Bocana: Home of the Freshest Oysters
Belle Piccio | Jul 04, 2018
Ilog is a third class municipality in Negros Occidental province. The town is bounded by Guimaras strait at the north, the province of Negros Oriental at the south, Kabankalan City at the east and the municipalities of Candoni, Cauayan and Hinoba-an at the west.
Did you know that Ilog was the first capital of Negros Island and Siquijor in 1743? The municipality of Ilog is called as such because it is surrounded by the longest river in Negros Island. It became the most important town during those period due to its river making it as the political and commercial center of the island.
The river extends to the sea. The town is abundant of crabs, shrimps, oysters and other aquatic resources. It is composed of 13 barangays, one of which is called Bocana.
Bocana is known for its “talabahan” plantation. There are bamboo stalls or “restaurants” found in the barangay surrounded by mangroves near the shore that cultivates oysters and only harvest it when customers order.
Note that these stalls do not only serve fresh oysters but also other seafood such as crabs, shrimps, fish and squid.
The oysters are served at Php140 per basket (already steamed).
You can also order raw oysters for as low as Php100 per basket.
Ilog even has a festival for their oysters. Celebrated every 25th of March, the Kisi-kisi Festival is a tribute generally to its town rich marine resources. Kisi-kisi refers to the fast movement of crabs, fishes, oysters and shrimps. While the Talaba Festival is everything about oysters. The favorite event not only by the townspeople but also by tourists is the eat-all-you-can oysters which is open to all visitors. Freshly steamed oysters are served in a bamboo table for everyone who would like to savor the best seafood of Ilog.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (PhP 75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of PhP 400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.
From Bacolod, Ilog can be reached through public utility vehicles in about 2.5 hours. By private transport, it is about 2 hours ride south of Bacolod City through the main highway.