Skip to main content

Bacolod Revealed


What a great opportunity I had to visit Bacolod when my friends from Los Angeles were visiting their hometown! I took a local bus for Iloilo that stopped in numerous towns along the way. It was an interesting but long ride with vendors coming up the bus and peddling in a sort of mantraspeak their "puto, bayebaye, bingka". I bought the bingka, a mini version of bibingka (a rice cake). Two hours later the snacks for sale were "balut, mani mani, mais". Arriving at the bus terminal in Iloilo I jumped into a taxi for the port and took the fast ferry to Bacolod. It was just an hour and 15 minutes away. But before boarding the ferry, I bought some mais (corn) as I was starving.


In Bacolod I was met by my friends and we drove to Los Feliz Alegria Resort in the outskirts of Murcia (where there is a large outdoor market). Our gracious hosts, Julie and Joe Torres, are the owners of this lush and secluded resort where the swimming pool is fed by cool spring waters that trickle down the hill to a stream where a little hut sits atop gentle waterfalls.


Lunch is never simple in the Philippines except perhaps in my house. In Bacolod I was treated to an incredible array of local cuisine like Bacolod inasal, chicken soup with malunggay from Julie's herb garden, tortang talong (eggplant omelette), grilled bangus and tangigue, fresh buko juice (coconut juice), mangos and plantains. After such a feast it was perfect to go upstairs in the open nipa hut for an afternoon nap while the guys chatted and swam in the pool.


In the evening Julie and Joe regaled us at Lunok (the restaurant under the enchanted tree) where the special dish is sili (eel).  Afterwards, Lina Geronca treated us for dessert at Calea. Calea is best known for its cheesecakes. We slept at the penthouse of Villa Geronca, a six story building in the South Market area. The architect of the Villa drew his inspiration from the works of Piet Mondrian, a Dutch modern painter, hence the geometrical shapes and colors that identify the building and its interior design.


I woke up to the early morning buzz from busy South Market below. Terri Geronca and her husband, Jimmo (or as he likes to call himself, eh di ako) walked to the market to buy some fresh ingredients for our breakfast. But the show stealer of our sumptuous meal were the giant guava and mango from Gloria Geronca's garden. And the mango was sweet!


Can't wait to go back to Bacolod. There's much to see and do and the people are most hospitable. I must see Kaitulari Resort next time with spectacular views of Kanlaon Volcano. Thanks to my friends, the Geronca family, for making my first visit to Bacolod  a beautiful and memorable experience.

*  *  *

Photos by Charie

For recipes of bibingka and other Philippine delicacies check out http://www.pinoycook.net/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Carlos Botong Francisco - Progress of Medicine in the Philippines

Pre-colonial period Pag-unlad ng Panggagamot sa Pilipinas (The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines) is a group of four large-scale paintings depicting healing practices in the Philippines from pre-colonial times to the modern period. Carlos Botong Francisco was commissioned in 1953 by  Dr. Agerico Sison who was then the director of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) together with   Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing of the National Museum, Dr. Florentino Herrera, Jr. and Dr. Constantino Manahan. These oil on canvas paintings measure 2.92 meters in height and 2.76 meters in width (9.71 ft x 8.92 ft) and were displayed at the main entrance hall of PGH for over five decades. Owing to its location, the artworks were in a state of "severe deterioration" at the beginning of the 21st century from exposure to heat, humidity, dirt, dust, smoke, insect stains, grime, termites and an oxidized synthetic resin used in an earlier restoration. These canvases were restored three times, the last was

Filipino Struggles in History - Carlos Botong Francisco

In 1968, Antonio Villegas (then Mayor of Manila), commissioned Carlos "Botong" Francisco to paint the history of Manila for Manila City Hall. The series of large scale paintings was called  Kasaysayan ng Maynila  (History of Manila).  The paintings deteriorated over time and no attempt was made to preserve these historical canvases until 2013 when Mayor Amado Lim sent them to the National Museum for extensive restoration. Four years later, in 2017, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and the Manila City Council signed an agreement with the National Museum to leave the paintings at the museum so they may reach a larger audience in exchange for museum grade reproductions to replace the originals. Kasaysayan ng Maynila was later renamed Filipino Struggles in History and is now on display at the Senate Hall of the National Museum . Carlos "Botong" Francisco died in March 1969, a few months after completing the paintings. He is one of the first Filipino modernists and

8 Heritage Houses of Iloilo

Lizares Mansion The province of Iloilo on the island of Panay has a rich trove of heritage houses, left over from the sugar industry boom in the 19th century. Iloilo also had the largest port in the Philippines at that time which facilitated the export of sugar to foreign shores and deposited money in the hands of the sugar barons. The barons dropped their earnings into the acquisition of properties in Negros and the construction of beautiful homes in Iloilo, many of which are located in the vicinity of the Jaro Cathedral. The Lizares Mansion was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares for his wife, Concepcion Gamboa and five children. The family fled to safety when World War II broke out and the house was occupied by the Japanese military. The family returned to the house after the war but left once again after the demise of Don Emiliano. It was sold to the Dominican order in the 1960s and was converted in 1978 to a private school, Angelicum School. The mansion now houses the