Negros through the eyes of a tourist

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


IT WAS my first time to visit Bacolod and Negros Occidental two weeks ago, in time for the weeklong Panaad sa Negros Festival.

I am back in Quezon City where I am based as a freelance photographer, but the sweet memories I have of the people of Bacolod and Negros Occidental will stay in my heart.

Looking back, my stay in Negros was one of the best experiences of my life. I am in awe of its rich cultural heritage, the majestic sights and attractions, wonderful beaches, historical landmarks and ancestral houses, above all - the sumptuous food and the smiling, happy people.

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I immensely enjoyed my daily coverages of Panaad events. Working closely with PIO staff, they treat me like a co-worker, allowing me to join them in their Panaad chores, eating, and bonding.

I especially like the Lin-ay sang Negros pageant, from covering the ladies in their press presentation and festival costumes, to the grand coronation night at the jam-packed and exciting Panaad Stadium. The pageant night truly showed the unique beauty of "Babayeng Negrosanon."

When the Panaad Festival was over, I still had two days to spare before I go home. So on April 7, I visited The Ruins in Talisay, and the Balay Negrense and El Ideal bakery in Silay. I like the guapple pie and giant burger of Ideal.

On April 8, I once again roamed the streets of Bacolod and took photos of the Blessed John Paul II Tower, SM City, Baywalk, and downtown.

Oh, I forgot to say that a visit to Bacolod wouldn't be complete without a bite of its famous chicken inasal at Manokan Country, and a slice or two of the delicious cakes at Calea and Felicia's! These are the stuff I only read in blogs and now I can say I got to taste them all. Fantastic!

Of course, even if it's not October, I got to experience the world-renowned MassKara Festival. It was fun taking photos of the colorful, intricately made smiling masks.

Going home, I brought souvenir items from Negros, and most of them were sweets like piaya, butong-butong, and dozens of pasalubong treats from Merzci and Bongbong's.

As a photographer, my most cherished souvenirs from Negros are the wonderful photos I took of every delicacy I ate, places I visited, and people I met.

See you again, Negros!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 15, 2014.

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