Posted on: January 31, 2006

haayyyy… i finally had my long-awaited vacation last weekend. My sister brought me and my kuya (a.k.a vinz) in her ‘official’ business trip to bacolod and iloilo. I was elated by the mere thought of going far away… from work… from everything that has something to do with Asian Quality. I just wanted to get out from the real world. As Olivetti put it: “I live in the real world… I get to see its ugliness everyday…” And I wanted to see something new.
And so, at 12o0 hours last Friday, we were already aboard Negros Navigation’s St. Joseph the Worker bound to Bacolod with a bunch of oldies (my sisters’ business guests). The trip lasted 20 hours or so but I didn’t really mind because being aboard a ship is one of my most favorite things… sad though, i didn’t get to watch the sunset ‘coz i was asleep the whole afternoon. i just woke up in time for dinner.
At exactly 9:30 am the next day, the ship docked at the Banago Port in Bacolod. Whew… when was the last time I’ve been there? A year ago? Yea, it was my mom’s birthday and my sister and I were away in the South with my friend Tere. I was really looking forward to the day’s trip. The first trip was in Victoria’s Milling Sugar Refinery– the Azucarera Victoria where I literally walk atop a mountain of [unrefined] brown sugar. You know what was the big question in my mind at that time? Where have all the ants go? If I were one, I surely would love to put up my own community there. It’s a bad thing cameras were not allowed inside the facility. I was really pissed because I wanted to document the whole thing — from the hundreths of trucks loaded with sugarcane that were lined up en route to the actual refinery up to the mountains and mountains of sugar stocked in big warehouses. They smelled delicious — I can’t help but taste them… hehe…
We then had lunch in this old roadside canteen — i just wish the food had satisfied my palette well. The place was nothing really fancy and the food, I must admit, tasted like I (yes, me) cooked it. Hey, but they were free so why complain?!?
I was in-touch with my friend Cristine the whole time, checking if the real world still does exist.
The next stop was in the Balay Negrense where I saw my dream house for the very first time. It was an ancestral home owned by a certain Gaston family. I swear the house has its creepy feel in it but it was so old that you’ll get the feeling you want to live during the pre-hispanic era.. forgive me but history has its wonders that perpetually amaze me. Well, I didn’t actually enterd the house. the keeper does collect a P40 fee and I was feeling really kuripot at that time so I just lingered down the porch and den area. i thought that was enough. I saw enough and one day, when i get filthy rich, i would built a replica of that house at the heart of Makati City… Bwahahaha!!!
The rest of the afternoon was spent worthlessly reading my ‘Angels and Demons’ pocketbook while being eaten alive by mammoth mosquitos in ‘Las Palmas’. I swear I am praying hard that there isn’t any outbreak in Bacolod, else I might have been infected. My insect bites are larger than a ten peso coin and they are so frigging itchy i wanted to peel my skin off.
The night in Bacolod was like any other night outside of Manila. Eight O’Clock was like 12 midnight. Nobody wonders off and most establishments are already closed. We ate dinner at this infamous Bacolod Manokan Country where I once again proved that there’s nothing like Chicken Inasal but in the city it originated from — a quarter of authentic chicken inasal and my night was more than complete.

Sunday: 5 am — All the ‘trippers’ were up and ready for the one-hour ferry ride that would take us to Iloilo City. I was excited. Apart from the fact that it was actually my first time to visit the place, memories of my good old buddy Mark came flooding my mind. It was his hometown and I miss him heaps.
We joined the Dinagyang parade ‘accidentally’ because my sister’s company is a sponsor. They were all wearing this white shirt NN uniform and me and my brother looked like we just went out of bed, straight to the streets and decided that we wanted to join the parade. It was fun though knowing people were thinking “who the h*** are we?” I mean I was literally in my pambahay attire. If there’s one thing I’ll never forget about the place, it was the warmness of the people. I swear I’ll come back.
The entire day was spent roaming around the streets of Iloilo, finding treasures that i never would back here in Manila and ignoring some people that were not happy that we were there with them during the trip. hell i care…
show you some pictures next time…. mwah!


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