Monday, March 31, 2014

Lakwatserong Tatay's in a 6-day Western Visayas Adventure

by lakwatserong tatay

This 6-day Western Visayas (Panay Island) Adventure was supposed to be postponed due to changes of plans. First, this was supposed to be a couples trip, three of us together with our wives. Second, financially not prepared...hehehe...however being lakwatsero's at heart we managed to solve that issue...^_^. and Lastly, mentally not prepared, however we managed to visit all of the provinces on our list although we missed some of the places we wanted to visit.

This trip happened last September 11-16, 2013. I together with Eric and Carlo was able to visit 7 provinces (Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental). Being first timers on some of the provinces, we tried to visit the most recommended places that could fit it on our tight trip itinerary. So let's start with.....

1st Day:  Touchdown Ilo-ilo, Visited the towns of Miag-ao and visited Jaro on our way to Guimaras on Day 4.

We arrive at Iloilo Airport and look for van going to Iloilo City proper and alight to the van terminal that passes by the town of Miag-ao. And visit the historical of Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva also known as Miag-ao Church. We had some photo-opps session, in and out of the church and afterwards we said goodbye and offered prayers for our safe journey. After visiting the church we scout for a carinderia that serves local delicasies of Ilonggo's and were happy to found one just few meters away the church.

On our 4th day going to Guimaras, we managed to stroll around town of Jaro before going to the port that is going to Guimaras Island. We visited Jaro churchIloilo City Hall and Graciano Lopez Jaena Park.

After visiting Miag-ao, we then wait along it highway and ride bus bound to San Jose, Antique and then transfer to van going to Tibiao, Antique. Upon arriving to it's crossing (forgot the name of the crossing, just tell the van driver that your going to Kayak Inn. It took us almost 3 hrs to get to Kayak Inn coming from Miag-ao due to some stops and waiting for passengers to fill in the van ride going to Tibiao. Our first overnight stay (kubo type accommodation) for our trip is Kayak Inn.

Day 1 Itinerary:
  • Arrive at Iloilo Airport
  • Ride van going to SM Iloilo City (alight in van terminal going to Miag-ao)
  • Visit Miag-ao Church
  • Breakfast: Ilonggo's delicacies and visit Pasalubong Center just in front of Miag-ao Church
  • Bus ride going to San Jose, Antique
  • Alight and transfer to van going to Tibiao, Antique
  • Arrive in Kayak Inn (Lunch at Kayak Inn)
  • Do several activities (Trek to Bugtong Bato Falls and Tried Kawa Hot Bath)
  • Stay for the night (nature and bahay kubo way)
Expenses:

DAY 1         solo       3 pax
Dinner (@ office - Manila) 65.00
Taxi to NAIA Terminal 3 50.00 150.00
Van (Iloilo Airport - SM Iloilo Ciy) 50.00
Van (Terminal - Miag-ao Church) 60.00
Breakfast 55.00
Miag-ao Souvenir Tshirt 220.00
Bus (Miag-ao Church - San Jose, Antique) 60.00
Van (San Jose - Tibiao (crossing)) 80.00
Habal-habal to Kayak Inn (v.v.) 150.00
Registration (Tibiao) 50.00
Accomodation (Kayak Inn) 2625.00
    Room (Kubo type) 250.00
    Guide Fee (Bugtong Bato Falls) 50.00 150.00
    Kawa Bath 150.00
    Lunch (Porkchop meal) 100.00
    Dinner (Sinigang na Baboy) 250.00
    Breakfast (Egg, Daing & Coffee) 75.00
TOTAL 1715.00 2925.00


1st Day: Antique, quickie stopover in San Jose and had a full of adventure in Tibiao.

