Amid the eucalyptus trees lining the 25-hectare Panaad Park and Sports Complex, you can check out the daily activities at the Panaad Tourism and Trade Fair at the various LGU (local government unit) Pavilions. Each pavilion showcases a town's history, arts and culture, tourism, commerce, trade, and industry.
The Panaad Stadium also hosts several events, such as the Negros' Best Products Display, Organic sa Negros Agri-Fest, Livestock and Dairy Products Fair, Festival Costumes Exhibit and Competition, and Eco-Garden and Wellness Show.
You can also check out the Festival Costume Display showcasing the colorful costumes of the province's 32 cities and towns, as well as the Float Competition, Festival Dance, Drum and Bugle, Folk Dance, Latin Dance, Negros Music Festival, Composo and Best Destination Pavilion themed "Kapistahan sa Negros" (Festivals in Negros).
The highlight of the event is during the festival's last day. One of the highlights is the Search for the Lin-ay sang Negros (Lady of Negros) Pageant.
Tip: If you plan to attend any festivals in Negros Occidental, specifically in Bacolod, it's best that you book your hotel a month before the event, as the city gets fully booked during festival time.
Where to Eat
You can savor the flavors of Negros by visiting each pavilion at the Panaad Park and Stadium. Each pavilion offers the respective town's specialties.
For snacks, try Manapla's puto and dinugu-an. Grab some seafood at the Sagay or Cadiz booths, Ilog's big oysters and Bacolod's chicken inasal for lunch or dinner. Beer is also served. Budget for a single meal is around Php150-200.
Dos and Don'ts
Keep in mind that you'll be meeting and encountering different kinds of people. Snatchers or pickpockets might just be around the corner.
Only bring enough cash if you just plan to grab some food or buy pasalubongs.
Always secure your personal belongings especially your wallet and mobile phone. Don't wear flashy jewelry to avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.
Wear comfortable shoes. Remember that you'll be walking around a 25-hectare park and some areas may get muddy if it rains. A hat and jacket might come in handy.
If you'll bring your own private transportation, expect that finding parking space will be challenging. You might be walking a very long distance to the venue.
And always smile, it's a good way to open conversations!
How to Get There:
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of Php400) and ask to be taken to your hotel or destination in Bacolod City.
You can also go to Bacolod via ferry (estimated cost of Php2700++ with meal, round trip, 20-22 hours) from Manila. From the port you can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off to your destination anywhere in Bacolod City.
Jeepneys (minimum of Php7.50, ask for a discount if you're a senior citizen or a student) are the most common and cheapest means of transportation in the city. They have designated routes to follow, so if you're in a rush it's better to get a cab (flagdown in the city area is Php40 and additional Php3.50 for every succeeding 300 meters).