Thursday, May 19, 2016

Best Western Plus Antel Hotel offers more convenient accommodation during rainy days. By June, most of us will go to our offices and classes and may anticipate cooler days brought by rains. So avoid the hassle of commuting and instead stay where you have quick access to malls, grocery stores, restaurants and more that’s near your offices and schools in Makati.

Comfortably enjoy your own suite that’s equipped with kitchenette that allows you to bring food inside your room. Want indoor activities? We have indoor pool, 2 fitness centers, or enjoy discounts from our Toccare Spa that features a sauna, Jacuzzi and charmed crystal themed VIP rooms. Dine-in to our restos and avail discounts from Granvia Cafe by Paladin where you can enjoy Barkada Meals like Buy - Take 1 of 12 inches pizza in scrumptious Pepperoni and Hawaiian flavours; or Azzurro Restaurante Mediterraneo and feast on their famous Paella Valenciana, Gambas or enjoy the KTV with your friends in the pool bar.

For the months of June until August, avail Rainy day Promo that gives you golf umbrella! Your suite comes with buffet breakfast for two and full access to our amenities with discounts to restos and spa.

Starting at PhP4888 nett, you book direct with no other hidden charges. Best part of staying with us is your immediate access to our nearby attractions: A.Venue Mall, HOTT Asia (open parking midnight market), Century City Mall and enjoy amazing deals from our various partner establishments!

This is your cosmopolitan community and we try our best to help you have more fun and stay with

Book direct call: (+63 2) 773-3000 / 662-3300 / 403-0888 / 403-0808, e-mail, visit at

Stay and Enjoy at Best Western Plus Antel Hotel – Rain or Shine!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bacolod City's world famous Chicken Inasal.
The Philippines has just been included as one of the New Gastronomic 8 (G-8) emerging markets of influence in world cuisine by the Hongkong-based marketing and communications agency, Catch On, in their new report entitled The Future of Food.

The report states that there is a new food order with an appetite for cuisine that defies conventional classification, and where dishes are inflected by mismatched ingredients or prepared in ways that question traditional techniques. The report further states that cross border migrations and population melting-pots have produced a generation of “third culture chefs” that innovate their culinary traditions and are mixing ingredients and techniques in unimaginable ways.

This is where the Philippines has come in as a member of the New G-8 countries. Food is an important part of Philippine culture and Filipinos take their culture of food seriously. The cross-pollination of culinary influences in Philippine cuisine mirrors the country’s colourful historical influences and these influences are amplified and interpreted gastronomically for the world by a young breed of bold and tech-savvy Filipino chefs. As more Filipinos travel overseas, they bring with them their culture of food. Philippine ingredients and the country’s signature dishes like adobo, kinilaw, and sisig are slowly making their way into international kitchens.

“Overseas, the Philippines’ colorful influence can be found in restaurants like Jeepney and Pig & Khao in New York, or Filipino-born, Austin-based Paul Qui’s eponymous restaurant,” according to The Future of Food report.

“There’s a growing movement to preserve and document culinary artisanal traditions that have survived generations simply because they came out of family kitchens. We’re seeing more self-trained chefs launching restaurants, more men cooking at home, the continued move away from any notion of fine dining, the growing influence of street food, and the popularity of culinary tourism. This is the new culture of food,” the report adds.

Aside from the Philippines, other countries included in the New G-8 are China, Iran, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.

“We are most pleased to announce that as a result of the recently-concluded global culinary events here such as Madrid Fusion Manila and World Street Food Congress, the Philippines is now gaining more recognition as an emerging country, whose indigenous ingredients and culinary excellence are increasingly finding their way into world cuisine. The fact that the organizers of the prestigious Madrid Fusion decided to hold the first and only Asian edition in the Philippines signalled to the rest of the world the growing influence and importance of Philippine cuisine and the Filipino talent. As more travellers are starting to choose their travel destinations and plan their itineraries based on the food culture of a place, this is definitely an added boost to Philippine tourism,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. enthused.

