Category Archives: Negros Oriental

Merci Contributes to Negros Tourism with Tourist Bus Launch


Inset: The new Merci Bus, a tourist bus, parked outside the new City Hall.

Merci Pasalubong, the largest pasalubong retail chain in Negros Island and one of the largest in the Philippines, gives back to the Island’s tourism industry as they will launch their latest contribution – Merci (tourist) Bus. Tour groups wishing to travel around Negros can now enjoy the comforts offered by this spacious 31-seater bus with reclining seats and an inbuilt entertainment system for long travels. The bus medicine kits, fire extinguishers and a variety of communications systems in case of possible emergencies.

Inset: The interior shot with the reclining seats of the 31-seater Merci Bus.

As Merci Pasalubong is known for its yummy pasalubong delicacies, they will also be offering for sale Merci food items onboard for a smooth trip without having to go on a stopover to buy food. For a special package, the food items will be served onboard the bus while those interested can get a bonus package of touring the Merci Commissary Compound to see first hand how the quality Merci products are made. Tour participants will be given complimentary bottled water and fans, fit for summer tours in the Negros Island.

Inset: The Merci Bus now ready to service guests visiting Negros Island.

The Merci Bus will be ready to service our valuable guests and tourists around the wonderful attractions of Negros Island as it will be launched at the steps of the Provincial Capitol of Occidental Negros on October 3, 2012, Wednesday, 3pm in Bacolod City graced by Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. For more information on the Merci Shuttle Bus, please call Landline (034) 702-3189 or mobile numbers Globe 0917-3048267, Smart 0928-5041751 or Sun 0922-2813181 or email Ria Akamatsu at ria.akamatsu@merci.com.ph.


Hope Shines Brighter in Negros for the 27th Negros Trade Fair


Inset: Official poster of the 27th Negros Trade Fair – Beyond Limits at Rockwell Tent.

Image of men in fashionable clothes, dancing to the latest beats, drinking the most expensive imported wines, these are the Manila based Negrenses taking part in the almost bacchanalian parties of the Kahirup Society. The onset of the sugar crisis in the 1980’s has stopped these parties altogether the Negros Trade Fair has replaced it as the Negrenses’ opportunity for socio-civic interaction now with a purpose, and that is to help their poor kasimanwas back home, reeling from the effects of what was once a mighty industry. Now on its 27th year, the Association of Negros Producers has reflected the desire to go beyond limits for this 5-day event.

Inset: Interior of the Negros Showroom branch in Buendia Avenue, Makati City.

Inset: One of the trendy house lamps available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Inset: Durable and stylish dinner table at the Negros Showroom Makati available for sale.

Inviting some bloggers for a preview of the upcoming 27th Negros Trade Fair, Negros Showroom Makati Manager Mike Claparols, descendant of the first and only Negros Republic President Aniceto Lacson, entertained guests in the old Negrense way of serving an afternoon coffee treat of Negrense delicacies. This homey showroom reminds guests of the lifestyle back home in Negros where people come in the afternoon to have a small chat over coffee and treats. The Negros Showroom Makati’s space was given by the Department of Trade and Industry for use of the Association of Negros Producers as a showroom until December 31, 2012 this year.

Inset: Piaya and barquillos from Virgie’s served in Nong Mike’s ceramic products.

Inset: Caramel Tarts, also from Virgie’s, one of the Negros Showroom Makati bestsellers.

Inset: Quan’s napoleones served fresh from their commissary in Dian St., Makati City.

The treats served were best seller ones like the signature Piaya and Napoleones from Bacolod. Sweetness from the treats reminds us very well of not just the sugar industry but also the innate sweetness and gentleness of the Negrenses. Nong Mike remembered the days where people would simply go to a relative’s house and how the host would let out a feast of sweet treats for the visitors. Much of the delicacies we see now are innovations by the home cooks who got their ideas from abroad or simply by the needs of the times as people adapt. Abundance of sugar with availability of ingredients and flour has led to innate culinary creativity of the Negrenses.

Inset: Combination of capers, basil and olive oil makes up this delicious vegetarian pate.

Inset: Addicting natural squid rings available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Inset: Negrense twist to the original Italian puttanesca sauce from Jarvis.

