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April 1st 2014
Published: April 1st 2014
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After just two quick nights, it was time to bid farewell to wonderful Sugar Beach, and head back up northwards along the western coast of Negros Occidental. And it was another standing-room only jam-packed bus ride from Montilla to the provincial capital of Bacolod, which would also be my last new stop here in the Visayas.

A medium-sized city that is a somewhat smaller version of Cebu, Bacolod doesn't offer many tourist attractions per se. But it is steeped in history, and it's difficult to understand the Visayas and the Negros island in particular without having a sense of the importance this coastal port city played during the island's sugar-producing hey-days. So I decided to pay a visit to tie up my entire journey here in Central Philippines.

I spent just another quick two nights in Bacolod, partially recovering from the long journey from Sugar Beach, and also just taking the opportunity to consolidate my thoughts for my Visayan adventure this time. Two weeks plus has flown by once again, and soon I'll be heading back to Cebu to catch my flight out of the country.

As I think back to the day I arrived here in the
Dizon Ramos MuseumDizon Ramos MuseumDizon Ramos Museum

Bacolod is famous for its Maskarra Festival in October, where its denizens don these masks in parades in the streets. In fact started just in 1980 after the city experienced the twin tragedies of mass deaths due to a sinking ferry, as well as the rapid decline of its economy due to the declining sugar industry. The smiling faces on the masks were meant to conceal the actual sadness of its people.
Visayas in Cebu not too long ago, I remember asking myself whether I would feel the same at the end of the trip, as I did when I was leaving Luzon last year. And the answer is not quite. Like they say, the first time is always special, and Luzon last year was my first extended visit to the country. The Visayas though has definitely offered me a slightly different perspective of things here, and I've no doubt that in time to come, I will be reminiscing over bug-eyed miniature primates, oversized brown loam lumps and both fine white sand and coarse brown sand beaches. The 2h+ long standing bus rides though, I'm sure I won't miss!

Stayed at LD Pension.


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Farewell Sugar BeachFarewell Sugar Beach
Farewell Sugar Beach

The paddle boat ride out across the tidal river.
Why am I not surprisedWhy am I not surprised
Why am I not surprised

That the Montilla-Bacolod bus is jam packed. 2.5h of standing (this time at the back) until the transit city of Kabankalan again.
Breastfeeding StationBreastfeeding Station
Breastfeeding Station

Advertising in the mens' loo?!?
888 Chinatown Mall888 Chinatown Mall
888 Chinatown Mall

Yes that's what this mall is officially known as. 8 is of course an auspicious number for the Chinese. But it's pretty much like any other mall, except with red lanterns. Many red lanterns.


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