Sipaway Island | Basilia White Beach Resort

Before anything else, this post is related to our Hitchhiking adventure that happened last March. Yup! Sipaway Island is one of our stop over during the hitchhike. We could have hitchhike towards Dumaguete at our second day, but we couldn’t pass the opportunity of visiting the island, which is just 15-minute away from San Carlos City.
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Cebu-Negros | 3D2N Hitchhiking Challenge

My cousin and I have been planning a backpacking trip a couple of months ago, but we never had a fixed date for it. Last week, due to boredom, we decided to go hitchhiking. We challenge ourselves and pack our bags, with P400 in our pocket.  Do you think we can survive?

Hitchhiking is also known as thumbing, tramping, hitching, autostop or thumbing up a  ride. It is a means of transportation in which you ask people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other road vehicle to travel a distance that may either be short or long. The cheapest way to travel indeed.   I got the idea of hitchhiking from Benjamin Jenks the author of the site Adventure Sauce. Since hitchhiking is not so common here in the Philippines, why not try it? 🙂

I told my brother about our hitchhiking plan, just so there’s someone who knows where we are heading. But since he is also an adventurer who doesn’t want to miss something fun, he went along with us. He post status on Facebook about it, and one of his friend, who is going home to San Carlos City, offered us a ride. Aren’t we lucky? 🙂

We waited for King (my brother’s friend) in SM to hitch a ride to Toledo, and hopefully to San Carlos City. Then we realize we weren’t able to eat our lunch. With the budget we have, we search around SM for carenderia or eatery. Luckily, with P20, we were able  to eat our lunch in a small eatery across SM terminal.
 We have a friend who mentioned about a special trip from Toledo to San Carlos City for P120, but it only applies to 4PM departure time. We never got our chance on that trip though, because we arrive in Toledo around 4:30PM. We have no other choice but to wait for the next trip, which is at 6PM.  We bought our ticket, which cost us P190, and wait for the next trip to San Carlos Ctiy.
The good thing about having friends from other places is you can ask them to let you stay at their house for a night or two. A friend of ours who is currently living in San Carlos City was kind enough to let us stay in his house. It was just for a night, but for some reasons we stayed there for 2 nights. In that 2 nights, he cooked us meals and even buy us drinks. In return for the kindness, we volunteer to do the dishes after eating meals. That’s just fair right?
The next day, we explored Sipaway Island, also known as Refugio Island, just across San Carlos City. A very friendly trike driver named Mang Danny, showed us around. He brought us to Basilia White Beach Resort, which is the cheapest resort in the island. Although the beach front of the resort was small, it was still magnificent. The water was clear, and surprisingly cold under the scorching heat of the sun.
Mang Danny also brought us to the biggest Balete Tree in Sipaway Island. I was so amaze when I saw this tree. There’s something mysterious behind its beauty.
After roaming around Sipaway Island, we head back to San Carlos City. It was around 3PM when we are all set and ready for hitchhiking towards Dumaguete City. Our friend suggested that we should postpone our trip and just stay in his house for another night. Instead of pushing through with our plan, we decided to just leave for Dumaguete the next day.
Since we decided to stay in San Carlos for another night, the three of us agree to go to the Center Mall. It’s the biggest plaza I’ve seen so far. As we roam around, I notice a couple of basketball court, 10 or more football fields, a play ground and some great restaurants.
These 3  kids were playing football when we pass by. Since they are friendly and generous, they played and spent time with us for a few minutes.
By the way, did I mention they have a playground? Yeah, we spend a few more minutes riding the swing before heading back to our friend’s house.
We continue our hitchhiking towards Dumaguete the next day. There was a couple who is kind enough to let us ride at the back of their multi-cab, just util Katingal-an Elementary School. A few walks from Katingal-an, we were able to hitch a ride in a government-owned vehicle that take us to Buluangan. In Buluangan, we meet a man with a big heart. He seems to know everyone leaving around the area, even the drivers of the vehicle passing by. We sit down with him and talk for a few minutes. After hearing our plans, he help us look for a vehicle. Since he know a lot of people, it was then easy for us to hitch our 3rd ride. Of course we thank the man for doing us the favor.
Our 3rd ride brought us to Bagawines, a junction that leads to Canlaon City. This place is not new to me. I’ve climb  Mt. Canlaon for three times and I pass by this corner every time we go there.
A few minutes later, we hitch a ride to Guihulngan City. This is the epicenter of the earthquake that happened last February 6, 2012. With 6.9-magnitude, a lot of houses were damage, roads crack, bridges collapse, and landslide happened, taking away lives. It was sad to see all those things, but in the back of my mind, I was silently praying and hoping that those people living in that devastated house have survived the catastrophe.
From Guihulngan City, we hitch a couple of ride to La Libertad. A driver with a kind heart brought us to Lalimar Beach Resort upon knowing where we came from and our plan of hitchhiking to Dumaguete. He was so concern about us, and told us to stay at the resort to relax for a bit. We were so glad about the concern he showed us and thank him for bringing us there. I will be talking more about Lalimar on my next post. 🙂
From La Libertad, we were able to hitch a ride to Jimalalud. We meet this very generous man who even offer to give us a money for a bus fare. Although the offer was tempting, we decline it. We told him about our hitchhiking challenge and how far have we gone to make this a success. Though he is still not convince about our plan, he prayed for us to have a safe travel.
After another ride from Jimalalud, we arrived in Dumaguete before dark. Since we have some relatives in the area, we decided to pay them a visit. JP offered to walk us around the famous Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete. While we are already in Boulevard, JP brought us to this street food vendors along the road, and bought us some food.  We had great couple of hours talking with JP about our fun experience. He even quoted us as ‘crazy” for doing the hitchhiking challenge without enough money. I couldn’t even disagree with him. 🙂 After the long talk, we head down to the Pier to catch our boat bound for Cebu.
Here’s the animated map about the route we take. Hitchhiking was a fun experience, and I’m planning on doing it again. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned from this kind of travel. I meet a lot of different people and learned how to deal with them.