—From the Department of Tourism

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Friday, April 1, 2016

BIG POLITICAL SURPRISE. Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr., who is unopposed on his last term as top Capitol executive, pulled the biggest political surprise in local politics when he endorsed the re-election bid of Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella and his congressional candidate, former Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, at the sidelines of the COMELEC-organized signing of peace covenant and Forum on Women and Election-Related Violence at the Bacolod Pavillon Hotel.

Related News:

Bacolod City Will Be First In Using Hummers as Jeepneys

Hummer Jeepney : Ready for rollout in Bacolod City by end of the year.

The Filipino Jeepney has for many years been a symbol of Filipino ingenuity being the most popular means of public transportation in the country.  Often known for their kitsch decorations, which have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art, jeepneys are now ready for a new image in Bacolod City.  Read More...

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr., Endorses Mayor Monico In Re-Election Bid

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Senatorial Candidate Rafael ALUNAN (#3) shares his thoughts on developing Philippine Tourism.

Unknown to many millennials, Rafael "Raffy" Alunan III is no newbie to government service.  Raffy Alunan served the Cory administration  as tourism secretary, and the Ramos administration, as interior chief. 

  • Tourism commences from the time a foreigner boards a plane to his destination - Philippines until he embarks on a plane going home. Therefore it does not only involve hotels, sights, adventures but also the long lines, too many forms to fill out, the delayed flights and the bad service these foreigners encounter at the MIAA/NAIA.
  • There should be a better service at our airports to encourage tourists from coming back. Better service would mean choosing the best managers/administrators for our airports including personnel and staff.
  • We need to encourage agri-tourism[1]. There is a total of 32 agri-tourism sites, including 27 protected areas consisting of strawberry and organic vegetable farms in Benguet, as well as pineapple and coffee plantations in Bukidnon.
  • A well-developed agri-tourism can even ensure food security.
  • In the past there was a task force that is supposed to craft a new type of visa for medical  tourism—DOH and DOT/BI were involved. It fizzled out. This move was identified as one that will help boost medical tourism in the country. A study should be made of this sector and why remained at a stand still.

        "I love my country. I love the Filipino people and I am here to serve them." Alunan said.

[1] Sen Cynthia Villar filed a bill providing incentives to farmers and encourages the development of agri business.

Senatorial Candidate Rafael ALUNAN shares his thoughts on developing Philippine Tourism

Monday, March 21, 2016

Independent Visayan Senatorial Candidates Rafael Alunan III (#3) and Edu Manzano (#30) were seen in Cebu about the time of the presidential debates.

Both independent candidates were busy campaigning.  Unknown to many millennials, Rafael "Raffy" Alunan III is no newbie to government service.  Raffy Alunan served the Cory administration  as tourism secretary, and the Ramos administration, as interior chief.

"I love my country. I love the Filipino people and I am here to serve them." Alunan said.

Visayan Senatoriables #3 and #30 Spotted In Cebu

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spaghetti in Basil Peanut Pesto (Php 50), with grilled shrimps, eggplant, kalobay and tomatoes.

Peanut Curry (Php 50) with chicken, vegetables (squash, jackfruit, eggplant, okra) and brown rice.

Italian Wrap (Php 50) with shrimps, eggplant, tomatoes, homemade pesto and lettuce.

How could this be when all of the food at this cafe is organically grown?  Photographer Andreo Bongco explains this unique find in Negros Island, the Sweet Spot of the Philippines.Some of my favorite outtakes from a recent pro-bono shoot with Welcome Home Foundation's Natural Garden Cafe in Bacolod.

All of the food at this cafe is organically grown, prepared and cooked by the deaf-mute, but probably the best thing about this cafe is that THE MOST EXPENSIVE DISH COSTS JUST 50 PESOS. Weird right? Let me explain.

As I've mentioned before, one of my advocacies as a photographer is to provide pro-bono (free) imaging work to organizations which strive towards the common good. By taking pictures and writing about their efforts, it is my little way of helping them market what they believe in.

Natural Garden Cafe is one such organization I've come to help because it recruits, trains and employs the deaf-mute of Bacolod at their cafe. The deaf and mute are given dignified jobs with fair salaries and are trained excellently in HRM and the culinary arts.

