Archive for category Interests
Happy birth anniversary to a beloved and much missed show! Gone for almost two years but certainly not forgotten! Not by a long shot.
No moving on for me when it comes to Be Careful With My Heart. Not with the DVD, all the beautiful memories to remember it by, all the fan fiction, and especially, not after seeing Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap together again on screen. They will be forever Richard Lim and Maya Dela Rosa to me, though I like them as well as Chinggay Villanueva and Frank Sison!
Seeing Richard and Jodi in The Achy Breaky Hearts filled me with nostalgia for BCWMH. There were scenes in the movie which reminded me so much of the series. Now, I’m thinking of watching all 52 DVD of episodes and the wedding DVD again, maybe after I have catch up on all my blog backlog!
Here’s a toast to a most memorable series! It has been a wonderful, beautiful journey! Cheers, good vibes, and kapit-bisig for always, my fellow adiks.
Exploring the ‘Paris of Negros’
Hofileña Heritage House
Jalandoni Heritage House
If Ilocos has Vigan, Negros has Silay!
Silay, a city about 14 kilometers from Bacolod, like Vigan, is a place replete in history. It has a number of still existing beautiful old houses, some of which are open to the public for tours.
It is a place I have been wanting to visit for so long because of my fascination with ancestral houses. I would like to explore this place, dubbed as the ‘Paris of Negros’ because of its rich cultural history. I finally had that opportunity when a friend and I took a trip to Negros Occidental, late 2015.
While we landed in Silay City, as the new airport is there, we opted to base ourselves in Bacolod and tour Silay, Talisay and other areas we would like to see from there.
We took the trip to Silay on the third day of our vacation.
From Bacolod’s North Terminal, we took the Ceres Bus bound for Victorias. Like the day before, when we went to Talisay, we asked the bus driver to let us off somewhere in the place we were about to visit. This time, I asked him to drop us at the church in Silay, the San Diego Pro-cathedral, as I have read that the city’s ancestral houses are just near it.
Cesar Lacson Locsin Ancestral House
However, upon reaching Silay, it was not a tour of ancestral houses we ended up doing first! Instead, we went to El Ideal Bakery, the oldest bakery in Silay, located on the ground floor of the Cesar Lacson Locsin Ancestral House. The bus stopped at a traffic light, and lo and behold, we saw the famous bakery. My friend’s sister had asked her to buy piaya there. In our happiness at seeing the bakery, we told the driver that we will just get off there, instead of the church. Thus, we did our tour of Silay backwards, we bought pasalubong first!
We just left our boxes of pasalubong with the nice ladies at El Ideal. Aside from piaya, we also bought butterscotch, ground coffee beans from the area, and muscovado sugar.
San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Silay City, Negros Occidental
My friend and I were greeted with shrieks and screams when we reached the gate of San Diego Cathedral, a short distance from El Ideal. Not only that, a large number of teenagers, still in their school uniforms, came rushing to where we were. We got curious as well and checked what the commotion was all about. We didn’t wait long to have our answer. Enrique Gil, of Forevermore fame, and now Dolce Amore, got out of a red pick-up truck. It turned out, he and Liza Soberano were in Silay shooting the movie ‘Everyday I love You’! We left the happy teenagers and onlookers and boarded a tricycle to take us to Cinco de Noviembre Street where two of the three ancestral houses open to the public are located.
Stopping at the first one, the Hofileña Heritage House, the red pick up truck, the same one that was in the movie, passed by, and that was our third ‘Everyday I love You’ moment as we were also in the same flight as these actors two days before. We have wondered where they were going, then we knew!
The Manuel Severino Hofileña Heritage House is the first heritage house in Silay that opened its door to tourists. The current owner, Mr. Ramon Hofileña still lives in it. He was in the premises when we arrived, but he didn’t conduct the tour himself as I have read he would do at times, or if one booked a tour in advance. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting experience touring my first Silay ancestral home. This was the first ancestral house that I have toured that is still being used as a residence.
