Sunday, September 17, 2017


Negros Island is known as the “Sweet Spot in the Philippines". The sugar that it produces can supply the whole country. But Negros Island has a lot more to offer aside from sugarcane and products derived from it. The island region also boasts numerous tourist attractions, from ancestral houses to natural resources that both reflect the colorful culture of the Negros Island.

1.       Sipalay, the “Jewel of Negros”

© Dustin Minjares


   It is located 200 kilometers both from Bacolod and Dumaguete City. It is surrounded by islets reminiscent of those in Pangasinan, Hundred Islands. Sipalay has a beautiful marine life which people go to for diving and snorkling. It also has beautiful beaches like Campomanes Bay and Punta Ballo Beach.

© My Nomadic Habits

How to get there:

  • From Dumaguete or Bacolod, take a direct bus to Sipalay (4-5 hours).
  • From Sibulan Port, ride a jeepney or tricycle going to Dumaguete City, then transfer to another tricycle that will take you to the Bus Terminal bound to Sipalay.

2.       Mag-Aso Falls 

If you’re looking for a refreshing vacation spot in Negros Island aside from beaches, the turquoise water of Mag-Aso Falls is the perfect destination for you. It is located in Barangay Oringao, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. It is a resort owned by the city government. 


© Weng Jover
How to get there:

  • From Bacolod, Catch a bus in Bacolod South Terminal bound to Kabankalan City 

3.       Mabinay Caves

For people who are looking for a more adventurous trip, caving in Mabinay might be the best for you. 

Mabinay is dubbed as the “Cave Town” of Negros Oriental. It is situated in the northwest part of Dumaguete City. The town of Mabinay is said to be surrounded by 400 caves but only 45 caves were identified by Belgian-Dutch-Philippine Club in 1989-1990.

Panliwagan Cave
© Negros Tourism Facebook Page
One of the caves is Odloman, the second longest cave system in the Philippines. It is 8,870 long and has a vertical range of 82 meters. The other famous caves in Mabinay are Bulwang, Cayaso, Baliw, Mambajo, Kabugan, Panligawan and Pandalihan.

Odloman Cave
© Negros Tourism Facebook Page
How to get there:

  • From Dumaguete City, ride a bus at Robinsons Mall to Mabinay.

4.       The Ruins, the "Taj Mahal of Negros"

The mansion is located Talisay City, Negros Occidental. It was built in early 1900’s by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. The two-story mansion is Italiante in design, which is evident by its Neo-Romanesque columns all around, finest furniture, and decorative items. The Ruins is visited by a lot of local and foreign tourists because of its timeless beauty and picture perfect sceneries.

© www.breakmystyle.com

How to get there:
  • From Bacolod City, ride a jeepney to BATA and get off at Robinson’s Mall. Walk to GO Hotel and ride a shuttle to The Ruins. 
  • By private car or taxi, take Lacson Street going north to Talisay City. After the flyover at the CERES North Terminal and PEPSI bottling plant, turn right towards the mountains on Don Mariano L. Lacson Highway and in about 2.3 kilometers you will arrive at The Ruins.

5.       Lakawon Island Resort 

The banana-shaped island paradise is can be found in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental. It boasts white sand beaches, crystal clear water, marine life, and serene view. The term “Lakawon” came from the root word “Lakaw” which means “to walk”. Because during low tide, people can walk a long distance from the island. The resort offers diving, surfing, jet-skiing, and other water sports. 

© Lakawon Island Resort

Tawhai Floating Bar
© Lakawon Island Resort

How to get there:

  • From Bacolod City, take a 45-minute bus trip to Kaduha-an in Cadiz City.
  • From Kaduha-an, take a tricycle to Cadiz Viejo. The trip will take 15 minutes.
  • From Cadiz Viejo, small motorized boats will be waiting to take you to Lakawon Island Resort. The trip by motorized boat will be approximately 15 minutes.

Fun Escapades in Negros Island Region

Bacolod City may be known far and wide as the home of chicken inasal.  Nevertheless the popularity of a quaint yet yummy soup known as kansi is not far behind.  Kansi soup, a unique serving of beef broth with a "healthy" dose of bone marrow, stewed for hours with a local sour agent known as 'batwan' is slowly but surely catching up.  Our assessment is that this soup can soon be the next big thing in the global stage.

