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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, December 7, 2017

A festival themed Christmas

LA VIDA NEGRENSE

The annual Christmas party of Merzci Pasalubong Center was held at Pavillon Hotel in Bacolod City, and this year's theme of the celebration was all about top festivals in Negros Island.

It was a well-attended Christmas party, with close to a thousand-strong workforce in attendance. All of Merzci's 54 branches in Western Visayas were represented, including their flagship stores in Negros Occidental, Panay Island, and in Negros Oriental. Also joining the early Christmas party were businessmen Adrian Tan of La Filipina Trading, and Hector Lopez of Occidental Ice Plant and Cold Storage.

Welcoming everyone to a night of festivities, fun and prizes was Femmy Magbanua, PR and Events manager. Merzci's Negros Festival presentors were the General Services department in their Kalag-kalag Festival-inspired costumes and dance number, The Production department represented by Romeo Sumugat and Jussie Mahilum in their MassKara Festival themed presentation, the Admin department in their Pinta Flores Festival-themed presentation, the Operations department in their awesome Sinulog Festival attires, the Logistics department glowing in their Bailes de Luces attire, and the Pakway employees garbed as Pasalamat Festival dancers. Judges that night were beauty queen Jan Nichole Uy, Jennylind Cordero, and Dr. Mary Ann Base.

Winners for this year's Showtime Presentation were The Production department as Champion, General Services – 1 st runner-up, Operations Dep't - 2 nd runner-up, Logistics Dep't - 3 rd runner-up, Office Admin – 4 th runner-up, and Pakyaw - 5 th runner-up.*

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Laugh and learn
in La Castellana

There are days when you just have to go out and take a road trip somewhere to meet friends, attend a meeting, join a teambuilding activity, learn new things, and experience the natural wonders at its best.

With the season in a happy mode, we went to the town of La Castellana, passing through the coastal towns of Bago and Valladolid, dropping by San Enrique for freshly cooked buko pie, and off to the booming town of Pontevedra. Turning left via Brgy. Antipolo, we arrived about two hours after and met with tourism officer Lynette Cervantes at the plaza. Nearby is the Municipal Tourism Office and a three-bedroom hostel. A painting of Mount Kanlaon is becoming an attraction for groufies, too. It was a fine sunny morning and we met tourism officers from all over Negros for the yearend assessment and Christmas party.

The drive to Brgy. Masulog was fast, considering the well paved roads and less traffic, we were already at the foot of Mt. Kanlaon, where a hostel is located at Calapnagan and the ecotourism canteen; they serve native coffee grown in the area. The destination was La Blanca resort which is open to the public, with its swimming pool for those who want to swim, relax under the sun, and have a great view of rice terraces and Mount Kanlaon up close and personal, a fully air-conditioned function room for meetings, and family gatherings. It is suggested though to bring food, as the nearest convenience store is more than 30 minutes away.

La Castellana's best find for the day is its lechon, proudly promoted by Mayor Mhay; we also brought along the mouth-watering mango flavoured ‘dirty ice cream' from Murcia, this is not dirty at all, it's a term named after locally-made ice creams in carts. We had an exchange of gifts after all municipal and city tourism officers presented their accomplishments.

The group left the resort at about five in the afternoon, we dropped by the DENR center where you find tall trees and feel the cool breeze, reminding us that, indeed, this is the season to be happy.

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The Negrense Blogging Society recently attended the switch-on ceremony of the Christmas Tree at L'Fisher Hotel, wearing all white in time for the Christmas party.

This is just the first week of December, one way or the other, parties will be fun, exciting and gastronomic, be sure to take your cholesterol meds, or limit your intake by having just a little of everything. Happy holidays!*

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Laugh and learn in La Castellana

   
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