Bacolod Escapade Finale

And so I reach my final day of adventure at Bacolod, the city of food, smiles, food, and a whole lot of gorgeous food… Day 4 of the Visayas Cycle Tour Series.

After that Birthday Escapade, this day marks my second to the last day in Bacolod. As usual, my cousins were in the driver’s seat. They wanted to take me to Mambukal Hot Springs since they knew I wasn’t able to go there the last time, but before that they wanted to take me to Victorias City to see the so-called “Church of the Angry Christ”.

Early this morning, with my cousin Toffee and her parents, we went out for a drive to Victorias City to visit that intriguing church. After about an hour of driving we have reached our destination, the Victorias Milling Company. The Victorias Milling Company (VMCI) compound processes the sugarcane from all over Negros into sugar, and it also houses the St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church, or more popularly known as the “Church of the Angry Christ”.

Upon entering the compound I was greeted by remnants of the old days; old houses, old steam locomotives and old railway tracks. It’s amazing to see that those survived given the modernization needed to cope up with the times, they really did something to maintain the history of the place.

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We then went on to visit the church, and the “Angry Christ” monicker really was nagging at my subconscious. I kept wondering what was in that church for it to gain that recognition. Minutes after, we saw the church in the distance and I knew then that my questions would be answered. Upon entering the premises I was greeted by a very interesting scuplture, that of a head of a carabao. On closer inspection I found that it was actually a sundial, however I had no way of checking its accuracy since the sun hid behind the clouds for most of the day.

From there we headed directly to the church and went inside, and I was immediately blown away by what I saw. The Angry Christ, in all its glory. A fabulous painting done over the whole altar, and up the skylight. Staring at that fabulous mural, I was rendered speechless and for some reason I got goosebumps all over. Words cannot properly describe what I saw and felt, you have to see it in person. On further reflection I realized the term angry did not really sit well with it, “stern” might be a better description.

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After saying a quick prayer we went out in the opposite direction and headed straight for our next itinerary, the Mambukal Hot Spring Resort, about over an hour’s drive away. It was almost lunch time, and I was getting hungry. It was a good thing my cousin stopped by a roadside stall selling puto and bibingka, which tasted really good by the way.

When we reached the resort, we took a short trip around for some pictures before settling down at the restaurant for lunch. We ordered Tinola and Adobong Native Chicken, Sizzling Pork Belly with Mango, Beef Tapa, and mango shake. The sizzling pork belly with mango and cream was absolutely delicious, I ate two orders of the stuff.

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With our hunger sated it was time for the main event, a dip at the hot springs! We changed into our swimwear and proceeded to springs. As we approached I could really see the steam rising up from the pool, I was a bit afraid it was too hot. But seeing all the people around, I thought it couldn’t be THAT hot. And so I slowly entered, taking time to get used to the heat until I managed to fully submerge myself into the pool.

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The water was not that hot, but we were advised to take a quick break under the cold shower every so often so we would not get dehydrated. We were sweating a bit, but it was so relaxing inside the pool so we stayed for quite a while before finally getting out to see the waterfalls. We then rinsed off with a cold shower and prepared to take a short trek to the falls.

Upon reaching the entrance to the trail, we were greeted by the guides who then asked us to sign the manifesto before allowing us to proceed to the falls. We took a short 15-minute walk up the trails with a guide to lead us. He told us that he could only take us to the first waterfall since the recent earthquakes have made the trails further up quite dangerous. We passed by hanging bridges up above the huge trees, we wanted to go up but the guide said that we’re not allowed to because the bridges were not fit to be crossed.

After a few minutes we began to hear the roar of the falls, and our pace quickened quite a bit. We finally reached the first waterfall, untouched and naturally beautiful. We took time to enjoy the scene and the sound of nature, take a couple of pictures before going back down. I really wanted to see the other 6 falls, but it would to wait another time. I told myself I’d be back, but this time to stay the night and enjoy the amenities the resort has to offer.

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After the trip to the waterfalls, we got to the van and went back out to the city. We were scheduled to have a despedida dinner and a massage to end the adventure-filled week in Bacolod. We arrived just in time for dinner so we proceeded to the resto where my cousin wanted me to taste bacon and corned beef steak. I was so hungry that I didn’t care what those were, until they served the food to us.

The servings were huge, and the meat was cooked and seasoned to perfection. I really felt I was eating bacon and corned beef, except that it was in steak slices. I was so full then, until my cousin ordered sans rival for dessert, which left me bloated all the more. And since we had some time before the massage, we set out to walk and see some sights and allow our tummies to settle.

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At the appointed time, we went to the spa. We were given time to freshen up before indulging in a luxurious 90-minute massage to soothe our bodies. We were supposed to head home after the massage but a couple of Toffee’s friends came by and had their massage and it was decided that we would go out and hang out. We went to a couple of spots but they were either closed or closing so we went to a hotel which we were sure was still open, had a couple of beers and a lively conversation ensued.

It was getting late, and the others still had work the next day so we decided to call it a night and head home. It was a great way to end the day, and a magnificent way to end my Bacolod Escapade.

See you on my next adventure!

Click here to see the rest of the pics.

Up next: Iloilo in a Rush!

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About franciscolme

I've had fantasies of touring all the 7,107 islands (well, I guess not ALL of them) of the Philippines on a bike ever since I was introduced to riding folding bikes over a year ago; it sure has opened up a whole new world, or rather, a new perspective in seeing the places I used to frequent. Touring on a bicycle has shown me sights I rarely see when riding in any other means of transportation. It allows me to take time and absorb the sights and sounds each place has to offer.

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