The Negros Museum of Bacolod, Philippines (In Tagalog)    
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Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Tagalog and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Thai.

Hallo, wise viewers. Today, we invite you to travel to Bacolod City, the capital of the Philippines’ central province of Negros Occidental. Negros Occidental is famous for its wealth of natural landscapes of white beaches, waterfalls and mountains. The people are said to be charming, hospitable, and talented, especially in cultural arts. Negros is famous for its rich variety of sugary delicacies. That’s because Negros is the Philippines’ “sugarbowl,” producing over half the country’s sugar!

Our destination here in Bacolod, the City of Smiles, is the Negros Museum, which houses an impressive collection of historical and cultural artifacts. Built in 1996, the Negros Museum indeed has unique murals and exhibits to offer its visitors.

The purpose of this museum is to showcase the lifestyle and the sugar industry, and also to preserve the history of this island of Negros. What is unique with this museum – because we feature the sugar industry. In the whole Philippines, this is the only museum that focuses on the history of the sugar. As well, we have a collection of toys here from 65 countries all over the world. And it is composed of almost 22,000 pieces of toys. These are the murals, and we have nine murals here in the Negros Museum, the facts, the history of Negros before the Spaniards.

In April of 1565, six years before founding the Philippine capital Manila, Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi unexpectedly discovered Negros Island. He met the indigenous people there who lived harmoniously.

This mural here is about the Tumandok Backyard. Negros before was a tropical rainforest. It was full of trees and plants. Their houses were built tall. The reason why they built tall, number one is for the ventilation. And if they live along the river banks, when the water goes up in the middle of the night, they are safe in their house. They practice to plant roots, and root crops for their daily needs.

The Negros Museum pays tribute to the different cultures that contributed to the history of the province.

Here is all about the Spaniards. So the Spaniard introduced to us the religion, tradition, as well as a location. So here on the table are some of the letters and records from the Spanish priests. Also there’s the sacred heart of Jesus. By the way, on the far end, is one of the oldest churches in Negros. That small church there is the reproduction or the scale model of the Hinigaran Church, that was built in 1858. Made of limestone, bamboo and bricks. No cement during the time. Here is the contribution of the Americans to the Philippines.

In Negros, they contributed the milling companies and the steam locomotive, that what you can see behind me. Steam locomotives here in Negros were made by Baldwin of Philadelphia. Here is all about the Japanese. Negros Museum commemorates also the Japanese. The story is, Americans hired these Japanese to work for the Cannon Road going to Baguio. One of the well-known Japanese engineers was assigned here in Negros, by the name of Paul Kokichi Ishiwata of Atami City. He helped to build many companies, renovation of Bacolod Cathedral, university club…

Amidst a vibrant history, sugar production has thrived in this region of the Philippines for many years till today. Let’s look at the way that the early dwellers of Negros produced sugar. But first, an introduction to some of the delicious local treats made with the famous Negros sugar.

Here are some of our native delicacies here in Negros. Most of our delicacies here are made out of sticky rice, coconut milk, and never forget, sugar. So here, the first, or the famous, is piayaya. This is flour with sugar inside. Next is the pinasugbo. This is a banana coated with sugar. This is a peanut brittle, so this is made out of brown sugar and these circles are peanuts. We have also the baye baye. This is a baye baye, made out of sticky rice, coconut and also sugar, so it’s very sticky.

And also the nearest is the butong-butong. This is a stick made out of sugar cane. So from the sugar cane juice, they will boil for several times, the juice to make it more sticky, and dry it up and it will turn like this. And we call this butong-butong. Be sure that your teeth is strong! And lastly is ibos. Ibos is made out of sticky rice, cooked in coconut milk and ginger, and this is wrapped with coconut leaves. And they will boil this for 30 minutes and after that, that is the ibos.

Behind me is the hacendero. Okay, what is an hacendero? Hacendero is a Spanish term for the owner of the farm. And this is how they looked during the Spanish period. The houses have towers like this. The reason why they have towers so that they can look out their plantations and the workers in the fields. Most of the houses were built on the elevated area of the plantation, so that they can see 360 degrees all over their plantation, or their hacienda, as we call it here in the Philippines.

