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July 06, 2011

My Eat-Pray-Love Vacation

If you noticed lately that I barely post anything here that is because my heart, body and soul are still "on vacation" mode. Hehe! After that wonderful Eat-Pray-Love vacation at Guimaras-Ilolilo-Bacolod, my body, soul and heart are still looking for some more out-of-town trips. But before I book my next flight out of Metro Manila, let me share to you what happened to me and two of my superfriends in Guimaras, Iloilo and Bacolod.


Boarded a Cebu Pacific flight to Bacolod, we started our Eat-Pray-Love journey through travelling from Bacolod to Iloilo to Guimaras, where we spent our first day. Our travel from Bacolod to Guimaras was kinda smooth - kinda because when we were about to reach the shores of Guimaras, a strong rain poured on us making us all wet. Thankfully, we reached Guimaras all safe and thank God again that they have this tourism office that helped us to get our transpo easily from the port to Raymen Resort.


Raymen Resort served as our home in Guimaras. Though the whole place wasn't that grand, it was decent enough to accommodate us and served us the food that we wanna eat. Probably the downsides about this place were the poor communication signals, may it be Sun, Smart or Globe, and the air conditioned room that was supposedly good for four but the toiletries were only good for two. We kindly asked the reception area to give us an additional toiletries since there were a three of us, but they said that we have to pay extra for those. :-(


Anyway, we arrived at the resort all hungry and tired, so after settling our stuff in our room and refreshing ourselves, we headed to the resort's canteen to have our first decent meal on the island. The prices were pocket-friendly and the people in the canteen were all so nice and accommodating. Since we thought that the rain outside will continue all night, we decided to have an early dinner and ordered Sinigang na Salmon, Pansit Bihon, their organic rice and some refreshing mango shake! ^_^


Guimaras is well-known for its sweet mangoes that's why we had our EAT Trip here. ^_^


The following morning the weather started okay, so we woke up at around 7 in the morning and had our quick breakfast at the resort's canteen again. Then, we asked the receptionist in-charge to book us a boat for an island-hopping escapade. Lucky us, boats were already available and we had our trip right then and there.


Kuya Weng, our boatman, took us to Guiamaras' seven beautiful destinations:



SEAFDEC
(read my blog about SEAFDEC here.)

Tinigiban Island
(read my blog about Tiniguiban Island here.)

Ave Maria Island
(read my blog about Ave Maria Island here.)

Turtle Island
(read my blog about Turtle Sanctuary here.)

Baras Cave
(read my blog about Baras Cave here.)


Baras Beach Resort
(read my blog about Baras Resort here.)

Nagtago Island
(read my blog about Nagtago Island here.)

Rico Beach Resort
(read my blog about Rico Beach Resort here.)

We spent three hours on this island hopping trip. Though, I still find it "bitin", I'm quite happy to know more about Guimaras and the islets surrounding this wonderful place. After that, we went back to Raymen Resort to enjoy the water there. And after an hour, we went back to our room to pack our things and checked for our next destination - Iloilo - for our Pray Trip. ^_^


But before heading back to Ortiz Port, Guimaras to take a 10-minute boat ride back to Iloilo City, we asked our driver to drop us at Trappist Monastery to buy some mango love pasalubongs and to Guimaras Museum to see some of the province's historical background. I was saddened when I saw their museum, but I'll be sharing that story on my travel blog Rammmpa!, so, watch our for that.

Trappist Abbey
(read my blog about Trappist Abbey here.)

Guimaras Museum
(read my blog about Guimaras Museum here.)

You can read my detailed Guimaras blog here: http://rammmpa.blogspot.com/2011/07/rainforest-called-guimaras.html

We arrived at Iloilo City around 2 p.m., and since we didn't have a clue where to stay there, we asked the pedicab drivers around the port and one pointed us to City Corporate Inn, which is a 5-minute walk from the SuperCat Terminal.


In all fairness, City Corporate Inn looked good and decent. A place just beside Gaisano Supermarket, this was our home here in Iloilo.

By around 5 p.m. we hopped on a public jeepney going to the southern part of Iloilo. We were actually planning to do some church hopping this time starting with San Joaquin Church, but unfortunately due to heavy traffic, the estimated 45-minute travel time turned into an hour and a half travel. We got to see San Joaquin Church and got some shots of it, but we just passed by the Miag-ao Church, since the place was already dark when we saw it.


We arrive back in the city around 8 in the evening. After that, we went straight to Tatoy's Manokan where we had a taste of delicious Ilonggo dishes. Oh, I was really, really full that night. The food were all great! Can't wait to be back there.

We were back to our hotel by pass 10 p.m., and since we didn't get to explore Iloilo City that much, we scheduled our next day trip to be half-Iloilo and half-Bacolod.

I had a bad experience while sleeping that night, but nonetheless, that didn't ruin my next day's mood.


Since we are planning to be back in Bacolod after lunch time, we started our day tour of Iloilo City early. We had our breakfast at Ted's La Paz Batchoy, then right after that, we went straight to Jaro Church where Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria was hailed.


Next, we went back to Iloilo City Proper and dropped by first at SM Dominga (another SM in Iloilo) to buy some pasalubongs and souvenir shirts. ^_^

After that, we hailed a cab to take us to Calle Real. We were actually planning see the whole place but when we noticed that it was just like a Divisoria, we asked our driver to take us instead to Plaza Libertad


Oh, when our driver learned that we are from Manila, he happily said that he was from Manila too - Sta. Ana, Manila. ^_^


Plaza Libertad was just in front of San Jose Church. Lucky us, when we arrived there a wedding ceremony was on-going, so we photographed the place more beautiful.

