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Visayas

Beautiful Malapascua Island in Cebu

Cebu By May 12, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

I rarely put an adjective on any blog title, but I felt like it today. I still like Bantayan Island more than Malapascua because of the food, which is delicious no matter what dish and no matter which resto or resort, so I would have to find another, hopefully, better adjective than “beautiful” for the title of my Bantayan Island blog.

Malapascua Island, Cebu

I have been to many islands but I would have to concede and say that Malapascua is so charming I would want to live on it if I didn’t already live in another island where I happen to love the people so much. I have more than a few friends who love this island as much as I do now and it was only on my second trip that I finally realized why.

Malapascua Island, Cebu

On my first trip to Malapascua Island in 2010, I got on a boat and went snorkeling around the island. I took a few ugly photos here and there too. You may look at them here. You may notice that I have kept the border style but not the processing. I have long discarded that processing action, and have now moved on to, hopefully, a better and more realistic approach to post processing. If I could go back to all the photos I processed in my early days and redo them, I would. As it is, I think them too ugly to even go back to. I am rarely impressed with photos and this also applies to my own. For every 100 photos I shoot, I think all 99 of them are ugly. When I shoot, I think more about the text and an entire article to go along with whatever I am shooting. I suppose this makes me more of a writer than a photographer, but then again, who cares?

Malapascua Island, Cebu

Malapascua Island, Cebu

Malapascua Island, Cebu

If I am to consider myself a photographer, I would say I am really a very lazy photographer. I shoot as I walk and only stop for a few seconds, enough to hear the focus lock, then click, and move on. I keep telling myself I should improve on this, crouch more, hide behind this trunk or this plant or that chair, but I’m too lazy. I suppose it also didn’t help the cause that I almost never travel without my daughter, who turned 4 years old last month, and it was such an effort to carry a baby/toddler and a bag of her necessities plus a camera, and a camera bag with an extra lens, and shoot too, all at the same time. (Did you see my Hong Kong blogs in 2010? I had a 1.5 year old baby, a backpack, a trolley that I pulled, and a stroller that I pushed, and I did these all by myself.)

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Diving in Gato Island, Malapascua

Cebu By May 11, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Gato Island is one of Malapascua’s most famous dive sites. It is a small uninhabited island north west of Malapascua.

Diving in Gato Island, Cebu

Leaving Malapascua Island for Gato Island via Evolution Divers

Diving in Gato Island, Cebu

Diving in Gato Island, Cebu

Gato is a marine reserve and sea snake sanctuary. It has abundant marine life and considered an underwater paradise for the tons of exotic aqua marine life species it plays home to. Gato Island is also a popular breeding ground for sea snakes. It is one of the only remaining three sea snake breeding spots in the Philippines. Breeding season is from March to September and during these months, species of snakes like the black and white banded sea snake, gigantic moray eel, silver eel and other poisonous snakes abound. Other marine life species you can see are frogfish, scorpionfish, shrimps, shells, cuttlefish (often while mating), pufferfish, tuna, mackerel, squids, stingrays, snappers, nudibranchs and pygmy sea horses. The site is also known for sightings of sharks such as the white tip reef sharks, cat sharks, and bamboo sharks that are usually seen sleeping in the cave and sometimes lurking around the exit.

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Backpacking Itinerary Bacolod-Dumaguete-Oslob-Moalboal-Cebu, May 2013

Travel By May 5, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Here is the tentative itinerary for the planned 7D/6N Backpacking Visayas trip for this month, subject to (many) changes. I have done my research and my thanks to all the resources, that are quoted, and linked. I have not done this in ages, and quite frankly, I am a bit scared. Hahaha! I always like my trips slow and deliberate, but this one, is taking it too fast, according to my standards. I just feel old but well, I will pretend like I am still in my 20s.

By the way, this will be my third time in Bacolod (the second time was spent in Punta Bulata in Cauayan), second time in Dumaguete, first time in Oslob and Moalboal, 5th time in Cebu City. In 2008, I already spent nearly two weeks in Dumaguete, Siquijor, and combed the coast of Negros Occidental from Dumaguete all the way to Sipalay, and back.

So here goes!

