Everytime I go home to Negros Occidental, I always find a new route for a long run. Usually, it will be a run from one town to another and trying to discover the town by foot. You’d never know what you will discover. Previously, I did a run from Pontevedra to Hinigaran, next was Pontevedra to La Carlota. This time, Quennie and I run the Bacolod-Talisay-Silay run. One good thing about a long run outside Manila is that the running blog turns into a travel blog and then to a food blog. Read along and you’ll see what I mean.
Silay is 14 kilometers from Bacolod. But we will be starting from Quennie’s house which is at KM2. So our run to Silay will be just be around 12 kilometer. Our problem was that Quennie needs a 17K to train for the half marathon in Singapore this December. I needed a 26K to train for the Condura 42K. We decided to solve that problem once we got to Silay. But after seeing Silay, we never got to face the problem.
Bacolod to Talisay
A marker welcoming our arrival at Talisay City
I was still dark when we started our run. We have to run slow as not to catch the attention of the dogs who we’re still wandering early in the morning. Quennie is afraid of dogs. Once we got to the highway, we moved steadily to the first city — Talisay City.
We have wide roads in the highway. Even if the cars, buses and trucks we’re fast, we still feel safe at the side of the road. There we’re also plenty of trees on both sides including the center island. We expect a shaded run most of the time. The wind was chilly. It was a perfect day.
I was aware that Silay is filled with ancestral houses but a brochure read another old house in Talisay at Rizal Street. We don’t know it’s exact location. As we entered the city proper, I kept on glancing on the roads for the road signs. Luckily, I spotted a big house with the familiar Spanish architecture just near the corner. It facade reads 1927. It was a different house but just a few meters away is even an old looking house. This is the one that the brochure was talking about. We had our first stop for a round of pictures.
A house built in 1883 in Talisay, Negros Occidental.
This is the Balay ni Tana Dicang. Balay means house. This was built in 1883 for the Lizares clan of Talisay with a total of 18 rooms. It is well kept and in its original structure and authentic contents. Today, it is now a museum. It was not yet open when we arrived so we just took pictures from outside.
Stuck in Silay
This marker resembles the furnace the locas use to make pots and other clay products.
Next stop is the City of Silay. Upon entering the city, you’d see that this is more affluent city than Talisay. There are more ancestral houses and more establishments. The main street is Rizal Street and has a long stretch of houses recognized by the Heritage Institute. Quennie and I just kept running from one corner to the next taking pictures of the house and its marker.
I dont know who owns this house. But this one was my favorite.
I just knew our running route was screwed. Instead of running straight along the highway, Quennie and I ended up running around the city being moved by one house to the next. We are just awed by the colonial houses. This is really a rich city with the prominent families leaving its mark to the history of the city and the Negros province itself. Reading the family names made us wish we are connected with them in some ways. Lacson, Locsin, Ledesma, Golez, Jalandoni. But it was hard to trace such genealogy since my family is from the south. Gavan is too far from Gaston or Lacson or Locsin. Oh well, my lolo was Chinese whose family name was changed to Spanish by some decree.
The Church of San Diego de Alcala in Silay.
Standing in the middle of the city is the church of San Diego de Alcala. It was built in 1925 and was designed by the Italian architect Lucio Bernasconi. That could explain why the church looks like a small basilica with the prominent silver dome.
And now, the Food Blog
A long run and a travel is not complete without tasting the local food. We saw some Filipino delicacies being sold at the church. Unfortunately, we don’t have smaller bills to buy them.
El Ideal has been serving the hacienderos since the 1920s.
There is one legacy that Silay is known for. El Ideal since 1920s. What started as a humble bakery was a hit among the hacienderos. It is strategically located at the mouth of the city where patrons will drop by before and after going to their haciendas. Today, El Ideal still serves the food and baked products it was known for. Plus, the famous guapple pie. There is a Negros Fair in Rockwell where you can taste and buy their pies. You must try them.
We had this chicken mami for the post-run breakfast.
Quennie and I had our breakfast here after our run. We ordered the usual Filipino breakfast. I had the chicken longganisa while Quennie had the tapsilog. The longginisa was ok but the tapsilog was overcooked. It was too dry and too crispy. Our favorite was the chicken mami. It was generous on the chicken and the broth was enough to release our tensed and tired bodies.
El Ideal’s famous guapple pie.
For dessert. Aargh. Plenty of options. Buko pie. Guapple pie. Cheese rolls, cassava cake and even the simple yet smooth and tasty Manapla puto. We decided to buy the Guapple pie. One slice for dine in and a whole pie for takeout. The Guapple pie was delicious. It has a strong cinnamon taste and a crunchy bite of freshly sliced guavas. Sorry, but we were not able to bring extra for pasalubong. Quennie ate them.
And back to the run
We had a total of 17kms. We were running for more than 2 hours and 30 minutes. But if you include the stopovers and the picture taking, we wre actually on the road for more than 3 hours. Quennie was very satisfied with her run. I wasn’t. So the next day, I still did another 15K running from Bacolod to Talisay and then back to BAcolod again.
Along the way, I met a carloman. He is a new forum member who was introduced to the site by ultraman, Ronald. I spotted him on my way back to Talisay. He was doing his long run and a fast one. I had to run at my race pace just to catch up. We run along and had a short chat for the remaining 4K before we took different routes.
And that was another great run in the province. I suggest you do the same when you get home to your provinces. Discover your place by foot. Don’t plan a definite route. Prepare to get lost and let your feet guide you. Looking back, I don’t know which was the best: running 17K from city to city or looking around for the cities best kept attractions, or discovering a fulfilling post race breakfast. All of the above?
I still have a lot of running plans once I get back to Negros. I want to do a long 34K from Bacolod to Victorias City or a 28K uphill run to Mambukal Mountain Resort. And even dreaming of a run in Dumaguete and Siquijor.
Making a stop at Mambulac Bridge in Silay. This was built in 1931.
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