Exploring what Candoni has

Candoni Travel Blog

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Before the Sea urchin and Sea Snack attacks
It was morning of September when I received a call from an old friend. An old friend whom I lost contact for several months. His name is Aldrin, I met him while I was still working in Philippine Tatler, wer we are both under this fierce, evil boss. (Yep, sounds like familiar? Try to watch the Devil wears prada and you'll get the idea of what Im talking about) ANyway, he quit work and we just lost contact.

"I came across one of the magazines and your name was there, so I called your office and ask for your number" he said.
"Perfect! So whats up with you now?" I asked.

Aldrin, moved to a place called Candoni. I never heard that place before, actually. So I asked what the heck are you doing in a place where I dont know people exist. Luckily, his Uncle was the newly elected Mayor and he was appointed to be the head of the Tourism department.
(Call it Nepotism, but his Uncle never made a wrong decision to get him for that position)

Anyway, He then asked me if I want to visit their place. So without any hesitation, I said yes, also, my fiance would definitely love it since hes into nature and beaches.

I have no idea what the place looks like, since I was told it was 4-5 hours drive from Bacolod. Sure, Ive been there. Ive been there once when our magazine had a launch there for the A-list society of Bacolod. But that was it, my memory of Bacolod was all about Champagne and yummy foods. Half way to Candoni, started my agony, it was a rocky dusty road.. I tried to get a nap, but counting 1-1000 cows didnt help. So I chat with Aldrin and ask the history of his town.

Part of Negros Occidental, the town Candoni was founded by Santiago Diego, Aldrin's grandfather. The story was, the people of Cauayan kicked his grandfather's ass (i forgot the reason, but it has something to do with politics) so the family forced to leave the town and some of the neighbors followed them. They found this hill but its not possible just to settle on the ground, so they dig that land with their own hands. After months of hardwork, Candoni was born.

Sadly, this lovely town, with warm people suffered under the moster mayor for almost 20 years. (Yep, something like Martial Law during Marcos regime) Rebels popped out, NPAs everywhere, and when they clock hits 6pm, people are afraid to go out.
. afraid that a bullet just strike them out of nowhere. According to the people of Candoni, when the Mayor's bodyguards/securities get drunk they play with their guns. Sorry if it strike you. Lucky, if it dont.

People suffered for a very long time, when someone dies, you have to pay a large amount just to give that person a decent burial. (Which is supposed to be shouldered by the municipality since its a poor town), when you need to use the Ambulance you have to pay fifty bucks, gasoline not included. And what happens to the funds given by the Government? Straight to his pocket.

Why 20 years? What happens every election?

Vote buying and they threaten the people if they dont vote for him.

After almost 20 years, people got tired, my friend Aldrin went back to their town together with his Uncle to run for the 2007 election.
People this time are wiser and brave. During election, people didnt sleep, they guard everey poll precints  and people requested for military group  not Negros based. They want Manila based this time. It was tight and very tense election.

Maybe God hear their prayers, the old Mayor lost in the election.

I can attest to this. They start from scratch, without anything or any amount as their budget. People volunteer and didnt mind if they dont get salary till 2008. But even tho they dont have funds, they are very kind to welcome tourists like us. They opened their houses and even their kitchen (they can cook yummy foods!) to us without asking for anything in return.

They toured us and I realized how rich their town is..only if it was being taken good care by the previous mayor.

After one week of staying there, sad to say, we have to go back to the reality, back to Manila, back to pollution. People gave us somethng to bring home...freshly coffee beans! Negros might be sugar land, but theyre starting to build a coffee industry too. (ANyway Coffee and Sugar is a perfect combo)

I asked Aldrin when he drove us at the Airport how can I thank him for the lovely vacation and experience he gave us, he just said "just tell people and your friends how nice our town is."

gorjushere says:
Well I wanted to tell more about the beach, but Im running out of words..maybe in awhile il add more =) Thanks by the way =)
Posted on: Apr 04, 2008
wouternet says:
Well, you did a good job here telling how nice the place is. And the pictures look very good.
Posted on: Apr 04, 2008
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Before the Sea urchin and Sea Snac…
Before the Sea urchin and Sea Sna…
photo by: gorjushere