Provincial Capitol Lagoon operated by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government is a pit-stop of city tours in Bacolod City. This Capitol Park and lagoon is located in a three-hectare land area in Lacson Street, Bacolod City.
The main landmark in the park, the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol building was constructed in 1926 during the term of Governor Jose Locsin, a former doctor-politician who hails from Silay, Negros Occidental.
The iconic building is a symbol the province’s wealth is it was built during the boom of the sugar industry, which the province is known for. During the World War II, the building was used as the headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army. Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol now serves as the governor’s office.
Meanwhile, the Capitol park is also a historic area for the Negrenses as it is where the first Panaad sa Negros Festival was held in April 1993. This festival is a thanksgiving celebration for the good life and it’s the province’s mother festival, celebrated by the 13 cities in Negros Occidental.
Today, the Provincial Capitol Lagoon serves as a recreational for both locals and tourists. You will be welcomed by masterpiece sculptures such as the Panghimud-os monument by Eduardo Castillo as well as the famous creations of Italian artist Francesco Riccardo Monti, the matching-sculptures of man and woman riding a water buffalo or carabao. These Monti masterpieces were located in northern and southern ends of the lagoon. Artist Guillermo Tolentino helped in creating the matching sculptures. Monti is also known for designing the Manila Metropolitan Center as well as the University of the Philippines Visayas Iloilo Campus.
With its vast open area, locals and tourists love visiting the capitol park to jog, exercise and simply stroll. Families also hold picnics at the park especially during weekends and holidays.
On the other hand, some citizens use the park for aerobics, Zumba, dance rehearsals, arnis and martial arts practices. Sometimes bands and musicians perform in its open-air auditorium called “Concert at the Park.” The park also showcases a man-made lagoon with several live tilapias. The public is welcome to feed these fishes. Since the Provincial Capitol Lagoon is located at the heart of Bacolod city, it is also surrounded by different government offices of the 13 cities of Negros Occidental as well as restaurants where you can eat after strolling the park.