Here's why: Both
Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern are in perfect alignment on the thought that Filipino food is definitely the way to go. In separate interviews the two had one train of thought in terms of the next big thing in the culinary world.

A video interview with Business Insider showed Andrew Zimmern, the host of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel, talking about the next food trend in America. In the video, Zimmern said:

I think Filipino food is just going to keep getting more and more popular.

Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods..."

"We've been obsessed over the last 3 or 4 decades in America with appropriating foods of different ethnicities. Chinese food had its explosive moment in the sun when we discovered regional Chinese cooking in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Thai food …  Japanese food.



It's just going to keep getting more and more popular simply because of the variety of ingredients and European techniques that are found in that food.

Their use of acidity, the quality of their food has the best of Asian cuisine and the best of sort of what happens when really good Asian food ... island Asian food brushes up against Spanish culture. The Spanish had colonized the Philippines for almost 500 years at one point. So, the influences are heartfelt."

In an interview with CNN, Top Chef Anthony Bourdain, likewise predicted that the next big food trend is : Filipino.
Bourdain believes Filipino food is “underrated,” “ascendant” and a “work in progress.”




 




Zoom in to kansi soup of Bacolod.  Kansi recently made it to the top 50 list of the World Street Food Congress (WSFC) recently held in Manila.  Along with lechon, sisig, and pinangat, kansi soup wowed the judges and the WSFC visitors with the unique touch of sourness brought about by the batwan fruit, distinctly found in Western Visayas.

In Bacolod, Sharyn's Kansi is where people make a beeline to.  In Manila, some of the best kansi places are Aida's at Makati Cinema Square and Joel Torre's JT Manukan Grill.

There is also a mad dash for kansi at Glorietta every September when the Negros Trade Fair comes around.

This year's Negros Trade Fair happens on September 27 to October 1, 2017 at the Activity Center of Glorietta 2.


*photo of Kansi soup by Tey Sevilleno






Related Post :



Cuadra Street, Bacolod City : Where Bacolod Chicken Inasal Gained Its Popularity

Bacolod City's famous chicken dish inasal (barbecued chicken) has spread far and wide across the globe reaching not just the United States of America but also the Middle East.  Unknown to many is the fact long before it reached foreign shores, inasal's humble beginnings are traced back to a small street in Bacolod known as Cuadra.....Read More








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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.



Why Bacolod's Kansi Could Be The Next Big Hit In Global Cuisine

Monday, August 28, 2017

Book your travel tickets and hotel accommodations now! Masskara Festival dates are finally out!

October 21 Street dancing competition - Schools category

October 22 Street dancing competition - Barangay category



 











Related Post :



Cuadra Street, Bacolod City : Where Bacolod Chicken Inasal Gained Its Popularity Bacolod City's famous chicken dish inasal (barbecued chicken) has spread far and wide across the globe reaching not just the United States of America but also the Middle East.  Unknown to many is the fact long before it reached foreign shores, inasal's humble beginnings are traced back to a small street in Bacolod known as Cuadra.....Read More









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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.


Bacolod MassKara Schedule Is Out! Book Your Flights!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Filipino food is definitely the way to go.  Both Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain are in perfect alignment on that thought.  In separate interviews the two had one train of thought in terms of the next big thing in the culinary world.

A video interview with Business Insider showed Andrew Zimmern, the host of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel, talking about the next food trend in America. In the video, Zimmern said:

I think Filipino food is… you know, I've been calling it for 5 years. It's just going to keep getting more and more popular.
Andrew Zimmern of "Bizarre Foods..."

"We've been obsessed over the last 3 or 4 decades in America with appropriating foods of different ethnicities. Chinese food had its explosive moment in the sun when we discovered regional Chinese cooking in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Thai food … you know, Japanese food.

People forget that in early 1970s there were 3 sushi bars in New York City. Three. Three. Think about that. Now, there is sushi in... I've eaten it — there is sushi at gas stations in Middle America. All of that in the last 40 years —  that's incredible.

 

I think Filipino food is … you know, I've been calling it for 5 years. It's just going to keep getting more and more popular simply because of the variety of ingredients and European techniques that are found in that food.

