FUNtastic Silay surging high-A A +A
By Ver Pacete
As I See It
Thursday, September 6, 2012
It’s more fun in the Philippines. Experience Western Visayas first. Visit Negros Occidental NOW. Start in Silay City!
These statements are our tourism battle cry in the celebration of Tourism Month 2012. We are promoting the Philippines. We are advertising Western Visayas. We are boosting Negros Occidental. And, we have fanfare in Silay! ‘Funtastic Silay’ is the ultimate accolade we can give to our city after we have seen the lavish cast doing high-octane tourism scenes for the ‘seat of arts, culture and ecotourism’ in Western Visayas.
The leadership of Mayor Jose Montelibano and Vice Mayor Mark Golez through Public-Private Partnership has catapulted our tourism program to a level of excellence. Mayor Oti said, “Our leadership is a leadership of change. We know where we come; we are certain whereof what we intend to be. It is high time that we rouse this city from its slumber of underdevelopment and, have it ready to face the sunrise of progress.”
The mayor of Silay said this in 2007. The Silaynons are the best judges in evaluating the wind of change. In our Tourism Month Celebration, we carry the oneness of mind and heart in the implementation of our tourism program. We believe that our beloved FUNtastic Silay is really surging high.
Silay leadership believes that we can have only a strong tourism program if our citizens are healthy, if our children are not undernourished, if our senior citizens are not abandoned. Tourism is not just lip service. There should be sources of safe water, access roads, rural electrification, sustainability in the grassroots development, and Silaynons should go back alive after a day’s work.
Home should be sweet. The landscape should be green. Education should be a tool that would remove a Silaynon from the labyrinth of a hacienda life and the bizarre claustrophobia of the slums. One could only smell the sweet scent of the visiting tourists when flood-prone areas are safe after a baby rain. Lighted streets are good investments and not-so-odorous market uninhabited by flies and cockroaches fascinate sightseers. Peace and order should be a priority considering that September is not only for tourism but also for peace. Then, Silaynons should give tourism and peace a chance to co-exist.
Silay is a gourmet paradise. Our hometown delicacies carry the seal of satisfaction. One can have food trip to the cocina of Nora Lacson for the executive quality savoir-faire; or drop by at El Ideal for toothsome delights; or find your way to Mariel’s Bakery and delight yourself with native oven-fresh bread and cookies. If you want the take-all-you-can, the pedestrian lane leads to Calle El Carajo at the side of public market where you can have the ‘best buys’ of our ‘kalan-unon from 6 am up to 8am.
There are always good restaurants in the poblacion but if you want the aromatic sea breeze while enjoying seafood at its best, take a tricycle (Php 9.00) from the public market to Brgy. Balaring. Enjoy ‘gambas, lison or alimusansinigang, pasayankinilaw, sinugbangabangros or tilapia, lukossinugbamalasado, linusgusanpasayan’ and more galactic food could be found in the menu book.
Culture enthusiasts can always retrace the cultural village to fancy their eyes with heritage houses and lifestyle museums; afterall, we are a ‘city of museums or museum city’. It would depend on your understanding of legacy. Special attraction could be the San Diego Pro-Cathedral, steam locomotives at Hawaiian-Philippine Company, Fresh Start Organic Farm, Hda. Adela Folklore Village or visit the house of Ramon Hofilena and get mesmerized by his collection and cultural tales.
For college students and researchers, our office could give lectures and seminar-workshops on tour guiding, social grace and protocols, tourist police training, ecotourism program, folktales and folklores, festival management, tourism theater, rondalla ensemble and theatrical storytelling. Silay is really fantastic and Silaynons are terrific.
You have to believe it. Those who do not believe have failed to do what they have to believe. You do not belong to us.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 06, 2012.