Tag Archives: old ruins

Bacolod City: The City of Smiles

Bacolod City, is dubbed as the “city of smiles” because of its people’s friendly faces.  It is now one of the best cities in the Philippines when talking about the standards of living.  It is one of the most livable cities in Asia, and in 2012 was dubbed as the most livable city in the Philippines by surveys.  Personally, if I would be given the chance to settle in Bacolod, I would.  It is really an ideal place to start a family with and establish your own business or career.  For the benefit of the people who haven’t heard of this place yet, Bacolod city is home to the prestigious Bongbong’s Piyaya, Inasal na Manok Bisaya, and it celebrates Masskara Festival every year.  It is one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines.  It happens around every third saturday or sunday of October.  Too bad I was not able to try Masskara yet, but sooner or later I shall return.

How To Get There:  From Cebu City:  You can travel to Bacolod by Bus through a roll-on and roll-off ferry via route Cebu-Toledo-San Carlos-Don Salvador Benedicto-Bacolod (4 to 5 hours) or Cebu-Tabuelan-Escalante-Bacolod route (6-7 hours). Check on Ceres Bus hotline for more schedule info.  You can also travel Cebu-Bacolod by air through Cebu Pax.

From Manila:  You can travel by Air through Cebu Pax and Philippine Airlines and by sea through 2go Travel.

From Iloilo – Travelling Iloilo-Bacolod is the easiest.  There are four fastcraft companies who serve the Iloilo-Bacolod route and they have daily schedules, just check on their travel schedules.

Where To Stay:  Bacolod Pavilion – Bacolod Pavilion hotel is the place I suggest since it is located near the port and it is also near downtown area.  You can just take a walk in going to SM.  In our case, we took the room in Bacolod Pavilion Resort, just across the hotel.  It has pool as well.  We got the room for only 900 php per night (with CaTV, aircon, pool use, and the room was nice).

Places To Visit 

Negros Occidental Capitol Grounds 

San Sebastian Cathedral  

                                  Of course, who would forget the controversial list of who to and not to vote?  San Sebastian Cathedral was the first one to post a banner on this campaign.

Bacolod Public Plaza  

Bacolod City Downtown Area The old city hall

Pope John Paul II Tower  

SM City Bacolod 

The Ruins  

The Ruins is one of the jewels of the Philippines.  To know more about this place, visit my separate entry about The Ruins.

Mambukal Mountain Resort  Mambukal Mountain Resort is located in Murcia, a town near Bacolod. Travel time is about 20 to 30 minutes going to the place. See more pictures and info about this place.  Try to check on my separate blog entry about Mambukal Mountain Resort.

Things You Should Not Miss

Aida’s Chicken in Manokan Country 

Bongbong’s Piyaya  (This are actually items from Bacolod, Iloilo, and Guimaras)

And Lastly, You should not miss this one… 

I really enjoyed eating this one because it is my first time to eat this street food.                        

If anyone happens to know this, please tell me the name of this street food because got to know more about this and how to do this one. 🙂

Bacolod City is a strict and prosperous city.  It has a lot of things for you to experience.  I suggest you visit the city on the third week of October to celebrate with their feast.  I am sure that you would surely have fun in Bacolod!

And Oh, do not ever forget to be yourself when you are in Bacolod, because they say no to “plastic.”  lol.. 🙂

Choose Bacolod! Choose Philippines! Smile!

To know more travel itineraries, visit The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Guimaras Island: Breeder of the Sweetest Mangoes on Earth!

Guimaras Province is a side trip destination for the tourists who visit Boracay via Iloilo.  Though it is just a few minutes away from Iloilo, Guimaras is a separate island and is also a lone province.  Its capital town is Jordan.  It is also the gateway to Guimaras along with Buenavista Town.  It offers a lot of surprises to the tourists; from adventures to white sand beaches.  Personally, the main reason why I came to Guimaras is to taste their mangoes, because mango just happened to be my favorite fruit.  Of course, I wanted to taste the sweetest mango on earth!  And yeah, they really are amazingly sweet!  They even got served in the US’ White House.  Back to the itinerary, we only spent a day trip in Guimaras and we had a great time exploring every corners of the island.  We just had a contact named Kuya Gerald who is responsible for our transpo and the day tour but he was busy at that time because he had other guests so he endorsed us to his brother Charlie.  It went well and I highly recommend Charlie to guide you because he is a good person; someone whom you can really trust.  I will state his number later on.  It was really a great experience for me and my Guimaras travel became one of my favorites  it might become your favorite too!  So pack your things up! Let’s go to Guimaras!

Please be guided that bringing mangoes or any part of a mango is strictly prohibited in Guimaras, but bringing Mangoes from Guimaras is Highly recommended!

How To Get There:

From Manila:  You can reach Guimaras by plane via Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab and tell the cab to take you to Ortiz Wharf (the motorboat wharf bound for Jordan).

From Cebu:  By sea, you can choose from Cokaliong Shipping Lines or Trans Asia Shipping Lines for a 12-hour travel going to Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab or motorcab and instruct them to take you to Ortiz Wharf.  You can also take a jeepney to save money, just ask what Jeepney route that passes Ortiz Wharf.  Then Take the motorboat from Ortiz wharf going to Jordan.

A number of motorboats plying Jordan-Ortiz Wharf.

