29 December 2011

DAY 1- Silay's El Ideal Bakery (The Bacolod-Guimaras-Iloilo Trip)

Guapple Pie? Never heard of it before but it has been a word of mouth from people who have tasted this in one of Silay's oldest and famous landmarks which is the El Ideal Bakery. Old because this bakery was established around the early 1920s, just like the rest of the ancestral houses surrounding this quaint city. They offer other products but this Guapple Pie is the one that really sets them apart, making them a favorite destination for travelers who are exploring Negros Occidental. A must on their itineraries.

Located at 118 Rizal St., the location itself is a heritage house (Cesar Lacson Locsin ancestral house), and located along a main road so this is not difficult to find. Plus, it's near a couple of ancestral houses that are opened to the public like Balay Negrense. 

Check out our visit to this famous place: 
Finally! Pies, anyone?  =)

A lot of customers that day. They are really popular! 
Other products that they have, wow organic stuff! 
Diverse is the word. So many other products to catch your fancy. 
Ta-dah! Of course, the pies. That's what we came here for. At last! 
Take your pick
The famed Guapple Pie..very affordable and delicious!
Whatta bite! =)
happy customers
Now that is another place checked out from our itinerary. Problem solved!

For more posts on this trip, check these out: 
Day 4-Guimaras Island Hopping

Day 4-Iloilo's Heritage Churches 

DAY 1-Silay's Ancestral Houses and a Church (The Bacolod-Guimaras-Iloilo Trip)

A trip to Silay City should not be missed. Why? Silay boasts of their grand ancestral houses here. Some are open to the public but majority are not. For those who are open, thank you for sharing to the general public a bit of history of Silay as well as their family. It's like a trip back in time. Imagining yourself what it felt like back in the old days.

Coming from our 3-hr trip from Escalante City, the bumpy ride and the 3 hours bathing in the crystal clear beach of Jomabo Island made us tired so we slept fitfully during the drive back to Silay City. We are in a race against time, and sunlight, for us to complete the itinerary set for Day 1. Even if we don't get inside all the ancestral houses, it's ok, as long as we can get in at least one then take photos of the facade of the rest. That would be good.

The driver woke us up upon arrival at the Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral House. We paid for a fee of P50 (if I'm not mistaken) then the guide took us upstairs for a slice of history based on this house's background. Check these out:

Feeling tired but still eager to see everything
I think these are gas lamps..
One of the bedrooms, it's a surreal feeling because when you see stuff like these, you remember Pinoy horror movies and your imagination will run wild (mine did, haha!)that there might be ghosts, etc lurking around but at the same time, imagining yourself occupying this room back in the days and what it feels like to be one of those people. My mind is overreacting, I know. =)
The Jalandoni family
It's a very grand living room. The guide mentioned that one can measure the affluence of a family just by looking at the wooden floorboards of their home. The more longer and wider in expanse it is without cuts, it means that the wood was taken from a very big tree which is of course, expensive. In this house, that was the case. See, piece of history unraveling. =)
That is one old piano. The keys should be black and white only but this one has a third color already. Sign of the times that has passed. 
I think this is the master's bedroom
The altar back in the days is a marvel when you compare it to altars that you usually see at houses now. They really give  importance to religion before compared to the present time. 
Look at all the details surrounding the interiors of the house..wonderful!

A granddaddy of a clock
fine China in display at the dining table
Just imagine how old these are
At the terrace at the second floor. The guide mentioned that  back in the days,  rich families wanted their houses to be near the church so they could  hear the church bell tolling loudly. Why, so they can be closer to the presence of God and be blessed
The 2nd ancestral house: Hofileña Heritage House. Unfortunately, we cannot spend time to go inside as we are  in a rush to go to the other places in our itinerary.. and besides, they were already close for the day. Nice timing, haha! 

Just to have a picture with the Hofileña House in the background is good enough. Next time, I will definitely take the time to go inside
The 3rd ancestral house: Balay Negrense. Just like at Hofileña, no chance to go inside but happy to have a pic. This is a beautiful piece of structure and the brown color in contract with the greens is an eye candy.   

Beautiful! Enough said.

Thanks to Ryan Reyes for a lot of beautiful photos
The San Diego Pro-Cathedral
At first glance, it might surprise you but you see Jesus Christ's face then the fear will  be gone 

Overall take on Silay's ancestral houses.. FASCINATING! History is contained everywhere in this city. Considered to be the "Paris of Negros". It truly lives up to that tag. Next time, those other ancestral houses will have my 1 day of exploration. It's all worth it, I know.

