TRAVEL

Bacolod Trip for Four Days

After my trip in Iloilo, I planned for next trip to Negros Island, specifically Bacolod to Dumaguete and Siquijor. However, due to unpredictable weather and some circumstances, I needed to stay in Bacolod City.

Basically, this trip was exploring the undiscovered parts of Bacolod. These places were never mentioned when I googled this place. Also, this trip allowed me to appreciate my solitude during the second half of my trip. As of this writing, I missed how I wake up without tons of worries. It’s detoxifying my mind from stress.

Again, this trip is not the fast kind of trip. It was reallyyyyy slow trip. A time meant for stories, new found friends, and moments with thyself.

Day 1 – Arrival, Iloilo Airport
After riding the shuttle going to SM Iloilo, the very first thing I did was to eat La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo. I missed their Batchoy because it’s just one of a kind. Nothing beats its Super Special Batchoy, dude. Paired with hot pandesal, this Batchoy would never go out of style.

I met my friends also in SM Iloilo. We were five in this trip. I was a stranger to most of them (at first) for I only know one friend, the rest were mutual friends. Teehee.

Then, we went to the port to ride a ferry. There were schedule for trips going to Bacolod. The trip from Iloilo Port to Bacolod was one hour. We took the 9:10am trip.

When we reached Bacolod, our friend, Carl, offered to tour us in Bacolod. Thus, I could not fully explain things regarding transportation. But then, Bacolod was easily explored through Jeepney. I swear. You’d love it there. Jeep. Trike. Grab. You wouldn’t be lost.

First Stop: DSB Cafe
It’s an overlooking cafe. It’s cute and breathtaking. They’re proud of their special coffee. However, I wasn’t able to try it because it was not available that time.
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Also, we passed by a certain park in DSB.

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Second Stop: La Guada Cafe
Same with the first cafe, it offered an overlooking view. We paid 50php for entrance. Free parking. Meals and drinks were affordable. But, we didn’t eat much because we were still full.

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Third Stop: Bacolod Inc
Bacolod Trip wouldn’t be complete without tasting their Inasal. It’s legit chicken. I tasted no preservatives. Huhu. Everything was sooo perfect. Even the rice. Wow.

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Fourth Stop: Orange Gallery
There were artsy stuff in this place. Murals were on the wall. But, I was so sleepy and had no power to take lots of photos. I regained energy after drinking coffee which I poured on chatting to my friends.

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Day 2: Duyan Cafe

Our Day 2 started, really, with our breakfast at their local market. Then, we passed at their local park, and took pictures in front of San Sebastian Cathedral.

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Duyan Cafe is such a haven for nature lovers. It’s like a coffee shop in the middle of Negros. You’ll see Mt. Kanlaon as you sip coffee and eat their special chorizo with two eggs and iced tea.

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After we ate our lunch, we went to a street in Silay City that is filled with Mansions! Also, we explored Negrense Museum.

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we went home and rested. We also attended the Mass in San Sebastian Cathedral. Then, we ate our dinner and ate cakes at Calea!

 

Day 3 – The Ruins, Talisay City 

My friends went home already. I was all alone in the third day. That time, I had no worries (thank God). I was all by myself. I enjoyed how this venue captured the hearts of every traveler. I admired its perseverance. Like, it was definitely worth visiting.

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I also drank coffee at their cafe. Then, I journaled some stuff and plans. After that, I went back to my hostel to rest. It was a cozy afternoon. Then, I ate lunch, bangus this time. Also, went back to my hostel. I attended the mass at San Sebastian Cathedral.

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After attending the Mass, I walked going to SM Bacolod, drank coffee, and reflected on my life lately. Then, I watched movie at my room, too. Punong-puno ng pahinga, friends.

 

Day 4 – The Negros Museum, Lagoon, and The Negros Forest Park 

In my second day of being solo, I really enjoyed how I owned my time. I decided on my own. I worked on my own pace. Certainly, this was one of the books! Thank God for the gift of time. 🙂

Negros Forest Park was not on my list. I just saw this sign on my way to Negros Museum. I dunno, but it was not shown in any of blogs that I read. Inside this park was the natural floral and fauna of Panay Island. They have Philippine Eagle Owl, btw, and a bird with a bleeding heart (its name). There were deers, pigs, and snakes. Oops.

