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!