The name Bacolod was derived from the Hiligaynon word, Buklod meaning stonehill, as the city was first set up on a stonehill. Due to Moro (Muslim) raids it was then transferred to the shoreline. The original town is now called Daan-Banwa meaning Old Town.
The settlement was set up by Malayan people from the Taga-Ilog and settled on a stone hill (which is where Barangay Granada stands today). Later on the Moros attacked early one morning and within a few hours many people had been killed, women raped and houses torn down or burnt. The people then decided to move a little farther from the place down to the shore making the stone hill a ghost town.
Bacolod was made the provincial capital of Negros in 1894. It was the focal point of conflict between the Spanish and the Negrenses in 1898. The commanding officer of the Spanish forces; Col. Isidro de Castro, surrendered to the Filipino forces, and the signing of the Act of Capitulation was carried out at the house of Don Eusebio Luzuriaga which once stood in front of the City Hall.
In March 1899, US imperialist forces, led by Colonel James G. Smith, occupied Bacolod and conducted a campaign of savage and barbarous suppression which has been largely overlooked by Americans and Filipinos alike. During American Rule, The Rizal Institute was set up in the city in 1903 providing education to the Bacolodnons. La Consolacion College was then founded on 1919 by Augustinian Sisters as a private school. The City of Bacolod was officially declared as an official city on 18 Jun 1938. Inclement weather meant that the official inauguration had to be postponed twice. It was finally held on 19 Oct 1938; today the first two weeks of October is celebrated as Masskara and 19 Oct as Charter Day celebration declared a holiday. Bacolod was occupied by Japanese forces on 21 May 1942 but was then liberated by local guerillas and allied forces on 29 May 1945.
The small settlement grew and emerged as an urbanized city with a population now around 500,000 and named as one of the two “Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized Cities in the Philippines”, it also recognized as the most Business and child friendly city as well as Best in disaster risk management and has been appointed by the European Union as the pilot city for democratic Local governance for Southeast Asia in the Philippines.