Bacolod City (and er, Talisay City), Negros Occidental

Just like almost everyone I know who lives in Negros, I try to avoid Bacolod at the height of Masskara every year. I have never seen a live Masskara street parade ever since. The closest I got before this week was when my family decided to go eat cansi (the best stew in Negros, try it!) in Shopping when I was still a kid.

For this Bacolod trip, I invited two of my friends, Precious and Aurabelle. Precious refused to have a picture of herself taken and Aurabelle, who joined us later, settled for a “private” picture because Precious would still have none of it.

Just a heads up, we never saw the street parade. I think it was scheduled today, but I was already too tired by Saturday night, so I just went home. I think what was scheduled on Saturday was the barangay competition, which I got to see briefly.

We started our Bacolod trip in The Ruins. They call it the Taj Mahal of Negros. I haven’t been to Taj Mahal but I think this is an overstatement. For one, it’s relatively new having just been built in the 1900s and while the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum, The Ruins is not. From what I read, it was intentionally burned during World War 2 to prevent the Japanese from using it.

There was an entrance fee of P95, an amount that we thought was a little high after having just paid P100 (P50 for each person) for a tricycle ride from the North Bus Terminal to The Ruins.

The place was too crowded. I couldn’t get a shot of the structure without people in it unless I aim my camera to the skies.

The pond at the garden in the backyard
The pond at the garden in the backyard
That guy is not with us
That guy is not with us
The chimney and the fountain
The chimney and the fountain
Look Ma! No people!
Look Ma! No people!
This amused me
This amused me

I’m not a history geek so I was not really into The Ruins. I know being a Negros native, I’m supposed to promote the attractions her but I can’t help but be honest. I prefer the beaches here which I’m hoping to write about in the future. My grandmother, who got through World War 2, has more interesting war stories.

The Ruins, by the way, is already part of Talisay City so the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. However, Talisay City is still part of Metro Bacolod.

After almost an hour, we headed back to the city and had lunch.

We decided to go downtown to see the barangay competition but it has not started yet. I actually thought it was scheduled at 1pm but it was already 2pm and nothing was happening yet, so we explored the other structures around the plaza.

We went to San Sebastian Cathedral to take pictures of the church.

A shot of the church without the political statements
A shot of the church without the political statements
The Cathedral at night
The Cathedral at night

We then went to the Pope John Paul II Tower which also offered a nice view of the city. A Facebook page that I once saw called this tower a “skyscraper.” Uhm. There was an entrance fee of P20 for adults and P10 for students.

The photobombing streetlamp
The photobombing streetlamp
The hidden Mount Kanlaon still lording over the city
The hidden Mount Kanlaon still lording over the city

I am not a religious person but there were no other significant places in the downtown area to go to, unless you count the mall.

After going up and down the Pope John Paul II Tower, which really exhausted Precious, we went inside the mall and ate. There we met Aurabelle, who I’m interested to hire as my doctor for free!

At around 5:30pm, we went outside to hopefully get a few nice shots of the happenings or the parade (if there was ever one that day) in the plaza. It started to rain though halfway there so we went back. We went outside again at 6pm and there was no rain this time but I couldn’t get a really nice shot of the people dancing in the plaza. The best I could do was this:

Yes, that hand!
Yes, that hand!

After dinner at Manokan Country, we headed home. I went with Precious and had a few shots of Tanduay there.

I only became giddy about experiencing Masskara because I have a blog now, but I still didn’t get excited enough. Maybe next year. I’ll try to get a pass for the street dancing and be more daring to penetrate the crowd.

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