Technology may not have been as flashy as it is today but oh, they had so much fun. Back in the late `80s there was a different kind of hope wafting in the air in Negros. Filipinos had just stepped out of the EDSA revolution and were just getting accustomed to the freedom gained after being in the cellar for a long time via martial law.
Nights out in the late 80s were made up of dinner at Bob's or Chicken House, then to continue the rest of the evening at what was known as the Sandbar. The Sandbar was basically a semi-permanent restaurant and grill out in the Bacolod reclamation area. People fondly referred to the area as "reklè". Nearby the Sandbar were other seaside bars called Ocean Park and Kyosko. These three were located in the vicinity of what is now known as the ferry terminal for the fast craft to Iloilo. Note that in those days, there was no port there. It was just a beach carved out of the continuous dredging at the reclamation area.
Bacolod's night owls would drive out to the end of Burgos Street and converge at the Sandbar, mostly in box-type Lancers or Isuzu pick-ups. Come to think of it, this was a second wave of sorts when one remembers the drive-in days of Bob's and Roli's where Bacolodnons would simply hang out in their cars.
There was no coffee culture to speak of back then. Calea after dinner was a few years around the corner. This time, Red Horse and Pale Pilsen were the mainstays. The more sophisticated ones drank San Miguel Super Dry.
Foot fashion of the day were espadrilles or top-siders. Meet-ups were organized through a different form of mobile communication - the VHF radio. VHFs were either handheld or mounted in the car and undoubtedly, the two meter band as it was called was the "Social Media" of the day.
The night owls would spend time past midnight at the Sandbar with the tunes from Mike Francis and Amii Stewart blaring out of their car stereos installed mostly by Western Electronics. The cars were parked facing out to the sea as if there were a drive-in movie, only that this time, the only thing to see was the NAPOCOR power barge.
These are just some snippets of the past which undoubtedly will get more readers coming back for more. Negros Island is indeed the Sweet Spot of the Philippines!
Photo Credits for Box Type Lancer : Joey Godinez/ http://www.thefreshproduce.net/