Friday, September 25, 2009

Bacolod: Grand Regal Hotel

I thought I wasn't going to push through with my trip to Bacolod, but luckily manage to free up my time so I proceeded with my trip. Ended up staying at Grand Regal Hotel where the event was held. Everyone was billeted there too.

Grand Regal Hotel is located in one of Bacolod's busiest streets. Across the street is Gaisano Mall and just 2 blocks away is the Bacolod Planta Hotel (where I was supposed to stay). Anyway, the room at Grand Regal Hotel was just right and I didn't have to leave the TV on to lull me to sleep.

Cafe Masskara is the resto located at the lobby area of the hotel. I had 3 meals there -

Uber late lunch, spaghetti bolognese -

Breakfast, longganisa -

Lunch, beef stroganoff -

I have a theory, longganisa made in Luzon is made of yum, but the farther you are from the region the worse it tastes, so I guess this is the last time I'm ordering longganisa outside of Luzon. The spaghetti bolognese and beef stroganoff were unexpectedly flavorful and servings were big. I wasn't able to sample any dessert though. Maybe next time :)

Must have: beef stroganoff

Can do without: longganisa!

Food price range: approx. PhP200 (with drinks already)

Room rates: Promo (PhP999), Superior (PhP2,000), Suites (PhP3,500 - PhP10,000)

Wifi access: Free, but don't count on it

The Lakwatsera's Rating: hotel staff were friendly but service was slow, good thing the food made up for the long wait

Grand Regal Hotel (map)
Araneta Street, Singcang,
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
+63(34) 432-2888/433-2276/434-9208/432-0888/708-5888
grandregalhotel_bacolod (at)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dieting Your Luggage

I used to be a terrible packer. I would pack in everything I want to bring. I'd even have choices for outfits! So I've experienced paying for extra baggage a couple of times already.

My day of reckoning came when I gave my best friend a hard time when she helped me carry my baggage across the street to her flat in Singapore. We were scared that we might get arrested because my luggage was bulging.

Here are some tricks I learned along the way:

1. Just fill up 50% of your bag. Why? So you'll have space for pasalubong and souvenirs. I got that tip from Boy Abunda who mentioned it in one of his shows.

2. Plan your outfits. Know the weather before flying in so you'd know what to bring. Instead of bringing a bulky jacket I just bring around a shawl. Sticking to a color scheme also helps.

3. Try to use only the pair of shoes that you travel in. Extra shoes take up a lot of space especially sneakers/rubber shoes.

4. If you are staying at a hotel find out what toiletries they provide. You definitely don't need a huge shampoo or lotion bottle. Transfer them in small bottles or just bring sachets.

5. Towels take up a lot of space. Only bring one if you are staying with a friend.

6. Bring just one reading material/book, unless you are a speed reader. More often than not you really won't have time to read except in the airport or plane.

7. Try to charge all of your gadgets before your trip so you won't have to bring all of the plugs.

Number 1 Rule is: Bring only what is necessary.

I used to think that it was impossible for me NOT to check in baggage. But I can proudly say that I've done it twice! Wee!

Happy trip!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bacolod: Time Out

Unfortunately I wasn't able to sample the famous Bacolod chicken inasal (I'm allergic to chicken boohoo), but I got to sample the babi (pork) inasal.

The huge serving was brought together with a saucer full of peanut sauce. At first I thought it was gravy. I ignored it since I'm not really fond of gravy, but eventually got curious and dipped a piece of meat in the sauce. I was surprised to find out that it was actually peanut sauce! The sauce and atsara definitely added character to the yummy inasal I had.

I managed to take photos of my food and the resto, but forgot to find out the price range of the resto. Phail. LOL.

Time Out (map)
Galo-Lacson Street
Bacolod City

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Philippine Airports: New Bacolod-Silay Airport

The first time I went to Bacolod, the airport was still located at Bacolod City. It was small, did not have aircon and if I remember correctly I didn't even need to pay for airport terminal fee. I heard back then that a new airport was being built.

I only learned about the new Bacolod Silay Airport when I was looking for a hotel to stay in. I got confused about the location since it said in news articles that it was in Silay. I thought that Silay was hours away from Bacolod City. So I promptly buzzed my friend, Jako, to ask if Silay was far from Bacolod. He told me not to worry since the airport was just 20 minutes away from Bacolod City.

The last time I flew in Bacolod it was dawn so I didn't see the landscape. I flew out the same day after sunset so I again didn't see the landscape. When I flew in yesterday I was awed with the lush greenery that welcomed me as the plane was landing. Like Iloilo, the Silay landscape was flat and green, green with tubo.

What a beautiful city! The airport is also a tremendous upgrade from the old Bacolod City airport.

Quick info:

Location: Silay City (map)
To-Fro Bacolod City: 20 minutes
Taxi Fare: PhP400 (better haggle because they won't meter it)
Wifi: they have one, but don't count on it
3G: via Globe, non-existent