Metro Bacolod: Best Place to Live in the Philippines

People who know me personally may think that I’m biased because I was born, raised, and finished college in one of Metro Bacolod’s schools. Metro Bacolod covers the cities of Bacolod City, Talisay City, and Silay City. I’m a native of Silay City – a place where the Bacolod-Silay International Airport is located. Silay is often referred to as the “Paris of Negros” due to its artists, cultural shows, and a large collection of perfectly preserved heritage houses.  More than thirty of these houses have been declared as historical landmarks. Silay is the second Philippine city to have been declared a museum city, next to Vigan in Ilocos Sur ( It is 14 kilometers away from Bacolod City, while  Talisay City is seven kilometers away from both northbound and southbound. We used to jog from Talisay to Silay and vice versa during my college years.

Okay, what is the reason why I am writing this article? To boast about Bacolod? Don’t get me wrong….

I had a little friendly argument with one of my customers over Skype yesterday. He is from Manchester, England, and planning on moving to the Philippines in a year or two with his wife and two young children. We were in casual conversation (not business-related) and he asked me a lot of questions about Cebu City. I told him I’m not from Cebu so I couldn’t tell him anything. He then told me he chose Cebu because it is the most livable and friendly city in the country – the statement I tend to disagree with.

Yes, Cebu is famous as a retirement hub for most foreigners, especially North Americans and Europeans because of the city’s popular foreign schools, tourist attractions, and less crowded compared to Manila, but when it comes to quality of life, peace and order, and green environment, Cebu is ranked low. I told him I’m not convinced and I started giving him facts about my native land – Metro Bacolod. He said he barely heard about Bacolod so I provided him some really convincing facts as to why Bacolod is the best place to live in the Philippines.

Here are some:

Bacolod City, is dubbed as the “city of smiles” because of its people’s friendly faces.  It is now one of the best cities in the Philippines when talking about the standards of living.  It is one of the most livable cities in Asia, and in 2012 was dubbed as the most livable city in the Philippines by surveys.

Finally at number 1, we recognize  the City of Bacolod as the MOST LIVEABLE CITY OF 2012. Here’s why; it may not be the best but the city is well represented in all of the indicators we have. Bacolod City ranks 8th in having the lowest crime incidence among the first class cities in the country, 3rd in giving the best environmental conditions to live, 2nd in having the best sports program for the public, 4th for historical and cultural significance, 2nd in having the best delicacies in the country, 4th for best tourist attractions, 3rd as best provider of quality public and private education both for primary and secondary, 4th in having the most cultural and commercial ties locally and inernationally, 6th in calamity safety index and the 4th best city in terms of its infrastructure.  Bacolod is the capital of Negros Occidental province well known for its Maskara Festival celebrated every October. Like Iloilo City, Bacolod is also known for being very friendly thus the nickname the “City of Smiles” . In addition, the city received numerous awards and citations from different organizations for having one of the best infrastructure, stable economy, interesting culture and conducive environment. Ikwaderno

It’s an affirmation of my choice. From among 65 cities that
were ranked, Bacolod City topped the list of “Best Places to Live” by
MoneySense magazine.

Bacolod ranked second behind Puerto Prinsesa as the cleanest and greenest city as of 2012. Bacolod is the capital city of Negros Occidental in Visayas, well known for its Maskara Festival celebrated every October. Bacolod is known for its friendly people, thus the nickname the “City of Smiles”. In addition, the city received numerous awards and citations from different organizations for having one of the healthiest environments, the most interesting culture, impressive architecture and a steadily developing economy.- Skyscanner

It looks like Steven had a change of heart after I presented the above facts. I told him that Cebu is famous only here as the second-largest City behind Manila but when it comes to quality of life and living environment, it ranked 20th. He was surprised by Cebu’s ranking on the 2012 issue of Moneysense Magazine. Moneysense is like a local version of Time Magazine.

Bacolod has been a consistent contender for years on the list of most livable cities. It topped the 2008 and 2012 Moneysense list, topped the 2009 list of wikipilipinas, and never placed outside of the top 5 in any given year since the official survey started years ago.

Bacolod City is also one of the first cities to be listed in the “Cleanest and Greenest Cities Hall of Fame” after winning the award several years in a row.

 More Facts About Bacolod City

1. According to the latest government census, 9 out of 10 children had attended school (

2. The Bureau of Local Government Finance reported that Bacolod City ranked first in tax collection among all other cities and municipalities in the Visayas region. (

3. Bacolod City has been declared by the Department of Science and Technology as a “center of excellence” for information technology and business process management operations (

4. According to the “Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project 2005″ of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Bacolod tops the list in terms of infrastructure, ahead of other mid-size cities like Iligan, Calamba, and General Santos. Bacolod also tops the list in terms of quality of life, ahead of other mid-size cities like San Fernando, Baguio, Iloilo, and Lipa. AIM also recognized Bacolod as one of the Top Five most competitive mid-size cities together with Batangas, Iligan, Iloilo, and San Fernando (

5. Bacolod City has been christened as the Philippine “football city” for its patronage of the sport in the country. According to Askal player Lexton Moy, Bacolod is the football capital of the Philippines.(Wikipedia and Lexton Moy)

Some of my friends may ask me why I am living here in Batangas instead of staying in the City of Smiles. Well, there are some circumstances that we have to follow and at the moment, I have to stay here. I am visiting Bacolod 3 to 5 times a year so that does not change the fact that I am still a Negrense, a Silaynon, and a Bacolodnon.

For foreigners who want to retire in the Philippines, put Bacolod on the top of your list as a possible destination.

If you still don’t believe that Bacolod is the best place to live in the Philippines, then we have nothing more to talk about….

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