Aside from this, the cafe takes on a farm to table approach in its dining. All the vegetables and meat are grown on the restaurant's grounds either in pesticide free vegetable beds, or in aquaponic fish tanks to raise awareness for a more natural diet free of GMOs and preservatives. 

Now you may ask, why all of this for JUST 50 pesos? (Don't believe me yet? I posted the menu here just in case) The cafe prices their meals this low because their aim is not make a profit, rather it is to allow everyone (most especially low income workers) an alternative to cheap GMO and preservative laden food that people are so used to eating nowadays.

If you're interested in seeing what this bold yet well meaning cafe has to offer, drop by their alfresco cafe anywhere from 10AM to 5PM from Monday to Friday. (Better to go there during lunch because most of their food is sold out come 2PM).

They are located on the right side of the road entering Villa Valderrama Subdivision along Lacson Street going to the North of Bacolod past CountryMart.

I swear, you will not regret visiting it. Neither will your wallet, your tummy or your lymph nodes.

Photos and words by
Andreo Resurreccion Bongco.

The Most Expensive Dish In This Cafe is PhP50! Find out where it is!

Learn to make your own BB8 Droid.  A 17 year old Filipino shows us how.

Build A Homemade BB8 Droid
Watch how this 17 year old kid, build a fully-functional BB8 droid with just some household materials! (No CNCs, no 3D Printers & No Milling Machines)
Posted by TechBuilder on Friday, January 22, 2016

17-year-old Filipino shows us how to make a BB8 Droid

Thursday, January 21, 2016

While the famous Malacañang Palace is easily referred to as the Presidential Residence in the Philippines, many do not know that the title as Residence of the President of the Philippines came upon Malacañang only upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935.

Also not known to many is that before the first Philippine Republic was established in January 23, 1899, there already existed the
República Cantonal de Negros or the Cantonal Republic of Negros
which came about in November 5, 1898.

This makes the
Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in Talisay City, the first Presidential house in the Philippines.

Last September 23, 2014, the descendants of
General Aniceto Lacson, who are now the co-owners of the ancestral house, released this statement for the public to know (via the local Negros daily, the Visayan Daily Star):

The Ancestral House built by General Aniceto Lacson in the 1880’s is a fine example of a 19th century Philippine Architecture known as “Bahay na Bato” or House of Stone. Uniquely, it has a balcony that surrounds the entire 2nd floor giving a panoramic view of its surroundings has its own chapel at ground level.

As most Negrenses would know, General Aniceto Lacson was among those who successfully led a province-wide Katipunero revolt against the Spanish garrison in Bacolod City on November 5, 1898. When the Spanish forces surrendered, he was chosen as President of the short-lived Cantonal Republic of Negros. Today, Negros Island celibrates as an official holiday, “Cinco de Novembre” on November 5 to commemorate the surrender.

During his tenure as President of the Cantonal Republic of Negros, General Aniceto held office in this ancestral house. During those years, he was visited by General Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Antonio Luna, Emilio Jacinto, Claro M. Recto, President Manuel Quezon, President Sergio Osmeña, among other dignitaries. It is no wonder that in March 13, 2002, the National Historical Institute (NHI), thru Board Resolution No. 2, 5. 2002 declared the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House as a NATIONAL HISTORICAL LANDMARK, as provided for by a Presidential Decree. 


The Ancestral House has been occupied by the succession of General Aniceto’s children and grandchildren. It is at present, owned-in-common by its co-owners, the Claparols, Rossello, and Balcells families, descendants of his daughter Carmen Lacson
married to Ricardo Claparols.

In the early 1970’s, a strong typhoon damaged the entire roof and since then has been left unoccupied up to this day. The descendant co-owners have tried to maintain it but could not cope with the scale and magnitude of the repairs. Sadly, the
ancestral house went through an accelerated process of deterioration, as portions of the ceiling crumbled down and worse, a part of the second floor, including the staircase began to sag.

It was for this reason that we, the undersigned, aware of our responsibilities as co-owners, looked into how we could restore and preserve the ancestral house.

