Bacolod City

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City of Bacolod
Landmarks
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Seal
Ph seal negros occidental bacolod.png
Location
Ph locator negros occidental bacolod.png
Government
Region Western Visayas (Region VI)
Province Negros Occidental
Mayor Evelio Ramos Leonardia
Barangays 61
Website www.bacolodcity.gov.ph
Physical characteristics
Area 161.45 km²
Population
Total (2000) 429,076
Density 2,657.6/km²


For the municipality in Lanao del Norte, see Bacolod, Lanao del Norte.

Bacolod City is the capital and largest highly urbanized Philippine city of the province of Negros Occidental, famous for its MassKara Festival held during October. Known for its charming and friendly people, the city earned the nickname "City of Smiles."

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Profile

Bacolod is a major seaport and has daily ferry trips to Iloilo City. By boat, Bacolod is 20 hours from Manila and 7 hours from Cebu City. Bacolod City Domestic Airport is 4 kilometers away from the city's downtown area. Bacolod is 45 minutes from Manila by plane and 30 minutes from Cebu City by plane.

Bacolod is ideally located on a level area, slightly sloping as it extends toward the sea with an average slope of 0.9 percent for the city proper and between 3 to 5 percent for the suburbs. The altitude is 32.8 feet or 10.0 meters above sea level with the Bacolod City Public Plaza as the benchmark. Bacolod has two pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season starts from May to January of the following year with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season starts from the month of February until the last week of April.

The city serves as the gateway to the sugar-rich cities and towns of the province. Visitors' facilities abound; modern means of in-land transport can take guests for business or leisure to any point in Negros Island.

Bacolod City is home to the Panaad Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 15,500, but holds around 20,000 people with standing areas. Equipped with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a rubberized oval field and a "Eucalyptic atmosphere" because it is shaded by a forest of Eucalyptus trees, it became the host venue of several National and International events in the country. Beside the Panaad Stadium is the Panaad Park, home of "Panaad sa Negros" - a festival held annually from late April until early May (or after Holy Week). The Panaad Park is a recreational mini forest park that showcases the life, culture, trade, tourism, and cuisine of the Negrense.

Along its highways, sugarcane plantations are a typical scene; coconut and rice are also grown. The people are engaged in livestock, fishing and pottery.

Most of the residents of Bacolod speak Hiligaynon, which is also referred to as Ilonggo after the neighboring province of Iloilo, where many of the ancestors of the present-day Negrenses originally came from. The rest generally speak Filipino - the national language, and Cebuano. English is considered a second language. A considerable number of residents of Chinese ancenstry also converse in the Amoy dialect.

History

The city's name was derived from the Hiligaynon word "bakolod" – meaning "stonehill" – since the settlement was founded in 1770 on a stonehill area, now the district of Granada and the former site of the Bacolod Murcia Milling Company.

Due to Muslim raids in 1787, Bacolod was transferred towards the shoreline. The old site was called "Da-an Banwa," meaning "old town".

In 1894, by order of Governor General Claveria, through Negros Island Governor Manuel Valdevieso Morquecho, Bacolod was made the capital of the Province of Negros. Bernardino de los Santos became the first gobernadorcillo and Fray Julian Gonzaga the first parish priest.

The success of the revolution in Bacolod was attributed to the low morale of the local Spanish detachment, due to its defeat in Panay and Luzon and to the psychological warfare waged by Generals Aniceto Lacson and Juan Araneta. In 1897, a battle in Bacolod was fought at Matab-ang River. A year later, on November 5, 1898, the Negrense "Revolucionarios," armed with knives, bolos, spears, and rifle-like "nipa" stems, and pieces of "sawali" or "amakan" mounted on carts, captured the convento where Coronel Isidro de Castro y Cisneros, well-armed "cazadores" and platoons of civil guards, surrendered. Two days later, on the 7th, most of the revolutionary army gathered together to establish a Provisional Junta and to confirm the elections of Aniceto Lacson as president, Juan Araneta as war-delegate, as well as the other officials. (See Negros Revolution.)

On March 1899, the American forces led by Colonel James G. Smith occupied Bacolod, the revolutionary capital of the Provisional Republic of Negros.

By virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 326, enacted by the National Assembly, Bacolod was made a chartered city on October 19, 1938.

In World War II, Bacolod City was occupied by the Japanese forces on May 21, 1942. It was liberated by the American forces on May 29, 1945.

Contemporary events

Robinsons Place Bacolod, along Lacson Street in Barangay Mandalagan.

Bacolod was one of the host cities of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games from November 20 to December 4, 2005. Sports held in the city included boxing, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, weightlifting, and men's football. It is also the Host Venue for the 2006 Asian Cup Qualifiers and is considered the FootBall City of the Philippines.

The current mayor of Bacolod City is Evelio Leonardia and the vice mayor is Renecito Novero. Rep. Monico Puentebella is also the current representative of the lone district of Bacolod in the Philippine House of Representatives.

Four call centers were established in the city in 2005. These call center facilities are being managed by international companies such as Teleperformance, TeleTech and local call center companies - IO Asia and Focus Pacific with TeleTech as the Major Performer in the race. Convergy's Philippines and other Multinational and Local based call centers also has plans to set up base here in Bacolod dubbed the Next BPO and ICT Hub in the Philippines. A new Government Center is on the Running and Construction phase and is set to be finished in 18 months.

In a recent study by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Bacolod City tops the list as the Most Business Friendly Highly Urbanized City and Number 1 in terms of infrastructure, cost of doing business and cost of living, ahead of such other highly urbanized cities like Iloilo, Naga, Cagayan de Oro, and others.

Bacolod City also received an award from ANVIL (a National Award giving body) for its implementation of laws that can speed up processing of business applications and payments of taxes.

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