Categories
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.

Balay na Bato

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.

DSCF7594.JPG

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. 🙂

 

Categories
TRAVEL

An Enchanting View in Cebu

Thanks for Cebu Pacific Air for offering SALE seats. For this very reason, we are able to afford the flight fee. We have booked for Cebu for many reasons.

Cebu is known as the Queen City of the South. It is surrounded by bodies of crystal clear water and pristine beaches. This truly makes it wonderful and enchanting.

We spent three days and two nights in Cebu. Yes, it was not enough, but very overwhelming that we were able to follow our dream itinerary.

First Day

Upon arriving in Cebu, we were fetched by our foster family (which we rented). We were accommodated as well because we paid in advance.

Then, after sleeping for some hours, we woke up early and we headed to Alegria, Cebu City. We rode a bus in Cebu South Terminal Station. We got off in Alegria specifically in Canyoneering place where folks were waiting. It was three-hour trip. (TIP: Look for CERES Bus because it does not overload their bus. It is aircon too. However, their trip is scheduled so better go there earlier than 5:00am). (Another TIP: In our case, we left our bagpacks in Cebu City because we thought that we could go back in our house within the day. We never researched agad. Huhuhu. So, we ended bring only a pair of clothes that would last for a day. But, of courswe, this was part of lessons as well. Okay lang.)

In Alegria, we met our tour guide for the exciting canyoneering. It was Kuya Roy who met us at 11:00am at the bus stop. We signed up in their Baranggay House and we were oriented as well. After that, we rode habal-habal and headed to the starting point. If you plan to contact the same person who guided us, you should go and find him. He offered nice experience with us. Their services included GEARS, SHOES, and HELMETS (plus life stories, jokes, and kwento). 

13139221_1214528465224157_2789198660532836328_n.jpg

We had our canyoneering exp from 11:00am-5:00pm. This includes mountain trekking as well. We saw Kawasan Falls, and two other falls. It was definitely a different experience for it helped us conquer our fears.

What I’ve learned in canyoneering?

To let go and just jump! Do not overthink. It is through letting go that we experience something exciting. 

After the canyoneering, we decided to look for a home to stay. First, we went to a hotel near St. Joseph Church. However, there was no vacant room. 😦

13083338_1187929904558843_1620519064416922182_n.jpg

This was the view near that church.

Our tour guide helped us to look for another one. HOWEVER, when we were riding in a habal-habal, there was a dog who come out. Unfortunately, the habal-habal slipped. Four of us, including the driver, slipped as well. I was the one who was hurt tremendously. While writing this, I can still feel pain.

What I’ve learned in this?

Experiencing pain is part of our life. We need to be courageous in dealing with it.

We stayed for few hours in a hotel which we paid 950php overnight. We were five so it was manageable. Then, we woke up early the next morning.

Day 2

We woke up early to wait for a bus in front of where we stayed. (TIP: This tip isn’t usually exposed in blogs. But, transportation there in Southern Cebu is quite challenging. You get to see buses for hours. If one bus passed, you have to wait for an hour to see another one again. Take note of this. This will help you not to waste time in commuting.)

From Alegria, Oslob is just two hours away. We got off in Bato and rode tricycle going to Oslob beach itself.

Another tip. If you are planning on seeing and diving with whale sharks only, just head straight to the BRIEFING Station. Do not proceed in the resorts there because they will add 100php as entrance fee to their beach. In BRIEFING Station, just pay there. You can also avail Sumilon Island Tour directly in that place.

Prices:

Whale Shark Viewing – 300

Whale Shark Swimming – 500

Sumilon Island Fare (1-5 pax) – 1500.

Take note of this prices so you can prepare your cash. In our case, we only afforded the whale shark viewing and Sumilon Island EXPERIEEEENCE. 🙂

13102866_1188663787818788_4106441675617660074_n

We had our breakfast+lunch in front of the beaches. It was the carinderia who offered meals for great and low cost. They just tend to raise their price for foreigners. For a single MANGO, they sold it for fifty pesos. Grabe. 

13102724_1188662927818874_1977853945714778105_n.jpg

13118997_1188662747818892_1158692321735901069_n.jpg13124585_1188577801160720_7114525119027978607_n.jpg

Unfortunately, we only had few bucks in our hands because we left our things in the city. So, we were really thrifty in this day. However, there are lots of things that we remembered.

We tend to focus on the things we think we need. But, at the end of the day, we can live with what’s essential only. 

Let me share in in Tagalog. Ang dami kasi nating inaasam sa mundo, pero sa huli, nabubuhay pa rin naman tayo kahit wala sila. Nag-eenjoy tayo kahit wala ito. 

We ended our trip here and headed in Cebu City for our day trip.

Day 3

In our case, we don’t deprive ourselves with sleep. So, we woke up at 8:00am. We left our house at 9:00am. We headed to Sabonga, Samala for our pilgrimage in a big church there.

It was a two-hour ride from Cebu South Terminal. When we got off in Sibonga, we rode a tricycle and paid 20 pesos. We chose this over habal-habal.

13177088_1189710897714077_3501529143901095951_n.jpg

13177143_1189711354380698_2736437707320147365_n.jpg13164234_1189710924380741_6820810477806357819_n.jpg

The church was beyond our imagination and expectation. The monks there definitely exerted effort in building the church. The superb beauty and its grandeur was something to appreciate. The travel time was worthy.

13139338_1189711417714025_1875255852178536146_n.jpg

I went inside to view the church since we didn’t have the chance to attend the mass because we were late. I got inside their miraculous place. I saw Mama Mary’s image. I prayed. prayed. prayed. I fell in line going behind the altar.

13095766_1189712097713957_4167950210580888218_n.jpg

I must say that its title is real. I prayed and the next day, this is fulfilled. Sobrang thank You, Lord-moment talaga. 

We ate our lunch in front of the church gate. Then, we rode a tricycle. He dropped us at GT Express terminal wherein vans there go straight to Cebu City.

IMAGINE. Travel time from there is just 1 hour. GRABE. We just paid 100 pesos.

Cebu City Tour 

We went to Magellan’s Cross, Basilica de Sto. Nino, Shrine, an Ancient House, Taoist Temple and Lapu-Lapu’s Statue. We bought gifts. And went stratight to airport.

13174185_1189712277713939_8181017842587038246_n.jpg

13177966_1189712827713884_4358170884430161954_n.jpg13151511_1189712997713867_7314888614236993417_n.jpg13179096_1189713344380499_7253669017034874267_n.jpg

That was our three-day trip! All in all, I spent 6000 including pasalubong. What I’ve learned from this travel?

  • Conquer your greatest fears. Be courageous enough to face them.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Let God lead you to the right path.
  • Pain is essential to anyone. It happens. It happens.
  • You can live with simple things in life.
  • Travelling leads you to tons of realizations. Travel once. At least once.

Our itinerary is not that grand, compared to other itinerary that I saw online. But then, his is truly fruitful and amazing experience. It literally gave me a mark (on my knee) that is worth remembering.

Thanks, God for this. Looking for more adventures with you.