Therefore, in 2002, we decided to form a foundation so that it would serve as an avenue to formally solicit and generate the much-needed funds for its restoration. Due to limited funds, the restoration is being done in phase prioritizing on the more critical areas, primarily in restoring structural stability. Donations received from individuals, corporate and government institutions are properly documented and accounted for.  

All descendant co-owners were invited to participate in the foundation, however only seventy percent (70%) responded favorably. We then pooled in our personal financial contributions to establish the General Aniceto L. Lacson Ancestral House
Foundation,Inc. ( GALAH). Registered on May 7, 2002 as a non-stock non-profit corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission with Company Registration No. E200200273, the foundation was established with the sole purpose to fully restore,
repair, maintain and preserve the ancestral house.


When GALAH Foundation hired the services of both local and national level architects to inspect the ancestral house, they discovered that the main cause as to why the house was deteriorating rapidly was due to termite infestation. After further ocular inspection of the premises, from inside the ceiling and around the flooring area, it revealed the extent of the damage caused by the termite infestation, which was not limited to the wooden columns that support the structure of the ancestral house but has damaged as well the ceiling girts and the joists and the flooring girts and joists.
Photo by Dennis John Reyes
They advised us to immediately install (coconut lumber) scaffoldings on the affected area of the 2nd floor, including the staircase, in as much as its elevation has already sagged at about 8 inches. The architects warned us that if we did not support a part of the 2nd floor with scaffoldings that it was a matter of time that it would collapse and cause greater damage to the ancestral house.

Restoration architects such as Architect Augusto “Toti” Villalon ( Architect and Cultural Heritage Planner) together with Architect Melvin Patawaran (Principal Architect of Tropiks Design Studio) in coordination of Architect Jude Tipon ( Past
President, United Architects of the Philippines (UAP)) have been working together to supervise the restoration.  

Ocular inspections were conducted by Architect Augusto P. Rustia, the Cultural Properties and Conservation Division Chief of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Executive Director Ludovico D. Badoy, Mr. Reynaldo A. Inovero, and Engineer Candido H. Castro from NHI Historic Preservation Division and Architect Norman H. Campos. NCCA and NHI prepared their own respective project studies and program of works and have been submitted to GALAH foundation.

The restoration started in February 2013 and as of December 2013, the following have been accomplished;

Note: Only Mahogany (hardwood) lumber has been used. All undamaged ceiling and flooring panels have been catalogued to ensure that they well be placed back in its original position.

- the 10 inch x 10 inch x 40 feet wooden column that was the main cause for the flooring to sag has already been replaced. About 3 more damaged wooden columns need to be replaced while those columns that are undamaged have not been touched. 

- the entire ceiling girts and ceiling joists have been repaired, replacing only the damaged sections of the wood frames, either by cross-sectional repair if the remaining portion of the wood frames are still in good condition or if not, replace the entire wood frame. The undamaged ceiling panels will be placed back once the flooring alignment is completed including the neo gothic arch traceries.

- the replacement of the entire roof of the main area of the ancestral house with new 0.24 mm gauge Galvanized Iron (GI) sheets were very corroded. In time, the roof will be painted with anti-corrosion metal primer and roofing paint.

This year 2014, the restoration continues, focusing on the re alignment of the 2nd floor. It is a slow tedious process of removing the flooring panels and the floor joists so as to expose and to replace the damaged floor girts and joists. As of today, three sections of the 2nd floor have already been aligned and its flooring panels have been placed back to its original position.

We, the members of GALAH foundation and as a co-owner descendant are fully committed to restore and preserve the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House. We are inviting all patriotic Filipino to support our cause in restoring the General Aniceto Lacson Ancestral House to its historical grandeur as a fitting symbol of our country and its people. We are also inviting you to visit the ancestral house and see for your self.

The goal is to restore and preserve the ancestral house and unselfishly shares the historical glory not only to the people of Negros but to the whole country as well. As such, the concerned co-owner descendants and members of the GALAH foundation are doing everything possible to achieve this purpose.