Check out my other post on our hitchhiking adventure:
* Cebu-Negros | Hitchhiking Adventure Video
* La Libertad, Negros | Lalimar Beach Resort

Mt. Canlaon for the 3rd Time

End of April, we went to Negros to climb the highest peak in the Visayas, Mt. Canlaon.
 Mt. Canlaon is famous among climbers in the Philippines because of its amazing view.  It was my 3rd time to visit this magnificent mountain. Usually I don’t go back to mountains I’ve already visit. But this mountain has its exception. I’ve been to different mountains here in the Philippines. So far, the view from Mt. Canlaon is far way more different from the others. I know there are mountains giving out nice sea of clouds view, but I never been to that. So much for the introductions. Lets proceed to tale telling. 🙂
It was Friday morning when we all met up in Toledo to grab the first trip to San Carlos City. Luckily we get the chance to ride the first fast craft, which only travels for 45mins. Compared to Lite Shipping that travels 2 hours, I guess were lucky enough to ride the fast craft.
Upon arriving in San Carlos City, we went directly to Gaisano (Grocery Store) to have our last buy. Then proceed to San Carlos Bus terminal to catch a ride to Canlaon City, the place where the famous Mt. Canlaon is located. We had our lunch upon arriving in Canlaon City, then meet with our guide.
After talking to our guide and agree on the itinerary, we happily jump to our rented multicab that will bring us to the foot of Mt. Canlaon. Believe me, it was one hell of  a ride! I can feel my spirit jumping out of my body. 🙂
We arrivcd in Brgy. Maput safely. Lucky for us, no accident happen during the trip. We hike towards Sudlon Falls located at the foot of the mountain.
We spend half an hour in Sudlon Fall diving in its cold water. It was like swimming in a tub full of ice. My fingers got numb because of the chilly water.
After half an hour taking a dip in that freezing water, we started to hike to our 1st Camp, the forest line. It was an easy hike, made more easier with the nice view we saw upon our back. Less than 2 hours later, we arrived in our 1st camp. We excitedly pitch our tents and prepare our dinner. Then spend the rest of the night drinking spirits. I mean not the whole night. Of course we also need to sleep. We need energy for the next day’s hike.
After having our breakfast, we happily jump to our feet, grab our bags and start our hike to the next camp, Mt. Canlaon’s shoulder. But of course we need to stop by in Mt. Makawiwili, the mountain peak that stands  opposite to Mt. Canlaon. There you could see the entire view of Mt. Canlaon and Margaja Valley. If your not prepared for the climb, the long strenuous hike plus the cold wind that touches your skin will kill you. You’ll be lucky though if you happen to climb there with good weather. But if you climb with the weather like we had, well, you’ll still survive but expect it to be so cold.
As much to our dismay, we did not have the chance to see the full view of Mt. Canlaon from the Makawiwili peak. Because we had a bad weather, Mt. Canlaon was wrap with fogs and hide its beautiful view from us. We had no other choice but to continue our hike to the shoulder of Mt. Canlaon, where our 2nd camp would be.
While pitching our tents in our 2nd campsite, the view of the crater/ Mt. Canlaon cleared. I guess our prayers were answered huh! 🙂 It was so beautiful. Unfortunately that view didn’t last long. It was covered again by big fogs. It was like that until sundown.

