I have always wanted to travel and see places. When I was growing up, we were too poor to afford any toys but Mom made sure we weren’t deprived of good education so one of the many things she did was subscribe to Reader’s Digest and bought us books. I remember how once she said that books can take you to places you cannot afford to go to and she was right. I have been [dreaming of] traveling since then.
But growing up, you get introduced to responsibilities and so priorities change. I have expressed my reasons to some people who are active travelers on why I cannot travel (yet) even though I want to so much and they just couldn’t understand. Far be it from me to be offended with their confusion and misunderstanding, I just let it be. They will always be an inspiration and a source of happiness every time I read their narratives and look at the beautiful places and memories they capture in pictures. Just like the books I grew up reading, they too, enables me to travel with them.
This is why I’m always giddy and excited at every chance of travel, be it only to neighboring towns and cities I don’t frequent. I love bus rides. I love being a stranger to a different place. I love the sense of wonder and amazement I feel every time I experience something new and fresh. Every opportunity to travel is an opportunity to bathe in the child-like sense of bliss again, to see things through eyes that sees in awe.
Last week, I went back (with my Mom) to Dumaguete again. As always, I was filled with overflowing excitement. Dumaguete has always held a special place in my heart, I consider it my home away from home. I booked my stay at GoHotels months before so I got my room for only Php488.00 per night and paid for three night’s worth of stay. But on the 3rd day of my stay, I decided to extend for two more nights.
Dumaguete City’s Bell Tower.
The time and days passed in a hurried frenzy, I was astonished and a bit disappointed at the same time. There were still so many things I wanted to do, so many places to visit again but weren’t able to because there wasn’t just enough time. I went back to the college and saw again my teachers and old college friends I haven’t seen for 8 years now. I revisited most of the places I frequented before and my, oh my, have things really changed! I promised to be back again, God willing, sometime this May and already, I am deliriously excited!
A line of trees in a Jimalalud highway providing a lovely canopy of comfort from the harsh sun.
When it was finally time to go home, we decided to take a different route. Dumaguete–Mabinay–Bacolod has always been the only route we took except for the 2 or 3 times we took the San Carlos route because of unfavorable conditions in Mabinay those times. Bacolod to Dumaguete via Mabinay takes about 6 hours by bus.
We took the Dumaguete–San Carlos–Don Salvador Benedicto–Bacolod route and it was just as lovely as I imagined it to be! It was only half and hour longer than the Mabinay route but the scenery were beautiful! Not to mention the bus ticket cheaper, too!
A lovely coastal scene commonly to be seen if you take the San Carlos route.
A Ceres bus leaves the terminal every 30 minutes so it isn’t much of a worry if you miss the bus you were hoping to catch. Or if you want the front seat of the bus (like me) so you can get a better view of the road and the places you pass by, you can easily just go to the terminal’s information desk and ask which bus is due next and go claim that winner seat you’ve been vying for. For a 30 minute wait, the amazing seat would be very much worth it!
One of the many trucks we passed loaded with sugar canes to be delivered to the nearest sugar cane mill.
Most of the time, I had my arm sticking out from my window rapidly shooting at the scenes I found beautiful (which was pretty much all the time). I realized after I got home how my right arm is two shades darker than my left. It also is a bit sore due to sun burn. They are, however, easily forgotten every time I look at the pictures I was able to take. It’s like reliving those moments again.
Naked trees have always been a fascination to me. Bare and beautiful.
My camera, a simple point-and-shoot canon, performed very well. I was gunning shots after shots while riding a bus and I must say, I am impressed at the quality of pictures it took. Of course, there were moments in the bus I sighed because I didn’t get the angle or the picture I was hoping to get because the shutter speed isn’t fast enough but overall, I am just so grateful I have a camera that works, and works very well, if I may say so myself.
A lovely mangrove tree gracing a small (forgotten) coastal town in Negros Oriental.
The fringes of Negros Occidental bares coastline upon coastline of beautiful and clean beaches and that is one of the many reasons why I love that other side of this sock-shaped Island.
I have heard some people say that this island looks like a camel but I beg to differ. Seriously, a camel?!
Although the sands are not white, they are however un-polluted and still shows off the beauty and the richness of the environment. I haven’t yet been able to travel around the entire island – haven’t been able to go the Sipalay route yet, but that’s one thing I plan to cross out in my to-do list very soon. Although from the pictures I’ve seen other people take of the place, the place is nothing short of beautiful, too!
This unadulterated coastal view is much more beautiful than the too-commercialized and polluted landscapes of Boracay. Just saying.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a place where that view is just several minutes away? These small towns in the Oriental side of Negros, they are so quaint and the people live in such a simple lifestyle and yet they get to enjoy the most of what life has to offer.
I don’t remember much of the order of towns we passed after Bais City on the way to San Carlos. We got off the bus at San Carlos terminal and took another bus that would take the route of Don Salvador Benedicto to Bacolod. I’ve only been partially to DSB (Don Salvador Benedicto), during my cousin’s engagement photo shoot and it was beautiful there!
I loved the cool weather and the mountain sceneries. There’s also an abundance of flowers and needle pine trees that gives off this very pleasant aroma when you pass them. The highway is well-paved and even currently being added additional lanes to.
A small river in the mountain.
Saving the best for last? Of all the pictures I’ve taken on this trip, perhaps, this one is my favorite. I have always said that had there been four seasons here in the Philippines, I think I would have loved autumn the most! Well, this is as close to autumn I could ever get here. The weather was very cool, the lovely Talisay Tree with its orange, red and yellow leaves gave this river an autumn-esque overall look!
Next time, I plan to take the Canlaon route to Dumaguete and take the Bayawan–Sipalay route on my way back home. Ahh, so much of this darling country’s backyard left un-explored! Every time I experience and marvel at a new place that’s just so close to home, I cant help but love this country more.
Now, I don’t know about you but for this (not-so-little-but-rather-very-big) Filipina, it is without a doubt More Fun In The Philippines!