Here we go again, what's that all about? It is about my complete obsession with Asian public markets and readers of my pages will know that I cannot visit the smallest hole in the wall in Asia without having a nosy round the market, taking a few photos and writing a tip about it. I am sure some of them will be wringing their hands in despair on reading this.
I make no apology for this obsession. I simply adore these places, I find them an excellent way to meet local people gong about their daily business and there is a great vibrancy about them. The market in Bacong is a decent size and carries just about everything you will ever need from a screw to a submarine. Well, maybe not literally, but you get the idea. If I have one small complaint about this market it is that, despite the impression given by my appalling photography, it can be quite gloomy inside verging on darkness.
As always, to catch this place at it's best, you need to visit early in the morning.
Directions: Beside National Highway South directly opposite the park anhd extending one block back.
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- Food and Dining
It is rarely I write tips where I have to tick the Gay and Lesbian box before saving but this is one such time. I am by sexual orientation heterosexual even though I do not think that this should be a factor in writing tips. It is therefore that I offer this information based on trusted local information and not personal experience albeiit that I have been to many homosexual establishments around the world and have not had any bad experiences yet.
OK, it is unlikely that a male homosexual will be looking for a place to hang out in Bacong, which really is a small little place. There are much better places, both heterosexual and homosexual, in nearby Dumaguete City but I am working on the principle that I might as well post this and enter it into the great sum of VT knowledge on the principle that it may just be useful to someone sometime.
The photo, whch was taken obviously in daylight, shows the place to have a name of Oz Tribe although, in all honesty, nobody uses these kind of names here. In a town that you can walk end to end in twenty minutes, there is not much need. On Friday and Saturday nights, the big party nights anywhere in the Philippines, there is the obligatory videoke (karaoke) here. Judging by the raucous nature of the sound emanating, I can only assume that they are having a really good time here. I have only seen Byot (a generic term for homosexuals, transexuals and transvestites there and a phonetic spelling), I have not seen any Tomboys (local term for lesbians) so I cannot comment if they frequent this place.
I appear to have become a little marooned in Bacong so, if I have the opportunity, I will pop in here for a beer and report further.
Directions: Take the main road through the market from the Highway to the fist junction, then turn left and it is about 20 yards on the left.
- Gay and Lesbian
There is not a whole lot to do in Bacong, as I have mentioned elsewhere but there is one little place I like to go in the evenings which is great for meeting local people and socialising away from the tourist orientated resorts. To describe it as a bar would perhaps be stretching things a bit, Mydee's is effectively a shack tacked onto the side of the house owned by the eponymous and simply delightful Mydee. That's her in the image modelling the VT flag so beautifully.
Mydee's describes itself as a videoke (karaoke) place and I have seen it done there but very, very rarely. Most of the time it is the local males sitting around drinking Red Horse beer or Tanduay rhum and watching boxing or some form of martial arts on TV. A thing called the UFC is popular here. It is effectively licensed streetfighting in an octagonal cage. It is not really my thing but the guys here seem to go mad for it.
The "bar" also doubles as the local sari-sari (convenience store) selling everything from tinned sardines to chocolate biscuits.
Mydee's is tiny but extremely friendly (ten people is a crowd) and if you are a foreigner you will be pumped with questions which can get quite difficult depending on the level of English of the speaker and the level of rhum consumed. I fnd it great fun and have made many friends here, including the numerous cats who inhabit the place as you can see.
I should clarify that the title of this tip refers equally to the bar and Mydee herself. I know her husband so I can say such a thing!
Well worth a visit.
Directions: Take the road through the middle of the public market from the Highway and it is at the first junction, 300 years along.
Phone: I don't think so.
Website: http://Not a chance.
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- Beer Tasting
Like just about every other settlement in Negros I have visited, Bacong has a park which, along with the market which is usually nearby, form the hub of the place. It is well-kept and a pleasant place for a wander round. In the afternon it gets full of youngsters playing around, and also at the weekends.
There is the obligatory statue of Jose Rizal, the national hero which is common to every park in the Philippines although it was another statue that caught my eye, the very martial looking chap you see on the horse. This is Pantaleon Villegas, better known as Leon Kilat, who was a revolutionary in the Visayas fighting against the Spanish colonialists in the very late 19th century. His story is a fascinating one and it is well worth checking out the Government website I have attached here. If you don't want to read it all, I will precis it for you here.
Pantaleon was born to poor parents in Bacong in 1873 and as a boy was sent to work for a Catholic priest who took him to Manila with him when he transferred there. However, he mistreated the boy who left him and lived on his wits in the capital for a while. It appears priestly abuse is not a modern phenomenon, it has been going on for years. Eventually, he was able to return to Cebu (the adjacent island to Negros) although he soon returned to Manila where he was recruited into the Katipunan, a revolutionary organisation. He was imprisoned but managed to escape and returned to Visayas where he joined other leaders, shortened his Christian name to Leon and adopted the name Kilat which means lightning.
I have long been a believer in the maxim that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist and vice versa. Such is the case here. During the capture of Talisay during the revolution, Kilat's men looted churches, took priests as hostages, burnt stores and summarily executed escapees. High-minded, noble revolutionaries? Perhaps not.
The Spanish brought reinforcements from Mindanao and the rebels retreated to a place called Carcar where Kilat was murdered in his bed by "person or persons unknown". Three of his companions were murdered next day and the bodies were thrown into a pit not outside consecrated ground.
My friend who lives in Bacong tells me that there is a three day fiesta celebrating his birthday, which falls on 27th July should you be in the area then.
I only found out about this remarkable character whilst researching this VT tip, which is another thing I love about this site as so many tips lead to me having to look something up. I start off writing a tip about a fairly unremarkable park in a small vilage and end up learning about a national hero. It's great.
Directions: To the seaward side of the National Highway directly opposite the Public Market.
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