Best Local Places

Revisit the Past in These Iconic Heritage Places in Bacolod and Beyond

Learn about the region’s rich history by visiting these historical places and significant sites.

By: Shanice Reyes | June 11, 2020
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Note: Due to the recent pandemic, these destinations might be temporarily closed. It is recommended to coordinate with the management before going.

heritage places Bacolod

Negros is not only rich in agricultural resources, but also in history.

Image: Elmer B. Domingo via Wikimedia Commons

Behind the beautiful beaches, mouth-watering delicacies, and wide sugarcane fields, Negros Island has stories waiting to be told—narratives only its historical places can tell. Heritage places in Bacolod , ancestral houses, museums, and even a bakery tell different tales of love, support, and even tragedy. Learning the history of a place can change one’s perspective about the people and culture, and that makes the experience better and worthwhile.

Learn more about the past of Negros in these educational cultural sites and heritage places in Bacolod and beyond. They are listed down below so keep reading!

1. St. Joseph the Worker Parish

Where: Vicmico, Victorias City, Negros Occidental
Travel Time: 35-40 minutes from Silay Airport
Recommended Budget: PhP105 (includes the bus fare from North Ceres Terminal and the tricycle fare)


The mural was completed in 1950.

Image: St.Joseph the Worker Parish / PYM Vicmico’s Facebook Page

Also known as the Church of the Angry Christ, St. Joseph the Worker Parish is popular for its 60-square meter mural that shows Jesus Christ with a fierce expression. The painter of the 60-square-meter mural, Alfonso Ossorio, interpreted his work as “The Last Judgement”. The church was designed and built by Czech architect Antonin Raymond, and it is his only work in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Ade de Bethune, a Belgian liturgical artist, used broken glasses gathered by the locals for the mosaic that can be seen outside the church’s baptism room.

St. Joseph the Worker Parish is a cultural and religious representation and a symbol of experimental art. In 2015, the church, the mosaic, and the mural were restored by the locals and up until now, tourists pop in to see the famous mural.

2. The Ruins

Where: Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Travel Time: 15 minutes from Silay Airport
Recommended Budget: PhP160 (Inclusive of PhP100 entrance fee and transportation expenses)

historical places

People can host wedding ceremonies, photo shoots, and concerts in The Ruins.

Image: Lacson Ruins / The Ruins’ Facebook Page

A symbol of love, The Ruins was once a mansion built by Don Mariano Lacson to express his undying endearment for his wife who died giving birth to their 11th child in 1911. Later, the mansion was burned down by the Americans to prevent Japanese forces from making it their basecamp. It took 3 days to burn the two-inch hardwood floor but the A-grade cement still remains.

Right now, The Ruins is dubbed as the “Taj Mahal” of Negros. It is also a popular tourist spot, as many visitors flock the site to see the remains of the building. The landmark has also served as a venue for photo shoots and for concerts by a few local acoustic artists.

Update (June 2020): The Ruins is temporarily closed but will resume operations on June 25.

3. The Negros Museum

Where: Old Agricultural Bldg. Gatuslao St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Travel Time: 28-34 minutes from Silay Airport
Recommended Budget: PhP8 for the fare

old places

The museum was conceived in 1987 and opened its doors on March 16, 1996.

Image: The Negros Museum’s Facebook Page

The Negros Museum is the first museum in the Philippines that doesn’t focus on historical artifacts; instead, it highlights the contemporary works of local artists. Still, the curated artworks tell the rich history of Negros.

For one, the museum recently unveiled a contemporary sculpture entitled “The Unbowed Bao.” Made by artists Rafael “Paeng” Paderna (sculptor) and Lisa de Leon-Zayco (mosaic artist), the masterpiece features a carabao called ‘BAO.’ Its head is tilted upright to indicate a celebration of trials that have been overcome. The 5-ton sculpture is also a dedication to carabaos for the animal’s contribution to farmers in sugarcane fields.

Update (June 2020): The Negros Museum is temporarily closed.

4. Balay Negrense

Where: Barangay III, Cinco De Noviembre St., Silay City, Negros Occidental
Travel Time: : 9 minutes from Silay Airport
Recommended Budget: PhP17 for the bus fare from North Ceres Terminal

heritage places Bacolod

One of the heirs collaborated with other Negrenses to form the Negros Cultural Foundation.

Image: Elmer B. Domingo via Wikimedia Commons

Balay Negrense is the first museum to be constructed in Negros. It is also referred to as the Victor Gaston Ancestral home and “bahay na bato” or “house of stone.” The upper-class Filipino house features different architectural characteristics: open windows and elevated apartments inspired by indigenous Filipino bamboo houses and a roof with galvanized iron and low-level concrete that shows an American influence. The ancestral house was developed during the late Spanish period and was donated to the country’s tourism body by one of the heirs in 1990.

5. El Ideal Bakery

Where: 118 Rizal St., Silay City, Negros Occidental
Travel Time: 8 minutes from Silay Airport
Recommended Budget: PhP17 for the bus fare from North Ceres Terminal


This bakery branched out in shopping malls and showrooms.

Image: EL IDEAL Bakery’s Facebook Page

Located along the main highway of Silay is El Ideal Bakery, a well-known bakery and a food landmark set up in 1920. It was founded by Cesar Locsin, who baked bread for the locals and gamblers. The legacy was soon passed on to his daughter, Alice Locsin, and then was given to Ma. Teresa “Tess” Villanueva Sanchez. Tess expanded the brand and added new products.

The bakery has expanded into a restaurant so tourists can have a stopover while visiting the ancestral houses in Silay. Some of El Ideal Bakery’s best-sellers are the señoritas (dessert made of layers of buttered crust and dulce de leche) and lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls). It also has a pasalubong (take-home gift) area filled with delicious packed delicacies like the goat’s milk barquillos (rolled wafer), angel cookies, biscochos (twice-baked bread coated in butter and sugar), and many more.

Update (June 2020): El Ideal is currently open only for delivery for a minimum purchase of PhP300.

If you want to visit Negros, don’t just go for its beaches and mountain resorts; drop by one of these sites, too! Having fun is good, but it’s always worthwhile to learn about the history of the land.

Visit Yoorekka to find more landmarks and famous spots in Bacolod and the entire Negros region!

This article was originally published in Yoorekka on July 03, 2019.

Note that Bacolod City is under modified enhanced community quarantine until September 30. Due to quarantine measures in place, some of these destinations might be temporarily closed or may have adjusted operating hours. Please contact the management before visiting.

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About Shanice Reyes
Shanice Reyes writes to buy herself good coffee and bike parts. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling to new places, or hanging out with her dogs and tarantulas. Though she has an irrational fear of heights, she'd love to try sky-diving one day.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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