Future-ready Manokan Country


Manokan Country, the well-known row of stalls serving Bacolod City’s authentic and mouthwatering chicken inasal, will be transformed into a future-ready tourist destination.

“We have pushed forward the redevelopment of our Manokan Country, transforming it into a future-ready tourist destination that embraces technology and sustainability while preserving our cherished food culture and tradition,” Mayor Alfredo Benitez said at the signing of the contract for the redevelopment project with SM Prime executives Oct. 20.

“It’s a modernization with a touch of preserving cultural identity. Manokan Country is ingrained in our culture, and we would like to preserve that moving forward. We just like to enhance it, make sure that the experience is still there within the modern facilities,” he said.

Mayor Alfredo Benitez (center) shows the contract for the Manokan Country Redevelopment Project, with SM Supermalls president Steven Tan (right) and City Legal Officer, Atty. Romeo Carlos Ting Jr., at the Bacolod Government Center Oct. 20.
Bacolod City officials and SM executives at the contract signing.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Jeffrey Lim said the design of the new Manokan was “greatly influenced by our passion to provide customers, including our chicken inasal entrepreneurs, with a world-class facility they can be really be proud of.”

It will be a tech-ready, more spacious food hall, with a kitchen that will assure customers of the sanitary preparations and quality cooking of the chicken inasal, and options for airconditioned spaces for more comfortable dining.

“We treasure the relationship we have built with the community of Bacolod City and we remain committed to further enhancing their shopping and dining experience, particularly at the well-loved Manokan Country,” Lim said.

He said the modernization of Manokan Country is essential to cater to the evolving needs and expectations of both locals and tourists. “Upgrading the infrastructure and facilities within Manokan will not only enhance the overall dining experience but also improve safety, hygiene standards, and operational efficiency that customers are prioritizing nowadays,” he added.

SM Supermalls president Steven Tan said the company is “embarking on a journey of modernization in Bacolod City, with a shared vision and a brighter future ahead”.

By modernizing the Manokan, SM Prime and the city government aim to create a more appealing and comfortable environment for visitors, ensuring a positive impression of Bacolod. Upgraded facilities, such as modern seating arrangements, proper ventilation, improved sanitation, and expanded parking spaces will contribute to a more enjoyable dining experience, the giant integrated property developer top honcho explained.

Modernization efforts also include incorporating technology-driven solutions, such as digital payment methods, online ordering platforms, and efficient waste management systems. “These advancements will streamline operations, provide convenience to customers, and promote sustainability practices.”

Lim said the modernization of Manokan Country will support the local economy by attracting more visitors and generating increased revenue for the vendors and surrounding businesses. “This development project aligns with the vision of Bacolod as a progressive and forward-thinking destination that excels in providing exceptional experiences to residents and guests.”

“Through collaboration and investment, we firmly believe that the modernization of Manokan Country will elevate the overall dining scene in Bacolod, enhancing its appeal and contributing to the growth and prosperity of the community,” he added.

SM Supermalls president Steven Tan, who witnessed the contract signing at the Bacolod Government Center, along with company executives and city officials, said that Manokan Country holds a special place in the heart of Bacolod.

“It is not just a simple food strip; it is a cultural icon, a representation of the warmth and hospitality that define this vibrant city,” Tan said.

“However, as times change, so do the needs and expectations of people, and to stay relevant, it is crucial that we embark on a journey to modernize Manokan Country…to allow us to retain our authenticity while catering to the needs of a modern society.” | SM, Bacolod PIO photos