Finally... A Trip to Bacolod

The City of Bacolod is not new to me. In college, I stayed in a dorm owned a family from Bacolod. And of course, most occupants came from the City of Smiles. My very good friend - dorm mate and blockmate - Melai introduced me to a world only known to Ilonggos. She gave me my very first pack of butterscotch. And that had been her pasalubong to me for years. When I was not concerned with my sugar intake, I could eat an entire pack. I would make it my main meal.

For more than three years, I lived with Ilonggas, and I made a number of good friends with some of them. And I promised myself, I'd be visiting the place in the future.

The future is now. I ended up marrying an Ilonggo. Jed was born in Binabalgan in Negros Occidental, and his parents now live in Bacolod. He had been meaning to bring me to his hometown since we started dating. Five years later, and I made it to his hometown. It's the perfect opportunity for me to visit his parents and meet his relatives from both paternal and maternal sides.

Jed's dad got into an accident last February, and he had been in a vegetative state since. That was the last time Jed saw his dad. We needed to make the trip.

Dinner on our first night was with Dad's family and his neurosurgeon. His grandparents were too happy to see us. I told him he's lucky he had this time to spend with his grandparents. My grandparents died before I was born or when still a kid, and I was too young to remember how they were.

I had the best chicken inasal that evening. It was at Chicken House North.

The next day, we made a trip to where Jed was born, in Binalbagan. It was several towns away from Bacolod. I met my mother-in-law's relatives, and her father, Lolo Bading. They were so kind to prepare a feast for us and waited for us as we reached their place a couple of hours after lunch. Lolo Bading is still so in love with his deceased wife. He carries her picture with him, and wouldn't stop sharing stories about her.

Thursday was when we made time to check out the old houses in Silay City. Jed's wonderful aunts took the time to go see the houses with us.

First stop was the Gaston Ancestral House.

I kept taking photos of the second floor of the house until I was informed that it is not allowed. See how beautiful the house is.

This is our legal photo taken on the first floor, living area. We sort of blended in except for the clothes.

Some more poses.. this time with Tita Gamay and Tita Zen.

Our next stop was the Hofilena Ancestal Home. The owner of the house, Ramon Hofilena, showed us around. I marveled at his extensive collection of art pieces.

And Jed & I ate in Bacolod. I admit I gained weight. How could I resist the chicken inasal, batchoy, butterscotch, chorizo, and the best crema de fruta I've ever tasted from Calea. Aside from the Chicken House North, we also ate at Bob's (upon the recommendation of my brother), Ted's, the batchoy place and 21 Restaurant. Food prices in Bacolod are very reasonable. It's money well spent.

Dad's sister Tita Zen, who happens to be our ninang at our wedding, offered her beautiful house for us to stay. She even lent her vehicle so we could easily go around to wherever we wanted to go. She was the most gracious hostess, and I am very grateful. Her househelp Manang Neneng made our visit unforgettable. I was pleased to meet her as I learned Jed grew up taken care by her. She shared with me how Jed was when he was younger. Manang Neneng took this next photo in Tita Zen's living room.

And the reason why we flew to Bacolod. Here is Dad, five months after his accident. My mother-in-law has done a great job taking care of her husband. We all know it's not an easy job. I pray for her more.

Lastly, the photo was taken outside the new Bacolod-Silay International Airport. I was touched that five of his relatives brought us to the airport, including his grandparents.

Four days were very short. And that's why there will be a next trip, and more to follow.


  1. I pray for Jed's dad and for his mom to grace her patience and forbearance.

    Bacolod will always be home. I miss the Philippines.

  2. Thank you, Em. Now I know why you call Bacolod your home. :-)


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