Their use of acidity, the quality of their food has the best of Asian cuisine and the best of sort of what happens when really good Asian food ... island Asian food brushes up against Spanish culture. The Spanish had colonized the Philippines for almost 500 years at one point. So, the influences are heartfelt.

I think people are going to get into pre-colonial foods. We're in love with pre-colonial foods from Mexico right now. It’s a huge trend. And I think all of that stuff is going to dribble down, and I think it's going to help re-establish some diversity in our food system and hopefully get us out of the supermarket a couple times a week."




In an interview with CNN, Top Chef Anthony Bourdain, likewise predicted that the next big food trend is : Filipino.
Bourdain believes Filipino food is “underrated,” “ascendant” and a “work in progress.”

And he thinks western palates are ready for it: “I think certain Filipino dishes are more likely to take root and take hold more quickly than others,” he told CNN.






Related Post :



Cuadra Street, Bacolod City : Where Bacolod Chicken Inasal Gained Its Popularity

Bacolod City's famous chicken dish inasal (barbecued chicken) has spread far and wide across the globe reaching not just the United States of America but also the Middle East.  Unknown to many is the fact long before it reached foreign shores, inasal's humble beginnings are traced back to a small street in Bacolod known as Cuadra.....Read More








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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.



Bourdain and Zimmern agree - Filipino Food Will Be The Next Big Thing

Friday, April 28, 2017

The 32nd Negros Trade Fair
#ntfatglorietta2017

32nd Negros Trade Fair

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Best of Negros Island.



























The Longest Running Trade Fair In the Philippines

Friday, June 17, 2016

MANILA, Philippines - This comes from a Facebook post by advertising guy, Lloyd Tronco.  It is all about a Negrense artist who most Negrenses have little knowledge of.  The Facebook post goes :

My Father The Artist.

Leading up to Father's Day, let me tell you about my father, the artist. He came from a town called Kabankalan, in Negros Island (the Sweet Spot of the Philippines). He went to Manila to study Fine Arts in UP Manila. He belonged to the illustrious class of Larry Alcala, Jose Joya, Celia Diaz-Laurel, Pitoy Moreno, Juvy Sanso, et. al. In the second year, UP Fine Arts moved to its new campus in Diliman. Dad felt Quezon City was too far. With this, he moved to the University of Sto. Tomas

While at the UST, he was sent on a scholarship to Spain with two other artists, Cesar Legaspi, and Arturo Luz. They all studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where Juan Luna also studied.
Larry Tronco and Cesar Legaspi in Madrid
Coming back to the Philippines after that scholarship, he took on a teaching post at the University of Sto. Tomas, where National Artist Victorio Edades was dean. His other friend at that time who became a National Artist was Jerry Navarro.
UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts Faculty.
Today, anywhere I go, if I meet an artist from the 1950s to about the early 1980s, a lot of them know about my late dad and in fact could have been their students.

As mentioned, he was surrounded by men who became National Artists. Both his Spain buddies Legaspi and Luz earned it. Could Larry Tronco have become a National Artist too? I think he could. Why he did not is another story.

Soon...










Related Post :



Negros Island History : Why People of Negros Celebrate on Cinco de Noviembre (Nov. 5)

The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives......Read More








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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.




A Negrense In The Midst of National Artists : Larry Tronco

Monday, March 21, 2016

Senatorial Candidate Raffy Alunan (#3) posted this on his Facebook Page:

I Remember.

When I was tasked by President Fidel V. Ramos to back channel with rebel leaders from the MNLF and MILF, RAM-SFP-YOU and the CPP-NDF-NPA, I personally spoke to Greg Honasan, Nur Misuari and Conrado Balweg in their safe areas.

The message: We've shed precious Filipino blood. Let's stop the fighting and the killing. Get out of the underground and join the mainstream. Let us build our nation together for future generations.

I also managed to talk to local MNLF commanders, CPP-NDF-NPA cadres (both active in the field and incarcerated leaders like Satur Ocampo, Rolly Kintanar and Ric Reyes in Fort Bonifacio), and members of the MILF Executive Council in Cotabato City when my sojourn to Camp Abubakar to talk to Hashim Salamat was scrubbed by rain.

