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Retire in Bacolod City Guide

If Bacolod City is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Bacolod City Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.

Bacolod City, is a popular retirement destination for international retirees due to its low cost of living, warm climate, and friendly locals. The city offers a unique blend of urban conveniences and rural tranquility, with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant food scene. However, like any other place, retiring in Bacolod City also comes with its own set of challenges, such as language barriers and adjusting to a different healthcare system.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Bacolod City is significantly lower compared to many Western countries. International retirees can live comfortably on a modest pension. Housing, food, utilities, and healthcare are all affordable. For instance, a decent two-bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood can be rented for as low as $200 per month. Dining out and groceries are also inexpensive, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around $5.


Bacolod City enjoys a tropical climate, with warm temperatures throughout the year. The city experiences two seasons: the dry season from November to April and the wet season from May to October. The average temperature ranges from 25°C to 32°C, making it ideal for retirees who prefer a warm climate.


Bacolod City is home to several top-notch hospitals and clinics, such as the Riverside Medical Center and the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center. These healthcare facilities offer a wide range of medical services, from routine check-ups to specialized treatments. Many doctors and medical staff speak English, making communication easier for international retirees.

Public Healthcare System

While the Philippines has a public healthcare system, most international retirees opt for private health insurance due to the better quality of care and shorter waiting times. However, the cost of private healthcare is still significantly lower compared to Western countries.

Residency Options for Retirees

The Philippines offers a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) for international retirees. This visa allows retirees to live indefinitely in the country, with multiple-entry privileges and exemptions from customs duties for the importation of personal goods.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Bacolod City offers a variety of recreational activities for retirees. The city is home to several parks, such as the Bacolod Public Plaza and the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Center. For golf enthusiasts, there’s the Bacolod Golf and Country Club. The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the famous MassKara Festival.


Bacolod City is known for its vibrant food scene. Some popular local restaurants include Aboy’s Restaurant, known for its grilled seafood, and Chicken House, famous for its chicken inasal. For dessert, Calea Pastries and Coffee is a must-visit.

Learning the Language

While English is widely spoken in Bacolod City, learning the local language can enhance the retirement experience. The University of St. La Salle offers Tagalog language courses for foreigners.

Local Culture

The locals in Bacolod City, known as Bacolodnons, are known for their hospitality and friendliness. The city is often referred to as the “City of Smiles” due to the warm and welcoming nature of its residents.

Market Scene

Bacolod City has a vibrant market scene. The Central Market is a bustling hub where locals and tourists alike can buy fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies. The market also hosts several food stalls where you can sample local dishes.

Meeting People and Volunteer Opportunities

Meeting people in Bacolod City is easy, thanks to the friendly locals and the active expat community. There are several volunteer opportunities available, such as the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, where retirees can contribute to conservation efforts.

Housing Options

International retirees in Bacolod City typically live in apartments or condominiums in the city center or in gated communities in the suburbs. These housing options offer modern amenities and security, providing a comfortable and safe living environment for retirees.


Public transportation in Bacolod City is efficient and affordable, with a network of jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis. The city is also walkable, with many amenities and attractions within walking distance. Therefore, owning a car is not necessary for most retirees.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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