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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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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)
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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.
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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 …