There are quite a lot of people who carelessly classify Negrense cuisine as “Ilonggo cuisine” due to undeniable similiarities in some dishes up to the name but, educated tongues would know that the food culture has gone beyond its original Ilonggo offshoot just a century ago, to a unique body of cuisine. Negrenses are well-traveled people and has so adopted cooking styles from various regions of the Philippines and even foreign influences, mainly Spanish, with some Italian, Mexican and Chinese. Fusion is best seen in the various recipe from other places, but blended well with local ingredients that the taste has now become characteristically Negrense.

Inset: Trendy but durable hand bags made of local materials in Negros by Kiculo

Inset: Export-quality local and organically-made personal care items from Fresh Start Organic.

Inset: Girls’ Accessories available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Quality and advocacy mixes well for the Association of Negros Producers where products have wonderful stories behind them. The years of experience with Negros Trade Fair and the Negrenses’ creativity has ingrained a sense of quality for each of the products sold by the association, showroom and trade fair. Each has been carefully scrutinized to pass a standard test that most items sold are vailable for export. One of the success stories is Fresh Start Organic that started almost a decade ago and has been leading in the Island push for organic products. Aside from organic produce, they have also personal care items entirely from organic sources.

Inset: PUREZA The Story of Negros Sugar will be showing for the Negros Trade Fair.

Negrense products are merely a reflection of the actual welcoming warmth of Negrenses. Negros Trade Fair and Negros Showroom  Makati are unique chances for Manileños to have a feel of little bit of Negros in the middle of the busy Rockwell Center and Buendia Avenue. PUREZA The Story of Negros Sugar will screen tomorrow, September 25, 9pm at Power Plant Cinema 6 to give us a preview of a crisis that started this all. I recommend the Negros Trade Fair for your early shopping needs or just for your fancy of export quality products for your daily needs. Do set one day between September 26 to 30 to visit the little bit of Negros at the Rockwell Tent.


Dexter’s Pizza in Dumaguete City


My Saturday was tiring filled with travel and meetings. I was back in Dumaguete City for an important meeting with AGLOW Philippines and meet a good friend afterwards whom I’ve not seen for quite awhile.

Roaming around downtown area gave me a good idea to try a local spa for their promo of an hour massage at P 185.00 only. After the relaxing massage came the idea of eating somewhere near the place where I was staying.

Who could have thought that you’ll find a pizza house somewhere in Burgos Street which is filled with local and international acclaimed restaurants.

I noticed that there was no one inside the pizza house which made me to decide to choose it for faster accommodation. There was no one at the counter at first but when the personnel saw me standing at the counter, she immediately came out and offered me their “specialties”.

Having a short conversation with her led me to know a few things about the store.

For one, they have more than 5 stores across Negros Oriental with 2 within the city area. There are 2 stores in Dumaguete City, one located near the city hall and the other one near the former mayor’s house.

Second, they opened a year ago and the stores in Dumaguete and the rest of Negros Oriental are branched-out from their main store in Manila. Their prices are quite the same from all their branches in Dumaguete and the neighboring cities.

Third, they specialize in home made pizza on a thick crust.

After sharing these details, we went through their menu and noticed that they have a lot of flavors to offer for a hungry man. To note, they have 4 major courses with all time fave,healthy cravings,gourmet and premium. 

They have a total of more than 20 pizza flavors ranging from 6 in. (kiddie),10in. (medium), 12in. (large),15in. (party) for their supreme sizes which only ranges from P 65.00 to P 285.00 per order.

After getting dizzy choosing which one to pick, I settled with their latest craze“Shawarma Pizza” on medium size which by the way cost around P 185.00.

The Shawarma delight is “oozing” with cheese and tastes like your typical “shawarma” recipe minus the meat. There were only a few shredded meat on the thick crust pizza and a few onions and veggies that could have ignited the cheese and sauce to it’s full flavor.

The pizza can really satisfy an empty stomach,especially it’s hot sauce (verde “something…”! I was able to finish 6 slices alone and can rate it at 7 out 8 for flavor and value. Although I was really hungry at that time but I think I really ate it out of the tasty sauce instead of being “hungry”.

Conclusion:

The top pick for the month can make you settle for the medium size pizza since it’s 12 inches can satisfy one man’s fill with but if you’re ordering for a group (or a couple with a big appetite!), I would greatly advice to get their party size delight.

Picky or not, the price is above average from your typical pizza house in Dumaguete City. Not to be biased about it, the one in Piapi tastes better on a thin or thick crust pizza at a cheaper price.

But if you’re in downtown area and at the hem of local diners and restaurants in the vicinity, Dexter’s Pizza is one good choice for a laidback weekend without rice.