It was already 11 a.m. by the time we decided to go back to our hotel and prepared ourselves for the final leg of our vacation - the Love Trip at Bacolod.

We thought that our ferry was scheduled at 12 noon, but when we arrived at SuperCat Terminal, it was on at 1:30 p.m. So since I'm not that kind of person who waits and let the minute pass by and since the girls don't wanna go out in the sun, I asked them to look for my stuff because I'll be going outside to shoot more photos. I turned on my phone's GPS and saw that Fort San Pedro Ruins was just near our port, so I asked a pedicab driver to take me there to see what's in there.

Fort San Pedro Ruins

It was like an old Manila Bay, the place was kinda forgotten, but I still saw some families enjoying the sun and water, even though the water there was kinda murky.

I went back to the port after some minutes, and by the time I got there, our ferry was about to dock. We left Iloilo kinda unfulfilled, but we were also excited to return to Bacolod where more great destinations are waiting for us.

Our Love Trip for Bacolod started by checking in to Kings Hotel - our home here in Bacolod. Then, we quickly went out, hailed a cab to have our late lunch at Bacolod's famous Manokan County.


I think that was the best chicken inasal I've ever tasted in my life, and with a price like that, I'm actually planning to go back to Bacolod as early as now to have more of their local dishes.

Yummy!

Since SM Bacolod was just around the corner, we decided to drop by there first to freshen ourselves up before heading to BongBong's Pasalubong Center.


The delicacies at BongBong's were really affordable. I also brought some nice masskara necklaces and souvenir shirts as a pasalubong to my parents and officemates.


I wanna take home some Napoleones, so we headed next to Virgie's where I bought the last remaining box of Napoleones. ^_^ Another Yummy!

Another Bacolod's pride that we didn't miss was the Calea. So, right after spending some hard-earned money for our pasalubongs, we went to Calea, which was near La Salle - Bacolod to satisfy our sweet tooth cravings.


I had a strawberry cheese cake, and man, it was good! 

We all felt tired after that sumptuous sweets, so we decided to go back to our hotel. Surprisingly,  Ence and I felt energized the moment we stepped into our room, so we decided again to went outside to see more of Bacolod. It was the last night of our vacation too, so we really pushed it to the limits. Hehe.


Since, we noticed that our hotel was just like some 20-minute walk to SM Bacolod, we decided to go back to SM Bacolod to buy some more pasalubongs. (I told you, this our Love Trip, we love spending. LOL). We were still full from all the food that we had so we just agreed to walk our way SM Bacolod, and also to see the other structures nearby. We got to see and explore the Bacolod Public Plaza, which was kinda deserted that night. Then, just across the street was the San Sebastian Cathedral which was really hard to miss.


After some more walks, we reached SM Bacolod. Ence brought more pasalubongs for her officemates, while I brought an umbrella because the rain started pouring outside. After we finished completing our shopping lists, I asked Ence to accompany me to the Pope John Paul II Tower. We were having a great time taking souvenir photos when two frogs suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Hahaha! So we left the place shocked but laughing really hard.


We stayed at SM Bacolod for some more minutes to let the rain pass before heading back to the hotel. We were really tired by the time we reached the hotel, but we all opted to stay awake since our flight back to Manila was scheduled at 6 in the morning.

By 12 midnight, our tummies felt hungry, thankfully there where some street barbecues near our hotel and so we decided to have our late dinner there.


Around 3 in the morning, the taxi that we asked to bring us to the airport picked us up at the hotel. But since our driver thought that we were gonna be too early, he brought us first to Balay Negrense to see the amazing house. It was indeed one of the best old houses that I saw, and I was really happy to see it just before we leave Bacolod.


I think we spent some good 15 minutes there. The housekeeper who was already awake when we got there let us in to see the garden. But we didn't got a chance to see the interior of the house,since he said that it'll be open til 6 in the morning.

We arrived in the airport just in time to check-in our bags. We bid goodbye to our very nice cab driver, Kuya Art, and paid our dues plus some tip.

Though, we had a great time exploring and experiencing Western Visayas, we were leaving with a heavy heart. I, personally, had a great time. I really learned a lot and enjoy so much. This vacation was truly memorable and I really want to go back soon to these provinces. I wanna see the Dinagyang Festival and Masskara Festival. ^_^

To Guimaras that fill our tummies with wonderful mango delights, to Iloilo's outstanding churches that amazed us and to Bacolod's wide variety of choices and friendly locals that made us love the whole province, thank you and we hope to see you all again soon!


To check out my detailed blogs about the places and discoveries that we made and the food that we ate, feel free to subscribe to http://lafanggero.blogspot.com and http://rammmpa.blogspot.com.

Til my next vacation!
Happy life! Good vibes! Superfriends! ^_^





6 comments:

Event Lover said...

i wanna go on a vacation too

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

Nakakamiss ang Guimaras at Iloilo! Hindi pa ako nakakapag-Bacolod, pero i wanna go there soon :) Thanks for sharing!

Alex Dizon said...

@EventLover, go ahead! Travel while you're young! ^_^

Alex Dizon said...

@Mica: And thanks for dropping by! I wanna go back to Bacolod for their Masskara Festival this October too! ^_^

elmerlovesoreo said...

Nakakainggit! Sana ako din makapunta sa Bacolod!

Alex Dizon said...

Bitin din ako when I visit Bacolod. I'm planning to back this October for Maskarra festival. ^_^ *fingers-crossed*

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