Bacolod: Week Before Masskara Madness

Self has encountered:

One manloloko taxi driver, who pretended he didn’t know where “North Drive” was

10 refusing-to-stop jeepneys

One brief rainshower

And many, many, many foreigners.  One just asked where the “restroom” was.  Here, it’s always “CR” (Comfort Room).  It’s 11 p.m.  Foreigners make up about 75% of the customers of the restaurant on the roof of the hotel.

Here’s a list of several other interesting discoveries self made today:

  • There’s a Legaspi mural right outside the Negros Museum Café.  You’ll pass right by it because it’s to the side of a very overgrown courtyard.
  • There’s a woman self has known for three years as “Nora” — Self finally asked her to write her name down today.  She wrote “Norafe.”  Which self thinks is a much nicer name.
  • For decades, self had never heard the word “tablea” (Filipino native chocolate). Today, she heard it over and over again.  First she met a restaurant owner who told her the best tableas were from Davao.  Then she went to the Negros Museum Café and a man dropped by who was selling tableas from Antique.  29 pesos each, about 67 US cents.  He said that tableas normally had a slightly bitter aftertaste.  But his were mixed with muscovado.  So they were not bitter at all.
  • She heard the word takway, also for the first time.  Let Marketman explain it all for you.  It’s some kind of steamed taro?
  • She also heard the word ibus (sticky rice steamed in coconut leaves), which she hasn’t heard in such a long time, let her tell ya.
  • Furthermore, she familiarized herself with a particularly Bacolod delicacy called “KBL.” K stands for kadyos, B for baboy (pork), and L for langka (jackfruit).  Yummm!  Unfortunately, she cannot eat it.  Because she has just made her first Bacolod Resolution, just this instant:  She will eat only vegetable dishes from now on.  Yes, this means no more tapa, no more tocino, no more chorizo, no more saté babi, no more inihaw, no more batchoy, no more inasal.  And most of all, NO FRIED CHICKEN SKIN.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Friends are Fabulous!

They give self strong brewed coffee and madeleines.

They make her laugh.

They listen.

They tell her about places like Escalante (Their sister owns a resort there, a resort self has already resolved to visit, her curiosity is insatiable) and Sagay.

She tells them about home.

Weng, at the Negros Museum Café

Weng, at the Negros Museum Café

Weng again, something very disarmingly child-like about her.

Weng again.  There is something very disarmingly child-like about her. She can always make self laugh.

And this is Gemma, who is married to gentle Guido.  Theirs is quite a story: how they fell in love, how Guido got Gemma into a cooking course in the Netherlands, how they ended up together in Bacolod.

And this is Gemma, who is married to gentle Guido. Theirs is quite a story: how they fell in love, how Guido got Gemma into a cooking course in the Netherlands, how they ended up together in Bacolod.

In the Phinma Gallery, right next to the Café, is an exhibit of phantasmagorical paintings.  She doesn't know who the artist is.

In the Phinma Gallery, right next to the Café, is an exhibit of phantasmagorical paintings. Self doesn’t know who the artist is (There are no captions next to the paintings, which is slightly frustrating)

Detail of another phantasmagorical painting in the Phinma Gallery

Detail of another phantasmagorical painting in the Phinma Gallery

It did not rain today, which was great.

Self is reading a story called “Between Ship and Ice,” by Chelsey Johnson.  It’s in One Story, Issue Number 181.

Despite her complaints about the fine print being increasingly difficult for self’s myopic eyes to handle, she always brings at least several issues with her on a trip because they are so easy to slip into her purse.

This story, as the title suggests, is of course about cold places.  Specifically, Norway.  Specifically, polar bears.

Today, also, and this is pretty amazing, she met with the owner of Mely’s Garden.  More about that later.  Suffice it to say, it was 2 p.m., and Mely placed in front of self a dish of ginataang kangkong and chicken adobo that self ate with such unaccustomed rapidity that it gave her a stomach ache.  Then she went to the Negros Museum Café and ate some more.

But who in their right minds would turn down fresh madeleines and ginger lime drinks?  Who?

Good Morning 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

So self is still in Bacolod, the home of wonderful brewed coffee, hot piaya, puto, and other breakfast delights. When she saw the WordPress photo challenge of the week, her first thought was: MADE JUST FOR SELF!

Here are some photos that capture breakfast in her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown:

Brewed Coffee at Café Uma is always served with muscovado and a petite piyaya!

Brewed Coffee at Café Uma is always served with muscovado and a petite piyaya!

Papaya for breakfast, Happy Valley Resort

Papaya for breakfast, Happy Valley Resort

Having Breakfast in Dearest Mum's Sun Room (adjoining her bedroom)

Having Breakfast in Dearest Mum’s Sun Room (adjoining her bedroom)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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