A motorboat in Ortiz wharf (FARE is 14 Php per person and 20Php during peak hours)

Loading of passengers in Ortiz Wharf

Where To Stay:  A day tour in Guimaras would do and staying in a hotel in Iloilo would be great if you want to save money and maximize your travel time.  But if you want to spend the night in Guimaras, make sure you make a booking ahead of time.  Here are some of the places in Guimaras that you could spend the night:

                        Raymen Beach Resort (Poblacion Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 0918 520 7271

Guisi Clearwater Resort (Dolores Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 09195636688

 Alubihod Cove Resort (Alubihud Beach Drive, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)

You can actually find more accommodations and more information through the Guimaras Website.

What To Do/Where to Visit:  The following below is our Guimaras Day Trip Itinerary:

  The Smallest Park – It is indeed that smallest park and smallest Rizal statue that I have ever seen! 🙂

Guimaras’ Highest Point of Elevation

                  Guimaras Adventure Park – It was my first time to try Target Shooting. Hurray! It was fun! First time in Guimaras and first time to try Target Shooting.

Museo De Guimaras

  The Pitstop – You should stop by this place or spend your lunch here.  You should try their specialty, the Mango Pizza and Chicken adobo With a Twist – It is a chicken adobo simmered in adobo marinade with mango nectar.  Yummy!

Trappist Monastery and Gift Shop – The Trappist Monastery is home of the monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict.  They are most commonly called Trappists.  Tourists drop by the gift shop to buy goods that are being made by the Trappists Monks.  That is their way of living.  They offer Guimaras delicacies like mango bars, mango concentrate and more!

The Mango Plantation

Camp Alfredo

                    Raymen Beach Resort – Swimming time! yeay!

                            Guisi Lighthouse and Ruins – This place is awesome, tranquil, and yeah, it is very ideal for meditation.

Here are more images around the lighthouse vicinity:     This is my favorite spot in Guimaras.  The Guisi Lighthouse and ruins.

Guisi Beach – Well.  With my lady and the pristine white beach, What else could I ask for?

More Photos of Guisi Beach: 

Signages 

Last Stop:  Balaan Bukid – Balaan bukid is a place where Catholic devotees flock during Holy Week to practice penetential rites.

A skyline view of Iloilo City from Balaan Bukid, Guimaras.

Contact Person/Tour Guide/Transport Service: Charlie (+639461966887 ) – Charlie is around early 20s, he is the younger brother of kuya Gerald.  He is a nice person, gentle, and very hospitable.  He can be trusted. Me and my girlfriend even left some of our things with him when we were swimming.  I assure you, he will give you the time of your lives in Guimaras.  His rate for the whole day tour is 1,000 pesos for a motorcab but we gave him 200 pesos as tip.

Or Contact Kuya Gerald- 0908-4748122 (older brother of charlie)

Guimaras is indeed a very exciting destination.  Some people might have ignored the beauty of Guimaras because it has lesser exposure to advertisements and other form of promotions.  Now I can say that I am lucky enough that our creator has given me the opportunity experience one of his beautiful creation.

So that is all for my Guimaras Tour!  Now it is your turn! c’est à votre tour! 🙂 Bon Voyage!

To know the complete itinerary of this trip, visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Southbound Cebu: Oslob

Oslob is one of the most preserved town in Cebu.  An old town built during the spanish period is still there.  When I get to the town proper of oslob, it felt like i was still in the colonial era since spanish structures and ruins are still there.

Old Spanish Cuartel

It was my first time to see an actual old Spanish barracks.  What came into my mind first was a question.  What if I was born during those days where Spanish conquistadors are still dominant?  Would I be a member of the KKK? or just go with the flow? Anyways, I was just curious on the events in the past.

Here is another view of the Cuartel.

Interior view of the Spanish Cuartel ruins.

Here are some of the structures that you can find in the town proper of Oslob.


An old fort that was destroyed.

Oslob Catholic Church

Oslob offers a lot of suprises.  When you go to Oslob, do not forget to bring extra budget since there are lots of things to do.

Where to go and what to do:

Whale Shark Watching:  Whale watching is located in Brgy Tan-awan, Oslob.  It is about 15 to 20 minutes from the town proper.  There are plenty of resorts that caters whale watching to choose from.  Here are some of the few:

  • Aaron’s whale watching.
  • George and Jimmy’s.

The mighty but gentle whale shark

Surrounded by the giants

Tumalog Falls:  It is similar to that of Asik-asik falls in Cotabato.  It produces drops of water making it very fascinating to look at.  It produces cool breeze and it gives fresh feeling just by sitting nearby the falls.

The welcoming environment of Tumalog falls.

Sumilon Island:  A small paradise island located near Oslob.  It is owned and operated by the Blue Water group of resorts.  Sumilon Bluewater offers wide variety of tropical treats for tourists who would like to experience a paradise living.

Photo courtesy of CebuCity7NewWonder FB page

Oslob is a perfect getaway for nature lovers, beach bummers, and heritage enthusiasts.

How to get there:

From Cebu South bus terminal, ride a bus bound for Oslob or Bato/Santander.  you may choose aircon or nonaircon.  Bus travel is approximately 3 to 4 hours.

Where to Stay:

The above-mentioned resorts are highly recommended.  For leisure and first class tourists, I recommend Sumilon Bluewater Resort.  But for the budget travellers, I personally recommend Oslob Garden Stay Resort.  You can contact them through (+63)0922-8111575. 

Oslob Garden Stay resort. Accomodation for only 1,000 php per night for 2 pax w/ aircon, cr, tv, and wifi

Have a nice tour in Oslob!

TIP:  Do not be shy to ask the staff on what to do, what to ride, and where to go.  They are more than willing to help.  They have the best hospitality without any other intentions but only to serve you without additional charges.