Eventually, peace agreements were forged with the RAM-SFP-YOU and the MNLF although the government's deliverables to the latter have yet to be fully fulfilled. Peace remains a work-in-progress in various parts of the country with the MILF and the CPP-NPA-NDF. It boils down to having good government and being a just society.

We cannot quit. We all have got to work for the future of succeeding generations.








Related Post :



Negros Island History : Why People of Negros Celebrate on Cinco de Noviembre (Nov. 5)

The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives......Read More








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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.




Senatorial Candidate Raffy Alunan (#3) : We cannot quit. We all have got to work for the future of succeeding generations.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

While the famous Malacañang Palace is easily referred to as the Presidential Residence in the Philippines, many do not know that the title as Residence of the President of the Philippines came upon Malacañang only upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935.

Also not known to many is that before the first Philippine Republic was established in January 23, 1899, there already existed the
República Cantonal de Negros or the Cantonal Republic of Negros
which came about in November 5, 1898.

This makes the
Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in Talisay City, the first Presidential house in the Philippines.

Last September 23, 2014, the descendants of
General Aniceto Lacson, who are now the co-owners of the ancestral house, released this statement for the public to know (via the local Negros daily, the Visayan Daily Star):

The Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in the 1880’s is a fine example of a 19th century Philippine Architecture known as “Bahay na Bato” or House of Stone. Uniquely, it has a balcony that surrounds the entire 2nd floor giving a panoramic view of its surroundings has its own chapel at ground level.

As most Negrenses would know, General Aniceto Lacson was among those who successfully led a province-wide Katipunero revolt against the Spanish garrison in Bacolod City on November 5, 1898. When the Spanish forces surrendered, he was chosen as President of the short-lived Cantonal Republic of Negros. Today, Negros Island celibrates as an official holiday, “Cinco de Novembre” on November 5 to commemorate the surrender.

During his tenure as President of the Cantonal Republic of Negros, General Aniceto held office in this ancestral house. During those years, he was visited by General Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna, Emilio Jacinto, Claro M. Recto, President Manuel Quezon, President Sergio Osmeña, among other dignitaries. It is no wonder that in March 13, 2002, the National Historical Institute (NHI), thru Board Resolution No. 2, 5. 2002 declared the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House as a NATIONAL HISTORICAL LANDMARK, as provided for by a Presidential Decree. 



 

The Ancestral House has been occupied by the succession of General Aniceto’s children and grandchildren. It is at present, owned-in-common by its co-owners, the Claparols, Rossello, and Balcells families, descendants of his daughter Carmen Lacson
married to Ricardo Claparols.

In the early 1970’s, a strong typhoon damaged the entire roof and since then has been left unoccupied up to this day. The descendant co-owners have tried to maintain it but could not cope with the scale and magnitude of the repairs. Sadly, the
ancestral house went through an accelerated process of deterioration, as portions of the ceiling crumbled down and worse, a part of the second floor, including the staircase began to sag.

It was for this reason that we, the undersigned, aware of our responsibilities as co-owners, looked into how we could restore and preserve the ancestral house.

Therefore, in 2002, we decided to form a foundation so that it would serve as an avenue to formally solicit and generate the much-needed funds for its restoration. Due to limited funds, the restoration is being done in phase prioritizing on the more critical areas, primarily in restoring structural stability. Donations received from individuals, corporate and government institutions are properly documented and accounted for.  

All descendant co-owners were invited to participate in the foundation, however only seventy percent (70%) responded favorably. We then pooled in our personal financial contributions to establish the General Aniceto L. Lacson Ancestral House
Foundation,Inc. ( GALAH). Registered on May 7, 2002 as a non-stock non-profit corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission with Company Registration No. E200200273, the foundation was established with the sole purpose to fully restore,
repair, maintain and preserve the ancestral house.



 



When GALAH Foundation hired the services of both local and national level architects to inspect the ancestral house, they discovered that the main cause as to why the house was deteriorating rapidly was due to termite infestation. After further ocular inspection of the premises, from inside the ceiling and around the flooring area, it revealed the extent of the damage caused by the termite infestation, which was not limited to the wooden columns that support the structure of the ancestral house but has damaged as well the ceiling girts and the joists and the flooring girts and joists.
Photo by Dennis John Reyes
They advised us to immediately install (coconut lumber) scaffoldings on the affected area of the 2nd floor, including the staircase, in as much as its elevation has already sagged at about 8 inches. The architects warned us that if we did not support a part of the 2nd floor with scaffoldings that it was a matter of time that it would collapse and cause greater damage to the ancestral house.

