And one very special historical photo I found was a 1937 photo of Victorias town's former mayor, Don Felix Montinola, taken during his birthday celebration at the Montinola's ancestral home in Victorias City, the house everyone calls 'balay-dako' (big house). He was surrounded by his wife Doña Dorothea Magalona Montinola, former Negros Occidental governor, Valeriano Gatuslao, and Don Jose Gaston, among other guests.
Aside from those black-and-whites, other mementos I stumbled upon were postcards, one of which became a blog that drove one reader to tears; she knew both the mother and the daughter. 😂
And recently, I came across one more black-and-white, which is from another era, a generation after Don Felix Montinola's. This one comes from the 'ba-ul' of Don Benito Montinola, Sr. (a son of Don Felix)'s family.
The photograph was taken at 'balay-dako' at the home of Don Benito Montinola (in floral shirt), the municipal mayor of Victorias from 1952 to 1959. The photo shows him and his wife, the late Doña Luisa Campos Montinola, attending to a very special lunch guest, Diosdado Macapagal.
This was during the campaign period in 1961 when he was still the vice president. Months after this, he won the election and on December 30, 1961, Diosdado Macapagal became the Ninth President of the Republic of the Philippines.
(From left, Doña Luisa, Don Benito, Diosdado Macapagal and Don Jose Gaston)
As in any special occasion, I see a lot of dishes on the table and I'm counting seven plates with dishes that look like crab relleno and meatballs; the others I couldn't figure out. If the photographer were a food blogger, he would have zeroed in on the dishes first, then to the guests. 😀 Although it would have been fun naming the dishes, I am more interested in the dessert. 😋
The late Don Benito Magalona Montinola, Sr. became the undersecretary of the Department of Natural Resources in the cabinet of President Macapagal and a delegate to the 1971 Philippine Constitutional Convention (one of six delegates representing the 1st District of Negros Occidental).
Lolo Nitong was also a good friend of another president, the late President Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash on March 17, 1957. That's why Lolo Nitong named one of his sons after the late president who was born a day after the crash.
Lola Luisa, on the other hand, was an educated lady who spoke many languages, including Spanish and Japanese. During the Japanese Occupation, when Japanese soldiers roamed around the Montinola family's haciendas in the Manapla area looking for guerillas and other able-bodied men, Lola Luisa was the one tasked to 'meet and greet' them, offering them water and 'botong-botong', the sweet candy made from sugar, as refreshments for the tired Japanese. This 'friendly' engagement was meant to prevent the Japanese officers and soldiers from being belligerent to the locals and, of course, to take their mind off from hunting down guerillas hiding in the sugarcane fields.
Aside from the late President Macapagal, the late Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, were also welcomed in May 1978 by then Victorias mayor, the late Jesus Fermin, who was a grandson of Don Felix Montinola and a nephew of Don Benito Montinola.
(Photo courtesy of Victorias, Then and Now - a Centennial Compilation)
So, do you know of any other Philippine president who came to Victorias for dinner?😄