Monday, April 03, 2017

Five Islands in Five Days around the Visayas

It was the most exhilarating part of my travel adventure so far and it happened August 25 to 29, 2016. I was supposed to be going alone on this journey but I dragged two of my best buddies to go, book a round trip flight to Bacolod with me, and unsurprisingly, they agreed as always. haha

Like I normally do, I researched vigorously on how this trip has to be done until I realized that the Island of Negros is close to some other Island provinces in the Visayas region. So I thought, instead of Visiting just the Negros Island (Occidental and Oriental) for this journey, why not explore its neighboring provinces as well? I know for sure that Negros Island alone has so much attraction and adventure that awaits everyone but I and friends agreed and thought this would be so much fun, and indeed it was.

Let's kick this off

Like I said, we booked a round trip ticket to Bacolod-Silay City and from there, our adventure began.

Day 1, The Ruins and Bacolod City
Landed in Bacolod-Silay airport at 7:25 am, we hopped on a tricycle outside the airport to Silay public plaza. Beside the plaza is the San Diego Pro-Cathedral, and facing it are different business establishments including a convenience store where we purchased some snacks and bottled water.
Lunch at The Ruins
Bound to the famous The Ruins, we rode a jeepney bound to Bata. We are supposed to have another ride from Bata to The Ruins but we are the only passengers left and the driver offered to bring us there for 150 pesos. We agreed since we believe its hassle free and fast. The Ruins beauty is indeed mesmerizing. We had fun in the place and stayed there for lunch.

 Left The Ruins around 1:00 PM and headed to Bacolod City to meet a friend for Dinner. I just meet this friend on facebook travel group and she had given us plenty of advice regarding our trip. We're still good friends and she's flying to Davao soon for our upcoming adventure in SoCSarGen.

The night came and we bade goodbye to our friend and rode a bus bound to Dumaguete City.
Day 2, Apo Island, Negros Oriental
We left Bacolod City at 11:00 PM on board a Ceres bus bound to Dumaguete. We had a total travel time of six hours and all we did over the course of time was sleep. We arrived at Dumaguete City bus terminal at 5:00 AM and stayed there until 5:30 to rest, and to use their clean comfort rooms.

At exactly 5:30 AM we rode another Ceres bus bound to Bayawan for an hour and told the driver and conductor to drop us off at Malatapay Market Where the port to Apo Island is approximately 500M away from the highway. We arrived a little early since the registration office opens at 7:30 AM so we make used of the time by eating breakfast at the nearest carenderia and change swimming clothes in advance.

We had a great time at Apo Island. Snorkeling and swimming with pawikans were the best activities most people can experience aside from diving. 

Left the island at 2:00 PM, had a bath at the port in Malatapay before we went to Dumaguete Port and luckily, we are just in time for the 4:20 PM ferry bound to San Juan, Siquijor. Travel time lasted for around an hour and a half.

Outside the port, we negotiate for a driver to tour us the next day and to bring us to the hostel where we are gonna stay. After dinner and few drinks, we dozed up.

Related Article: Apo Island: How to go and things you need to know

Day 3, Siquijor Island
Woke up to the magic of Siquijor on our 3rd day and 3rd island, we were so excited about the whole day tour. Our driver kuya Loloy fetched us at our hostel, and at 8:00 AM we were bound to explore Siquijor. 
We came to a lot of famous spots in the island and have seen with our eyes all the beautiful sights along the way.

We had a lunch at a carenderia recommended by kuya Loloy and we exchanged life stories as we eat. I can still remember how kuya Loloy hold his tears when he mentioned about his oldest and only daughter who is about to graduate college but died of food allergy or food poison, a reason they are not sure about. He said he can't accept what happened and in the process of healing, he had to stop driving for 3 months and just stayed at home. Such an honest and softhearted man, he made me weep during our lunch and it was the saddest lunch I have ever had.
At the end of the day, we thanked kuya Loloy for an awesome tour. Back at our hostel, we feasted on a sumptuous dinner ordered at their restaurant, shared few conversation with other guests, drank some beer and then we slept with my spotify's "creative thinking music" playlist on the background.

Related Article: Must go places for an all packed adventure in Siquijor

Day 4, Iloilo
So we woke up early around 6:00 AM to catch the first ferry boat trip back to Dumaguete City. We have savored the morning breeze with a little of sunshine as we are seated on the open air seat of the boat.

Arrive in Dumaguete a little over 9:00 AM, we had a walk at the Rizal Boulevard where we had some photo ops. Right after that, we rode a trike to the ceres bus terminal. Before boarding the bus, we decided to take out some water and food so we can have our lunch wherever and whenever we feel hungry along the way as we journey another 5 hours to Palupandan wharf where we planned to take a boat bound to San Lorenzo, Guimaras. Unfortunately, we arrived at Palupandan around 3:15 PM and the last boat had already left.
We are really eager to visit Guimaras so we took the long journey to the island by riding another bus to Bacolod City and another trike to BREDCO Port. Fortunately, we are able to catch an Oceanjet trip bound to Iloilo which left just before sunset.
Arrived tired and hungry at the port of Iloilo, we followed the crowd to the exit carrying our backpacks and tents and a trike driver approached and ask to send us to where we are gonna stay. Sadly, we don't have any hotel reservation in Iloilo since we are supposed to be already in Guimaras as early 4:00 PM. He suggested a hotel and we immediately agreed to have us sent there.
Leaving our things at the hotel lobby and while the staffs are still cleaning each of our fan room, which by the time the only available, we went out in search for food. We end up in a restaurant just beside SM in Iloilo city.
We haven't really had a good sleep, it was the worst hotel room I've been too. The fan was turned on all the time but feels like I was inside the oven.

Day 5, Guimaras
We woke up early to catch the first boat to Guimaras, we left Ortiz port in Iloilo around 7:30 in the morning. Iloilo to Guimaras takes only around 15 minutes to reach and when we arrived there, trike drivers will welcome you and offer a tour. Unfortunately, on our time of visit, the tourism office was closed since it was Sunday.

We had a whole day in Guimaras visiting famous spots like the lighthouse in Guisi, Trappist Monastery, Windmills at the town of San Lorenzo, the famed Alobijod beach where we had a giant fish cooked for lunch, half was grilled and the half was cooked sinigang style. We have also tasted our first mango pizza at Pitstop restaurant in San Miguel.
We left Guimaras around 3:00 PM to travel back to Bacolod City where we have stayed at Bacolod City Inn before we flew back to Davao City at early in the morning the next day.

There you go. It may sound very tiring but that's how our five islands in five days went and we did enjoy it. Let me know what you think in the comment section. :)

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