One of the remarkable landmarks of Bacolod City is the Bacolod Public Plaza, a 2-hectare trapezoidal park with trees around the periphery and a gazebo at the center. Constructed in 1927 with music as the theme, the plaza has been a perfect place for recreation, political, cultural and spiritual activities. Today, the plaza is used as a gathering place for workers, students and families during all times of the year. Church service is also held at the park during Sundays.
The plaza has a small memorial for unknown soldiers who died in fighting for Bacolod’s peace and democracy. A small gazebo on top of the stage is mostly used a bandstand during concerts and events celebrated by the early Bacolenos. The names of world-renowned Western classical music composers like Beethoven, Wagner, Haydn, and Mozart are inscribed along the sides of the gazebo’s roofing, proving the early Bacolenos’ familiarity with European culture. . Fountains and benches are also found near the trees that surround the stage. On October 19, 1938, President Manuel L. Quezon planted a Tindalo tree at the Bacolod Public Plaza to mark the inauguration of the city’s charter day. The tree is still being preserved at the plaza due to its historical value.
Bacolod Public Plaza is located just across the marvelous and historic San Sebastian Cathedral. To the northwest of the plaza is the Tourist Information Office where you can ask for information regarding the city’s tourism and activities. Close by the Tourist Information Office is the Police Station and a little more to the northwest along Rizal St. Extension is SM City Bacolod. To the Southwest of the plaza is Araneta Street. where fast food chains, banks, drugstores and many other establishments are found. The City Hall is located just about 300 meters away from the plaza while about a hundred meters to the south is the Public Market.
The Bacolod Public Plaza is quite popular as a place for picnics and concerts. it is also most notable as the heart of MassKara Festival Celebration. The MassKara Festival is a three-week festival in October that finalizes, previously, on the weekend closest to October 19, the city’s Charter Inauguration anniversary, but in recent years, has been moved to the last week of October. The plaza is the final destination of the MassKara street dancing competition which is considered to be the highlight of the celebration.
Although the Public Plaza is considered as one of the less attractive tourist spots in Bacolod, here you can find people whom you can talk to and help you in some ways such as in giving directions. While probably one of the less maintained, it is considered to be one of the cleanest and most peaceful plazas in the Philippines. You can usually find passersby, vendors and dating couples inside the Bacolod Public Plaza.
After your tiresome yet pleasurable stroll around the beautiful city, you may try spending some of your time unwinding in this peaceful area.