Bacolod City: Of Muscovado Heritage

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Bacolod City: Of Muscovado Heritage

Travel dates: April 22-25, 2015
It’s my first time in Visayas!

In line of the annual get-together of pharmacists around the Philippines, we attended the Philippine Pharmacists’ National Convention 2015 held at Bacolod City. Along with my fellow pharmacists, we ventured into the Capital of Manok Inasal and Maskara Festival.

travel to Bacolod
Roadtripping the city.

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
Facade of the city hall. What an eye candy!
travel to Bacolod
The ceiling inside the City Hall

travel to Bacolod

After landing, we went to visit some places in the city. Our first stop was the latest city hall.

travel to Bacolod
En route to Pope John Paul II Tower.
travel to Bacolod
Around town
travel to Bacolod
The infamous Manokan Country, where you could taste the original Chicken Inasal.
Next stop is the Pope John Paul II Tower, built to commemorate the Pope’s visit in Bacolod City and held a mass at the same area where the tower stands now.

travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
Few images of the Pope’s visit housed in the tower.
travel to Bacolod
The Pope’s skull cap, one of the tower’s display of the Pope’s memorabilia.

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
Paintings at the SM Bacolod sidewalk as seen from the tower.
travel to Bacolod
One of the paintings that can be  viewed in the tower.
travel to Bacolod
The rooftop

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
A view of the Guimaras strait, a port, from the top.

To end the day, we went to the The Ruins, an old mansion of one of the biggest sugar cane plantation owners back in the day. The Ruins in Talisay City was also dubbed as the Taj Mahal of the province, if not of the Philippines. The mansion was made by Don Mariano for his wife, Maria Braga, just like the story of why Taj Mahal was built.


travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
Details of The Ruins
travel to Bacolod
Beauty in Destruction: Razed by fire during the American Occupation as to not let the mansion be a Japanese base, the foundation still stood even in the present.
travel to Bacolod
The facade is facing west, so the family watches the sunset in their staircase. This is when the mansion is at its finest, basking in the golden light, emanating the everyday pleasures of life.
travel to Bacolod
The most sought after tour guide, Kuya Roger, flanked by many tourists to listen to his historical rundown about the mansion flattered with his humor.
travel to Bacolod
There is a cafe in front of The Ruins, complete with musical accompaniment to be enjoyed while gazing at the magnificent structure.
travel to Bacolod
Just…stare at that beauty.
travel to Bacolod
Leaving the Ruins.

As we end our first day in the mesmerizing, Sugar cane-ful Bacolod City, we settled in our hotel as we ready (then snore) for the next day.

travel to Bacolod
Early morning stretch at Campuestohan Highland Resort
travel to Bacolod
The King of the Wild says hi. Or not.

travel to Bacolod

The resort has a lot of amenities like, zipline, Rope Course and the Cable Hamster Wheel (which we tried, and, kind of frustrated us a little bit). They have different lodgings and activities to do. Check out their website for more details.
After some grind, we went museum-hopping.
travel to Bacolod
First stop. Balay Negrense.

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
Inside Balay Negrense or “Negrense House”, derived from Hiligaynon.
Silay City boasts many ancestral houses and some of them turned into museums. Amidst the concrete pavements and modern get-ups, the feel in the neighborhood seems to turn back in Spanish time. Aside from the structures, what might not have changed must be the aroma of sugar cane in process.
travel to Bacolod
The “balay” was owned by a French, Victor Gaston, who married a Filipina, Prudencia Fernandez, hailed from Batangas. It became a heritage house after all the abandonment, later revived as it was donated by the heir, Msg. Guillermo Ma. Gaston, to be repaired and be used as a museum.
travel to Bacolod
Front yard
travel to Bacolod
Kitchen
travel to Bacolod
One of the prototypes of motorcycles of today, with paintings of Negrenese artists in the background.
travel to Bacolod
One of the rooms of the twelve children of Don Gaston. The house has six rooms, three on each side of the second level of the house. The second floor is spacious, and well, very Spanish. Kind of gave us the creeps. Especially those porcelain dolls.

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod

Next stop is the Hofileña Museum.

travel to Bacolod
The house is owned by one of the sugar baron’s back in the day, Manuel Severino Hofileña, made for her wife and nine children. Currently Mr. Ramon Hofileña, one of the children, lives in the house and also is the tour guide.
travel to Bacolod
The guide told us the three types of religious statues: Popular, Classical and Ornate
travel to Bacolod
One of the toys collected from Ramon Hofileña’s travels.
travel to Bacolod
The museum houses what seems to be the smallest doll from Hofileña’s travels.
The Hofileñas are a family of artists. Gilda, the wife of Manuel, was a beauty queen, their children are musicians, dancers, and painters. In fact, Carla Abellana is one of their descendants. His father, PJ Abellana, was an 80’s matinee idol.
The museum houses numerous paintings and sketches from famous artists like Ben Cab, Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo, Juan Luna, and even some of Jose Rizal’s sketches. Some paintings are gifted by fellow artists, and some are made by Negrenese. There are also collections of World War era pocketbooks, toys and other memorabilia from Mr. Ramon’s travels, photos and posters of Mr. Abellana, a printing press, a piano, books, and other antiques. The museum also sells tektites or micro meteorites. They are said to be collected near the foot of the mountain.

travel to Bacolod
There might be more museums in Silay that are worth checking out. But then, we opted to have our lunch.
travel to Bacolod
At Ana’s Garden Grill & Seafood
travel to Bacolod
Queue before the convention starts. The rest  of the day, and of the week, we attended the convention and enjoyed the food that is in Bacolod.
travel to Bacolod
The famous pastry shop: Calea!
travel to Bacolod
Of course, coffee

travel to Bacolod

travel to Bacolod
A dose of the Masskara festival during one of the parties for pharmacists.
travel to Bacolod
travel to Bacolod
It is just so sad being not able visit  Danjugan Island and the seven waterfalls in Mambukal Resort. Well, there is always a next time, and I definitely should come back.
Anthea
Hi, I’m Anthea, a Filipina trying to live in the moment. A registered pharmacist with an office day-job, a traveler of sorts in weekends-whether in actual outdoors or within books, through the screen, or through music. This blog is dedicated to all the wonders of this world (and the universe).

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