Our guide, toured us first on the ground level, with many interesting information about the house, showing us a variety of things that Mr. Hofileña amassed during his travels. The ground floor also showcases the house as it was, with beautiful porcelains, family heirlooms and old photos, dotting the place. Looking at those, one can vividly imagine the generations that had lived and celebrated life there.
The second level of the house is like an art gallery with so many paintings on the wall. Some of them, works of several national artists.
We walked towards the end of the Cinco de Noviembre Street, leftwards, checking out other ancestral houses, after our tour of the Hofileña House. When I started reading about the old houses of Silay, I thought that the houses were clustered in Cinco de Noviembre, I imagined that the street would be like Calle Crisologo in Vigan wherein ancestral houses dotted both sides of a quite narrow road in small clusters. It was not the case with Silay as the beautiful houses are spread all over, but it does not make the place less beautiful, unique and historical.
Having reached the end of the street, we walked back under the intense heat of the noon sun to go to our second ancestral house, the Balay Negrense or the Don Victor Gaston Heritage House.
The house was built by the sugar baron, Don Victor Gaston in the early 1900s. We took the guided tour of the house. We were also lucky to have met one of the descendants of Don Victor when we arrived.
The house was restored and turned into a lifestyle museum with prominent families donating furnitures, our guide told us. It showcases life as it was lived by the hacenderos in the area.
From Balay Negrense, we walked the length of Cinco de Noviembre, rightwards, and saw other old houses. We also passed by the Cinco de Noviembre Marker. It was at this site the Negros Revolution against Spain was launched in 1898.
Cinco de Noviembre Marker
While on our way to lunch, on board the tricycle we took, we saw other ancestral houses in Silay which are not open to the public. The driver took us around a bit and showed us these houses which, otherwise, we would have missed.
The driver dropped us of at the Ann Co Cakes in Rizal Street. I wanted to see this as well as my Negros-based friend told me that it has more artworks than the one in Bacolod.
It surely has more art, much more beautiful and spacious than the one we have been to the day before. The food and the coffee are good.
We hailed another tricycle after we had our delicious lunch, coffee and cakes.
The third and final house on the list is the Don Bernardino Jalandoni Heritage House, finished in 1908, and most popularly known as the pink house because of its color. It too, had been turned into a lifestyle museum.
From the Jalandoni House, we walked back towards the church and the plaza. We saw more old houses along the way, some were converted into commercial establishments.
We wanted to check the Silay Museum before we head back to Bacolod. However, it was closed as they were doing renovations. Nevertheless, the nice and accommodating staff at the cultural office, opened it for us.
They also gave us some materials on Silay ancestral houses, and told us where we can buy delicious Silay food. We were directed to an ancestral house, near the branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands in the city.
The last stop of the day was El Ideal, where we started. We retrieved our boxes and waited for the bus that would take us back to Bacolod, feeling very happy to have fulfilled a dream!
• We got this tourist brochure after we have been all over the place! If I had it beforehand, I could have put captions on the other houses we toured by foot or by tricycle. I hope it would help you, instead. The brochure also has information on the rich history of Silay.
• Flyer which contains some information on the Jalandoni Heritage House.
• This post is the third and my final post on my Negros trip. Long overdue one, I know! If you had missed or would like to check the Bacolod one, please click on this link and the Talisay and its share of beautiful ancestral houses post in this link.
Happy travels! 🙂
Sometimes, all we need is a cup of coffee, some pastries, and a laid-back chat with a friend to get out of the funk we found ourselves into! Most of the time, after a cup of coffee with a friend, I feel better and energize. A nice coffee shop is my default place when I go to the mall with one of my closest friends. We would go around the shops, then chat and catch up while drinking our favorite brew.
In recent years, a lot of nice coffee shops have sprouted in the metro, and I’m glad as it means more choices and more nice places to relax and talk.
One day, I will write about those coffee shops! For now, I’ll go back to updating my stories. My apologies for the lack of updates. There were just quite a number of things that I needed to deal with the past days! Hopefully, I will have something for you guys in a day or two!
Cheers and good vibes as always!
❤ Antigone ❤
More often than not, I’m at my favorite coffee shop, laptop open, my current playlist on, and while sipping my drink of choice, I try to write or think of stuff to write about.