It was around lunchtime when we arrive at Kayak Inn in Tibiao, Antique. Damn were so hungry, thanks for the caretakers that they do offer paluto. We had for our lunch a porkchop meal. Right afterwards were off for our first day adventure. Trek to Bugtong Bato falls and followed by Kawa Hot Bath experience...^_^



After having two memorable activities in Tibiao. We had an early dinner of Sinigang na Baboy (paluto again). We ended our night by having few drinks (red horse)....hehehehe...Ended the night early and had a very good sleep.

2nd Day: My second time in Boracay, Aklan.

We got up early and had our breakfast. But before saying goodbye, we visit first the Hanging Bridge to enjoy the lush greenery view and surroundings and few photo opps in Tibiao River. 

We fetch again by our hired habal-habal up to Tibiao town proper. We wait for the bus bound to Caticlan. Me and Eric are not first timers on Boracay, however Carlo is virgin on this island...hehehehe. He wanted to try Boracay in a chillax way. So upon arriving Caticlan port, we immediately pay necessary fees and go to the boat waiting for passengers.

Our initial plan is to stay in Kalibo, however due to request of Carlo, he wanted to see Boracay by night. So for our 2nd day accommodation, we choose to stay in Boracay Courtyard sister hotel of the La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel. After settling our backpacks on our room, we immediately change our outfit to swimming attire. Were on swimming mode that time, strolled around from Station 1 up to midway of Station 3. Ending all of our entire half day at the beach.

Since were on budget trip, for our dinner is one of the famous fast foodchain in Boracay. We had our dinner at Mang Inasal....hehehehe. Again for 2nd day, we had some bar hopping activities....^_^. Ended the night a bit drunk but we manage to got on hotel safe and have a very nice sleep.

Day 2 Itinerary:
  • Habal-habal ride to Tibiao City Proper
  • Wait for bus bound to Caticlan
  • Arrive at Caticlan Port and boat ride to Boracay Island
  • Tricycle ride to Station 2
  • Accommodation: Boracay Courtyard
  • Freetime: Swimming, Pasalubong Hunting, Dinner, and Bar Hopping
Expenses:

DAY 2         solo       3 pax
Bus (Tibiao - Caticlan) 101.00
Boracay Fees
 Terminal Fee 100.00
 Environmental Fee 75.00
 Boat Fee 25.00
Tricycle to Station 2 35.00 100.00
Lunch (Carinderia) 45.00
Accomodation (Boracay Courtyard) 600.00 1800.00
Snacks (squid balls) 20.00
Dinner (Mang Inasal) 117.00
Pasalubong (assorted)
 Kids Sando 150.00
 Kiddie Bag 100.00
 Boracay Sando 85.00
Budbod Meal 60.00
Tricycle from Station 1 to Station 2 10.00
Bar Hopping (1st bar) 186.00 560.00
Bar Hopping (2nd bar) 193.00 580.00
TOTAL 1902.00 3040.00

3rd Day: Capiz, visited the town of Sta. Monica and stroll, walk, overnight stay and food trip in Roxas City.

We just got up in time for our free breakfast (we just pay additional php150 because the free buffet breakfast is just good for 2pax). After breakfast, we had last minute shopping and off to our next destination. To visit and stay for a night in Capiz. We were able to visit to of its towns, Sta. Monica and Roxas City.

Upon arriving at van terminal in Roxas City, Capiz, we look and ask around how to get to Sta. Monica Church known in having the Biggest Catholic Church Bell in Asia. However most of the locals recommends that we should rent a tricycle and we could include a city tour around Roxas City. So we hired a tricycle for our half day quickie tour of the two places.