Here is the Hacenderos Salon. Hacenderos Salon showcases how was the lifestyle of some of the well-to-do families here in Negros. So it showcases about their clothes, jewelries, groceries, telephone. So this is their heirlooms, of the sugar barons and baronesses of Negros. Here, this photo of this beautiful lady here, her name is Marina Montinola Silos. She is from Negros. This was taken when she was 17 years old. That blouse and that shawl that she's wearing on the photo, that is on the box. This is almost 150-year-old clothes she inherited that from her great grandmother.

But her secret of her beauty, she's eating vegetables every morning. Right now, she's 93 years old and still kicking and still goes to the mall, and even in the park from time to time as her exercise, without a cane nor even the wheelchair. She walks alone, and also, that's her secret, eat vegetables. And this is her present photo. Here is the kamarin (mill). Kamarin is where they processed the sugar during the Spanish period. So behind me is the kawa. Actually this is the smallest, the #1 kawa because later on, we will see the big one and we call it the “kawa numero cinco” or the fifth kawa.

By the way, why they have different sizes of kawa? Because when cooking a sugar cane juice, you need to cook it slowly, so that you can get the right cooking, or the process of muscovado (dark) sugar. All of the smoke will come out on the chimneys, and we call that the “horno económico” that you can find in some of the old plantations here in the island of Negros. Here is the big one, this is the number five kawa. So when they cook the sugarcane juice here, it’s more warmer.

By the way, this was introduced to us by the Chinese. Also the sugarcane crusher was introduced to us by Chinese. And some of the memorabilias of the Chinese here, like the medicines, porcelain, and even they teach us to play mahjong. So, on the top or in the pillars are family names of Chinese. They sound like Spanish family names, but they’re originally Chinese.

Here is the laboratory where they change the color of sugar. So, here are the different colors of sugar. So after the sugar cane will be squeezed, what is left is the bagaso. Bagaso is the pulp or the skin of the sugar cane. So after they squeeze, what is left is the bagasse. And the bagasse, we process this, or we use this, to fuel milling companies, steam locomotives as well.

The first sugar of Negros, we call it muscovado. This is a brown sugar, dark brown. It was turning to a brown sugar, golden brown. Followed by the white sugar, and it ends up in the refined white sugar. It was turning to white, because they take out this molasses from this white sugar. The byproduct is the molasses.

So behind me and also in front of me are some of the memorabilias of the milling company. We have here the multiplier and the addition machine. The old graduated cylinder, there’s also the balance scale, and some of the memorabilias in the milling companies, and also their typewriter in the year 1930s, by Burroughs Company.

By the way, the muscovado sugar is considered one of the healthier, or the healthiest, sugar of all. Because this is not processed like this, the refined sugar, because it is said they put chemicals to turn white for the refined sugar.

Here is the batil. Batil is a kind of boat that they used here in Negros to trade the sugar, from this island going to the Iloilo island. So when this boat left here, the island of Negros, it only carried sugar. When they sell the sugar, they’ve already money. When this boat returned back here, they already bought products from other countries, that they sell in Iloilo.

In 1898, the Negros people of the Philippines led an independence movement in which no one was harmed, thanks to their clever resourcefulness and courage.

Here is the Cinco de Noviembre. This is a Spanish word for November 5, 1898 revolution of Negros. Here on the box is the old Bacolod City Hall. So here, beside me is our national hero of the Philippines, Dr. José Rizal. Second, he is a museum-goer, or we call him a patron of museums. Why? Because every time he travels, wherever he goes, the first thing that he visits is a museum, so that he will know the culture, tradition, and everything about the place.

Why Rizal was chosen as the hero of the Philippines? In my research and also in the books in the curatorial department, Rizal fought through books. So here, the two books that he wrote is the “Noli Me Tangere” (Don’t Touch Me) and “El Filibusterismo” (The Filibustering). Rizal fought only through pen. So it’s a peaceful revolution.

Thank you, Mr. Alunan Bayot and the Negros Museum, for presenting the fascinating history of Negros Occidental and the Philippines. From the enticing sweet desserts to the rich multicultural contributions, here, there are so many things for worldwide visitors to appreciate about the gentle Philippine culture.

Wondrous viewers, thank you for joining us on The World Around Us. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May your loving and peaceful deeds be blessed by Heaven.
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January . 2021