I’ve been on the road since 2006 and somehow I miss living in the sugar capital of Negros Occidental. Victorias is situated 34 kilometers north of Bacolod City. Victorias City otherwise known as the land of sugar is my sweet hometown. The prominent Victorias Milling Company is the Philippines biggest sugar refinery. The smell of the sugar spread throughout the Canetown subdivision is an experience of a lifetime like tasting sweet sugar for success. One can see the world’s famous Angry Christ in Caticlan. I remembered attending mass at the St. Joseph the worker Church every Sunday and every time I visited the church, the painting of the Angry Christ occupied my eyes. Also,you can visit one of the biggest churches in Visayas, The Immaculate Conception Cathedral located in Canetown Subdivision.
The trains fully loaded with sugarcanes are mostly the things that you can see in Victorias of course being the home of the largest integrated raw and sugar manufacturing. Fiber glass plant, foundry, machine shop, frozen and canned foods are also manufactured. I highly recommend Victorias Spanish Sardines. One of the best Sardines I ever tasted so far. The loud warning sound from the Milling Company aka “ang siren sang central’ prolongs a noisy sound every hour in VMC, it’s like telling us the exact time of the day. The ashes from the central to our windows, doors and even inside our houses are irritating but these dust or “Biro” from the millsite makes me realize I’m home.
Talk about Festivals and Celebration. We have tons of festivals in Victorias, it’s like every Baranggay has its own festivals. Among the famous Festivals are the Kadalag-an Festival which is celebrated every 21st of March and annual Malihaw fiesta every 26th of April wherein street dancing and artistic activities are presented. For addicted golfers, VMC golf and country club offers state of the art golf course, situated in the VMC compound. I love their Club house Sandwich btw, you may try it too. One can roam around VMC and check the Carabao Sundial which was created by a group of senior students in DBTI Victorias and yes it represents the sugar industry in Negros. The Steam Locomotive Engine can be found around VMC. The Iron dinosaurs used to transport harvested sugarcanes around Negros. Sadly the engines were replaced by trucks and VMc is not utilizing them anymore or perhaps some parts of the railways are still operating nowadays. Quite not sure, I haven’t been home for a long time.
Perfect for nature lovers, one can take a peek of the Gawahon Falls, I remembered trekking to Gawahon at the age of 12. I joined the summer project preserving and nurturing plants. I remembered planting trees during those times. Probably some are alive and some are dead. Having a scenic day at Gawahon Falls while eating rice, ginamos (sauteed shrimp paste), uga (Dried Fish), atchara and sinugba nga manok( chicken inasal) in banana leaf is amazing.
The sugarcanes, molasses, chicken inasal, waterfalls, the smell of the fertilizers, festivals and the simple life in Negros Occidental are not the only things I miss in Victorias City. Today’s Father’s Day and I miss my Father. The month of June is a triple celebration at home, Father’s day, my father’s birthday on the 27th and my parents wedding anniversary on the 30th of June. Sucks, I can’t make it this year. Last Year I was able to celebrate my Father’s birthday. We usually had our dinner at JB’s Resto just a few minutes’ walk from “Our lady of Victory Parish Church”. The Resto caters the best Chicken Inasal in Victorias but I was blown away by their sizzling bulalo steak rather than their chicken Inasal dish. I used to drink beers with my Father at JB’s while listening to live bands. My Father is a simple man whose dream is to see his children happy. I am so proud to have a father like him. Play poker, watch basketball, having a cup of coffee in our balconahe are the things I miss being at home with my father. I am lucky that my father supports wherever I go, whatever I do, whoever I am with and believes in me no matter how crazy and silly I am.
Every day is a Father’s Day to me. It started when I was a kid and I read a beautiful story “goodnight dad’s Chicken soup book food for the soul”. Since then, I make sure my Father knows how much I love him either face to face or by phone. I hope children will reach out to their Father everyday while it’s not too late. Our parents will not be here with us forever. Make sure you make the most this Father’s Day. I just had a great conversation with my father few hours ago. Happy Father’s day to the entire Dad’s out there!
Carpe diem says my father. I say Happy Father’s Day Papa!. I love you.
How to get there?
Take a Ceres Bus from Bacolod City. Travel time is 45 mins. Busses are not air-conditioned. Jeepneys are also available but it will take you 1 hour. From Silay City, travel time is 25-30 mins by Ceres Bus or Jeepneys.