           The 70% descendant co-owners and members of GALAH Foundation

                      Rosario Claparols      

                      Patricia Claparols
                      Victoria Claparols  

                      Alxandra Claparols
                      Michael Claparols  

                      Francisco Rosello
                      Carmen Rosello    
                      Miguel Rosello
                      Teresa Rosello       
                      Eduardo Balcells 
                      Ana Balcells        
                      Alfonso Balcells 
                      Carlos Balcells

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Negros Island History : Why People of Negros Celebrate on Cinco de Noviembre (Nov. 5)

The 5th of November is a special day in Negros Island.  The Negros Revolution, now commemorated and popularly known as Al Cinco de Noviembre or Negros Day, was a political movement that in 1898 created a government in Negros Island in the Philippines, informally ending Spanish control of the island and resulting in a government run by the Negrense natives......Read More


Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

The 2016 Bacolod Jazzfest  is  be held on February 19 at the L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod. The annual jazzfest  is organized and  conducted under the auspices of the Jazz Society of Negros.

Now on its 7th year and featuring notable jazz artists and groups both locally and internationally, the Bacolod Jazzfest this 2016 will have among its performers  The Working Stiffs and Better than Sax. More featured jazz artists will be included in this event.

First held in 2010, the Bacolod Jazzfest had Nancy Brew (Bacolod), Mishka Adams (UK), The Jazz Volunters  (Manila) and Sinosikat (Manila) among its roster of performers. The success of the event led to five (5) more annual jazzfests that also featured jazz artists such as LOGIC (Australia), Boy Katindig, West Negros University Big Band with Lucy Santibanez, Absolute Zero (Manila) featuring Johanes Radianto (Indonesia), KIOSS THE BRIDE (Manila, The West Boarders with Mike Tambasen and Gelo Oro, Clara and Joey Benin (Bacolod) BALOOZE with Riki Gonzales and Henry Katindig, Alvin Cornista, Humanfolk (Manila) featuring Johnny Alegre, YOSHA (Manila, Mike Tambasen Project (Bacolod), Nimrod Villamarzol (Bacolod), Mari Pena (Bacolod), CLAUDE Diallo (Switzerland) and the KRISTEN FLETCHER TRIO (Australia).

Bacolod Jazzfest 2016

Friday, December 25, 2015

2015 Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach just posted her Christmas message and with that post, one can easily see why this year's Miss Universe has raised the bar by way of possessing not just outward beauty but inward beauty as well.

Pia's post reads:

Wow. Words can't describe how grateful I am for this. It was quite a journey getting here with 3 attempts at winning Miss Philippines. Now, I finally got the best Christmas gift ever – and not just for me, for my country. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who believed in my potential and those who supported me from the beginning. To everyone who voted for me, especially to my fellow countrymen, thank you. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. To Ariadna, you are an amazing woman and we are now bonded together forever by a unique experience. In the last 3 weeks we were together, I saw how strong and beautiful you are inside and out. You represented your country with honor and I know how proud everyone must be of you. Fate has a plan for you, and I’m excited to see what’s ahead. And to all the fans who are still fighting about this…Please let's all stop now. The Miss Universe Organization is about uniting empowered women from all over the world. Arguing and sending hateful messages to each other defeats the whole purpose. You believe in the message of Miss Universe and so do I. Again, thank you for the love. I'm excited to begin my duties as Miss Universe and I wish everyone, all the contestants and all the supporters a great holiday with their loved ones. Happy Holidays and let's look forward to a great start to the new year! #MissUniverse - Pia

Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach Posted Her Christmas Message And It Is Awesome!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Noel Bazaar, known as one of the longest-running Christmas bazaars in the country, is now back on its 15th year!

Enjoy the one of a kind shopping experience once more on December 18-20, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center.

Noel Bazaar: The Christmas Shopping Experience

The fame of Negros products have reached far and wide as evidenced by those who flock to the Negros Trade Fair in Manila, which happens to be the longest running provincial trade fair in the country at 30 years old.  

This weekend of December 5 and 6, Negrense style finds its way to Cebu with the Negros Artisanal Christmas Bazaar taking place at 856 G Gallery, 856 A.S. Fortuna Street, Banilad, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.


#Negros Artisanal Christmas Bazaar | Dec 5 & 6, 10am-8pm
#856ggallery #bazaar #cebu #cebuevents #bacolod

Negrense Style Comes To Cebu

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