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After a short stroll here, I went to Negros Museum. This building has second floors. First floor was filled with varies artworks and sculptures. I guess, it is more of an exhibit rather than a museum.

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Then, I walked and passed by their Lagoon, and their municipal hall. It was like walking in Luneta. It was Tuesday morning. There were only few people  who were strolling that time. Grabe. I enjoyed my pag-iisa.IMG_7561

After strolling here, I went home and watch a Filipino movie entitled “She’s the One.” Then, I packed up, left my hostel, and bought some pasalubong.

I went to Robinson Bacolod and ate lunch. Also, I rented a computer there. Then, I drank milktea. Huhu. Hanggang Bacolod talaga. Then, I rode a shuttle going to Bacolod Airport. I only read books while waiting for my flight. It was reallyyyyy an exciting adventure! Na-miss ko yung paglalakbay na ito. Kinakabahan ako noong una. Kasi, nasanay na ako nang maraming kasama at kausap, kaya nakakatakot na babalik na naman ako sa pag-iisa. Kaya, sobrang salamat sa Diyos sa gabay at lakas. Nagawa na naman natin ang isang makabuluhang paglalakbay at pagkilala sa sarili.

My Takeaways

  • Being alone is not equivalent to being lonely.
  • Meet new friends, after reconciling with yourself.
  • Value personal time and self-care.

Also, ‘wag kalilimutang uminom ng tubig. Ayun! Nag-enjoy ako last weekend, sana kayo rin. Not posting pala to brag or what, medyo masaya lang akong nagawa ko siya. Thank God for the gift of friends pala, si Kuya Jarell, Aljhur, Cess, Luke, Ryan, and Carl.

 

LIFE LESSONS

Musings on Solo Traveling

It was my first time to travel solo, last February 22-23, 2019, in Iloilo and Guimaras. I never expected to learn so much from it. It brought me back to my roots. It dragged me to my former self. I remembered that I am just a mere being in this huge world.

I agree with what Abbey Sy said, “Traveling humbles you and makes you realize that you’re just a tiny dot in this big world.”

These are my musings after I traveled solo.

When you travel solo, you travel with the real you.

You don’t have to pretend who you are. You don’t act the way people expect you to. You are just being yourself. No pretentions and spices called lies. Every single thing you do along defines who you actually are. Everything is just so natural.

As I travel, I realized that I am still the KIM who I used to be. A kind of person who laughs, jokes, giggles, and stares at the window side the whole time.

You discover your strength as you journey.

By traveling solo, you spontaneously move with yourself. You rely on yourself more. You learn to become more independent. You stretch yourself to your limits. You finally appreciate how strong you are. Of course, no one is perfectly strong, but at least it’s good to acknowledge that you are a work in progress.

It’s funny how I really cannot place my bag inside the plane. I couldn’t just reach it, but still, I tried. Then, I failed. Fortunately, somebody helped me. I guess, our strength does not only rely on ourselves but in accepting that we need help, too.

You get to know your heart.

As you immerse in your deep thoughts, you are able to listen to your heart even more. You learn to value the simple miracles that happen to your life. You realize how precious a single second is. You also hear the voices inside your heart that you never heard before. You encounter thoughts and dreams that you never encountered.

It’s weird, but I laughed an hour after my solo bus trip in Iloilo. My heart just fluttered. That trip served as a date with myself. Sleeping alone was challenging for me. My heart wandered, but I told it to be still, calm, and be in peace. Thank God, it did.

You value tripod, monopod, and camera-friendly spots.

It’s really hard to take photos all by yourself. You need to strategize on where to place your camera. You need to adjust on the light. You also need to humble yourself to ask somebody to take your photo. I guess, it’s a new learning I wouldn’t forget. 🙂

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But then again, before I did this. I still planned my itinerary ahead of time. I made sure that the places I would be visiting are safe, and in public. I avoided remote areas. I also never stayed late at night. Lastly, I never forgot to pray for a safe journey. 🙂

TRAVEL

Iloilo and Guimaras Budget Trip

Iloilo and Guimaras Trip have been on my list ever since I started traveling the Philippines. In Iloilo, Garin Farm is first on my list. In Guimaras, tasting its sweet mangoes is my priority. When this trip finally commenced, I can’t help but smile the whole time I was there. (Parang sira lang).

