Eating Well in Bacolod

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Friday, December 28, 2012

Big Whinge about Oceanjet
Yesterday's trip to Guimaras Island must had worn my patience really thin. At the port, Oceanjet had along queue out in the sun for passengers trying to purchase the 1245 pm tickets to Bacolod. Not only everyone was queued out in the sun for an hour, by the time I got to the counter, I barely missed out on the 1245 pm ticket by three passengers. I had to settle for a 215 pm departure instead. The ticketing system was totally inefficient (Okay, I am whingeing here). Oceanjet system made everyone queued in the same line, including passengers purchasing advance tickets for the weekend. The queue was too long and unnecessary. To make matters worse, you have to re-queue to pay for your terminal fee.
Ong Bun Pension House
Thankfully the journey to Bacolod went smoothly and painlessly. From the port at Bacolod, I can spot the mega-enormous SM City shopping mall at a distance standing like a landmark. I triked to town but had to make my way on foot to enquire about available rooms at various guesthouses. Check Inn had cheap rooms but completely booked out, Bascon Hotel eluded an uneasy creepy atmosphere (a dimly lit myriad of quiet corridors to their rooms) and finally settled for Ong Bun Pension House, across from the central market. It was a steal for 500 php  including air conditioning, cable TV, ensuite and wifi (unreliable but).
Manokan Country
Throughout the Philippines, this local fast food chain Mang Inasal has become an institution and it originated from Bacolod. Well, the grilled chicken was. The lemon and soy marinated chargrilled chicken in a stick is to die for, according to local fans. Mang Inasal has made this simple bbq chicken into a national success and icon. So I made way to Manokan Country - a strip of restos near SM City mall, to sample the real deal. This must be my early signs of dementia - the minute I sat down, I proceeded to order steamed oysters and crab meat hotplate, completely forgotten about the reason I came to Manokan Country. I only came to my realisation after I stepped out of the resto, happy in my belly.
Lively Nightlife
The central market came alive after dark with the streets lined with seafood stalls and dotted with bright light bulbs. It looked like all the aunties of Bacolod had descended on the market, picking fruits and bargaining over today's catch from the sea. Around the city plaza, snack stalls well positioned to cater to hordes of shoppers returning from SM City mall, looking something to snack on. A very popular snack was the green mango slices drenched in soy and chilli vinegar. San Sebastian Cathedral which looked rather menacing in the day, now looked dressed up with neon lights outlining the cathedral's form and fenestrations.
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