I have only been to Bacolod twice in my life so far. I remember the place as beautiful, ornate, retaining its cultural flavor, still celebrating its glorious, Hispanic past.
I remember the beautiful preserved houses, the Hofileña mansion, and the other heritage homes that we were treated to; most of these were in Silay City. I also recall visiting the "Church of the Angry God," where a mural of Jesus, in all His righteous anger, was painted in the full intensity of the emotion. In all, my memories were tinged with a feeling of awe and wonder at the beauty that is Negros.
If there's anything about Silay City, Bacolod, and Negros Occidental, in general, that has been stamped into my mind, it would have to be the fact that Negrenses know how to appreciate and preserve history.
While Negros Occidental celebrates its glorious past, by contrast, Iloilo City seems to be too eager to embrace the future. As a consequence, a majority of its old houses are falling into ruin.
Yes, there are some mansions that have been lovingly, proudly preserved. However, no heritage tours are proudly organized, unlike in Bacolod City.
Personally, I'm happy for Negros Occidental, and Bacolod City, for making the preservation of history a top priority for its local culture.
On the other hand, this is me, challenging Iloilo City to do the same.
Photo Credits: Localyte.com