Ever since I started going here, I find myself more productive, and that amid the buzzing and going-ons of my fellow customers and the friendly crew, I write better! I found my groove here for some reason, of all the cafe and coffee shops I have been to!
Most of the time, when I go home, I have a working draft to polish. There were days, though, that I would just spend my afternoon in this place, meeting friends and catching up!
I just thought of writing about it as I feel happy and thankful. I never thought, that one day I will be able to fulfill a dream: to sit in a coffee shop, weaving words into stories, blog posts, drawing inspirations from my surroundings, writing online fulltime, pursuing a passion.
The opportunity came, and here I am enjoying it to the fullest. For now, this is my universe. I do hope I can stay here for the longest time! Keeping my fingers crossed!
Now I’m off to polishing the chapter I have finished this afternoon! Have a great evening or day everyone. Good vibes always! Thank you, again and again, for reading my work!
❤ Antigone ❤
“Manong, pwede pong paki-baba na lang po kami sa mismong bayan ng Talisay!”
This was my request to the driver of the Ceres bus we took from Bacolod’s North Terminal, Monday morning, the second day of my Negros trip with one of my best friends. We got to the terminal by taking the Mandalagan-bound jeepney along Lacson Street, Bacolod’s main road!
My friend and I really didn’t have any idea on how to go to Talisay, the nearest city north of Bacolod and before Silay City, and how to get to the places we want to see that day, the Balay ni Tana Dicang and The Ruins, two of Negros’ famous ancestral houses. We thought that the best way to do it would be to go the center of the town, ask around, and take it from there.
More than 10 minutes after we left the North Terminal, our bus stopped at a school along the highway, and the driver told us we are in Talisay! We got off and saw several tricycles parked at the curb side. We approached the first one in line, and asked the driver if he could take us to The Ruins. We agreed on a price, Php 100, to take us there, but since he was nice and there are other places we would like to see, we ended up renting his tricycle for the trip around Talisay, for Php 500.
Manong’s tricycle sits two people in the front side, and two in the backside (though it would really be a tight fit), and one can sit on the motorcycle itself behind the driver. It was okay. I have tried the habal-habal before in Bukidnon and Siargao Island, and that one, you had to hold on to dear life! With my friend on the front side, and me in the back as I wanted to take pictures along the way, we started our adventure. We went back to the direction we took on the way to Talisay from Bacolod, bore off leftward towards the direction of the sugar cane fields and a new subdivision development at the start of it, near the main road.
I have seen photos of The Ruins but I was not prepared for the view that I will see after passing through fields and fields of sugar cane for about 10 to 15 minutes. We turned left before that tall structure above and I caught a glimpse of my first Negros ancestral house! One word for it, amazing!
We paid the Php 95 each entrance fee, and just stared for a while at the beautiful sight before us. Even if the weather was a bit gloomy when we set off that morning, the first glimpse of the house was like a ray of sunshine to us!
The Ruins or the mansion built by the sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in loving memory of his wife, Maria Braga, maybe just a shell of its former self now, but looking at it you can still see traces of how beautiful and grand the house must have been. Still standing tall, proud and beautiful, overlooking the vast area around her, as she had done for about a century now, she is like a queen, very regal despite the ravages of war, and time!
Still in awe, we entered the house reverently through its, still, grand entrance, and started our journey to the past.
The garden of the house is also very beautiful and the grounds, extensive.
We left the place feeling happy. My friend mentioned that the place exuded positive vibes.
With our heads still full of the images of The Ruins, we boarded our tricycle again, and the driver took us back to the city for our next ancestral house, the Balay ni Tana Dicang, the house of the Alunan-Lizares family which was turned into a lifestyle museum. It was actually the first one we went to as it is nearer, but it was still closed when we arrived there. The museum is open from 10AM onwards.
We paid the Php 100 entrance fee for adults (Php 20 for kids) and we started touring the beautiful bahay na bato built in the latter part of the 19th century for Don Efigenio Lizares and Doña Enrica Alunan.
Being in this house, I really felt like I entered a time machine and arrived in Spanish-era Philippines.
