Distance from Bacolod: 45.9 kms. Via San Enrique – 43.2 kms. Via Maao, Bago
Land Area: 13,732 hectares
Classification: 4th Class
No. of Barangays: 14 Barangays
Population: 56,408 (May 1, 2000) – 59,668 (2005 Projection)
Language: Hiligaynon/Ilonggo – English is spoken and understood
La Carlota once a thriving settlement known as Mangkas, the name of a brave and noble warrior of Negrito inhabitants who lived in a quiet and idyllic place along the portions of Canman-ug Creek. Because he was kind and revered by his people, Mangka’s name was also given to their children, and soon after, with so many Mangkas around, the settlement was known as such by the natives.
The paradise life of the natives came to an end with the arrival of the Spaniards. Though skilled hunters with their spears and blow darts and bows and arrows, their weapons were no match against the invader who were armed with what were then modern weapons. The inhabitants were thus driven to the hills, their pride dented. But some remained in their homes and quickly assimilated into the new life.
A number of years later, kindness returned to the place in the person of Carlota, wife of Spanish official Capitan Enrique, who showed compassion to the natives, cared for the sick and the poor and generally filled the vacuum left by the warrior Mangkas.
The settlement started as a barrio of San Enrique under Carlota’s husband and got its full status as a town during the last part of the Spanish era. To perpetuate her deeds, the natives named the pueblo after her. During that time, the Spaniards were used to preceding proper nouns with appropriate articles “ La” so the place has been known as “La Carlota”.
On June 19, 1965 by virtue of Republic Act. No. 4585, the town of La Carlota was converted into a city. It is a noted eco-tourism area and breeding ground for champion gamefowls. La Carlota’s Guintubdan Nature Camp is the favorite jump-off point for a trek to Mount Kanlaon Natural Park.
How to Get There
La Carlota City is approximately a one-hour drive from Bacolod by private car and a little more than an hour in public utility jeepneys and buses via the main highway. The place can also be reached via the interior barangays of Bago City in about 40 to 50 minutes.
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is a century-old church located at the heart of the city. It has the distinction of being one of the very few churches of Romanesque architectural design in the region.
Red Silay bricks and coral stones from Guimaras Island were used lavishly during the construction in 1876 after King Carlos of Spain issued a Royal Decree creating La Carlota into a parish.
Infante Heritage House
Hda. Guadalupe, Brgy. Ayungon
The grandeur of living in the past can be felt upon entering the lion-guarded ancestral house of the Infante family at Hda. Guadalupe, Brgy. Ayungon. Almost half kilometer from the highway, the place is a treasure chest of antique religious icons, hand-painted porcelain china wares and carnival glasses. It is home to one of the oldest yet operational German-made grandfather’s clock. Art deco pieces from center tables to cabinets figure prominently in the family’s priceless collection. Turn of the century appliances and beautifully-made wood carvings serve as dividers at the second floor. The garden, fenced with balustrade on both sides facing the house has miniature lighthouse that once used to be fountain.
This imposing tower-like architecture was constructed early 1900s. It was probably designed to withstand the storm because of its very strong structure. Standing in a sprawling plantation of a prominent family, the place can be seen from the highway secured with wrought-iron gates and shaded with big trees. Crystal glasses adorn the window enclosed by grills while spiral posts support the corners of doors.
Guintubdan Visitor’s Pavilion amd Garden has eight picturesque waterfalls considered as an unquestionable haven for nature tourism.
Muscovado Sugar Mill Brick Chimneys in Had. Canman-ug still exist in Had. Canman-ug. It is an obelisk-like chimney used to process Muscovado and was constructed in 1890.
Iron Dinosaurs of Central Azucarera de La Carlota, Inc. is a vintage late 1900’s steam locomotive which railway enthusiasts refer to as “The Iron Dinosaurs”.
La Granja Agricultural Research Center is a monument to a Royal Decree issued on November 15, 1881 creating the La Granja Agricolas.
Pasalamat Festival is a thanksgiving celebration held on Sunday nearest to the month of May.
Pasalamat brings together the La Carloteños in unity and thanksgiving to God Almighty for providing the people with gift of life and perseverance despite life’s difficulties.
The festival attracts local and international tourists as merrymakers don colorful costumes fashioned out of indigenous materials dancing to the unique and original “Pasalamat Samba Beat” played by local drumbeaters using percussion instrument.
The Christmas Festival of Lights and Music features lighted trees in the park, private and public buildings around the city. The city’s festival of lights and music is considered as the biggest in the province.
It also showcases various churches and local choir group in the nightly Christmas Cantata at the park from December 15-January 1.