One visits Bacolod for the food and the heritage sites, for a taste and feel of how our ancestors lived in a more glorious, genteel time. More often, one makes the trip to the neighboring cities and towns to get a taste of these experiences, but for those with little time to go around, in Bacolod City itself, one can find pockets of escape, spots of quiet respite from the noise of the city.
There is the stately and tranquil Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol for one, where the Beaux-Arts style building attributed to the architect Juan Arellano seems to watch over a massive lagoon (also designed by Arellano) and a sculpture by the National Artist Guillermo Tolentino.
And then just this week, a much improved Bacolod City Public Plaza greeted Bacolodnons who follow the Bacolod Public Information Office page on Facebook. The spruced up park is quite a sight to behold, and from the comments, locals are quite elated with the improvements, calling it “Bacolod’s pride” and “tahum,” which is beauty in Hiligaynon.
Located in Bacolod’s downtown area, the 2-hectare trapezoidal park has been a popular gathering and dating place in the city, and the center of the yearly Masskara festival. Completed in the 1920s, it is belted by gorgeous trees and has a gazebo at the center. The beautiful San Sebastián Cathedral across the street only adds to the plaza’s appeal.
The surprised reactions to the makeover may be understandable, considering this page dedicated to visiting Bacolod calls it one of the “less attractive places” in the city. But from the new pictures alone, the Bacolod City Public Plaza needs to be crossed off that list—and find its way back to being Bacolod’s pride.
All photos from the Bacolod Public Information Office Facebook Page