The house looks unchanged through the passage of time. When you reach the top of the stairs, you’ll have the feeling that the lady of the house in her finest clothes will come forward, and welcome you to her magnificent home (similar to a scene in the classic movie ‘Oro, Plata, Mata’).
Of all the Philippine ancestral houses that I have been to, so far, this is the grandest and the most preserved one I have toured!
It was a wonderful experience walking around the magnificent home and getting glimpses of how the family had lived in their very interesting times.
We asked our driver to take us also to the Talisay Church, as aside from ancestral houses, I also make it a point to visit beautiful, old churches in the places that I have been to!
Our last stop was a restaurant so we can have lunch before we travel back to Bacolod. Our driver brought us to this place. We thanked him as we parted ways. It was a wonderful, and indeed, a very different experience touring Talisay in his tricycle!
These much delicious food, and drinks, cost us only around Php 500. We were even unable to finish everything! Too much for our tummies!
We crossed the street, and flagged a Bacolod-bound jeepney. As Talisay receded from our sight, the experience of having stepped back in time, lingered.
• Please find below scanned copies of the leaflets I got on both houses for additional information about these beautiful places. You can also click on this link for Balay ni Tana Dicang and this link for The Ruins.
• If you would like to know more about Philippine ancestral houses, you can get this book. It is a bit pricey at Php 1,500, but worth it. I bought the book at National Bookstore. Balay ni Tana Dicang was among the heritage houses featured in this beautiful book. It also has a list of Heritage House-Museums you can visit, at the back pages, with brief descriptions, opening hours, addresses, and phone numbers!
• For the Bacolod side of my trip, please click on this link. Next travel post, the ancestral houses of Silay City, Negros Occidental!
I made it again to Vigan, as well as other parts of the Ilocos provinces, almost at the same period I was there in 2012, without really intending to! I was supposed to go there last month, but due to Typhoon Lando I had to move the trip even if my bags were already packed and my hotel accommodation and the bus ticket were booked. Going to Vigan in November, it turned out, was better than that October weekend. The weather was pretty good and there were not so many people when I was there recently.
It was a very fulfilling and a very enjoyable, laid-back kind of trip. Aside from revisiting one of my favorite places in the country, it reconnected me with something I really love doing but had neglected in years – traveling, the way I like it.
I love exploring and discovering places armed with a paper guide-book, maps, information I gleaned online, and from helpful people I met while traveling. I started to realize how I really missed this kind of thing when I went to Negros Occidental in September and explored the places in my bucket list by bus, by tricycle, by taxi, by foot, and by jeepney, armed with a map, a guide-book and by asking a local friend for information. As soon as I returned home after that trip, I planned this trip to Vigan with my friends who would like to go there as well. Suffice it to say that, I am truly bitten by the travel bug again!
Traveling to Ilocos Sur and Norte cleared the head, as well, as I was in some sort of crossroads in my life! I now know what I would like to do next, among other things! I would like to travel more and write about those travels in this blog, and of course, continue writing fiction/fan fiction, as well as other interesting stuffs for you guys.
My blog entries on my travels to Negros Occidental and the two Ilocos provinces, coming up after I finish the updates of my current stories. I hope you will like those posts as well!
Now with batteries recharged and with spirit renewed, I better buckle down and start writing! 🙂
Cheers and good vibes!
❤ Antigone ❤
My introduction to Be Careful With My Heart (BCWMH) was through the first five DVDs that I got hold of, in the early part of 2013, I think. It was, like, love at first watch!
From then on, aside from religiously watching the episodes, I was always on the look out for the release of the succeeding DVDs so I can watch the episodes again and again, at leisure. I, still, am!
When I got hold of the latest DVDs, Volume 46 and 47, the first thing that I noticed is that Volume 46 has another beautiful cover. With that, I just thought of doing a catalog of the covers, as part of the show’s wonderful journey.
It has been almost eight months since Be Careful With My Heart has ended but with these DVDs, I can still travel to my BCWMH universe anytime, especially when I need my feel good fix. I am now in Volume 26 of my current rewind (my nth one)! Sir Chief is namamanhikan in San Nicolas, and will get ‘cute drunk’ in a while! ❤