Mt Kanlaon is Another Year Older

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

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Where I stayed
F & C Inn

Flag of Philippines  , Central Visayas,
Monday, December 31, 2012

Back in Time
New Year's Eve! Woke up pretty to catch a jeepney back to San Enrique to meet Felis at 845 am. Finally I get to see a familiar face in a foreign land. Chatted some and even get to walk around the community fish pond behind their property. Her parent's home shows it's age beautifully with the charismatic weathered surfaces. Adequately shaded by fruit trees around the house, morning sunlight that came through the windows lent a warmth to the old world charm of the antiqued interiors. The charred but still functional kitchen stove reminded me of my grandma's squatter home in Singapore decades ago. Nowadays you have to pay to see a mock up in a museum. This really felt like travelling back in time.
La Carlota/Canlaon Bus Route
Returned to La Carlota and proceeded to Ceres bus terminal to catch the Canlaon bus. The first bus came at 1230 pm but was so packed that passengers were hanging off the rails at the door. Sensing that it would be a similar case for the next bus, I contemplated boarding the bus to Bacolod and get myself a seat on the Canlaon bus instead. But I waited and fortunately the next bus had just enough room for me to stand in the aisle. I only had to stand for an hour before the passengers began to offload at various towns and free up some seats. Just in time for the scenic stretch of the La Carlota/Canlaon bus route. On the left side, we had Mt Kanlaon looming graciously and the right side featured vast farming fields and low mountainous landscapes stretching expansively. Even with grey skies, Mt Kanlaon kept me mesmerized with clouds shrouding the peak like a shy sleeping giant. 
F & C Inn
The town of Canlaon is right at the base of the volcano. My very comfortable room at F & C Inn had a view out to the picturesque volcano for which I was really happy about. Truly impressed with F & C Inn's clean and spotless accommodation. Only 500 php a night for a fan room with TV and ensuite. You don't need air conditioning here at Canlaon. It is rather cool here at this time of the year. My best stay in the trip so far. It wasn't ideal trying to photograph Mt Kanlaon today due to the overcast skies and rain, so I made my way to Kanlaon abattoir which I spotted on my way into town.
Slaughter of the Sow
The abattoir crew was just about to slaughter their fourth piglet and I hastily descended to the blood soaked sacrificial alter. The said pig was squealing manically before being held down and stuck with a knife into the throat, draining blood into a container. It was over in 5 minutes. Porky was given a rinse and lowered immediately into hot water pit where the crew slowly removed the pig's hair. That cauldron of hot water had already turned into a big pot of bloody pork soup. The odour was not as I expected in an abattoir. I am pretty sensitive with odours but this being an open space abattoir, the ventilation must had carried the stench away. I continued snapping photos, subconsciously stepping gently on puddles of blood, careful not to get myself soiled. The last piglet was led down to its doom, and bound by ropes on its trotters soon after. I was amazed at the piglet being oblivious to the other slaughtered pigs lying around cut up. The crew was pretty amused at my interest. Some even posed for me.
Two Minutes to Midnight
I hurried to photograph the town before rain fell and I had to seek shelter at the market. Many stalls were closed for holiday but two food stalls remained open coupled with locals entertaining themselves at the videoke machines. I would think Canlaon is a rather quiet and peaceful town but not today. Alot of fireworks exchanged hands when I passed the explosives stalls near F & C Inn. Random explosions and firing of firecrackers began long before midnight, going off at various places. Some tame but some sounded like machine gunfire and military grade explosions. It gathered momentum and by midnight it was simple chaos. I walked out to the market guided only by the fireworks in the sky. Some looked pretty expensive with elaborate colours and scale to rival professional fireworks. The din went on for ages into the morning but the best part was the 45 minutes after midnight when the nightsky simply lit up with fireworks continuously and randomly. Happy New Year 2013!
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