Sunday, July 26, 2015

There was a time when ready to eat snack food wasn't predominantly packed in foil printed with brightly colored labels.  Those were decades ago.

We refer to those days simply as "childhood". 

In those days when not even Pringle's was in sight, we resorted to a favorite known as Lubid-Lubid.

Lubid-Lubid is a sugar coated treat made from regular dough, shaped into twirls resembling short pieces of rope, then deep fried. When cooked, the are rolled in sugar for coating and flavour.

Lubid-lubid derives its name from the Hiligaynon word for rope which is "lubid".

Food is about memories and whenever baby boomers eat lubid-lubid, they are easily transported to a magical place called 'My Childhood'.----Lubid-lubid will be available at the Negros Trade Fair which happens on

September 16-20, 2015, 
Glorietta Mall, Makati.
Negros Trade Fair at 30

"Truly Negros"

30th Negros Trade Fair

Lubid Lubid : A Favorite Childhood Delicacy

The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands composed of three main aggrupations - Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  Luzon to the north, Mindanao in the south, and the Visayas right smack in the middle.

In the heart of the Visayas is the island of Negros.  It is the fourth largest island in the Philippine archipelago, located between the islands of Panay to the west and Cebu to the east.  Shaped like a boot, the island is split diagonally by a chain of rugged mountains into the northwestern province of Negros Occidental and the southeastern province of Negros Oriental.

In the past, this natural graphic separation and the long-time lack of a proper road infrastructure resulted in two provinces that do not even share a dialect, nor were they classified in the same political region.  Rather, each became more aligned with the provinces that they face across the water:  Oriental with Cebu, and Occidental with Iloilo, adapting their respective language and culture and, certainly, their food.

This site, aims to introduce to the world, this wonderful island we call, Negros. 

Welcome to Negros Island.  The Sweet Spot of the Philippines!


Negros Island, The Sweet Spot of the Philippines

If you are a fan of the Filipino favorite, Dinuguan, the best place to try Dinuguan is at Twenty Six Herb Garden along 6th Street.

With the deluge of quick service restaurants in the city, nothing is more refreshing than old fashioned home style cooking.

Dinuguan is just one of those favorites which easily takes us back to our own kitchen.

Menu for the week of July 27 is listed below:


Best Dinuguan In Bacolod City

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Whenever Bacolod or Negros Island is mentioned, images of the famous "Ruins", ancestral home of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson are easily conjured.

While indeed the Ruins attest to classical European influence on the Negrense way of life and outlook on design, another important house best represents a more modern yet equally sublime pull on Negrenses.  We're talking of Art Deco.

Art Deco, or Deco, is an influential visual arts design style that first appeared in France after World War I and began flourishing internationally in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s before its popularity waned after World War II.   In what is known as Bacolod's "Millionaire's Row", a grand art deco house known as Balay Daku serves as a testament to the sophistication of Negrenses in that the influence of Deco easily crossed the oceans to make its way not only to Manila, but down south in Negros.

It was back in the 1930s when Generoso M. Villanueva, a prominent sugar planter, and his wife Paz, built the first art deco  structure in Bacolod City. Designed solely by the owner, the three-story, poured-concrete steel reinforced building with graceful curved balconies, parapets, and porthole steel-cased windows looks like the Titanic on land. It was known among the locals as the Boat House. Among family, though, it was simply called Balay Daku (the big house).

We now show you some of the pics of Balay Daku as taken by architect-photographer Voltaire Siacor, whose lens helps us appreciate the grandeur of this treasure.

Art Deco Staircase of Balay Daku
Museum Curator John Silva recently made a public post on Facebook entitling his posting, "The Most Beautiful Art Deco House in the Philippines".

With this house still intact and in very good condition, Filipino heritage advocates can find solace in the fact that structures like these are treated with respect, unlike in Manila where the  number of Deco buildings which are laid to waste only seem to be increasing.

In response to John Silva's post on Facebook, Ms. Bambi Harper had this to comment, "Negrenses appear to have better taste than Manileños.  Think of all those Art Deco houses in New Manila that were replaced by condos of no particular artistic value."


Negros Trade Fair at 30

"Truly Negros"
30th Negros Trade Fair, 

September 16-20, 2015, 
Glorietta Mall, Makati

Inside The Most Beautiful Art Deco House In The Philippines

Comfort food at its best.  Pork adobo with tofu in taosi sauce from Twenty Six Herb Garden at 6th Street, Bacolod City.

What's for lunch? Everything delicious! Slow-cooked without MSG and veggies fresh from the farms!

