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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mrs. Brown's 100 th birthday

The Familia Leonardia celebrated the 100 th birthday of their beloved mother, the late Ester Ramos Leonardia, on July 17.

The thanksgiving and birthday mass was held 5:30 p.m. at the Queen of Peace, then they were off to the Bacolod Memorial Park, to the burial site of their parents, the late Jose and Ester Leonardia, where the family, relatives and close friends prayed and stayed for almost an hour.

They then proceeded to the home the couple built for their family at Rosario Street, for the birthday dinner celebration.

Ester, whose siblings and relatives affectionately called “Mrs. Brown,” and Jose “Mr. Brown,” had nine children. The eldest, Perla, graduated valedictorian at the LCC High School and earned a master's degree with benemeritus honors. Ninfa, the first woman president of the Negros Press Club for two terms, wrote for Reuters International, Business World, the Daily Inquirer, and is the president and editor-in-chief of the Visayan DAILY STAR, of which she is one of the founders.

Jose Jr. or Joe, was a noted couturier and artist, and a high school honor student; Cesar, a sugar planter, fighting cock breeder, is a retired member of the Ceneco Board; Adolfo “Nene”, an entrepreneur, is manager and proprietor of the N&M pharmacy chain; Daniel, retired manager of Insular Life in Iloilo, Roxas and Bacolod; Prospero “Pros,” is an architect and supervisor of Star Printing Corp.; Andres, cum laude graduate from the University of St La Salle, former department manager of Ceneco, and general manager of Vresco;

The youngest is Evelio “Bing”, USLS cum laude graduate, who was elected councilor, vice mayor, mayor, and is now congressman of the lone district of Bacolod.

All the Leonardia siblings graduated from the LCC High School.

While we were enjoying our dinner, with all the grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews and nieces of the deceased couple, we were entertained by violinist Nimrod Villamarzo, who played “remember when” tunes to our heart's delight.*

Remember: Time is a friend when you use it to strengthen your friendship with Jesus! To escape God's wrath, embrace God's love.*

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Plaza de 6 de Noviembre

History Notes

This is the official name of the park at the center of Bacolod, which is popularly called the Bacolod Public Plaza.

This name has been lost for generations, especially after the introduction of English as a medium in all official documents since 1911. The adoption of the official name, however, was made in 1924 by the act of the Consejo Municipal of Bacolod.

The plaza then honors the day of the surrender of the Spanish government in Negros, after the Negros revolt of November 5, 1898. The surrender rites, however, were held in the house of Luis Luzurriaga about two blocks away.

The plaza has two portions, one owned by the City government and the other half by the Diocese of Bacolod. Part of the city-owned portion was donated by Don Jose Vicente Locsin Gonzaga in whose memory the street, JV Gonzaga is named. The other portion right across the present Banco de Oro was owned by the Spanish government. It was a park in front of the tribunal. The tribunal land became the property first of the Republica de Negros in 1898 and when this government was abolished in 1901, it was taken over by the province of Occidental Negros. The province ceded this portion to Bacolod in March 1922 when the town decided to widen and develop a plaza.

The portion owned by the Diocese was part of the San Sebastian parish church yard with a road cut across the field and went straight from the church door to the tribunal. This road was known as Calle Real that extended all the way to Sum-ag and Bago and way down south. It ended at the front door of the San Juan Baustista church of Bago.

At the time the uso perpetuo was extended on March 22, 1922, Bacolod was a parish under the Diocese of Jaro, Iloilo. Thus, it was Bishop James McCloskey who granted the perpetual usufruct with certain conditions. When the Diocese of Bacolod was created in 1932, the plaza property became the patrimony of the Diocese.

With the permission of the Bishop of Jaro and the authority of the Governor General, Calle Real (renamed in honor of Juan Araneta who was still alive at the time) was shortened, in effect incorporating the road from the church to the tribunal. President Howard Taft (now Cuadra) Street that extended all the way to San Juan was also shortened at Washington (now Gatuslao) Street.

On the other hand, Rizal Street was lengthened cutting across the San Sebastian church yard to link with San Juan.

