving of beef broth with a "healthy" dose of bone marrow, stewed for hours with a local sour agent known as 'batwan' is slowly but surely catching up.  Our assessment is that this soup can soon be the next big thing in the global stage.

Here's why: Both
Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern are in perfect alignment on the thought that Filipino food is definitely the way to go. In separate interviews the two had one train of thought in terms of the next big thing in the culinary world.

A video interview with Business Insider showed Andrew Zimmern, the host of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel, talking about the next food trend in America. In the video, Zimmern said:

I think Filipino food is just going to keep getting more and more popular.

Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods..."

"We've been obsessed over the last 3 or 4 decades in America with appropriating foods of different ethnicities. Chinese food had its explosive moment in the sun when we discovered regional Chinese cooking in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Thai food …  Japanese food.

It's just going to keep getting more and more popular simply because of the variety of ingredients and European techniques that are found in that food.

Their use of acidity, the quality of their food has the best of Asian cuisine and the best of sort of what happens when really good Asian food ... island Asian food brushes up against Spanish culture. The Spanish had colonized the Philippines for almost 500 years at one point. So, the influences are heartfelt."

In an interview with CNN, Top Chef Anthony Bourdain, likewise predicted that the next big food trend is : Filipino.
Bourdain believes Filipino food is “underrated,” “ascendant” and a “work in progress.”


Zoom in to kansi soup of Bacolod.  Kansi recently made it to the top 50 list of the World Street Food Congress (WSFC) recently held in Manila.  Along with lechon, sisig, and pinangat, kansi soup wowed the judges and the WSFC visitors with the unique touch of sourness brought about by the batwan fruit, distinctly found in Western Visayas.

In Bacolod, Sharyn's Kansi is where people make a beeline to.  In Manila, some of the best kansi places are Aida's at Makati Cinema Square and Joel Torre's JT Manukan Grill.

There is also a mad dash for kansi at Glorietta every September when the Negros Trade Fair comes around.

This year's Negros Trade Fair happens on September 27 to October 1, 2017 at the Activity Center of Glorietta 2.

*photo of Kansi soup by Tey Sevilleno

Related Post :

Cuadra Street, Bacolod City : Where Bacolod Chicken Inasal Gained Its Popularity

Bacolod City's famous chicken dish inasal (barbecued chicken) has spread far and wide across the globe reaching not just the United States of America but also the Middle East.  Unknown to many is the fact long before it reached foreign shores, inasal's humble beginnings are traced back to a small street in Bacolod known as Cuadra.....Read More


Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.

Why Bacolod's Kansi Could Be The Next Big Hit In Global Cuisine

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