It was in 22nd and 23rd of February when I embarked my first solo trip to the Visayas. I just booked this trip on an impulse, so it was thrilling when this came to reality.

I only planned for my itinerary and my hostel for the first night. The rest was unplanned.

I went to NAIA at 4:30AM. Then, waited for our airplane that departed at 5:55PM. I arrived at Iloilo International Airport at 8:00PM, earlier than our expected arrival. I rented a taxi for going to my hostel. Luckily, my house parent was so kind and accommodating. When I reached my room, I just washed, slept, and skipped dinner.

Day 1 – Morning Trip, Garin Farm

The next morning, I woke up a little bit late, like 6:00AM. Then, I traveled to Iloilo City by riding jeepneys. I prayed hard to God to give the best people to get through this journey. At SM Iloilo City, I rode another jeepney going to the bus station that passes by the Garin Farm. My fare was discounted because I brought my student ID. Side story: I was not eating my breakfast yet, so at the bus station, I bought coffee in a cup. I only had 1,000 in my wallet at that time. And unfortunately, the seller has no change for it. The bus driver volunteered to pay for my coffee. How generous is he! But still, I paid for it along with my bus fare. Hehe.

Here are some pictures of Garin Farm.

I was in Garin Farm for half a day. I enjoyed the view, and the scenes up in the sky. As if I was in heaven, really. I never felt that good before. However, it was 11AM, I was still there, with no sunglasses, no umbrellas or caps, and even sunblock. Still, I am beyond grateful for having seen this place.

After eating my lunch at Garin Farm, I headed to some of the churches on my list.

Day 1 – Afternoon Trip, Church Hopping

My favorite church was Miagao Church in Iloilo. Who would not love this church?

I love its structure, solemnity, and its history. I’ve been eyeing to visit this ever since, and finally seeing it in person made my existence complete! 🙂

Aside from this church, I also went to see other churches such as Guimbal Church, and Tagbanua Church before going to an ancient house in Iloilo, called Balay na Bato.

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This is one of my favorite historical spots so far. I loved everything about it because it surely reflected the ways on how the ancient Filipinos lived before. Good thing it was preserved, no? 🙂

I love every single shot I had here. Also, at this point, I realized how challenging it was to be traveling alone. Nobody will take photos of me. Huehue.

After visiting this church, while viewing my Facebook My Day, I saw one of my friends was also in that place. We met there, in Molo Church. He toured me around and promised me to accompany me in Guimaras Island. Hello, Kuya Jarel! If you are reading this, I really want to thank you for the sudden trip! 🙂

Molo Church was near Molo Plaza and Molo Mansion. My friend and I spent the afternoon here. We ate Pansit Molo, then tried their Halo-halo, and all these for only P250 only. Also, we enjoyed taking photos at Molo Museum. It was SM owned now, as they converted it to Kultura, where people buy souvenirs. We ended the day by walking along the famous esplanade of Iloilo City.

 

Day 2 – Morning, Guimaras

I was so lucky to meet my friend here, who had been living in Iloilo for several years. Our last meeting was in 2015 (?).

Guimaras is budget friendly. A boat going there only costs 15PHP. To tour around the island, you need to rent a tricycle, that costs 1,000 – 1,500PHP. It depends on the barker.

Here’s where I went to Guimaras.

  1. Jordan Municipal Hall.
  2. The Smallest Plaza
  3. The Guimaras Standee
  4. Tasted Mango Pizza
  5. The Mango Farm (and Research Center ata)
  6. Trappist Monastery
  7. Guisi Lighthouse
  8. Alubihod Beach

For me, Guimaras served as an island for solo travelers like me. Charot. It is an ideal side trip. If given enough time, I would love to stay overnight and wait for the sunrise here.

Since this post is written late, I can’t put to words how majestic the place is. For me, it’s certainly one of a kind.

After roaming around Guimaras, we headed back to the main city. We passed by the Jaro Cathedral. It is also one of a kind. Its beauty is outstanding. We also strolled around the old houses in the city proper. I must say, every single structure is amazing.

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After a quick city trip, my friend and I went to SM Iloilo, where a shuttle going to the airport awaits. I have so much to say, friends/readers, but I guess I have to zip my mouth until this chapter. There’s so much to look forward to my next trip. 🙂