Our entry point to Negros was Silay City—where the airport is. And during our first day, we tried to visit all the must-sees in the city known as the Paris of Negros, as well as in Bacolod—the city of smiles. The Mascara festival ended already, but there were still a lot to see.
First stop: Balay Negrense. A restored house of Victor Gaston—a Negrense sugar maven during the 1900s—and his one dozen children. I found the place quaint with a touch of creepiness. I am a fan of old houses but I also have a wild imagination; so not-so-nice images kept on appearing in my mind.
Second Stop: Aboy's to eat yummy and affordable food for lunch. We ordered lots of sea foods like talaba (oyster), pagi (stingray), and alimango (crab). I had a plate of talaba and slurped it all. Those talaba sent me home earlier than everybody else that night because of upset stomach.
Third Stop: Tana Dikang's (or Tana Dicang) mansion. Full of awesome and unbelievable Pinoy-made artworks like the painstakingly done wire sculptures of Ian Valladarez; wherein he shapes a continuous piece of wire to a tree, plant, or athlete.
Fourth stop: MO2 Western Hotel. I recommend this place for budget travelers--design and facilities are both practical, whole hotel is clean, and rates are affordable. Room rate is at P1,100 per night and can fit up to three persons.
Fifth stop: Bacolod City Hall. It was so new and grand—we stopped and took photos.
Sixth stop: Bar 21. Swanky yet we were surprised that our total bill was just P2,000+ for eight people.
Seventh stop: Mushu. A hip and happening night-out place in Bacolod. Locals and tourists flocked at the venue while the DJ played popular, in-demand and up-to-date mixed tunes. The DJ was good, I must say.
Eighth stop: Manukan Country. We wouldn't miss the authentic Bacolod chicken inasal— juicy and flavorful—I devoured my pecho sagad-to-the-bones.
|Sulfur hot spring|
Tenth stop: my friend Goey Mapa's Japanese rice farm—called Oisca—in Negros Oriental. Picturesque and heavenly; it seemed like a land for rice fairies. The wide property of Goey's family is considered as Canlaon City's model farm and I can clearly see why. All the procedure they do in the farm like seedling and worm cultivation, rice milling, and feed formulation are done with great care and tried-and-tested systems.
|Every Monday, there is a flag ceremony and calisthenics attended by all the workers|
|The oldest--approximately 1,800 years old--and biggest balete tree in the Philippines|
can be found in a national park located inside the farm
|Painting -like scenery during ani season|
|Love this! Classic gas pump inside the farm|
|One shy boy—|
the family of Oisca's trusted farmers stayed within the property, too
|Not just rice, but also Tilapias are grown in the farm|
Eleventh stop: Goey's cousin's mini zoo. I thought Goey was joking when he told us that his cousin has a zoo. But those animals were no joke all! There were many species of reptiles including snakes, lizards and turtles; and birds that you unusually see.
Twelfth stop: Villa Indo where we ate our late lunch before we went to the airport.