Slow-cooked Food At Twenty Six Herb Garden

Don Joaquin's Food Shop, Sta. Catalina Building, Mabini Street, Dumaguete City

Dumaguete Favorite : Don Joaquin's Food Shop

Jay Abello is an industry disciple who finds passion within the frame of artistry.  He has made of himself a dedicated filmmaker and Cinematographer on production experience working under five different highly acclaimed directors (Erik Matti, Yam Laranas, Peque Gallaga, Laurice Guillen and Mark Meily), paying his dues as Property Master to Co-Writer (Sa Huling Paghihintay, Viva Films, 2001 and Dos Ekis, Viva Films, 2001)  and as Assistant Director in the course of 7 years.

By 2002, he moved to television as floor director to three of the top rated television series (Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw, Te Amo, and Mulawin) under GMA-7 Network Television.

Jay Abello values his light and composition. He took photography lessons via a correspondence course at the New York Institute of Photography in 1997 and has become an avid hobbyist since.  In 2003, he started apprenticing under Lee Meily for Cinematography in television commercials and one feature film.

A love for telling stories has lent existence to two of his best known short films 7-Cut (1998, Writer/Director/Producer) and Beinte Siete (2004, Writer/Director-/Producer) both winners of the Crystal Piaya for Best Picture in the Negros Summer Workshops.

By May 2006, he attends the Digital Photography workshop at The Newberry Library in Chicago, IL.,  Feature Film Lighting Workshops in Rockport College, Rockport, ME by July, and the Kodak 16mm Cinematography Workshop by September.

After his first feature film as Director/Producer/Co-Writer Ligaw Liham in 2007 (Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival), he went on to do mostly Cinematography work for Mark Meily (Camera Café and You Women), Joanna Vasquez Arong (Amihan, Team Los Indios, Philippines for  the International Documentary Challenge), Coreen Jimenez (Kano: The American and his Harem, a full-feature documentary, Arkeo Films) and directed a TV show Hush Hush for TV5.   His second film Namets! (Yummy) which he directed, produced and did associate photography for was also a finalist in the 2008 Cinemalaya Festival.

He is currently working on a full-feature documentary on the sugar industry of Negros entitled Pureza (Bonfire Productions, Inc. and Negros Pureza Foundation, Inc.) and in pre-production on a water movie called SUR: the beauty of the South (Bonfire Productions, Inc).


Spotlight : Director Jay Abello

Thursday, July 16, 2015

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.

Before the legendary Manokan Country of Bacolod found its way on the culinary map, there was a series of small stalls along Cuadra Street, near Bacolod's public plaza which earned the name as Chicken Alley.  This was started by the Velez sisters, Elisa Velez-Garrucho and her sister Nena, and the other Velez siblings.

Given its proximity to the public plaza and because it was near jeepney stops, people flocked to the area to buy the barbecued chicken we now know as Bacolod chicken inasal.  One has to be reminded that back in the days of the 70s, the tasty dish we know of today was simply "inasal".  "Bacolod chicken inasal" as used in one phrase was still a long way off.

As its popularity grew, inasal found a new home in Bacolod's reclamation area which is known today as Manokan County (translated as Chicken Country).  Soon, the people of Bacolod started flocking to the stalls of Manokan Country which now offered seating to the diners.  As Manokan Country got too crowded, Elisa Velez-Garrucho decided to get out of Manokan Country and put up Chicken House in San Sebastian Street, near the Garrucho residence.  Eliza's sister, Nena, also followed soon.

Vincent V. Garrucho, one of Eliza's sons relates, "My brother Jomi Garrucho and myself, as well as my sisters, were trained since grade school to know the recipe by heart.  Honestly, we can do the ORIGINAL INASAL with our eyes closed.  Almost everyday, our packed lunch to school was... FRIED chicken inasal. People haven't tried that yet."  Vincent adds, "Me and my siblings as kids were trained to make the mix every morning before going to school and cook and serve in our resto after school."

Eliza Velez Garrucho is credited to have contributed greatly to making inasal the mainstream dish it is known today after exiting Manokan Country and starting the famous Bacolod Chicken House.  Eliza V. Garrucho sold Chicken House to the Cajili family in 1976 and the rest is history as the new owners have taken Chicken House and its distinct taste to inasal lovers like us.

Chicken House in Metro Manila is located in Makati along Chino Roces Ave., fronting Makati (Cinema) Square.

The writer, Lloyd Tronco, is from Bacolod, a chicken inasal lover and addict who always eats inasal with garlic rice and a stick of baticolon (chicken gizzard). 

Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.

30th Negros Trade Fair
September 16-20, 2015, 
Glorietta Mall, Makati.