For our quickie city tour in Roxas City, we strolled around Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Capitol Building, its park, rotonda and Roxas bridge. After doing city tour our trike driver recommends Asia Novotel for our cheap accommodation, since it was near the city center....^_^

We wrapped the day of adventures in Capiz, happy and contented. We see much of Capiz offered, we had a quickie city tour, and visited a quite town of Sta. Monica. We had our dinner at Baybay Beach ala Dampa style in Manila. This time we ended the night without having drinking sessions....^_^

Day 3 Itinerary:
  • Quickie Free Breakfast
  • Tricycle ride to Manoc-manoc Port of Boracay
  • Arrive at Tabon Port, Caticlan
  • Van ride to Kalibo (van terminal going to Roxas City)
  • Lunch @ Chowking near the van terminal
  • Van ride from Kalibo to Roxas City proper
  • Day tour experience (Visit Church of Sta. Monica and Roxas City tour)
  • Accommodation (Asia Novotel)
  • Dinner @ Baybay Beach Seafood Restaurant (just like at Dampa)
Expenses:

DAY 3         solo        3 pax
Pasalubong (assorted)
 Boracay Tshirts 150.00
Tricycle to Manoc-Manoc Port 20.00 60.00
Terminal Fee 20.00
Boat Fee to Tabon Port 25.00
Van (Tabon port - Kalibo) 100.00
Lunch (Chowking - Kalibo) 71.00
Van (Kalibo - Roxas City) 120.00
Tricycle Tour (Sta.Monica & Roxas City) 110.00 330.00
  City tour
  Sta. Monica Church
Accommodation (Asia Novotel) 265.00 800.00
Tricycle (Hotel - Baybay Beach Seafood Rest.) 15.00
Dinner (ala Dampa) 165.00
 Liempo, Batchoy, Rice & Mountain Dew
Tricycle (Baybay Beach - Hotel) 15.00
TOTAL 1076.00 1190.00

4th Day: Guimaras, we toured two of its town, Nueva Valencia and Jordan. Stay for a night at Raymen Beach Resort.

We have to get up early again to ride bus bound to Iloilo and headway to Jordan Port bound to Guimaras Island for another day tour and overnight staycation. So after few hours of bus ride, we arrive in Iloilo and get to Jordan Port and met up our trike ride/photographer/tour guide Kuya Cherald (0908-4748122)..^_^


First stop, Mt. Balaan Bukid dayhike since this is the farthest, next was Ambacan Falls and last was Smallest Plaza for town of Jordan. Next town to visit is Nueva Valencia, we had two stopovers for Manggahan Viewdeck and Camp Alfredo, next was the Guimaras Provincial Capitol and Museo de Guimaras, Pasalubong Center in Guimaras. For our last stop of day tour is Guisi Lighthouse and Guisi Beach.

For our overnight stay, we choose to stay by the beach and Kuya Cherald suggested Raymen Beach Resort. So after our quite grueling day tour, we then proceed to Raymen and stay their for the night. After settling our things to our room, we then proceed to the beach...swimming mode naman!!!!

Day 4 Itinerary:
  • Early bus ride bound to Iloilo
  • From Iloilo bus terminal to Jaro Plaza
  • Breakfast @ Jollibee Jaro
  • Ferry ride bound to Guimaras Island
  • Day tour (Mt. Balaan Bukid, Ambacan Falls, Guimaras Provincial Capitol, Museo de Guimaras, Guimaras Pasalubong Center, Sightseeing in Guimaras Manggahan Farms, Camp Alfredo, Guisi Lighthouse and Beach, Smallest Plaza
  • Accommodation & Dinner: Raymen Beach Resort
Expenses:

DAY 4         solo        3 pax
Tricycle to Bus Terminal 15.00
Bus via Ceres (Capiz to Iloilo) 165.00
Tricycle (Tagbak Terminal, Jaro) to Jaro Plaza 7.50
Breakfast (Jollibee Jaro) 69.00
Jeepney ride (Jaro Ikot NFA bound) Plaza to Ortiz Port 8.00
Ferry Ride via Strait Cruises (Ortiz to Jordan Port, Guimaras) 14.00
Day Tour Guimaras 350.00 1050.00
  Mt. Balaan Bukid (Tip on Caretaker) 10.00 30.00
  Ambacan Falls
  Pasalubong Center 196.00
  Trappist Monastery
  Quick stopovers (Viewdeck of Manggahan Fams & Camp Alfredo)
  Guisi Lighthouse & Guisi Beach
  Smallest Plaza
Accomodation: Rayment Beach Resort (Sunflower Rm w/ Entrance) 375.00 1000.00
Dinner @ Rayment Beach Restaurant 115.00
Tricycle (Rent to Buenavista Port) 100.00 300.00
TOTAL 1424.50 2380.00


5th Day: Negros Occidental, quick city tour in Bacolod City and visited the town of Murcia and spend half day at Mambukal Resort.

