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The City of Smiles

Bacolod, Philippines

We were off to Bacolod after 5 glorious days of doing nothing and getting properly rested. The recent availability of wireless Internet access in the area made it just perfect giving me email and contact with the office. The trip to Bacolod took 5 hours on another Ceres bus. I never tire of the sights in Sipalay. The bus also entered the old mining town of Maricalum to pick up passengers there. Travelling this route, one must remember of sit on the left side of the bus in the morning and the right side of the bus in the afternoon to avoid the sun. Countryside soon gave way to commercial buildings and ox carts to tricycles the closer we got to Bacolod City.

It was pleasant being back in Bacolod after some time. To enjoy Bacolod one must learn to let go of the need to always be on the move and to do something common among city folks. This is the only way to go with the flow and the flow is slow, very slow. And to appreciate Bacolod one must like to eat. There is really little else to. The highlights of each day are the meals that one takes and it not uncommon to be discussing where the next meal will be had even before the current is finished. Definitely a place after my own heart. On this trip we had the chance to catch up with some old friends Toto and Leilah and we had dinner in a new place called Louise. I made an entry in FOOD TRIP about Louise as well as the L'Fisher lobby restaurant, Ripples.

I might also add that Bacolod is my favorite place to shop. They have all the regular shops in the malls but there are still the boutiques of old that I always check out. I got all my overrun Nautica shirts in a shop called Mix and on this trip got a pair of the lastest style of Sperry Topsiders which I have not seen in Manila in another called Pelts, both in the Robinsons Mall or Rob as the locals call it. With all the old houses and affluence of the past, Bacolod is also a good place to get antiques. For sure, these people have taste and style in a class of their own.

The trip soon came to end and it did not feel like we were gone for 10 days. It did not feel like we had done much but that was the whole point of the trip. Still, we had fun including the trip from Dumaguete to Hinoba-an. Getting back to Manila on a Saturday gave me a chance to regain my bearings before getting back to work. The trip was also intended as a break after the worries and emotional upheavals related to the illness and death of my mother so she was never far from my mind. Since my wife is primarily responsible for the care and welfare of the kids, I found myself with nothing and no one to worry about for a change. This left a big empty feeling within. A consoling thought is that she has gone ahead to a different kind of trip and adventure which we will all follow at some point in time. It was time to let go.

Happy trails!

permalink written by  Joey Carlotta on May 28, 2008 from Bacolod, Philippines
from the travel blog: Cebu to Bacolod via Dumaguete
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