Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Thank you so much for remembering my birthday. For all those who sent text greetings, thanks so much! For the card sent to me every year, my deepest appreciation goes to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. I owe you gallons of my blood by now, but I can't donate just yet until my blood pressure stabilizes.


When in Bacolod, one must never, never, never miss out on the chance to eat chicken inasal. Inasal is a generic term for any meat that's broiled or grilled. It usually applies to chicken and pork. Beef inasal, of course, is unheard of in the Visayas.

Infront of Manokan Country, a threat looms on the horizon - another SM Mall.
Fresh chicken marinated in sinamak - a local vinegar concoction
The reason for their juiciness and tenderness upon serving is that meat is cooked only when ordered. In Manila and elsewhere, meat is half-cooked, then returned to the grill when someone orders hence the meat comes out dry and tough.
My intuition guided me to this shop...
Oysters at Php 30/plate. We had a larger serving in Iloilo for the same price, bah!
Service De Luxe. We manicure while you wait.
A newspaper clipping from the Philippine Star written by chef / cake artist Heny Sison
The vinegar with chilies is sinamak while the other one is the infamous chicken oil. Readers of this blog encountered this first in my Boracay Trip Report.
Toyo, sinamak and sili. The best sawsawan! By the way, in the Visayas, "toyo" is actually fish sauce or what we all know as patis. If you want patis, say "Rufina". Soy sauce is finally gaining popularity in this area.

The best chicken inasal in the world! (as if...)


Main entrance of the Provincial Capitol of Occidental Negros in Bacolod City

One of the two giant statues (now painted in kitschy gold) that guard both ends of the lagoon fronting the Capitol.

Detail. Clearly art deco in flavor. Note also hair style reminiscent of the period.

A bull is controlled by a rather elderly man. Note bull's powerful neck muscles.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I turn 31 today, if you must know. *grins* Yesterday, umariba ang gouty arthritis ko just after lunchtime so I was practically limping the whole afternoon. Arcoxia 60mg is truly heaven sent.

Source: Toothpaste for Dinner


Guimaras Island, despite the recent assault on its maritime resources courtesy of one oil tanker and an indecisive captain (allegedly), remains idyllic, calm and beautiful. Though its terrain does not compare to my first love, Bukidnon, the fact that this is home to (allegedly, again) the world's sweetest mangoes is enough reason to see it.

The pump boat trip from Iloilo was a cool 15 minutes (the fare was something like Php 18 per person? I forgot na) and despite the crest-to-crest sailing (those weak of heart can conveniently faint), the beauty of the island looming on the horizon simply takes the breath away.

I am happy for the rare chance to visit it.


Visited a local cemetery on Guimaras Island. This one is in Barangay Cabalagman, town of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Island. It is said the local cemeteries say a lot about local culture. It seems that most people's names (or last names) around here start with the letter G. Something to do with the island's name starting with the same letter. Thanks for the info, BC.

To let. Any takers?

What better way to rest than lie down beside the sea? Beats any manicured garden anytime.


Bacolod Central Public Market. Shot taken from the 4/F of a building owned by the Archdiocese.

Bacolod was already preparing for the Masskara Festival the day I took this.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Visited the Mount Carmel Monastery in Jaro. Founded in 1923, this is the first Carmel in the Philippines. The Carmelites were the last major group to arrive here among all religious congregations in the Philippines considering that the Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans and the Franciscans already had a presence since the 16th century.

Four French nuns arrived from the monastery in Hue, Vietnam and established fort here in Jaro. The special link to St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose Feast Day was on the same day I visited the monastery, can be traced to the nuns who came from Hue. The Hue monastery was established by nuns from the very monastery where Therese came from - Liseiux, France.

I collected some rose petals for my Mom, left a prayer request and returned to the city to hear Mass at the Jaro Cathedral.


The plaza fronting the church of Molo.

Was already on the way to Iloilo airport when we decided to drop by one more Iloilo treasure - the Molo Church. It is said that Jose Rizal passed by this church on his way to Dapitan where he was exiled. The church was closed for repairs and cleaning when I dropped by but I forced entry through a side door and ignored workers as I took photos. Amazing interiors, this church. The woodwork is very heavy and extensive and the retablos are the biggest i've ever seen. I hope to see more of it if and when I get to visit this place again.

Facade. Completed in the 1800's, this neo-Gothic church made of coral rock is dedicated to St. Anne, mother of Mary. The nave has 9 female saints on each side and is known far and wide as a church for women. The Jaro Cathedral, on the other hand, has male saints.

The nave with the 18 female saints. Sorry for the spotty photo. My lens need cleaning.


Everything here is proudly Philippine.

I read about Pendy's in discussion threads on the net. It is housed in an unassuming white box of a building whose main entrance is found after going around half of the whole thing. Upon entrance, wowowee! It's like a blast from the old world: cakes and pastries line their shelves (prune cakes, everything you've read in European novels - they have it here). I bought napoleones and that's it. As we were in a rush to get to the wharf, I only had time to peruse the goodies and take photos. The staff were very friendly and are obviously bursting with pride at working for such a distinguished restaurant that already is part and parcel of Bacolod's history. The place is along Lacson Avenue. You might miss it if you're not looking hard enough.

The main dining area. Notice the clean lines. The vertical blocks add height to the tables, and yellow goes very well with white walls and wooden elements like the chairs and door frames.

Bags and bags of merengue. Another childhood favorite.
The other dining area. Exposed trusses are painted white and add to the charm. It's a mixture of old and new. The chairs are of heavy metal. The lamps add to the overall appeal.

The filigree-like woodwork is something we usually see hanging downwards from posts in old houses. Here at Pendy's, they find new lives - as dividers.


Was walking the streets of Iloilo City when I chanced upon this lone red slipper. I wonder where the other pair is now. What would Rizal have done? You already know the story.