THE HIDDEN BEAUTY OF BACONG, NEGROS ORIENTAL

Bacong is a small town in the province of Negros Oriental, 10 minutes ride south from the City of Dumaguete. The town founded in 1801 by the revolutionary Filipino hero Pantaleon Villegas, better known as Leon Kilat. Leon Kilat monument stands in the little park and became the landmark of Bacong. The town’s name comes from the local dialect word “Bacon”, which means stand up.

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Photo not mine. Taken from the internet

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Only in Bacong can you find an old church known as the church of San Augustine with the tallest belfry in all of Negros Oriental and is one of 26 colonial churches within the country selected for restoration by the National Commission for Culture and Arts. It has the oldest altar with gold-bearing and painted friezes and a pipe organ from Zaragoza, Spain, installed in 1898 shortly before the revolution against Spain broke out in Negros Oriental. The only pipe organ of similar provenance is Bohol.

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Photo not mine. Taken from the internet
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Photo not mine. Taken from the internet.

Lots of expats live in Bacong including me and my partner and it became our adopted home after my partner decided to retire from his work in Australia as a Geologist. My partner did a lot of research and reading about Bacong and he  fell in love with this little town.  My partner loves the country side of living while I am a city girl and have always enjoyed diversity of the city, so there was a big adjustment and transition on my side.

Bacong became popular destinations and retirement haven for expats. It’s tranquil small-town life by the sea. It is known for its beaches. Here you can find an array of beautiful resorts and cottages along the coastline. There are plenty of apartments, houses fully furnished  that you can rent for long or short-term which is very affordable.

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The town is accessible by jeepneys, tricycles and private vehicles.  The best way to tour around Bacong is by foot or tricycle because it is such a small town and most of the sights are only a few minutes away from each other.

After nine months of living in Bacong we decided to move to my hometown Silay City, Negros Occidental where life is highly urbanised . It keeps a breast with development yet still keep up the laid back lifestyle. For the time being we are enjoying our life here in Silay City.

Living in a small town like Bacong was one of my best experience. My partner and I enjoyed our time there and one day we will be going to visit. We miss our friends that makes the town what it is ” A great place to live”.

 

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PUERTO GALERA – “PORT OF THE GALLEONS”

It was 2008 when we went to Puerto Galera. The trip to Puerto Galera was part of the company Team Building Workshop. I was pretty excited then. I was so thrilled that the  night before our trip I already prepared and packed my things and be sure tha I have everything I needed before going to bed.

Puerto Galera is just a few hours travel time from Manila, it can be reached by boat within 1-2 hours from Batangas Port. This gorgeous collection of bays and islands is one of the country’s top destinations, known for having a lot of beaches and is cheaper than a Boracay vacation.

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A view of Boat children diving for coins from Batangas Pier ferry passengers going to Puerto Galera!

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The town was popularly known as “Puerto Galera” in Spanish ” Port of the  Galleons” which was given by the Spaniards who used the island as a safe haven in the 16th century. The town later became an important trading center and became the capital of Mindoro Island in the 17th century. In 1903, however, Calapan was named the capital as it remains to the present, and Puerto Galera became but a barrio there. On December 7, 1927, Puerto Galera was declared an independent municipality through Act 3415.

There are several pocket of beaches where you can choose and stay. We picked the White Beach over Sabang. White Beach is more family oriented and thinking that White Beach would have a white powdery sand but we were quite disappointed because it is not really white, the sand is coarse with broken corals and small pebbles. But this place has an array of restaurants, resorts, bars, souvenir stores, tattoo parlors thus, it is a convenient place to stay since everything you need is here. During the day, people enjoy their time playing beach volley ball, sun bathing, massage, swimming and there are lots of water sports to choose and enjoy such as jet ski, banana boat ride and kayak. At late afternoon you can lay out your beach towel and watch the sunset from the side of the island while sipping and enjoying a nice cocktail. But after the sun sets, life in White Beach does not stop at all.  Expect more fun and partying all night. At night you can watch the fire dancers which is very popular in Puerto Galera especially at White Beach. Most of the bars around the place has their own fire dancers to attract visitors.

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Banana Boat ride
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Sunset in White Beach, Puerto Galera
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Fire Dance
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Mindoro Sling

I really don’t drink but occasionally I would sip for a try to one of the favorite booze in Puerto Galera which is Mindoro Sling. It is a cocktail drink of rum, orange, mango juice, sliced apple and Sprite. They said it is a deadly concoction and  be consumed slowly. 🙂

White Beach is very popular and expect the place to be crowded and a bit noisy during holidays especially Holy Week!

Sabang on the other hand is known as Puerto Galera’s Red Light District with a busy night life and bar options. But no beach at all! The main street lined with bars, cafes and restaurants. Sabang focuses mostly on the girly bar scene. If you like bar hopping with each bar being within a minute’s walk of the other and nightlife activities, Sabang might be the perfect place for you.

There are a lot of activities to do in Puerto Galera however, we only stayed for a night so I headed to our room and have a good night sleep as we will be heading back to Manila the following day.

 Note: All photos are not mine. Photos are taken from internet. I lost all my photos from my old phone during our trip in Mindoro, Puerto Galera. Bummer! 😦