For more posts on this trip, check these out: 
Day 4-Guimaras Island Hopping

Day 4-Iloilo's Heritage Churches 

DAY 1-Jomabo Island..that li'l piece of paradise (The Bacolod-Guimaras-Iloilo Trip)

My parents are both from Negros Occidental and my childhood are filled with memories of all the times spent in Bacolod. It's a very beautiful province with very nice people, not that I'm biased of course. But true enough, this is a landscape that has a lot of potential though not fully maximized yet when it comes to their tourism industry. Slowly,but surely, getting up there with the rest of the major players.

I wanted to share the beauty of the Visayas region to my friends who are not from here so last year, we made a trip to Bohol and Cebu and they were very happy with the experience. Wanting more, we wanted to go to Negros Oriental to visit Dumaguete City (another place that I have so many fond memories of) then try to stay overnight at the houses on stilts in Manjuyod, in the middle of the ocean.That was our fervent wish at that time, however, since no seat sale came in going to Dumaguete, we just opted for a back-up plan. Since my friends have been to Bohol and Cebu only, I suggested to go to Bacolod then we can go to Iloilo then Guimaras because these islands are very near each other. That's 3 spots in 1 throw. Why not. It's a good idea and they liked it. So from that, the itinerary was built up and we gotta have the energy to keep up. I put in a lot of destinations in our 4D/3N trip. =)

From Manila, we were bound to arrive at the Silay Airport by 530am. The plan was to drop first our stuff at the Tamera Plaza Inn. We coordinated with them to have a hotel vehicle to pick us up at the airport because upon calculating, we saved a little by doing this instead of riding the shuttle service from the airport going to the city. And plus, we would be much much comfortable.

Tamera Plaza Inn was very accomodating. They let us have an early check-in at 630am without paying for anything extra. It's a decent hotel, a bed and breakfast place. For me, as long as the service is great, them I'm happy and that's what they give to their guests. Not that their rooms are shabby, they're spacious actually and like what I've said earlier, decent.

After a quick check-in, we left in a hurry as the van from Royal Sun Travel and Tours was there already to bring us to our 1st destination for the day which is the Jomabo Island. It's a private island and resort that I wanted to book because I always see its picture on our Magic Sing and on a whim, I decided to google it then found out how I can book it.

The travel going to Escalante City coming from Bacolod City was like around 2.5 to 3hrs and half of the trip was spent dwindling down in a bit of rough roads, but since we were tired because our flight was very early, we slept all throughout that experience. From Escalante, we headed off to the small port where our boat awaits.
Rough! But tolerable, a slong as you're tired. LOL
Here's now the whole Jomabo Island experience in photos. Check it out.
The boat all to ourselves. The ride took us 20-30minutes going to Jomabo Island
There it is!

Just like in the Magic Sing =)
Great to see the sandbar before high tide. After an hour or so, this was gone already.

The feeling was so satisfying! I mean, I just used to see it while singing and now, we are here. Happiness!
The path going to the villas but for us, we're just headed to the tables. We just stayed here for a few hours just to experience the place and of course, the crystal-clear water

For our lunch, we just bought some home-cooked meal at the port area and that's it. But who cares, we can get a  full meal when we get back to the city
There it is..oh-so-calm waters

Our favorite pastime, just lying at the shallow end and chill. A bit farther away you can go snorkeling and see some  sea creatures. I'm happy just staying here.
Life's a beach!
Of course, we have to be conscious of the UV rays so as crazy as it looks and sounds, we got hold of our umbrellas and brought it in the water and relaxed =)

I want to have an island such as this. Wishful thinking =)
Next time, maybe we can stay at one of those villas at the back

On our way back already and start again our butt-aching journey to Bacolod City

The clouds were dark at this time and the water is green and looks eerily beautiful and calm
Overall take on the island, it was a nice experience.It is a place where you can really relax, no strenuous things to do. If you are not happy with doing nothing much, then this may not be the place for you. But if you're after a little quiet time, this is the place. But I was informed that on weekends, this place gets a lot of visitors. We did not find that out as we went here on a Thursday.

Just give it a try. That will be one island less off the list. =)

For more posts on this trip, check these out:
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