Upon arriving in Bacolod via fastcraft ferry ride in Iloilo, we hurriedly look for jeepney that is going to city proper. Luckily there was a private pickup type that get passengers for a minimal amount. Upon reaching Bacolod city proper, we had a quick city tour, buy pasalubongs in Bongbong's and have lunch at SM Bacolod.
After having all of that activity we proceed to our next destination. In the town of Murcia, where Mambukal Resort is located, we will visit the famous 7 waterfalls, however due to time constraint, were just able to visit 6 of its 7 falls. We intended to go back to city and transfer to our next destination which is town of Silay for the Mansion Ruins. However due to untoward bus ride experience, who would not be pissed of, from Mambukal Resort where minibus terminal going to Libertad Terminal, Bacolod. We travel for almost 3 hours if im not mistaken. We arrived at Bacolod kind a late and the weather did not actually going to favor on our side. So we decided not to proceed for our next destination because it was too dark and just stay again in SM Bacolod to waste few hours. We had dinner there and stroll around. And then proceed to Ceres Bus Terminal bound for Dumaguete.

Around 12 midnight is the schedule of bus bound to Dumaguete. Approximately we will travel for 5-6 hours depending how the bus will be driving. However, were so happy that our bus driver that time was kind a fast and furious mode, we arrive at Dumaguete quite early.

Day 5 Itinerary:
  • Early trip from Iloilo to Bacolod via Weesam Fastcraft Ferry
  • Quick Bacolod City tour
  • Breakfast at local carinderia near the Libertad Bus Terminal in Bacolod
  • Lunch at SM Bacolod
  • Buy pasalubongs at Bongbong's near SM Bacolod Branch
  • Minibus ride going to town of Murcia and visit Mambukal Resort
  • Get dismayed with our bus driver back to Bacolod from Mambukal Resort..and missed out our Silay mansion ruins tour....^_^
  • Dinner and strolled again in SM Bacolod
  • Accomodation: Bus ride bound to Dumaguete (tipid mode)
Expenses:

DAY 5        solo        3 pax
Ferry Ride (Jordan to Iloilo wharf) 14.00
Fastcraft Ferry Ride (Iloilo to Bacolod) 330.00
Jeepney Ride (Bacolod port to Libertad Market) 20.00
Jeepney Ride (Libertad Market to Downtown) 7.50
Pasalubong
  Bongbong's 450.00
  Souvenir Bacolod Tshirts (2pcs) 510.00
Lunch (Mang Inasal - SM Bacolod) 115.00
Jeepney Ride (SM Bacolod to Libertad Terminal) 80.00
Bus Ride (Minibus to Mambukal Resort) 35.00
Mambukal Resort Entrance Fee 50.00
Guide Fee Tip (with kids) 10.00 30.00
Bus Ride (Mambukal to Libertad Terminal) 35.00
Jeepney Ride (Libertad Terminal to SM Bacolod) 8.00
Dinner (Mang Inasal - SM Bacolod) 115.00
Bongbong's SM Bcd Branch to Ceres Terminal (South) 8.00
Bus Ride bound to Dumaguete 331.00
TOTAL 2118.50 30.00

6th Day: Negros Oriental, we had a quick city tour, visit the famous university in town known as Silliman University and buy pasalubong in Sansrival, famous delicacy in Dumaguete and wasted our remaining hours at Robinson Place Dumaguete.

