Bago (Philippines)

Bago City is a city in Negros Occidental, known for its Historical sites and Natural treasures, it has been nicknamed "The Home of Historical and Natural Treasures" as well as it is known for providing the province of Negros Occidental, Rice, nicknamed then "Rice Granary of Negros Occidental".



Spanish Era

On Septermber 6, 1571 Spanish adelantado, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi allotted the community to a Spanish named Juan Gutierrez as his "Ecomienda". At that time Bago was still as small settlement along river banks of Bago River. The "Ecomiendero" then administered spiritual and socio-economic needs of the community until, 1578; however a year after the settlement came under the visitations of Father Geronimo Marin, an Agustinian priest who had taken in-charge of the Christianization of the natives of Binalbagan since the year 1572. On Father Marin's arrival he celebrated the feast of St. John the Baptist which later was accepted as the patron saint of the city, Bago City then was founded on that day. From 1575 up to the 16th Century no records were written about the community, records show that on 17th Century, people from the island of Panay migrated to Negros and settled on the riverbanks of Bago River, after these settlers arrived, the settlement then rapidly grew and the settlers then had their own governance, years later their descendants then petitioned to the Spanish authorities to name their "Pueblo" or town, "Bago". Among the petitioners were Manuel Sitchon, Gregorio Varela, Paulino Torres, Jacinto Araneta, Clemente Celis, Mariano Gonzaga and Fernando Villanueva, whose forebears hailed from the town of Molo, Iloilo. The said petition was finally granted by the status of a “pueblo” or town in that same year. From 1800 to 1898 the town experienced tyranny and oppression from the Spanish the people then revolted against them, General Juan Araneta led the rally for the struggle of freedom on November 5, 1898. This historic event was chronicled in the Public plaza of Bago City. Together with General Aniceto Lacson who led the forces in Talisay, he was able to force the capitulation of the Spanish garrison at Bacolod thus putting an end to the Spanish sovereignty in the province. Forthwith, a revolutionary government was established with general Juan A. Araneta as the Acting Governor. In the then Municipality of Bago, an election was held and Ramon del Castillo became the first elected municipal president who served in such capacity from the year 1898 up to the year 1900.

American and Japanese occupation

On April, 1901 the Americans came and established a civil government on Negros Occidental which abolished the revolutionary government of General Araneta. The Americans however allowed Filipino officials to govern the municipality. The following therefore were the succeeding municipal presidents and mayors of Bago until the outbreak of the Second World War on December 7, 1941. Japanese forces then occupied Bago and attempted to establish a provincial government but refused to co-operate, the Americans liberated the town on March 29, 1945 with the Philippine Commonwealth and the Negrosanon Guerrillas, it was almost destroyed but went through rehabilitation and development efforts under succeeding mayors. On February 19, 1966 the town then was granted City hood.


Like the whole of Negros Occidental, Hiligaynon is prominently spoken and understood. Tagalog, Aklanon, Cebuano and Ilokano are spoken by 0.4% of the population. There wouldn't be a hard time to communicate with locals as most of the people speak and understand English.

Get in

By air

Get in Bago City through Bacolod-Silay International Airport which is in Silay but Serves Bacolod City which is just 14.4 kilometers away from Bago City. Currently the Airport saves 4 airlines; Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines and Zest Airways that connects the whole of Negros Occidental to Manila and Cebu. You can get a cab to get to Bago City proper on arrival.

By Sea

Another alternative for getting to Bago City is using ships from other provinces to Bacolod's Bredco Port. From Manila, Bacolod is 18 hours away while from Iloilo, it is 45 minutes to 1 hour away. There might be many ports in Negros Occidental that are accessible but among them Bacolod is the most accessible and is the nearest point from Bago City.

Get around

Air Conditioned taxis are now plentiful in Bago City however Tricycles or Rickshaws and Jeepneys are still the cheapest mode of transport.


Historical Sites and Churches

Cultural and Nature Centers




Silk is the best product Bago City can give.


Try Kalamayhati and Inasal. Inasal means cooked over fire or in simple words a local version of barbecue, they're available in streets sold in stalls. Kalamayhati is a variety of local rice cakes, it is made from coconut milk, sugar and glutinous rice.


San Miguel beer is mostly available in the whole Philippines.



English newspapers like Visayan Daily Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Business Tonight are available.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, October 13, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.