Day 1

Arrival in Bacolod (ETA 13:05)
Sightseeing in Silay – The Ancestral Houses (via The Poor Traveler)
Eating! – Chicken Inasal, Palapala, and Calea (via Franny Wanny and Solitary Wanderer)
Overnight at Ong Bun Pension House (via Juanderful Pinoy)

Day 2
Optional Tours (via Bacolod City Govt)
Depart for Dumaguete via Mabinay (via Bacolod City Govt. and Happy Steps)

Mabinay route, the shortest route from Bacolod to Dumaguete crossing through the mountains from the north-western part to the south-eastern part of the Negros Island:

Bacolod City (capital of Negros Occidental)
Bago City
Valladolid
San Enrique
Pontevedra
Hinigaran
Binalbagan
Himamaylan City
Kabankalan City
—–
Mabinay
Bais City
Tanjay City
Amlan
San Jose
Sibulan
Dumaguete City (capital of Negros Oriental)

Arrival in Dumaguete
Accommodations via friends

Day 3
Open Schedule/Meetings
Accommodations via friends

Day 4
Travel from Dumaguete to Oslob (via Unsatisfied Mind)
Sightseeing on Oslob
Overnight in Oslob (via Pinay Solo Backpacker)

Day 5
ETA 7AM Sumilon Island Day Tour via Sumilon Bluewater Resort
ETD 530PM Travel from Oslob to Moalboal (via Boy Wander)
Estimated travel time: 2.5-3 hrs
Overnight in Moalboal (via Lakwatsero)

Day 6
Sightseeing in Moalboal
Depart Moalboal (What is the last bus trip out going to Cebu?)
Arrive in Cebu

Day 7
Depart Cebu ETD 6:00
Arrival Manila ETA 07:20

 

This is happening next week. I am going solo so I would probably be taking a lot of photos. No checked in baggage but bringing camera gear, laptop and gadgets, and own snorkel and fins. Just like good old days. Hah! Good luck!

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Quick Update – Travel

Travel By May 5, 2013 Tags: , , No Comments

While I am busy going through the photos from my trip to Malapascua and Bantayan Islands in Cebu last March, and will be posting these photos and blogs this week, I am nearly done with preparing my itinerary for my upcoming trip back to the Visayas.

7 days of hardcore backpacking, which I have not done in ages, through Bacolod, Dumaguete, Oslob, and Moalboal. I will be flying in to Bacolod and flying out of Cebu City.

I hope to be able to finish all blogs, do a lot of work while I am still in the metro and gear up for one week of buses and boats and travelers hostels and backpacker lodges, and hopefully, come out of this trip with my job intact, all my business meetings done, and only a few thousand pesos poorer.

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Raymen Beach Resort, Alubihod Beach, Guimaras

Guimaras By October 2, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 9 Comments

Although I stayed at Villa Igang, Raymen Beach Resort is just its neighbor. It was decided that the beach, considered as the most popular in Guimaras, was worth a visit.
 
RAYMEN BEACH RESORT
Alubihod, Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
Contact Persons: Annabelle Estaya / Salvacion Gentizon
Contact Nos.: +633-3960252, +633-3960383, +639185207271

Among the tourist destinations in the island province, this is most accessible to both local and foreign tourists. It is accessible by boat and land transportation. Tranquil cove like… beach line even during turbulent seas makes it ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and fun games. Known for its pinky sand, blue waters, its rustic ambiance and panoramic view attract both local and international tourist. This resort has an Area of 1,008 square meters. If one travels by land, Raymen Beach is 40 minutes from Jordan wharf. If one chooses to travel by boat, it will take an hour from Iloilo Wharf. Raymen caters not only visiting tourists, but offer its ground and facilities to locals as well: Live-in conferences, workshops, seminars, weddings or any group celebrations.” (Source)

Raymen Beach Resort, Alubihod, Guimaras

Raymen Beach Resort, Alubihod, Guimaras

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Villa Igang, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras

Guimaras By October 2, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 7 Comments

VILLA IGANG BEACH RESORT
Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras
MATR Corporation c/o John B. Lacson Foundation
M. H. del Pilar St., Molo, Iloilo City, Philippines

Contact Persons: Ms. Lorlyn Arañador / Lina Rizon
Contact Nos.: +33 3365507 / +33 394-0024 / +63 9173110260 / +63 9263753634

Villa Igang Park formerly known as Puerto del Mar is the happy midpoint between sky and seabed. Whichever direction the eye chooses to go, it will catch only a sense of rightness. The resort was originally planned as a conservation area for tropical foliage and marine life and important lines are drawn toward this end. Virgin coral beds and old trees are equally protected with love, and a keen sense of the future. It is located at Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras adjacent to other resorts along Alubihod Bay.” (Source)

Villa Igang Beach Resort, Guimaras

Villa Igang Beach Resort, Guimaras

Villa Igang Resort vista

Arriving at Villa Igang on a drizzling day one February afternoon found the resort nearly empty save for a few guests.

I was hoping for a nice sunset view but was disappointed.

Though the resort, on a sunny day, gives one beautiful views, and photos, like the few that Edcel Suyo was able to capture HERE and HERE.

I, for myself was hampered with an 8th-month pregnancy, so I was not able to explore the resort and its cliffs, caves and views as much as I would have liked.

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