04 Mar2009


One minute we were in the center of Bacolod City, then the next, we turned into this dirt drive lined with nearly century old acacia trees leading to our host’s home in Bacolod. Margarita Araneta Fores was our wonderful host during this short trip to Bacolod. We had planned it since last year, and had cancelled a scheduled trip in January, but finally decided to do the trip last weekend. She invited us to stay in the Araneta ancestral home at the old Bacolod Murcia Millsite property which is very close to everything in downtown Bacolod. The property has a wonderfully languid resthouse that has clearly been enjoyed by generations of family members over the several decades it has been there. It speaks of another era, perhaps a good 2-3 generations before ours, with the most relaxed of spaces and while huge, not formal and stuffy. High ceilings, wooden floors and walls, large windows, breezy verandahs are reminiscent of movies from the 1950’s and before.


The trees on the property were impressive. Regulars of the blog know I have a thing for trees, so I woke up earlier than necessary on our first morning in Bacolod and took a short walk around the property to photograph the trees.


I have intentionally left out many photos of the home so as not to breach their privacy, but I am including this one of the dining area which could easily seat 20-30 guests and most importantly, it was designed so that there are wide screened windows on BOTH sides of the dining room and for most of the day a cool breeze blows across the dining table.


But my favorite spot in the home was definitely the lanai out front with mid-20th century wrought iron garden chairs painted white, and which had a 3 sided view of the vast gardens in front of the home. It was here that we would assemble for forays into the markets or to head out to various friends homes for meals during our short stay. Many thanks to Margarita, the Araneta family and their crew for welcoming us into their “resthouse” and for such a memorable weekend. And yes, we signed the guestbook that has been keeping tabs on house guests since the 1960’s! In fact, I think the guest book was older than me!



  1. sonny sj says:

    wow! looks like views from Oro, Plata, Mata. i could imagine Mitch Valdez playing mahjong at the lanai. kaya lang i forgot na who she was playing with. memory gap, i guess.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 3:59 pm


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  3. sonny sj says:

    the 1st picture is postcard perfect. missing ‘tho is the old cadillac driving thru the dirt road….:)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 4:02 pm

  4. s says:

    wooowwww…. :) what a beautiful place. :) btaw, MM- your in cebu?! Thought i saw you earlier in ayala mall.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 5:21 pm

  5. Fabian M says:

    I like the 2nd picture. Nice tree shot. :)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:22 pm

  6. Diwata08 says:

    I love the trees and the well manicured lawn. The smokey effect of photos 1 & 3 almost gives the impression of “transport to another time”.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  7. sanojmd says:

    hmmm. nice place.. definitely a resthouse..

    Mar 4, 2009 | 7:00 pm

  8. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Ala “Somewhere in Time”!! Awesome pictures!!! Perfect place “under the big tree” to have breakfast or dinner.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 7:08 pm

  9. Nina says:

    WOW, MM I love your pics but the 1st pic was the best. It’s so ethereal/celestial. Wonder how you did it…..did you use a filter? I am shopping for a new camera and is considering Canon SX1 IS (coming out April); a close contender would be your G10. Can’t decide which one as I am just an amateur, no formal photography lesson taken (but it’s my passion other than eating and travelling).

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:14 pm

  10. millet says:

    this post brought back memories of the company compounds that i grew up in that had guesthouses almost exactly like this!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:52 pm

  11. Maria Clara says:

    Beautiful! Thanks to the Aranetas for letting us see one of their resthouses and to you MM for sharing us their hospitality and generosity.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 1:16 am

  12. kim says:

    wish you could post more pix though … they probably won’t mind :) thanks for taking us on your tours, MM ! i especially loved the ruins ! majestic !

    Mar 5, 2009 | 2:16 am

  13. Mik says:

    Hi Sonny, the Oro Plata Mata house was the old Claparols ancestral home. MM might have dropped past, I think it’s a tourist spot now.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 7:23 am

  14. Celina says:

    Mik and Sonny, The Oro Plata Mata house is the GASTON HOUSE IN MANAPLA. The LACSON-CLAPAROLS HOUSE is where they filmed Gumising Ka Maruja by Lino Broca.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 8:30 am

  15. Marketman says:

    Hi Everyone, actually picture 1 and 3 is a fogged up lens because I came out of an incredibly cold airconditioned room and walked into the yard and the lens had condensation for a good 15 minutes and hence the “ethereal” photos…hahaha.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 8:51 am

  16. Jel says:

    This is perfect for a movie location, I would imagine a movie like “somewhere in time” being shot here. There are actually numerous “attractions” in Bacolod/Negros that yet to be discovered.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 9:00 am

  17. Wrought Iron says:

    HAhah yes :)

    Mar 5, 2009 | 10:10 am

  18. bagito says:

    Thank goodness it was just a fogged up lens causing the pics to have an otherworldly quality to them. My imagination was running wild and I was beginning to think of spooky things. :-)

    Mar 5, 2009 | 11:59 am

  19. jun says:

    feel like I’m in a movie “Somewhere in time” very nostalgic….

    Mar 5, 2009 | 1:26 pm

  20. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Photos one and two really look wonderful…yes so ethereal…hahaha…condensation on the lens pala from the aircon room…what a wonderful effect for photo one…love those two photos….

    Mar 5, 2009 | 7:32 pm

  21. Rico says:

    Bacolod is such a beautiful place. A friend who lives there has been inviting us for the longest time to visit. The Araneta ancestral house looks very well maintained.

    Mar 6, 2009 | 11:29 am

  22. Nina says:

    That’s fascinating MM, you’ve just discovered a natural way to make a scene look ethereal, we can officially call this Photos ala MM, hahaha! This reminds me of Costa Rica photos which gives the appearance of liquid amber and so unlike Tuscany or the South of France or Crete, this is a very palpable experience in addition to being a visual masterpiece. Costa Rica has this prehistoric light, almost as if you expect to see a dinosaur emerging anytime. It is so unlike Greece, where light is almost incandescent.

    Mar 6, 2009 | 10:10 pm

  23. Nina says:

    It’s so unlike Greece where the light is incandescent.

    Mar 6, 2009 | 10:11 pm


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