Restoration architects such as Architect Augusto “Toti” Villalon ( Architect and Cultural Heritage Planner) together with Architect Melvin Patawaran (Principal Architect of Tropiks Design Studio) in coordination of Architect Jude Tipon ( Past
President, United Architects of the Philippines (UAP)) have been working together to supervise the restoration.  

Ocular inspections were conducted by Architect Augusto P. Rustia, the Cultural Properties and Conservation Division Chief of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy, Mr. Reynaldo A. Inovero, and Engineer Candido H. Castro from NHI Historic Preservation Division and Architect Norman H. Campos. NCCA and NHI prepared their own respective project studies and program of works and have been submitted to GALAH foundation.

The restoration started in February 2013 and as of December 2013, the following have been accomplished;

Note: Only Mahogany (hardwood) lumber has been used. All undamaged ceiling and flooring panels have been catalogued to ensure that they well be placed back in its original position.

- the 10 inch x 10 inch x 40 feet wooden column that was the main cause for the flooring to sag has already been replaced. About 3 more damaged wooden columns need to be replaced while those columns that are undamaged have not been touched. 

- the entire ceiling girts and ceiling joists have been repaired, replacing only the damaged sections of the wood frames, either by cross-sectional repair if the remaining portion of the wood frames are still in good condition or if not, replace the entire wood frame. The undamaged ceiling panels will be placed back once the flooring alignment is completed including the neo gothic arch traceries.

- the replacement of the entire roof of the main area of the ancestral house with new 0.24 mm gauge Galvanized Iron (GI) sheets were very corroded. In time, the roof will be painted with anti-corrosion metal primer and roofing paint.

This year 2014, the restoration continues, focusing on the re alignment of the 2nd floor. It is a slow tedious process of removing the flooring panels and the floor joists so as to expose and to replace the damaged floor girts and joists. As of today, three sections of the 2nd floor have already been aligned and its flooring panels have been placed back to its original position.

We, the members of GALAH foundation and as a co-owner descendant are fully committed to restore and preserve the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House. We are inviting all patriotic Filipino to support our cause in restoring the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House to its historical grandeur as a fitting symbol of our country and its people. We are also inviting you to visit the ancestral house and see for your self.

The goal is to restore and preserve the ancestral house and unselfishly shares the historical glory not only to the people of Negros but to the whole country as well. As such, the concerned co-owner descendants and members of the GALAH foundation are doing everything possible to achieve this purpose.

           The 70% descendant co-owners and members of GALAH Foundation

                      Rosario Claparols      

                      Patricia Claparols
                      Victoria Claparols  

                      Alxandra Claparols
                      Michael Claparols  

                      Francisco Rosello
                      Carmen Rosello    
                      Miguel Rosello
                      Teresa Rosello       
                      Eduardo Balcells 
                      Anna Balcells        
                      Alfonso Balcells 
                      Carlos Balcells







Related Post :



Negros Island History : Why People of Negros Celebrate on Cinco de Noviembre (Nov. 5)

The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives......Read More








----------




Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.



General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral Home in Negros - The First Presidential Residence of the Philippines

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Unknown to many Negrenses is a name which made itself famous on the golf courses in Manila.  The name was Vinice Godio-Estacion.

She was the pride of several golf clubs for bringing the home the bacon in her respective golf clubs. She has been the perennial champion of many big club tournaments.



Think of this:  Seven (7) years Ladies Club Champion in the prestigious Sta. Elena Golf Club, of which 2001 to 2003 were consecutive, as well as 2006 to 2008.  Six (6) Consecutive years Ladies Club Champion in Alabang Country Club.  She was also 2 years National Ladies Club Champion.

Vinice, was an alumna of Riverside College in Bacolod City.  Yes, that same Riverside College next to the former residence of another Filipino golfing great, Luis "Golem" Silverio.

Sadly, Vinice passed away on October 28, 2009.









Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.






Remembering Vinice Godio, Champion Lady Golfer

 
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