CHADA GID ANG NEGROS ( NEGROS IS BEAUTIFUL)

Negros is an Island in the Philippines which is the fourth largest in the country with a land area of 5,137.87 sqmi. Negros is one of the many islands that comprise the Visayas, which forms the central division of the nation ( source Wikipedia).

Negros is a beautiful island surrounded by rugged mountains, pristine beaches, beautiful underwater coral gardens that must be added to your bucket list on your next travel. Travelling and exploring the hidden gems of Negros is fun with friendly locals who are very accommodating and extremely welcoming. An added bonus, it is very cheap to travel in Negros, surely you will have a great value for your money ūüôā

I am sharing this travel experience of a friend of mine “Pobreng Lagaan¬†(The Poor Traveller)” around Negros. Check this out!

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. PUNCAK TAN-AWAN NEGROS ORIENTAL

This restless soul of mine was delighted after our two days of tremendous quest of some Negros’ hidden gems. Those picturesque scenarios at Puncak Tan-awan, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Casaroro Falls and Forest Camp are just too few to showcase the real beauty of Negros Oriental but it already convince myself to say ¬†“Chada¬†gid ang Negros Bai” ( Negros is Beautiful My Friend).

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. TWIN LAKE BALINSAYAO SIBULAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL

Getting around Negros was actually one of the most incredible experienced I had so far.  It was Saturday when everyone was already set for our Negros adventure except me.  Having a second thoughts I decided to go after them. It was almost 12:00 noon when I boarded the bus from Tabunoc going to Liloan Port. After four hours of travel with massive commuters from Baruganay to Show and Tabunok to Oslob) finally I arrived at my destination. From the port I bought a ticket and sailed in a fast craft  going to Sibulan. It took me 45 minutes to arrive from Oslob port to Sibulan Port. It was very relaxing to feel the gentle sway of the boat but honestly I was a bit scared. I  was anxious a feeling of fear where an emotion that evolved to keep us safe from danger. Good thing the boat did not sink haha.

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. CASARORO FALLS VALENCIA< NEGROS ORIENTAL
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PHOTO BY POBRENG LAGAAN. THE RESORT CAMP, VALENCIA, NEGROS ORIENTAL.

I sighed in relief when finally I arrived at the drop-off point. I flag down a habal-habal ( a motorcycle modified to seat more than two persons. It is in use in provinces in the Philippines where jeepneys and tricycles cannot stand the rough, steep terrain and narrow roads) to bring me to Puncak Tan-awan. You need to register before you can get to the Peak. They offered to drive me going to the peak since it was already late.  It would take me an hour and thirty minutes to reach the top of the peak but I opted to not to. Trekking is a healthy physical exercise that creates a wonderful experience. It provides me an opportunity to slow down and disconnect into the chaotic world. Besides it was fun and I love the stillness and calm of an empty trail. The trek to the peak was easy. It took me an hour to trek the peak but going uphill needed an extra precautions to avoid slipping. 

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When I finally reached the camp where my friends are I was extremely happy. It was a great feeling.

 

 

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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”.

 

DISCOVER VALENCIA, NEGROS ORIENTAL

Valencia is a first class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. It is located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) west of Dumaguete City, the largest city and capital of the province. The municipality¬†voted as “the greenest and cleanest” town of Negros Oriental in 2007.

We used to live in Dumaguete for nine months and every Sunday morning we travelled to Valencia which is about 5 to 10 minutes ride for their  Sunday market. Valencia Sunday Market takes place at the municipality plaza.

Nearby the park, there are some small eatery and coffee shops owned by expats that offer breakfast and coffee.

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Oval Field
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The Municipality Church
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Sunday Market in Valencia
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A small park in Valencia
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A nice pathway
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Acacia Trees all over the plaza

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Valencia grows many kinds of plants, flowers and vegetables due to its cooler climate, because of this Valencia supplies most of the fruits and vegetables found in Dumaguete City and surrounding areas. Agriculture is the town’s main industry aside from geothermal energy.

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Large Cauliflower field
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Farmers of Valencia
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Cauliflower Plantation
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Here you could buy fresh cauliflower in a very cheap price like Php80.00 per kilo or USD 1.65

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If you are an adrenalin seeker  rock hopping and climbing, trekking the river of Forest Camp, Valencia  would be perfect for you. Forest Camp Valencia is a mountain resort about 20 minutes by tricycle (a three-wheeled motorcycle) from Dumaguete. Entrance Fee is Php80.00 per person with the money going for upkeep of the resort.

Forest Camp is a popular for picnic destinations. Cottages, picnic huts and rented tables scattered around the area for rent where you can lay down your picnic baskets and enjoy the day with your family and friends. The place has its own restaurant as well and a tilapia pond where you can fish for your own lunch. You just have to pay your catch and have them steamed or grilled for you by the staff.

The place also offer accommodation for those who wish to stay over night or a days in the mountain resort.

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If you want to escape from the hustles and bustles of big city life. Why not plan a vacation here someday? Include Valencia in your next destination and you would surely enjoy the simplest life and close to nature.