Ildefonso Coscolluela, the provincial treasurer chaired the committee that renovated and beautified the Plaza de 6 Noviembre, introducing the band stand, fountains, paved walks and the checkered floor. Work began in 1922 but the bandstand at the center of the plaza was erected in 1926. It conformed to the design of the Bureau of Public Works that was similar to bandstands in other public parks in the country. The names of famous European composers are inscribed at the base of its roof.

Coscolluela introduced electrical lighting and provided concrete benches as well as drinking faucets. This water source was later closed since people would go there to bathe, wash clothes and even deposit their night soil. The unsanitary conditions of the plaza were such that the Municipal Council deplored the swarms of moscas or flies disturbing the strollers. The municipality then constructed a public toilet and bath beside the Yulo Water Works where the present Bacolod City Water District building is located. Martial law expropriated the Yulo Water and made it Baciwa.

Coscolluela retained the level of the plaza at a lower plain than the church to give due respect to the standard that the church must be at a higher plain than the park. Thus pedestrians go down a few steps from Rizal Street to the plaza.

Development of the Plaza de 6 de Noviembre continued all the way to the outbreak of World War II with the addition of allegorical statues in a circular moat. Lighted fountains came later after the war.

Across the plaza, at the beach (now reclamation area) was the airport where Jose Tinsay operated in 1925 his Curtis Oriole biplane servicing Bacolod and Iloilo. This was only for a few years because the Lopezes opened their Negros Iloilo Air Express with an airport in Tangub.

The portion of Rizal Street fronting the Cathedral was paved with bricks and enclosed with galvanized railings in 2007. On January 19, 2008 it was inaugurated and named as Paseo de San Sebastian by Bishop Vicente Navarra and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia in observance of the Diamond Jubilee of the Diocese. ( All Rights reserved, 2014 )*

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Having been made “lihi” to Durian, (lihi is what you call the food cravings of a woman who is with child), a trip to the “durian mecca” of the Philippines – Davao City – is always a welcome treat.

Aside from all the durian eating, an experience I find to be transcendentally metempiric, the trip had restaurants-hopping as part of the itinerary.

First stop was a visit to Casa Leticia near the Apo View Hotel. Two restaurants adjacent to each other are Hanoi, a Vietnamese eatery, and Tsuru, a Japanese one.

In Tsuru, it is the California roll/ California maki/ Kariforunia roru that is worth mentioning. Conventional sushi is one where the seaweed wrapper is the outermost covering. California maki is what we call an “inside-out” sushi since the outermost layer is the rice.

The roll contains cucumber, crab meat, and usually avocado. In some countries, the avocado is replaced with banana or mango, and in the Philippines, we use the latter. The outermost layer where the rice is may be sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, tobiko (Japanese word for the roe of the flying fish) or masago (roe of the Capelin fish). These are the small yellow crunchy balls on your California roll. Just add a generous dollop of wasabi, and its domo arigato mister roboto!

In the Hanoi restaurant, there's the lumpia meets shawarma do-it-yourself version. When you have placed your choices on a wrapper, you take a slice from the Vietnamese kekab, place it on the wrapper along with your other choices, then add peanut sauce, and there you have it.

Then there's this newly-opened resto called Saging Republik, where bananas are incorporated as the main ingredient of a dish or as an accompaniment. Banana Walnut Torte has crispy meringue on top and tastes like a really moist and chewy chocolate fudge brownie.*

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Sampaguita Lions donate instructional materials

The Bacolod City Sampaguita Lions Club officers and members visited the Sum-ag Elementary School and Bata ES 1 in Bacolod City, to present instructional materials and school uniforms for enrollees of the Alternative Learning System recently, a press release from the club said.

Two anatomical reference busts and books were given to Sum-ag ES, and principal Pedro Crispe said 3,000 students will benefit from the donation, that was led by club president Charie Ginete-Ilon, secretary Michelle Gasataya, and Lion Fely King, the press release also said.

The club also donated T-shirt uniforms to ALS learners at the Bata Elementary School 1, and principal Eden Ariola thanked the club for its support and for inspiring the students to pursue alternative learning. Present at the donation were Ginete-Ilon, 3 rd vice president Lourdes Luzuriaga, lion tamer Josephine Hilado, King and Norma Macatunao, the press release added.*


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Plaza de 6 de Noviembre
Sampaguita Lions donate instructional materials

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