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