Happy Birthday to Me: Two Decades ++

Inset: Yours truly writing my wishes on sand at the beach of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

Yesterday was my birthday, second I spent as a blogger in one score and two years of my life. Throughout my year of adventures, I have blessed to have gone miles in my journey, failed in some endeavors but achieved so many milestones that defined who I am now. Journal, I am tempted to write, almost a novel but I will be bringing you photos of the places I have been, maybe some significant eats, and perhaps the baby steps that turned to great leaps as I continue down the Life Street.

Negros Bloggers

Inset: Negros Bloggers’ monthly meeting on July 2, 2011 at the Museum Cafe.

Negros Bloggers is an 80-member strong premiere blogging association in Negros Island. Nang Glady Tomulto, now Glady Reyes added me in. Core group welcomed me officially on July 2, 2011 in the monthly meeting at Negros Museum Cafe and as a core group member as I won the logo making contest while doing some liaison work in Manila for some events.

The Ruins

Inset: An almost panoramic shot of The Ruins in the afternoon nearing sunset.

Inset: Yours truly inside the The Ruins for the first time on my birthday.

The Ruins in Talisay City, Metro Bacolod was my destination for my 21st Birthday. I did not spend my 21st in a fancy dinner or some elegant reception, just a simple trip with family to Mambukal and The Ruins, with simple family dinner at 18th Street Pala-Pala. Nevertheless, it was my first time visiting The Ruins with a personal debut to the blogosphere.

26th Negros Trade Fair

Inset: The bloggers and media team in the meet-up at Negros Trade Fair in Rockwell Center.

Negros Trade Fair by the Association of Negros Producers is an annual event in Metropolitan Manila where members of ANP bring their products to be showcased here. It has been going on for almost three decades, the longest provincial trade fair in the metropolis. I was honored to be a media partner and organize a bloggers and an online forum meet-up.

Philippine Blog Awards Visayas

Inset: Yours truly in the Negros Bloggers core group “uniform” for Philippine Blog Awards.

Inset: Merci Pasalubong booth at Sen. Dr. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center.

Philippine Blog Awards Visayas 2012 was the first major event organized by the Negros Bloggers and we chose Silay City, the acclaimed Seat of Arts and Culture of Western Visayas and Paris of Negros, as the host city. I went back to help the core group in organizing the event through web and on ground at Sen. Dr. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center.

Silay Bloggers Tour

Inset: Farm community scenes at Hacienda Adela Folklore Village in Silay City.

Inset: Volunteered lettuce picking with other bloggers at Fresh Start Organic Farm.

Silay Bloggers Tour was organized by the Silay City Tourism Office to thank the bloggers for choosing Silay City as the host. City Tourism Officer Ver Pacete toured us around the historic city of 32 ancestral houses, several undeclared, farms and unseen cultural wonders that took to Hacienda Adela Folklore Village and nearby Fresh Start Organic Farm.

Balay Negrense

Inset: Dressed as “Don Marco” checking food at the buffet table in Balay Negrense lawn.

Inset: “Don Marco” turned sacada carrying light canes with Balay Negrense backdrop.

Balay Negrense deserves a separate place since it was my first time to visit the ancestral house-musuem and I was so happy about the bloggers’ reception given to us by Fresh Start and the City Government of Silay. The mansion was once owned by the family of Yves Germain Gaston, the French haciendero. It now houses display on Negrense culture and lifestyle.

Philippine Blog Awards Luzon

Inset: In the Philippine Blog Awards Luzon and National Leg at RCBC Auditorium.

Philippine Blog Awards Luzon and the National Leg were held together at the RCBC Auditorium in RCBC Plaza, Ayala Center in the City of Makati. I was not nominated but was there to represent for Negros Bloggers and lone blogger finalist from our group. I was able to network with some interesting bloggers. This year, I wish to make it as a finalist for PBA L&N.

Nabas, Aklan

Inset: Participated in “buso” or pull fishing with the fisher community of Nabas, Aklan.

Inset: Rocky outcrops below a cliff in Nabas, Aklan facing the Visayas Sea.

Nabas, Aklan may not be familiar to the ears except to those tourists wo travel from southern Panay, grudgingly look at the image at Google Maps if they are near Boracay already, though it hides a charm not commonly seen. I went on a cultural immersion in that town and stayed close to the fishing community. I joined them one morning in buso or pull fishing.

Christmas Tour

Inset: Yours truly with my guest, Dr. Richard Espeno, a physician working in Singapore.

Inset: The Hinigaran Presidencia or Municipal Hall at the town south of Bacolod City.

Dr. Richard Espeno, physician friend of mine who works in Singapore, came to Bacolod for him to see it first time so I acted as his guide. We were not able to go to the beach but he was able to experience at least chunk of Negrense culture and heritage. We also went to Hinigaran and tasted seafood, also ate at Mila’s. It was also my first time in that Negros town.

When In Manila

Inset: Some of my friends from When In Manila on a feature assignment at Bar Dolci.

Inset: Senior Writer Ivy Say :”>, the one taking the photo of the group in Bar Dolci.

When In Manila is a blog turned online magazine headed by Vince Golangco, the Editor-in-Chief and DJ at the Mellow 94.7. I sent my application of sorts with an article about The Ruins attached. He immediately accepted me and rose up the ranks fast as Senior Writer. Most of my blogging breakthroughs in Manila are because of When In Manila and friends.

Food Features

Inset: PR Officer Nana Nadal of Uncle Cheffy and other related group of restaurants.

Inset: Baby back ribs from Uncle Cheffy at dinner in their Ortigas Branch at Ruby Road.

Uncle Cheffy was my first full food feature at When In Manila and this led me to several more food features that became my specialty of sorts in the online magazine. This led me to focus more on food with travel at my own blog as well though I feature other things on interior design and fashion if they are Negrense products. From here on, read my food articles.

El Nido Resorts

Inset: Yours truly at El Nido Resorts with bloggers Melo and Brian with GMCI PR Officer Nella.

Inset: Water cottages at Miniloc Island, one of the islands managed by El Nido Resorts.

El Nido Resorts was my first sponsored tour as a blogger which I got via When In Manila. I was the first one to reply in an email sent by DJ Vince hence another breakthrough. It was my first time in Palawan and flying in a turboprop plane as well. I was with travel bloggers and a PR officer from Geiser Maclang. We went to Apulit, Lagen and Miniloc Islands.

Inset: Yours truly frolicking and enjoying the moment at Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

My birthday is just the start of another year for blogging and my chosen career. I give thanks to the Lord God Almighty who keeps me safe and provides for my needs, even in my trying times. My family as well for supporting me all the way in my writing stuff and for keeping me company in some features. Mark and Jo Tan, especially Ivy Say, who keeps me up in my articles for When In Manila. When In Manila, GCF Ortigas and blogger friends, muchas gracias y Dios bendiga!


“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV 1984


About Mark Mayo - Magallanes

MARK MAYO - MAGALLANES – blogger by passion, cook by hobby, student by life, theater actor by fate, writer by work, and Christian by grace. Part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish by blood, he is proudly 100% Negrénse. His love for his home Island of Negros, heritage and lifestyle has led him to write much about it and full-time, all-time. View all posts by Mark Mayo - Magallanes

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