The next day, a hot noodles with rice warms our hungry tummy. It was the best breakfast I had with the cold wind surrounding us.

It was really a cold morning. Still not much of a luck for us, a lot of fogs are scattered around us blocking our view of the crater.

With all the fogs that are covering our view, I decided to just stay at the campsite and let them climb up to the crater without me. At the back of my mind, I was thinking that it will only just be a waste of time if I go with them with no guaranteed that I can see a clear view. But unlike me, my friends were very optimistic about all of this. They still went up to the crater hoping to see its beauty. I can’t blame them, it was there first time to visit the place. I guess their prayers were answered though, they really did saw a beautiful view up there.

I started packing my things while they were in the crater. When the time they got back, I’m already done packing. They happy told me how the fogs cleared when they arrived in the crater. I was happy hearing them told me all of that. I’ve seen better view compared to the one they saw, but you can see in their faces how happy they are seeing what they saw. I’m happy for them! 🙂

With the cold wind surrounding us and a limited water, it will be impossible for us to cook a real meal. So we just all decided to pack up and head down. We’ll just cook our lunch on the first water source we’ll reach.

A group picture before heading down.

We reached the first water source from our campsite and cooked all our remaining foods. We had our lunch after all the foods were cooked and resume our trek afterwards.

We celebrated our successful climb the second we arrived in Canlaon City Bus Terminal. We look for a store and buy a couple of beers. Really, I never been that thirsty for beer my whole life. 🙂 We had our ‘tagay’ session while waiting for the bus.

We took the last bus trip to San Carlos City and stayed the whole night in our friends house and get drunk. What could possible be better way to celebrate a successful climb than drinking the whole night until we all got drunk?:)

The next day, we went ukay-ukay shopping. With a heavy hangover and a bad headache, a reward from last nights drunkenness, we manage to find some good stuffs in a very reasonable price. 🙂

We headed back to the house afterwards and pack our bags to go home. We stop by at Gaisano to eat sundae in Jollibee. You can’t blame us, we’re craving for something cold. 🙂 After the stop in Gaisano we went to another ukay-ukay store and buy more good stuffs. Then went to San Carlos Bus Terminal to buy some pasalubong for our family. The next thing we knew, we were almost late for our boat trip to Toledo.

I was happy we had that climb. We had the chance to know each other. 🙂 I really had so much fun, not to mention all the boopers. ^_^ Well, thanks for reading! Till next adventure!