Good Friday and Better Climes

In 2021, when the country marked the 500th anniversary of the coming of Christianity to the Philippines, the Negros Season of Culture scoured cities and municipalities up and down its coast in search of very old churches, the kind that 16th Century Augustinian friars might have built. To our surprise, there was none. We learned quickly, Negrenses of that era were not easy to subdue, let alone rule, thus failed all attempts at erecting churches in Negros Occidental at the height of the Spanish colonial period.

What we may lack in colonial religious architecture we more than make up for in colonial religious pageantry. Towards the end of the 19th Century, when Augustinian-Recollects were finally able to build the first churches in the province, sugarcane plantations had started to define our fertile landscape. Parish priests relied on hacenderos and their wives to help in staging church festivities. “Help” required money, and the nascent industry of sugar provided. Thus to the hacendero families was entrusted the guardianship of the stunning Holy Week carrozas. 

As our Easter offering, this month we feature the carrozas of Negros Occidental, an accoutrement of our hacienda heritage and religiosity.

Thank God, April is not just about penitence. April is also a time for summer escape, for finding relief from the scorching sun. Recently we’ve seen an unprecedented profusion of Facebook photos, of you in winter fashion, in Japan and Korea, in Europe, in the U.S. These tell us, you thrill to cold weather. Short of snow, we give you the cool climate of Don Salvador Benedicto. Our geographical heritage includes the tallest mountain in the Visayas and a sprawling mountain range, so cool DSB makes Negros Occidental unique in these parts. We’ve selected places for you to visit in this highland destination. Come chill.

Text by: Alan S. Gensoli

Design and Architecture

Cultural Experience

Art and Craft