Negros Trade Fair at 30

"Truly Negros"

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

Quino's Cafe, Unit 5, Ascalon Bldg., Lacson St., Mandalagan, Bacolod City
and opening soon at The District North Point, Ayala Malls, Talisay City
and at 888 Premier, Bacolod City.

Quino's Cakes & Cupcakes

7,107 Islands, One Sweet Spot!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ANP Members

Association of Negros Producers

A post from August 8, 2012, MANILA, Philippines - I went through some old posts in the Facebook group, “You Know You’re From Philippine Science If…” and came across this item by fellow Bacolodnon, George Parroco, which announced the passing away of Mario Taguiwalo last April.  Going through George’s post prompted me to re-post the same on this website if only to remind us of the brilliant minds brought forth by Bacolod.

Mario passed away last April 22, 2012.  Unlike George who had the chance of being with Mario in Philippine Science High School during its early days, I did not know Mario personally.  Nevertheless, like all other students who went through PSHS, all would know him by name because it was he who wrote the lyrics to the Philippine Science Hymn.  In the days that followed after Mario’s passing away, I met Mario’s sister, Nancy Taguiwalo-Griffiths in Singapore and told her that all students of the PSHS system would definitely know her brother’s name through that hymn alone.

Following is the article which George posted (source : )

MANILA, Philippines – Renaissance man and patriot Mario Taguiwalo – health and education expert, actor, good governance champion, political consultant, and among many other things widely credited for having written the lyrics to the Philippine Science High School hymn – lost his battle with colon cancer on Sunday, his wife announced. He was 60.

Taguiwalo was a former undersecretary of health, and was chairman of the board of trustees of InciteGov, a non-profit movement for good governance in the Philippines.

Since 1995, he had worked as an independent consultant for various Philippine agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of Education, Culture and Sports, Population Commission, National Commission on Culture and Arts, House of Representatives of Congress, as well as for international agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization, and USAID.

Taguiwalo, whose sharp wit, incisive analytical skills, and youthful energy had made him a popular facilitator in conference and workshops for various government and non-government sectors, was one of the first products of the Philippine Science High School in 1969. The Internet Movie Database ( credits him for the lyrics of the PSHS hymn.

For all his accomplishments in Philippine government and policy work – he had also consulted for the national peace process, and was a former president of National Institute for Policy Studies – also gives him acting credits for such Philippine cinematic touchstones as Gangland, Unfaithful Wife, Hinugot sa langit, Virgin Forest, Shake, Rattle & Roll, Sa Hirap at Ginhawa – and even Bagets 2.

Taguiwalo obtained an economics degree from La Salle College, Bacolod City, before earning his masters in economics from UP Diliman. He was also an Eisenhower Fellow in 1989.
On Sunday, April 22, Taguiwalo’s wife, Beaulah, announced his passing in an email to family and friends:

“Mario is now at peace, perfectly happy and safe in our Heavenly Father’s embrace,” she wrote. “Just as he wished, Mario died simply, gently, peacefully, quietly, without physical pain. And, just as he wished, he was cremated right away, without any funeral or wake, without any obituary, and his ashes taken straight home by our middle son Homer and me and set beside the ashes of our youngest son Mike and our eldest son Mark in the privacy of our home.”

Taguiwalo had battled colon cancer in the final months of his life, and in his last few years quietly survived the loss of two sons.

Beaulah shared a note that Taguiwalo had written in his final days:

“I wish all of my family, friends, and colleagues to know that I only have the fondest memories and deepest gratitude and affection for them. May they find comfort and joy in gathering together wherever they are, whenever they can, to celebrate my life instead of mourning my passing. May they speak of me and what I have done with fondness, and may they continue to build on the fine ideas and good works that we, together, were privileged to be part of. Most of all, I wish and pray that my family, friends, and colleagues lovingly embrace, comfort, protect, respect, and support my beloved wife Beaulah and my beloved son Homer. . . . With God’s grace and mercy, they will have to continue living their lives here on earth until it is time for them to join me and my sons Mike and Mark in our final and eternal heavenly home.”

Here’s another link to Mario Taguiwalo by fellow PSHSer, Jessica Zafra :

Remembering Mario Taguiwalo - an illustrious son of Negros Island

Best Of Negros Island

The house of General Juan Araneta in Bago City.

General Juan Araneta was one of the revolutionary officers who led the Negrense revolution of 1898.

To read more about the November 1898 revolution in Negros Island, click here.

(photos by Joey Yapjoco)

The House Of General Juan Araneta In Bago City

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