For Bacolod native Jasmin Egan, childhood memories of her hometown include “beautiful sunsets, canopies of acacia trees in the heart of the city, the Public Plaza, the lagoon and the main streets.” It was a place where people from all walks of life converged and connected. “People all seem to know each other here, even if they’ve never been formally introduced—you’ll see them in the same places, eating in the same family-run restaurants, and dancing in the same streets during the MassKara festival,” she says.
During the sugar crash of 1980, Jasmin saw first-hand how badly the province was struck with a sweeping famine. This inspired her to undergo a master’s in Education, majoring in guidance and psychology, to better understand and support her community’s needs. Today, she’s a patron of various charities involving children and women, as well as individuals with special needs.
Jasmin believes that Bacolod City can rival Manila with all the developments taking place by way of real-estate, business process outsourcing, hotels, new buildings and hospitals. The city also continues to enjoy an influx of investors. “Bacolod is urbanized but it goes at its own pace. It is no wonder that it’s one of the most visited cities in the Visayas.”
Top seafood joints
Bacolod is known for many things, and food is on the top of that list. Jasmin loves the diversity of cuisines and the wide range of flavors that cater to various palates. Her restaurant picks include Diotay’s Eatery, Ading’s Pala-Pala and 18th Street Pala- Pala. Diotay’s Eatery, Gatuslao St, Brgy 6; Ading’s Restaurant, San Juan St; 18th Street Pala-Pala, Aguinaldo St, Cor 18th St, Brgy 4
For a true taste of Bacolod produce, Jasmin’s choice is a row of hole-in-the-wall establishments that sell oysters by the bucket as well as one of the region’s most beloved delicacies. “I’ll take visitors to Manokan Country, a complex where you’ll find the tastiest chicken inasal.” Father M. Ferrero St Sweet treats Those with a sweet tooth can get their fill of puffs and confections at another local fixture. “For mouthwatering pastries and cakes, Calea is the best,” Jasmin says. “The blueberry cheesecake is heavenly.” 14th Lacson St
Food on the go
For those who want to sample everything without the hassle of venturing to different parts of the city, a range of Bacolod’s favorite dishes is available via Juan Ride, a food delivery service that will bring you not just traditional fare but also continental favorites. juanride.ph
You can’t go home without pasalubong (souvenirs) and there’s no end to the variety found at Ceres Mart, which offers not just the usual gifts but also baked breads, snacks and grocery items. Within the store, Ceres Diner is where tourists can have their share of Filipino comfort food before heading back home. 13th Lacson St