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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The City of Gentle People

 Dumaguete City - The City of Gentle People / The Motorcycle Capital of the Philippines / (My addition) The City of Bridges . Lol

We went to Dumaguete City last December 25, 2011. I know it's too late, but I'll still blog about it anyway.

Participants: Me, Jek, Jok2x, Inang, Etet, Botoy, and our 3 motorcycles :)

Our Dumaguete trip was unplanned, yet it turned out to be fun and memorable..
That's what you call, "The Joy in Unplanned Vacations".

We started with a joyride to Bato port, taking the Carcar-Argao-Santander road. We took the barge from Maayo Shipping, Inc.
Excited.. Thanks to this pic. I remembered the name of the shipping line.

Byee Cebu...

Around 30-45 minutes after, we were already on Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. We stayed at Bgy. Banilad. On our way, we saw the damages caused by bagyong Sendong.

After a little rest, we went to their Robinsons. We were amazed because theirs is bigger than ours. Haha.

The next day, we went to Balanan Lake in Siaton. It was the best part of our Dumaguete trip. Thanks to Inang's relatives who took us there. Siaton is about 50kms away from the city. The road going there was good. The from the main road, you have to travel 10kms of very "rocky road" going up to reach Balanan Lake. It was also raining at that time and we were all in motorcycles. We just laughed about it and enjoyed the trip! The rain added fun to our trail.

Thank you for being with us. Hehe

Paghinay kay danlog!

This lake will take you to the Balanan Falls.
 To go to the falls, you can ride a banca for P100 per 6 or 10 persons, depending on the banca size, or you can trek to the falls for free, but a little risky. We hired the small banca because the large ones were occupied.

To the falls..

The lake is approximately over 100 feet deep. Gives me chills.
When we arrived at the other side of the lake, we needed to trek a little to reach the falls.

Going back..
They also have a pool. The best thing is that it's for free, and it's not small!

When you visit Dumaguete City, don't forget to go to Balanan Lake. Everything here is really natural. The place is kinda undiscovered, plus, the rates are cheap.

Going back, we needed to pass that bridge.

We left Dumaguete the day after. We made a short stop at Lambug Beach in Badian, since the guys wanted to swim in the beach.

The left side of the beach

The right side

There were still many places that we wanted to go, but we lacked time. I know Dumaguete has a lot of nice places, and someday, hopefully, we'll be able to go there.

Our Dumaguete trip was really an adventure I would never forget.

Major Expenses:
P305.00 - Barge fare (round trip) which includes the motorcycle, the driver, and the backrider.
P50.00 - Balanan Lake Entrance Fee
P100.00 - Banca Rate (Good for 6 persons)

I promise I'll be back to Dumaguete one of these days!


Monday, April 23, 2012


I have stumbled upon the net about this little island located in Cordova named ISLA ROMANTICA. What amazed me most, aside from its name, was that it is a man-made island, just approximately 100 square meters, and has white sands. These things gave me the urge to really go there and see for myself what the island can offer, despite its simplicity..

After a little planning, we decided to go there yesterday, Sunday.

Participants: Me, Jek, Yvonne, Ken, and Anne

We met at Yvonne's house since it was near Pier 3. We left at around 7:30am and headed to Pier 3 to ride a ferry boat. We arrived at Mactan about 15 minutes after. We directly headed to Lapu-lapu market to buy the needed things.

Marketing was a "struggle" for the five of us. Their market was the busiest place in Opon, I guess. All of us were in deep sweat. And I think no one has ever left the place without having his/her foot being stepped by another person :)

After a "sweat-full" of almost an hour in the market, we were able to buy pork, lechon manok, puso, junkfoods, water, softdrinks, breads, spices and grill necessities, enough for just the five of us.

Outside the market, we waited for a multicab bound to Cordova. If marketing was a "struggle", waiting for a multicab was a same scene, but it was fun. Whenever a multicab would stop, a lot of people would outrun each other to have a seat because of the many waiting passengers. So, we decided to take the next multicab. When the next multicab came, the same thing happened. On the nth attempt, we made it. Haha.

Since none of us have gone to the island before, we told the driver to drop us at Bgy. Alegria. After that, we rode a trisikad to take us to the site where we would be waiting for the banca.

Then we waited for Noy Ben, the owner to take us to the islet. When he arrived, we headed to the shore where we will ride a banca. When we arrived to the shore, there was also a group of around 20 people who were also waiting. We were a little dismayed because we knew that the island was very small. Selfish lang? Haha. We shared the same banca, paddled manually by Noy Ben.

The owner, paddling the banca
This is where we were heading. Lovely!

Almost there!
At last, we arrived at the island past 10am. The island was very small, simple,and lacks a lot of amenities, yet it was still very worth it. We were amazed at how Noy Ben constructed and maintained the island for many years. Despite its simplicity, the island definitely has a lot to offer; the clear waters, the white sands, the relaxing atmosphere, and many more. Good thing it was not crowded yesterday. Every now and then, Noy Ben would visit the island in case a group wants to go home. We asked him if he could fetch on 6:30pm because we wanted to see the sunset. And he agreed without hesitation.

Ken talking to Noy Ben

Yvonne and our little tent

Noy Ben is coming, with a group who wanted to spend the night there.

We decided to have our dinner in Bgy. Day-as and rode a trisikad. We found this "Sa Baybayon Resto Bar".

Addtional Info:
1. The island has no CR.
2. It has no electricity.
3. There are tables and a little kubo for rent.
4. If you are "maarte", better not go here..

Important tips:
1. Bring all needed things (especially water) before going to the island, as it would be very hassle to go back.
2. Much better if you can bring tent, wherein you can rest or change clothes, since there's no CR.
3. Go there early so you can enjoy the beach because on the afternoon, it will be low tide.
4. I think it's more enjoyable there if there is less people. So, I suggest to go there on weekdays. Saturday is the most crowded day.
5. Never mind the heat. Just put on sunblock.
6. Have fun!

P30.00 - Ferry boat fare and terminal fee (round trip)
P10.00 - Multicab fare from Opon Market to Alegria drop-off point (one-way)
P5.00 - Trisikad fare from drop-off point to gate heading the shore (one-way)
P20.00 - Banca fare (round trip)
P100.00 - Charge for table / kubo (Divided by 5 of us)
P15.00 - Trisikad fare from gate to Floating Restaurant in Bgy. Day-as
P450.00 - Food charge "Sa Baybayon Resto Bar" (Divided by 5 of us)
P10.00 - Trisikad fare from Restaurant to main road
P10.00 - Multicab fare from main road to Opon Market

You can also dare to stay on the island overnight for P300.00/group. Just make sure to bring flashlights.

If you've got any questions regarding the island or how to get there, you can pm me. Maybe I can help you :)

My rating:

Price: 5/5
Staff: (Noy Ben) 5/5
Food: We bought our own
Facilities: There are none :)
Overall: 4/5
Will you recommend this place to others? Yes!
Will you go back to this place? Of course!

Now we know why it's called Isla Romantica

Thank you, Noy Ben for sharing your island to the public.



Make Everyday an Adventure