Had a 5 day vacation (saarraaapp!) in Visayas :) We left on our 7:40pm flight to Iloilo last Thursday along with Kuya Ba and Dianne. Because we were anticipating long lines at the airport (uwian e) but the traffic was super light naman, we were at the airport past 4pm pa lang. To pass time, I had my crossword puzzle with me as well as conversations with Dianne - learned about their love story hehehe.
Finally, our plane was boarding and we had the chance to snooze during the flight. In Iloilo,Kuya B's friend, Ter, met us at the airport and we still had to look for food for our dinner - which unfortunately was quite difficult to do given that most of the establishments were closed and Andok's only had liempo to serve. So we decided to dine in Guimaras na lang. We boarded our ferry and arrived at Ter's house 11pm na ata.
After dinner, we heard the familiar sound "Tu-ko! Tu-ko!" AND tuko really showed itself - scarily (?) large gray lizard with black spots inching its way across the wall. Needless to say, Dianne and I didn't have a very restful night...butiki nga lang takot ako, sa tuko pa!
Good Friday had us trekking all the way up Bulaan Bukid after a 15-min ferry ride from Iloilo. It's this way: Bulaan Bukid is located in Jordan, Guimaras...from Ter's hometown of Buenavista(?) or Nueva Valencia(?) *my poor memory!*, you can either go to Iloilo and take a ferry which will take you to the foot of the mountain OR ride the tricycle which will take you on a different route but will also end with you at the foot of Balaan Bukid :)
It was quite a climb, but I would have appreciated it more without the crowd... taking a pace slower than what I'm used to (because people in front of me were slower) made it tiring. I was always overtaking parents who were dragging their children with them or couples/barkadas who were taking their sweet time :P We took the "tricycle route" on our way down but of course we had lunch in the carinderias at the foot of the mountain. We also bought some cashew nuts for pasalubong...
This was on our way to Iloilo...that's me, Dianne and Kuya Ba (A's taking the photo)
And this is the view from the top...was it worth it?
We slept at a resort that evening hoping to escape the tuko but to no avail, as there was a tuko in the resort as well! As usual, A slept near the wall because I wouldn't want to wake up in the night and come face to face with the gecko! It was also my first time to eat talaba...which sells at P300/sack in Guimaras.
Saturday was spent in Alibuhod Beach and island hopping to Ave Maria which they call "Little Boracay" because of its fine, powdery, white sand.
We also went to the island with the pawikan (it was quite heavy - that's me trying to smile but my muscles were tiring).
Another would be the one with the cave (wherein 2 bancas can fit inside) - eerily beautiful, there were boulders inside and the water was really clear.
And finally, the government-controlled facility in the middle of the sea where you can find 5-kilo bangus(which they feed with something that resembles dog food hahaha) - you can see a picture of one with Kuya Ba's foot to show the scale. The large fish here are just breeders, they're not for sale. We were only able to take a picture of the large bangus because this one was already dead - they were just going to bury it afterwards.
They also had abalones (that's A making kissy-faces at it haha and that's Mike, another ex-monk holding the abalone), and about a meter-long lapulapu who pounces on fish that is thrown to it during feeding.
Sunday and Monday was spent in Bacolod...which was mostly a food trip! We arrived in Bacolod at 1:30pm via Sea Jet (BTW, it's a 1-hour trip from Iloilo to Bacolod) and immediately after checking in at Check Inn (hehe), we were hankering for lunch.
We first went to Aboy's - CLOSED :( then Imay's - already closed for lunch...we ended up at Chicken Deli and had Inasal...yum yum yum yum!!! We ordered a pa-a (thigh and drumstick part) each and 2 sticks of baticolon (balun-balunan) + 4 sticks of isol (butt) for everyone. Hay sarap!
After lunch, we met with Ter again and we proceeded to Talisay (town after Bacolod) to visit their friend and see the Claparol's house. This was a very old house (Spanish era) where the Marian monks stayed before.
Side kwento: Kuya Ba used to be in the seminary and was working his way into monkhood but due to circumstances (that is better left unsaid) their batch had to leave the group, Ter was also a monk.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to go in the house as it was locked and we had to get permission from the owners. We had to make do with taking pictures from the gate and listen to Kuya Ba's and Ter's reminiscings :) Here is how the house looked like (wild imagination could make you see images in the windows haha): We then heard mass at Redemptorist church by 6pm and dinner was at 18th St. Palapala... dampa style where you choose what you want to eat and how you want it cooked. This was us after our dinner of halabos na hipon, crabs, sinigang na ulo ng lapulapu, grilled squid... look at Kuya Ba, that's his way of saying that he was really full!:)
After that, being the food-lovers that we are, we still had dessert at Calea. Mouth-watering cakes and pastries, we had a hard-time choosing! We had this frozen cake with a pili nut-brittle base (the best among the 3!), chocolate cake (their best seller accdg to the saleslady but only 2nd for me), and the cheesecake which had cookies and cream I think - not really my favorite). This time, we were really full... but our night was not yet done...we had a massage pa at the hotel... ang sarap talaga nakatulog ako...I was also able to catch Passion of Christ in (oops forgot the channel)...it was heart-wrenching. Jesus really endured so much to save us for our sins...kakaiyak how they protrayed his sufferings - he was literally crawling when they got to Mt. Calvary :(
Monday was our trip to Silay to visit Dianne's relatives and we were also able to visit Balay Negrense. This is one of the tourist attractions in Negros Occidental, it's a really old bahay na bato and one of the well-preserved ones.
Silay is actually known as the "Paris of Negros" with its rows of large houses (which speak of old-rich families). It was actually nice to be able to peek and imagine how the Spanish era was like, how houses looked back then - that there were separate staircases and bathrooms for men and women. There's also a separate staircase for the muchachos and muchachas which is located at the back of the house as it was taboo for them to use the same staircase as their masters.
Can you find us in this picture? :)
We were able to have lunch at Aboy's, again it was a feast - grilled blue marlin (juicy yum), grilled liempo, clam soup, ensaladang itlog na maalat, talong at kamatis and we had sago't gulaman - all for only P750!
Finally, we bought our pasalubong from Bongbong's (which should be commended for investing in a packaging machine making it easier for their customers to bring their goodies home) - piayas, mango tarts, pinasugbo, t-shirts, squid ring, barquillos, barquiron...hmm...
Arrived at Manila at about 7pm...it was back to reality, back to work, back to the hustle and bustle that is Manila. The vacation was great, made me remember how sweet life is in the province :)