I don’t want to call us “foodies” because we don’t always eat. But, like many Filipino families, our family is anchored by food and our dining table, and food is our priority whenever we travel. Now that we have grown up, we don’t just seek out food, we also seek out makers and producers of food. We love knowing where our food come from and how other people are making a living through food. So it was no wonder our first destination on a Saturday in Bacolod was the Farmers’ Weekend Market. Advertisements
The first time we visited Bacolod City, we stayed at a hotel called Bascon Hotel. It was an old hotel, with dark wood panels, dark carpet, and a dark hallway. The “lobby” consisted of one wooden bench and a long horizontal wall mirror and was sparsely decorated. Our room, like the hallway, was dark and “well-curtained,” the bathroom tiles may have been witnessed to many a crime or passion.
Behind The Negros Museum at South Capitol Road is the city’s former zoo. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly haphazard condition when seen from the street. The former zoo has now been converted into an ecological foundation that aims to rehabilitate and breed endangered Negrense animals.
Bacolod has always been a romantic city to me, what with it’s glorious hedonistic past especially at the height of the sugar industry. I always equate Bacolod with mestizas and mestizos, of decadent pastries, of luxurious stews, and an old dilapidated train that used to carry sugar from one hacienda to another. That dilapidated train used to be the major attraction of the Negros Museum. Now, a decade after since my first visit, the museum has improved and it has unmasked the City of Smiles.
Bulad (which means “to dry” in the Visayan language) is a popular pasalubong item when you’re visiting Cebu City. Danggit is undeniably the queen of all bulads, but the truth is, I hardly eat danggit at all. That is because I always feel cheated that there is hardly any fish meat in danggit. One of my favorite bulads is galunggong or scad. And today, a Friday, I made my homemade gourmet tuyo using dried scad I bought from the Taboan Market. If you read further, I’m also sharing other things you can buy as pasalubong from the Taboan Market.
When Joel and I visited Manila in February for my visa application, we took it as a chance to have a vacation. We’ve been to Manila several times but each visit felt shorter than the one before it. So, we decided to have that vacation in Manila — where we would visit all the places we want to visit at our own time. Because it was a vacation, we splurged a little bit with food (which we don’t usually do) and I did some research on where to eat that was walking distance from Casa Bocobo, the hotel we where staying at along Kalaw St. and just across Rizal Park.
I have always wanted to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts because I want to see Juan Luna’s Spolarium. While I do appreciate art (I think), I don’t understand all art so I veer towards the art that has cultural and/or historical significance. And the Spolarium was one thing I wanted to see.
On the way to the parish church in Talingting, we stopped by a shanty along the road to have snacks. The smell of freshly baked bread enticed us to jump out of the mini van. We were greeted by Lilibeth, the owner of the humble bakery, and we spied her husband and daughter kneading dough behind the glass display counter. There were no other tourists when we visited so we took a break and spent time talking with Lilibeth and her family. And this is her story.
After catching up with sleep on a Thursday midday, Joel and I hurried to Rizal Park to see if we can still get inside one of our national museums — the National Museum of Anthropology. The museum closes at 5:00 P.M., and admission ends at 4:30. We arrived at 4:00 PM and students were hurrying down the stairs to go home.
I woke up at half past 3 in the afternoon in Manila. I was refreshed and the pain in my eye that has been bugging me the past four days is now gone. We arrived in the capital 12 hours before, hit the welcoming pillows of the quaint Casa Bocobo Hotel at 4AM, visited a government agency for a scheduled appointment, had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and went home to get some much-needed shut eye. I was glad it was still half past 3. That means we still have enough day light to cover at least one museum, the whole length of Rizal Park, and still be on time for an afternoon tea.
This guide to a Visita Iglesia in Siquijor was something I wrote for Tripzilla before this year’s Holy Week. I patterned this after a recent visita iglesia I did with a guest who visited Siquijor for the first time. While Siquijor will not boast of centuries-old and magnificent churches, we do have our share of historic churches.