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Celebrating Year of the Dragon in BacolodJan 21-23, 2012

Celebrating Year of the Dragon in Bacolod

Cummerband Batchoy
The boat trip from Iloilo was painless and rather short. First stop was 21 Restaurant for some good old fashioned Batchoy, a house specialty. I fondly refer to it as Cummerband Batchoy because 21 is intimidatingly high-brow (but surprisingly price-friendly). My good buddy from Subic, Bianca, takes pride in their secret family recipe. I met a cousin of theirs who was nice enough to give me a lift to the mall. Honestly, I didn't know what to do in Bacolod but I thought I'd stick around.

Bacolodiat Festival
Unbeknownst to me, Bacolod was having its Bacolodiat Festival in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Lacson St was closed and a street fair was brewing with more and more people pouring into the strip. By the time it got dark, it was packed. GMA had its stage for Kapuso Night, Purefoods had its own stage with a live band, and the leading soda/beer companies were outdoing each other - Pepsi, Coke and San Miguel.

Bacolodnons Know How to Party
What caught my interest was an array of cars / SUVs parked side by side displaying their state-of-the-art sound system with laser lights to boot. Think of it as a roving party machine. They were hooked to the same sound system, so they all played the same music. But as you pass by, you hear the different sound each car makes (different speaker systems, different component setup, etc.). It was over-the-top. It was there I felt what my Tagalog friends say that people from Bacolod know how to party.

In the Visayas (or maybe it's just in Bacolod), they have a dish called Cansi - think nilaga and sinigang at the same time. It was an acquired taste for me. Fortunately, I had my Cansi helping at the best place in Bacolod - Sharyn's Cansi House. At over P300 per serving of the Bulalo Cansi, it wasn't cheap, but if you haven't had Cansi yet, this is the place. It is recognized by the Sooo Pinoy group as one of the best restos serving Bulalo in the country.

Trique Tupaz
With my Facebook posting: "Bacolod, Coffee Anyone?", I got a reply from Bacolodnon Trique Tupaz whom I met during my stint as Survivor Philippines castaway in 2008. She was the one who made that most flattering banner, "My Gigit". We've become good friends since. She was also my host during my 2nd night in Bacolod.

Yuan Thong Chinese Temple
That evening, Trique took me to the Yuan Thong Chinese Temple to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Whoa! I've always wondered what the inside ground of these high-walled Chinese temples would be like. Not only would I get inside, I'd get to celebrate with them too. There was a stage performance by temple members, dinner, chant, striking the bell to herald the new year, and as a climax, lighting the sky lanterns. Lastly, they even gave me Pao, that red envelope containing money. Whoa!

Trique's Family
I crashed at Trique's place where I met her lovely family over breakfast. We exchanged ideas with her father who took the trouble of dropping me off the bus station for my last leg to Dumaguete.

--- TheLoneRider

Thank you Trique and family. You are such gracious hosts.

How to get to Bacolod by boat from Iloilo

Budget Lodging in Bacolod

  • Pension Bacolod - P200/night, 433.3377, 434.7065, #27, 11th St.

P1213410 P1213419 P1213422 P1213424
P1213431 P1213436 P1213438 P1213441
P1213442 P1213443 P1213449 P1223451
P1223468 P1223470 P1223473 bell
P1233481 P1233489 P1233499  

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»» next story: Blurring the Lines of Work and Play
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