One fine day, our family just went on a ROAD TRIP | FOOD TRIP to Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, Philippines from our home city of Bacolod. It was a convoy of three cars all the way up the mountains.
Sometimes, when the going gets tough down here, the only way to go is up. And yes, literally we go up in the mountains.
City life can be too much for the mind and body and it can also dampen the spirit. We just have to detach ourselves and go to a nearby hideaway with a refreshing view and cool surroundings. Such a trip calms the mind and refreshes the spirit, too. You would be surprised at the effect, as when you get to work the next day, there is a skip in your step or a perk in your usual routine. Yeah, we need such trips from time to time for our sanity’s sake. Traveling can have such a positive effect on us.
One of the favorite getaway spot of Bacolodnons is Don Salvador Benedicto. It is a municipality nestled in the mountains of Northern Negros Occidental. Because of the its cool temperature, it is now dubbed as the SUMMER CAPITAL OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL — and rightfully so. It’s no wonder that many of the affluent families have built summer houses here.
SUMMER CAPITAL OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL
The roads going to Don Salvador Benedicto are wide and paved and just a short drive from Bacolod City–the province’s capital. We left Central Bacolod in our private vehicles at around 10:30am and arrived at our first destination, Mountainview Resort Bar and Restaurant, at 11:30am in order to have lunch. So yeah, even on a holiday when so many people are going there, our drive only took one hour.
Mountainview Resort Bar and Restaurant
Mountainview is one of the most established restaurants in the area, with a nice building and sprawling grounds. And of course, the view is breathtaking. Our only disappointment there is the food–it’s way too overpriced, considering that no air conditioning is required around here. I would probably understand if it’s seafood, because this is the mountains and bringing seafood up here takes too much logistics.
And of course, the cost of spoilage. So if you come here, it’s really to enjoy the view and not really to enjoy the food. We could have eaten so much more delicious foods in Bacolod restaurants for what we paid for at Mountainview. We ordered very basic meals because they are really dear. Make sure you have lots of cash when you go up here. I shall show you in photos.
But if a pictorial is what you like, you will certainly get your fill of selfies and groufies here because of the verdant surroundings. They look very nice in photos. So, go ahead there’s no limit and it’s the only thing that’s free. hehe
So my sister-in-law suggested we check out Jomax Peak for coffee and just for sightseeing. It’s another popular resort in the area. We drove several meters going up the mountain from where Mountainview is. The road near Jomax Peak was full of cars parked on the sidewalk. So they asked if we can go in just for pictorial but it’s not allowed.
They are full for the day and they would not entertain walk-ins. So if you plan to go to Jomax Peak, always — as in I really mean it — make a reservation beforehand. And you have to make advance payments, too. Otherwise, you will NEVER be allowed inside. Just check their Facebook page for instructions on how to make reservations.
Doc J’s Resto
So after Jomax Peak, we decided to drive down already. We stopped by Doc J’s Resto, another popular stop because of their organic food offerings. It is surrounded by a garden of fruit trees and flowering plants so it is a nice and relaxing play to spend the afternoon. So we had halo-halo, coffee, and organic ice cream there.
The halo-halo is also natural, using only organic fresh fruits and a syrup sweetener that they produce at the farm. But for it’s price, it’s not that impressive. There’s only a few slices of fruits and it’s mostly just ice. I counted them and it’s like just two small slices of each fruit. It wasn’t very satisfying.
The brewed coffee was so-so according to my husband but the VIETNAMESE ICED COFFEE—aaahhh for the win. A must-try when you come here. It’s really flavorful and a great wake up call! haha An hour at Doc J’s later, we took off with many of their ornamental plants that we bought.
On our way home, we stopped by the fruit stands that are just along the highway in order to buy different fruits in season. They are so cheap here, like P20 for a kilo of avocado. Our loot of fresh fruits didn’t finish P200. So when you come here, make sure to bring home these fruits because you can never get them as cheap when you are in Bacolod.
Other Things to See
After Doc J’s we have spotted I think about five more versions of Doc J’s and they were numbered. I don’t think these are branches of Doc J’s anymore, just like the different Nena’s Chicken Inasal of Bacolod. They are cottages along the highway that offer coffee and refreshments to travelers and they have nice views overlooking the mountains, too.
We went home tired yet our spirits satisfied. But we were still hungry as we were not really satisfied with our meals back there. Maybe next time, I will be able to find better Don Salvador Benedicto restaurants that are worth their price.
Note: If you don’t have a private car, you can still easily go up to Don Salvador Benedicto by taking any one of the Ceres buses plying the Bacolod-San Carlos via DSB route.
Maria Sigrid D. Lo is a multi-awarded Bacolod lifestyle blogger and social media advocate. It is her desire to make the city known to the world through her online presence. She promotes Bacolod restaurants, food tourism, social media etiquette, breastfeeding, and a greener Bacolod City in her blogs and talks. She loves taking photos, mostly of her children and of food. She is a proud member of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. (NBSI) or the #NegrosBloggers.