Budget meals on a tight budget is pretty much a big deal when it comes to living in a big progressive city with sanitation also a a main concern. However, Bacólod is also full of budget places for you to have your meal especially in the City’s Central Market. After walking with my cousin to his school, I proceeded to grab a low budget lunch. Forget about the streetside carinderia where hygiene is pretty much not in question but something to be avoided. I went to inside the Central Market to check the place out especially homemade pasalubongs to arts and crafts. Central Market is not a typical public market for most of the enterprises in there are either for general services, your pasalubong selections and some department store items.
I even saw a native hat as beautiful as my signature “hacienda hat” with some native bags too and room organizers. Your expensive native items in certain stores in Metropolitan Manila comes here in bundles and cheap too. When you go for a CAT or Boy Scout uniform, this is the place to go to as well. Some tight budgeted local basketball leagues also go to the Central Market to have their jerseys or jackets made. While I was walking around, I was suddenly interrupted by a lady who was inviting me to have lunch in their little stall or have some halo-halo. Halo-halo? I remember this place where Mom and I used to have halo-halo when I had my Boy Scout and CAT Uniforms made.
After some debates with myself, I gave in and had a seat. After all, I miss their halo-halo. Since I did not have lunch yet, I ordered a bowl of linaga. Linaga in Bacólod is the version of nilaga as the name so implies. After a few years of not being inside, the Central Market is pretty much alive after all but it needs the necessary renovations too to catch up with the growing trend of mall shopping. For some tourists, this is still the place to go to for some pasalubong. In fact, I have read in some other travelogues that recommends the City’s Central Market as the pasalubong destination. Not long after, my order of linaga arrived.
This bowl of linaga is actually your typical Bacólod linaga but still, the flavor is quite an improvement from the bowls I’ve had in the Metro. However typical, I miss the sourness of batwan in the soup. Though both batwan and tamarind are sour, batwan has a sourness that has a character of being pleasant to the tongue. So much for the linaga for what I went after here is their halo-halo.
I was given a full bowl for my halo-halo. The lady managing the little eatery even went out of way to explain about the contents of the halo-halo and even put an extra milk on it. For a presentation, it was really colorful and apt for the sunny afternoon. There was those “oranged” bananas, oranged because it was preserved in brown sugar for a bit of time to improve the taste. Instead of ube or purple yam, they used camote or sweet potatoes also preserved in brown sugar. With a mix of buko pandan, jellies and sago, it was hearty and topped with pinipig on top. The bowl was actually big but I managed to finish it off with the help of a few teaspoon of sugar. Hearty meal it indeed was for a low budget one. Stay tuned for more of your Bacólod On Low Budget treats here by your Hacienda Correspondent. Next stop, Silay City for the Philippine Blog Awards Visayas.