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Exploring Sugarlandia—the breathtaking Negros Occidental

By Brooke Villanueva Published Nov 05, 2020 3:57 am

With health and safety protocols in place limiting us to our homes, the COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently fueled our, well, wanderlust.

And now that the government has started easing travel restrictions to boost tourism, unwinding and recharging from all the tiring days brought about by the current work-from-home setup suddenly seems like a good idea.

Instead of the well-loved Boracay and La Union, why not get thrilled over the sweet charm of the "Sugarbowl of the Philippines" or Negros Occidental? Also known as Sugarlandia, it boasts of various activities and places waiting to be explored—some, with a glass of rum in hand.

Don Papa Rum, for one, is giving you a chance to see it with a loved one for free via an online contest. With the hashtags #ExperienceSugarlandia and #DonPapaRum, just upload a photo of the bottle of Don Papa Rum and Don Papa 10-year-old on Instagram with a background that you think would best give off the feel of the place. Winners will be announced on November 15, December 21, and January 8, respectively.

“Negros Island is an island worth discovering, escaping to. Diving into the local food culture and immersing oneself in the flora and fauna, we felt would be a great way to reenergize once this pandemic ends. And that’s why we were inspired to put this contest together," said Monica Llamas-Garcia, Head of Brand and Communications at a virtual event.

Wondering what you can include in your itinerary? Here are some thrilling things you can do in this majestic province.

See the beauty of Mt. Kanlaon


Mount Kanlaon, the Philippines' third most active volcano, is the highest point in Central Visayas. It has long been a popular destination for adventure seekers, having had 19 eruptions between 1866 to 1993.

Get captivated by The Ruins

Photo taken from The Ruins' official Facebook page

The Ruins showcases the mansion that Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson built in the 1920's to honor his late wife. Unfortunately, parts of it were burnt in 1942 during the second World War. The site, which now includes a mini cafe, has since now become a tourist attraction for many.

Relax to the view and sound of Manipis Falls

Pugad Viewing Deck is highlighted by the view and sound of Manipis falls. Sip your coffee & have local delights to compliment this awemazing Eco-experience.

Posted by Pugad Viewing Deck on Friday, January 10, 2020

The view and sound of the Manipis Falls, which can be enjoyed from Pugad Viewing Deck, is quite relaxing—so much so that you would opt to stay there for hours and just bask in its goodness.

Watch how premium rum is made

View this post on Instagram

The Hawaiian-Philippine Company, a traditional sugar mill in Negros, turn cane to molasses the traditional way. This is one of the earliest steps in producing Don Papa Rum. #Negros #Silay #Philippines #Rum #DonPapa #DonPapa7

A post shared by The Don (@donpaparum) on

Find out how premium rum is birthed from the oldest strains of sugarcane that grow in the volcanic soil around the famous volcano. "Sugarlandia is a real place, but in the world of Don Papa, it’s also a place of magic and mystery,” Ben Scharlin, Don Papa's man on the ground, declared as he told the story about a 100-year-old train used in the sugar industry in Negros.

Enjoy some booze

When it comes to perking up any trip, booze is always a good idea. Enjoy good conversations with a glass of rum in hand and have the best time!

Photos courtesy of Don Papa Rum