Arriving in town quite early in the morning, it was around 430 in the morning. So we choose to stay inside the bus terminal in Dumaguete and wait for the sunrise before doing our itinerary that day. First on our list is to have a quick city tour. Right afterwards, after having breakfast at Atong Kamalig Restaurant near Silliman University, we toured inside Silliman University took some photo opps, talk to some of the students and relax, sit and stayed on their amphitheater. After looking back on our school day memories at Silliman University. We then walk towards to Dumaguete's Baywalk, and right afterwards, we go to Sansrival Restaurant to buy the famous pasalubong in Dumaguete's "Sansrival". Right after tasting sweet delicacies, we then ride a tricycle going to Robinson's Place Dumaguete since our flight is around 4pm in the afternoon. We just savor our time at Robinson's Place.


After having good time in the mall, and my co-traveler buy sunglasses on one of the stores inside Robinson's Place. By the 230pm, we exited the mall and traveled via tricycle from Robinson's Place Dumaguete to Dumaguete Airport. Were bit early as our plane back to Manila scheduled around 350pm. So what we did inside the airport is just sleep at the available sit besides our hand carry things, wait for our boarding time and and in few hours we will be back to reality.

Day 6 Itinerary:
  • Arrive at Dumaguete Bus Terminal around 430am
  • Quick city tour in Dumaguete, visited Dumaguete's Provincial Capitol, Church and Park.
  • Eat breakfast at Atong Kamalig (restobar near Silliman University)
  • Walk at Dumaguete's Baywalk
  • Tried and buy some Sansrival for our pasalubongs, famous delicacy of Dumaguete
  • Lunch, and spend our remaining hours at Robinson's Place Dumaguete
  • Arrived at Manila NAIA Terminal 3
  • Shuttle ride going to Baclaran
  • Commute via bus and jeepney ride going to Antipolo
  • Home sweet home around 8pm...^_^

Expenses:

DAY 6        solo        3 pax
Tricycle (Dumaguete Bus Terminal to Siliman University) 10.00
Breakfast @ Atong Kamalig (Tapsilog) 60.00
Pasalubong (Sansrival Silvanas /php125 (box) 2 pcs 250.00
Tricycle (Sansrival House to Robinson Dumaguete) 10.00
Drink: Coke 23.00
Tricycle (Robinson Dumaguete to Dumaguete Airport) 30.00 90.00
Terminal Fee 75.00
Shuttle Ride (NAIA Terminal 3 to Baclaran) 20.00
Bus Ride (Baclaran to Crossing) 25.00
Jeepney Ride (Crossing to Antipolo) 35.00
TOTAL 538.00 90.00

Arriving bit late afternoon in Manila, stress out, quite tired due to our 6 days of activities in Western & Central Visayas. We managed to visit all of the provinces on our list, although we missed some on our list. But were really happy and satisfied in the outcome of our trip, it can be more happier if were with our wives that time, but there's always a next time for our trip together with our wives. For now, i'll be ending this trip story, happy, contended and exited because i really wanted to share all of our adventures in 6 days.

Summary of Expenses (Excluding Airfare)        solo
Day 1 (Manila - Iloilo - Antique) 1715.00
Day 2 (Antique - Boracay Island) 1902.00
Day 3 (Boracay Island - Roxas City, Capiz) 1076.00
Day 4 (Capiz - Iloilo - Guimaras) 1424.50
Day 5 (Guimaras - Iloilo - Bacolod - Dumaguete) 2118.50
Day 6 (Dumaguete - Manila) 538.00
TOTAL 8774.00

I'll be doing separate blog post for the stories behind of our adventures in the Provinces and Towns of Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. For now, this is our actual itinerary, individual and group expenses and collated highlight pictures of our 6-Day Western Visayas Adventure.

