Lee and Rey visited us last August. It was a weekend trip aimed at taking pictures of what's beautiful about Negros Occidental. Since we were to join my folks at Mambucal for the night, we only had at least 6 hours to go to a few places of interest in Bacolod, Silay and La Carlota. Here's where our photography stint led us:
The Lizares Mansion
Location: Lizares St. Bacolod City
I googled the place but there isn't much history about it online except that it was built in 1938 and is one of the oldest mansions in Bacolod. I knew about the place from my Johnian years since a classmate used to live in one of the houses also in the property. She must have been a granddaughter or so.
I remember the first time we came by their house, it was after we watched the movie Tiyanak. We were like pranings running with each gush of the wind fearing that a tiyanak will jump at us from the trees lining the road to their house. I also remember the children's playground with the long (or tall, whatever is appropriate) swings which I pretty much adored. There were other houses in the compound too, must be of other relatives'. I hadn't the chance to view the insides of the mansion nor dip in the swimming pool, though, as I was ever absent during birthday celebrations and sleep overs.
The caretaker who allowed us to take pictures told us that the mansion's uninhabited these days and is only used whenever the family is entertaining guests.
San Sebastian Cathedral
Location: Rizal St., Bacolod City fronting the Public Plaza
I haven't been much of a church goer these days but I do very well remember visiting the San Sebastian Cathedral as part of our regular Sunday activity as a family. The church was always full of people. Some, I daresay, go there for reasons other than celebrating Christianity.
We came by at around 9:00am and we caught some of the early morning activities of some of the church mainstays.
The Provincial Capitol and the Lagoon
Location: in between the DBP and PNB Buildings at Lacson St., lloilo City
I have to admit, I used to think that hanging out the Capitol Lagoon was "buki" until I became one of the many who found peace by the very act of feeding popped rice to the tilapia in the lagoon. The capitol lagoon is the nearest thing to a park in the city. People come here for a variety of activities. Students frequent the place to do their much needed cheerdance practice, health buffs do their walk around the lagoon, lovers and friends alike enjoy some downtime on the grass or in one of the many park benches. Families do come here to have some picnic too. I really have to congratulate the provincial government for their efforts to keep the lagoon clean and safe for public consumption. Too bad though, they took away the benches near the lagoon. Now you'd have to stand by the railings to feed the tilapias. Thanks to the Zonta Club and Soroptimists too for making children's fun by providing safe and colorful playground facilities.
Location: 6th Lacson St., Bacolod City
Ahhh! The Ultimate McDo experience. Dining at McDonald's 6th Street is nothing compared to any other McDo stores I've been to. Here you get the usual McDo fast food but you get to eat it in an old diner homey kind of atmosphere. The food servers are friendly, the place is clean, spacious and very cozy. Add to that their McDonald's Toy collection which was integrated into the restaurants interior design. They recently added an alfresco dining area and the Cafe which really adds more appeal to the already enticing dining expereince. I always love going there for breakfast. Then I stay a little while to watch the elderly gentlemen sip their coffee while enjoying a good read and a hearty laugh, the local civic organization chapters meeting for their next activity and early morning joggers getting their much needed nourishment.
Location: Bacolod Reclamation Area
I frequent the BREDCO Port because of my regular Iloilo-Bacolod trips but it was through the hubby that I got to wander down the cargo ships section of the port. Watching the stevedoring activities reminded me so much of Stevan Javellana's Without Seeing the Dawn. The site was included in Lee's to go list and so we included it in our itinerary.
Balay Negrense Museum
Location: 5 de Noviembre St., Silay City
The Museum depicts the lifestyle of the rich and famous in Negros Occidental during the heyday of the sugar industry. It's like stepping into the set of Oro Plata Mata of Peque Gallaga . I've read from somewhere that the hacienderos donated some of their heirlooms to be part of the museum.
They've added an artist section at the lower kitchen section of the museum to feature works of local artists. The works of Ian Valladarez was on exhibit during our visit.
Trivia: What's that goat doing in the musuem grounds?
We also visited the San Diego Pro-Cathedral, the Bagonita at Hawaiiwan Philippine Company, the Cinco de Noviembre Marker and did some sightings of the old houses of Silay. I wasn't able to take any pictures though with Boz sleeping on my lap and the scourging heat of noon. We dropped by El Ideal and bought some angel cookies and the famous guapple pie before heading back to Bacolod.
Steam Engines at La Carlota City
Location: Roadside entering La Carlota City
I visited La Carlota twice already but this is the first time that I got to see the steam engine by the roadside. Why? because I'm a sleepyhead when I'm on the road. That's why when they asked me directions to the place I went, we'll just have to ask for directions along the way. LOL! We headed for La Carlota after our great lunch at Enting's Special of Sagay and of course, our all-time favorite - Calea. We were so full that we were all sleepy on the way to our next destination. Lee and Rey slept. I would have wanted to join them except that Miki was on the wheel and he's not so familiar with the route to south.
There would have been many great stops along the way but my photo companions were getting their much needed sleep so we missed taking pictures at the Familia Luzuriaga Cemetery (which I learned just now, is actually a Guinness Book of Record Holder for being the only cemetery in the world in the middle of the highway!), the Gaston Museum (I'm not sure about it's name but I was told it's somewhere near Burgos St.), The Aviary/ Zoo near the Lagoon, the view of Guimaras Island alongside the road entering Valladolid, the churches.
Then finally, the steam engines! We took some pictures and put to rest our cameras to join my folks at Mambucal.
It was fun seeing these three cities in a new perspective. My only regret is that I wasn't able to take more pictures because (1) I commited the blunder of not carrying extra batteries and (2) I didn't really have a photo plan to start with. Hmmmm, perhaps next time. Hopefully!
Check out some of the pictures I took during the trip here >>>