Over a year ago Ramon Severino Conlu, Jr., the researcher behind The Ledesma Genealogy Book, created a Facebook Group, the Familia Ledesma of Jaro, Iloilo. The group’s on-line membership grew from an initial few hundreds to more than a thousand in a few month's time. That was when Ramon and other members like Ekoy Golez, Mardi Mapa Suplido, Ging Palanca and Marie Silva Vallejo began entertaining the idea that a grand reunion could very well happen. A series of monthly meetings were started and the adhoc committee proposed for a three-day affair. Several dates were mentioned but the most feasible was May 24 to 26, 2013. The people in the organizing team knew that it was going to be an ambitious project considering that the Ledesmas are generally not the social type. But then, if not now...when?
Monday, May 20, 2013
Monday, January 14, 2013
On the foothills of Mt. Silay (also known as Mt. Mandalagan) lies the village of Patag, the site of the Japanese military's last stand in Western Visayas during World War II. In 1945, U.S. military forces landed in Negros Island. The occupying forces of the Nagano Detachment of the Japanese Imperial Army retreated to Silay and proceeded up Mt. Silay to Patag where they were prepared to make a stand. My father (they had moved from the city to the haciendas to avoid the Japanese) would tell me stories of how they can hear the passing of the trains filled with the fully armed soldiers. To say that it was scary was an understatement. The Japanese were defeated by military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth and soldiers of the U.S. 40th Infantry Division with help from the local guerrilla fighters. To honor all those who died in that battle, the Japanese government built a Friendship Shrine as a memorial. Not to be outdone, there is also a WWII memorial dedicated to the Filipino and American soldiers.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Last October 21, 2012, sixteen food and travel bloggers from all over the country who were here for the Masskara Festival, came on a mini-tour of Silay, organized by the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. This side trip was made possible with the free use of the new Merci bus courtesy of it's CEO, Mr. Jonathan Lo. We were only going to do a half-day tour because the bloggers were scheduled to watch the Masskara street dancing in the afternoon. The short itinerary included visiting the two lifestyle museums of the city, the Bernardino Jalandoni House (Pink House) and the Yves Gaston House (Balay Negrense). We stopped for a while for some photo-ops at the Maria Ledesma Golez House, now a bank, the RCBC and the Lope Severino Building, half of which is now a hotel and the other half, commercial stores.
Next stop was the Jose Gamboa Ancestral House which was used in part for the iconic movie, Oro, Plata, Mata. This house is not open to the public but it's current owner, Mr. Buddy Jison was very kind to allow access to his ancestral home. In fact, he personally welcomed and showed us around, giving us some history about the house.
|photo of Jose Gamboa House courtesy of Maricar Dabao of Viaje Negrense|
The next ancestral house we visited was that of Dr. Jose C. Locsin, Silay's most notable son. This house is also a private home but it's occupants, Neil Solomon "Solo" Locsin and Tita Charet Locsin willingly opened it's doors to us. Solo is Dr. Locsin's grandson and also a consultant of the city, responsible for many of it's current historical and cultural projects. The house is beautifully preserved and is one of the biggest in the city. It is also a house which has witnessed history happen within it's walls.
|photo of Dr. Jose C. Locsin Ancestral House courtesy of Neil Solomon Locsin|
We were served with homemade tsokolate and biscocho, a traditional Silay merienda, at the Locsin house and from there, we finished our short tour passing by the Lacson house for some food tasting of original Silay recipes and then on to the San Diego Cathedral for a quick view of the church and the ruins of the original church behind it.
To our blogger friends...hasta la vista! See you next year and we promise to give you a more comprehensive tour of my beloved Silay...where life is indeed sweeter and the past is forever!
- I am a member of the working class, a daughter, a sister, a mom, a physician, a caregiver, the family driver and troubleshooter, house princess aka señorita, nurturer, meddler, Blogger etc. I am Roman Catholic and have great faith and trust in God and His Divine providence and intervention.
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