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The Europeans of Plaza 6 de Noviembre

Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental, has a rich (literally rich!) history, with its belle époque years set at the height of the sugarcane industry. In one of my sojourns, I made a lazy stroll on the city’s plaza, where my attention was  caught by its American-era bandstand.  What makes it interesting are the names of famous classic European composers inscribed on the sides of its roof.


The band stand is set at the heart of Bacolod City’s public plaza, officially called Plaza del 6 de Noviembre, after the day the Spanish surrendered of to the Negros revolutionaries.

The usual setup of a Spanish pueblo places the public square at the heart of the community. The plaza stands right in front of San Sebastian Cathedral, which looks straight ahead at the bandstand. Interestingly the municipio is nowhere to be found today. The Spanish governor’s building stood right opposite the church, but the Bacolod City Hall has long since moved somewhere else in 2010.


The plaza has seen bett…
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Musings of the Son of an Alcoholic

Many, many moons and tides ago, I posted this on Facebook. I think I was  emotional distressed when I wrote this. Time to share it here on my blog because I know this message holds true not just for me but also for anyone else in difficult times. I hope this inspires you a bit to get up and keep going.
Living with an alcoholic father for years and years rings a message for me... In living with him I learned one crucial thing - never depend on anyone or anything, or else it will control your life. I've seen how he sank deep in his dependence due to many family-related issues and that is saddening. We either give in to these trials and eventually become dependent on something or someone or we can regain ourselves and remain steadfast as we march on. We owe it to ourselves to look after ourselves. Or others, if we could manage. I've also seen many people suffer from heartbreak and depression because they depended their happiness on someone and that, again, is saddening.We can…

The Construction of Capiz Provincial Capitol, 1911-1912

There are a many digital repositories to check out for one who wishes to learn more about the past of his community. spending some time to dig deep will give you surprising details of our history, otherwise buried and forgotten. In my search to learn some tidbits of information about my hometown, I began to read details about our historic provincial capitol. I originally posted this article on Facebook and eventually added more later. Enjoy reading!
The American occupation of the Philippines following the Treaty of Paris in 1898 and the resulting end of the resistance after the surrender of General Ananias Diokno [1] led to the establishment of a civil government in Capiz on April 15, 1901 by virtue of Act 115 with Simplicio Hugo Vidal as the first civil governor [2]. With the transition from military to civilian rule, the insular government desired for efficient administration of the Philippine Islands' 31 provinces, thus, provincial capital centers were established with provin…

2020 Guide to Regular, Special and Local Non-Working Holidays in Panay Island and Guimaras

Happy New Year! Planning for a road trip or short-break this year? Check out this list of regular and special local public holidays here in Panay Island and Guimaras. Take note that some holidays are localized and may be exclusive only to a given city, town or province. This list will be updated throughout the year to reflect latest announcements from national and local authorities. In the meantime, start thinking which destination near you deserves a visit and what festivals should you not miss!

January
January 1, 2020, Wednesday - New Year's Day January 19, 2020, Sunday- Ati-atihan Festival (only in Kalibo) January 25, 2020, Saturday - Chinese New Year January 26, 2020, Sunday - Dinagyang Festival (only in Iloilo City)
February
February 11, 2020, Tuesday- Evelio Javier Day(only in Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo) February 25, 2020, Tuesday - EDSA Revolution Anniversary
March
March 18, 2020, Wednesday - Liberation of Panay and Guimaras

April
April 9, 2020, Thursday - Araw ng…

A Home School for Capisnon Orphans

One day in August 1904, a local constabulary commandant informed Mrs. Robbins about the case of orphaned three children—one girl and two boys. Their father, a bandit chief, was sentenced to life imprisonment and they had no mother to look after them. The Robbins, who already had seven orphan children under their ward, adopted the girl named Regina. The two boys were sent to good homes nearby. Little did the Robbins know that their noble act of giving home to a young girl would later have a significant impact to the lives of many people in Capiz.
Barely a month earlier, the Robbins arrived in Capiz, after a stint in Iloilo. Two years ago, the Baptist faith was introduced to the natives of Capiz when Swedish missionary, Eric Lund, arrived together with Braulio Manikan, a Capisnon from the Aklan part of the province. With the help of a wealthy gentleman, Don Manuel Gregorio, the Baptist missionaries slowly spread their faith, despite the taunts and threats from the clergy.
American hi…

Historic Churches of Frankfurt

In 2017, I had the chance to explore Europe.  A fifteen-hour layover in Frankfurt meant a tour of the Altstadt, the city’s Old Town. Enamoured is an understatement to describe how I felt the first time I saw centuries-old buildings. The history student in me was enlivened with all these structures standing side by side.Of course, the seat of the Holy Roman Empire has a hundred and one and more stories to tell that my short stay is not enough... Frankfurt has many churches, Roman Catholic and Lutheran alike, and my walking tour from Alstadt to Sachsenhausen (via Eiserner Steg – the Iron Footbridge) took me to these churches.
Deutschordenskirche (Church of the Teutonic Order)




A hospital in 1182 originally stood in the grounds of the Deutschordenskirche. Taken over by the Teutonic Order in 1221, a Gothic aise-less church was constructed in 1309. High Gothic mural paintings depicting the stations of the cross and scenes of the crucifixion were created in the 1340s. The Baroque facade wit…

Nipa, Tuba, and the Prewar Distilling Industry of Capiz

Long before the coming of the Spaniards, nipa wine was already an export product of the natives of the Philippines. Extract from the sap of the nipa palm (Nypa fruticans) called tuba was available in many parts of the islands, including the present-day Capiz, where a large portion of its future capital city and the pueblo of Panay used to be swampland. In fact, the native Filipinos had many types of alcoholic drinks to enjoy. A variety of the tuba is the one extracted from the coconut sap. From rice came the tapuy and from sugarcane the basi was made.

Spanish conquistadorMiguel de Loarca noted that the natives “draw a great quantity of wine from the palm-trees.”  The taste was “sweet and good” and the wine was used in “making great quantities of brandy, excellent vinegar and delicious honey.”

Antonio de Morga, a high ranking colonial official in the early 17th century, also recorded that the indios enjoyed "wine made from the tops of coco and nipa palm of which there is a great …