Hope you'll like it, share it and maybe do it like we did.....^_^

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Preview: 6 Days - 9 Provinces - Mindanao Trip

by lakwatserong tatay

**Update: Were done with this trip together with my two co-lakwatserong tatay's johari and jp.  We manage to visit all of the regions however we missed two of our target provinces. First is Glan, Sarangani to visit Gumasa Beach and second is Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur to visit the Passig Islet Aqua Park Resort although Davao City is under Davao del Sur. So for these reasons, we will have to go back and maybe add more towns and provinces to explore, specially the Province of Sultan Kudarat...^_^.

We manage to visit 8 provinces out of 9 target provinces (General Santos, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat for Soccsargen ; Surigao del Sur for CARAGA, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur for Davao region), visited 12 cities/towns (Koronodal, Lake Sebu, Tacurong, Isulan, Britania, Hinatuan, Bislig, Davao City, Mati, Nabunturan, Pantukan and (IGACOS) Samal Island). 

It was one heck of trip, different bus transfers, roro ride, island hoping activities, wonderful sceneries, warm welcome by local residents, one memorable ride of habal-habal and tons of memorable photo opps....^_^.


One week from now, x-plorerboyz will have another adventure from the provinces of Mindanao. 3 of us will set their foot for the 1st time in Mt. Apo. Yours truly together with co-lakwatserong tatay's johari and jp will be traversing provinces, 9 in total from Soccsargen provinces, to Surigao der Sur and back to Davao Region.

My modified travel map...^_^

My very own travel map version...thanks to wikipedia..^_^
Our draft itinerary:

Day1: Travel to General Santos to Koronadal(Marbel) to Surallah to Lake Sebu (our 1st stop for the day) Activities: Zipline, Lunch at Punta Isla Resort and any possible spots that could fit on our spent time in Lake Sebu....(for any suggestions please do comment on this post...thanks!). Travel back to GenSan, and look for cheap accomodation....^_^

Day2: Early wakeup for GenSan Fish Port...^_^, and then travel to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat for Isulan's Provincial Capitol, Provincial Museum and Governor's Palace. Travel back to GenSan and next stopover is Glan, Sarangani (beacheneering in Gumasa Beach). Two options for night accomodation. Look for straight trip to San Agustin, Surigao del Sur or stay for the night in Davao City. (any suggestions will be a really big help and maybe a free accomodation for the night..^_^)

Day3: Start our day for a long bus ride to San Agustin, Surigao del Sur for Island Hoping in Britania Group of Island and proceed right after to Hinatuan for Enchanted River and overnight stay at Sibadan Fish Cage....^_^

Day4: Early bird catches the beautiful sunrise in Port Lamon, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur we will be having our Island Hoping in Port Lamon and right after this activity we will be going in Bislig's Niagara falls known as Tinuy-an Falls, Lunch at Ocean View Park Restaurant and visit the International Doll House...^_^

Day5: After staying overnight in Davao, we will be having a very early bus ride to Mati, Davao Oriental for Dahican Beach. On our wayback to Davao, we will be having our lunch at Magnana Waters Beach Resort in Pantukan, Compostela Valley and we will be having a quickie stay at Passig Islet Aqua-Eco Park Resort in Sta.Cruz, Davao del Sur.....(any suggestions will be a big help and could help us for the free overnight homestay in Davao would be so much appreciated).

Day6: Back at Davao City, we will going to Samal Island, Davao del Norte for a quickie halfday adventure from Mt. Puting Bato quickie hike, visit Monfort Bat Cave, be refresh in Hagimit falls and if time permits we will try go to Maxima Aquafun to try their giant slide...^_^ and right after a quickie day tour in Samal Island. We will head back to Davao city for a quickie tour...and by 8pm head back to Manila and back to reality....^_^

For tips, suggestions, willing to tour us and give us free home staycation on this places. I would also love to meet any fellow co-travel bloggers, if your on this provinces starting thursday next week. Just place a comment or pm me......me, together with my co-tatays will be willingly and gladly to accept it and be happy to meet you in person....thanks!

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