Bacolod Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Bacolod City, Philippines

One Month’s Spend for Travelers, Retirees and Nomads

Planning an extended stay in Bacolod City? Wondering what the cost of living in Bacolod City might be? One of the Philippines most fascinating cities has a lot to offer in the way of outstanding cultural experiences, affordable living and phenomenal food. Also, it’s a common destination for travelers, digital nomads and retirees. .

As a solo full-time traveler, I set a monthly budget for myself of $1500 Canadian dollars (about $1,100USD) per month. I know that it will vary depending on where I am in the world, but I plan to stick to it as best I can and hope it all evens out in the end.

All figures below will be in US dollars.

Let’s see how my cost of living compares to my imaginary budget:

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Cost of Living in Bacolod City

Bacolod City is located in western Visayas on Negros Occidental. One of the thousands of islands in the Philippines. This is one of my favourite locations in the Philippines. Mainly because of the food and all the great friends I made while I was there. Bacolod City also became the first location I returned to since starting my travels in 2001.

But briefly about the food. Let me tell you, the food is out of this world good. Famously known for their Chicken Inasal it doesn’t end there. They also have amazing seafood and the best desserts in the Philippines. Bacolod boasts a foodie culture that is hard to find anywhere in the world. It literally feels like everybody in Bacolod is a foodie in some capacity. The famous Filipino chef, JP Anglo hails from here and still owns Mushu, an amazingly delicious restaurant in the middle of the city

As you can tell from the intro, I have a lot to say about the food in Bacolod, but let’s put that on hold so we can get to this Cost of living in Bacolod City breakdown

Accommodations

This AirBnb is located in the Amaia Steps complex directly across the street from Ayala Mall in Bacolod City. Centrally located and very walkable, and It was only a short 5 minute walk to the Capitol Lagoon. A relaxing park and man made lagoon that locals tend to flock to.

My unit was a studio unit with a full kitchen, bath, very comfortable work station with office chairs, and an extremely comfortable bed. No big bells and whistles but if you have read enough of my posts, you already know I am a pretty simple individual.

The host was fabulous. My flight to Bacolod was delayed by 10 hours from Cebu(Damn you Cebu Pacific), and she drove from the other side of town at midnight to let me in. She walked me through all the procedures of everything and how to deal with the on site security. Her and her husband keep the unit spotless and make great recommendations on where to find all the good food Bacolod has to offer.

If you’re interested in checking out the unit you can find it here. ATM Condo – studio type @ the heart of the City

Total cost for accommodation for the month: $574

Looking for short term accommodations? Check these great deals:

  • Luxury Accommodations: – Seda Capitol Central Hotel – Seda Capitol Central Hotel offers modern accommodation in Bacolod. The property features an onsite restaurant and a bar. Free private parking is available for guests who ride and free WiFi is available in the public areas.
  • Mid-Range Accommodations: – Nature’s Village Resort -Nature’s Village Resort features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, a terrace and restaurant in Bacolod. Offering a bar, the property is located within 7.7 km of Negros Museum
  • Budget Accommodations: – Le Chateau Residences All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, bidet and shower. A microwave, a toaster and fridge are also provided, as well as a kettle. At the apartment complex, some units are allergy-free.

Or check here for the latest deals on Booking.com

Check out my Cebu Cost of Living

Cost of Living in Bacolod City – Activities

I recorded a big fat zero for the month. The main reason for this is I was starting to figure out how to do this a solo traveler and I made 5 YouTube videos while I was here. So editing and planning took up a lot of time.

During my time in Bacolod I also met what would become one of my best friends in the world. Martin from The Bacolod Food Hunters. Martin was involved in the planning and filming of every video I made while I was in Bacolod. I don’t know if I have ever met someone more passionate about food than me, but he makes me look like a toddler at McDonald’s.

Martin and I did take a trip to Bago City to film a video at a coffee plantation that I could list in activities but he paid for the whole trip. I only paid for the food we ate later in the day at an amazingly delicious eatery which you can see in the video below.

Total Cost for Activities for the month: $o

Martin and I go to Bago City to learn about coffee and finish with Kyle’s eatery in Bacolod City:

Dining and Restaurants

This was an expensive month for food. As mentioned, I filmed 5 videos while in Bacolod City and Martin covered a large portion of everything we did on top of what I spent. The crazy guy would refuse to take money from me and would show up at locations before I got there and pay for part of it in advance. Despite all of that, I still spent a large portion myself but the food is just so good. And I have still spent more for a single night out in North America at one restaurant than this entire month cost me so all in all not too bad

As usual, this category makes up Grab deliveries, dining out and expenses incurred for content I made. For comparison sake meals in Bacolod City vary widely. You can get inasal and rice for as little as $2.50 and if you want western food or high end Filipino it will be much more expensive. Grab deliveries can vary anywhere from $4-5 to as high as you want to to go for food. As with every country, the local cuisine will always be much more affordable than International dishes

Total Cost for Dining out for One Month: $321

Watch as Martin, Lorraine and I visit a 26 year old super chef:

Groceries

On the flip side of the dining category, groceries ended up really cheap. I had a massive grocery store right across the street but with all the filming and dining we did and Grab deliveries when I was editing there was no need to buy groceries. Fruits, yogurt and granola seems to be a go to staple for snacks when I am at home working so this category consists of those items and some toiletries

Total Cost for Groceries for the Month: $79

Cell Phones

This month only consists of topping up my sim card that I purchased when I arrived in country. And I managed to snag a couple of promotional offers from my provider so this category is also very cheap

Total Cost for Phone and Data for one Month: $10

Transportation

Cheap month as far as transportation. A few random grabs to get around town and to and from the airport

Total cost for Transportation for One Month: $34

Looking for fun things to do in Bacolod? Check out some of these tours from Viator

Visas

This is my 2nd extension in the country and I opted for a two month extension. If you have been following along, you know that you get your first 30 days visa free. Then you can extend the first time for an additional 29 days. After that you enter the process so to speak. After 59 days you have to apply for an extension and get what is called an ACI-R card (Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card) The card is valid for one year, so it is a one time fee for it in that time frame.

This visa Extension will be by far the costliest one during your stay. For the purpose of this article I am splitting the costs over two months, so this amount is for half of the cost of the visa.

Total Cost for Visa for one month: $70

Miscellaneous Expenses

This category covers pretty much everything that’s not included above. I include alcohol in miscellaneous, because I do enjoy a beer or 20 from time to time while hanging around the Airbnb. You might not drink and if you are planning a budget you can easily omit this cost. For me, alcohol makes up about 60% of this category. This month it also included a haircut

One thing to note in the Philippines. Banks charge hefty fees for foreign card withdrawals regardless of amounts withdrawn. It works out to a little over $3 for every transaction so if you have to pull money out, pull out as much as possible in one transaction.

Total Miscellaneous Costs for one month: $64

One thing I can’t live without while on the road full time – Saves me lots of money too!

Cost of Living in Bacolod City – Totals

Cost of Living for One Month in Bacolod City, Philippines

Looking at the table above, you can see I am over budget. 51 years old and headed straight for the poor house. But $1,206 USD works out to a little over $1,647 CAD. However, living abroad can still be much cheaper than in your home country. If you would like to help keep me on the road I would greatly appreciate it. You can do so at: Buy Me a Coffee

Have you lived in Bacolod City for any length of time? Were your numbers similar to my cost of living in for one month in Bacolod Do you have any other tips for potential travelers? Leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

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