It's our first day in Bacolod City and the only day we had to explore what it offers. We commissioned a taxi from the hotel to bring us to places that we chose. We agreed at P1800 for a days tour. Our first destination was the Mambukal Mountain Resort as suggested by Mang Jun, our intoxicatingly friendly taxi driver. Along the way Mang Jun has a lot of stories about Negros and seems to be very knowledgeable and proud of his place. He made us feel comfortable and engaging us in conversation as he drove us there.
With plane tickets booked and hotel accommodation reserved the next concern was to find an inexpensive day tour service in Cebu City if possible. I've searched through the internet and came acrossed the name "Kuya Macky" mentioned in several blogs and even in trip advisor. Kuya Macky got good feedback from people who commissioned his service. So I just listed his name and mobile phone number in my travel book.
I had always been wanting to visit Bacolod City and the route going there was via Cebu. Since I've been to Cebu several times but haven't really explored this beautiful Queen City of the South yet, I planned that when I push through with the Bacolod City trip, I will stay a day or two and go around Cebu City. I got so lucky to booked our plane ticket, this was during Cebu Pacific's "Piso Fare" promo more than a year ago. To be exact the tickets were booked August 17, 2012 for travel dates September 13 - 18, 2013.
We really had a best time during our Extremely Exciting White Water Rafting Adventure in Cagayan de Oro City. But, it didn't end there. A van took us on a one and a half hour ride to Manolo Fortich, a first class municipality in Bukidnon, where Barangay Dahilayan was located. Tired and exhausted from our morning activity I slept during the trip. When I woke up, the van was already cruising on a long stretch of rough dirt road, in the middle of a vast and boundless pineapple farm. I've learned that we were already inside Del Monte Pineapple farm in Camp Phillips. When we reached a concrete road there was a few minutes of uphill drive until we finally arrived at Dahilayan Adventure Park.
After our trip in Sohoton Cove and close encounter with the Stingless Jellyfish last May, we started talking about doing river rafting adventure. We agreed to do it in August because of the many holidays the month has. Our friend Che was the one who made the arrangements like renting a van for our transportation (from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro City and back), booking our activities and gather friends who will be joining in this journey. Since August 26 is a holiday (National Heroes Day) and fell on a Monday then we have a long weekend to do this escapade.
Enchanting that's the perfect word that best describe Sohoton Cove. After our short Bucas Grande Island Hopping our boat proceeded then stopped and anchored about 100 meters from Sohoton Visitors Center where we will register for the Sohoton Cove Tour. I asked the tour guide why our boat has to stopped far from the center and us fetched by smaller pump boats (8 pax capacity). I found out later that only these small pump boats could fit in the cave entrance of Sohoton Cove. After registering our names at the center, there was a short lecture on what to expect and safety reminders given to us, before allowing us back to our assigned boat.
jellyfish? Would you still swim if you knew and actually see thousands of jellyfish inhabiting the water? I am pretty sure you won't.
Much has been said and written about how dangerously fatal can a jellyfish sting to humans. I even read some articles that there were people who naively swam on the beach, got stung by these soft brainless creatures and cost their lives. Because of this, I had reservations and apprehensions of being near it and much more letting this gelatinous umbrella shaped creature in contact with my skin. But, there is a place in the Philippines where you can find a "gentle jellyfish" believed to be harmless. More known to be found in Palau, these white spotted golden yellow jellyfish (Mantigias cf Papua etpisoni) were also seen in Sohoton, Bucas Grande Islands at the municipality of Socorro Surigao del Norte. These stingless jellyfish has become one of the popular tourist attraction of this island.
At last, I finally had the time to sit and write about my journey at Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte. It was a spur of the moment decision to go. We've been looking for a date (preferably a weekend with a holiday) to schedule a company summer outing and finally we found one. There were a lot of apprehensions to push through with the trip, it was election time and traveling late in the evening would not be safe. But most of my office-mates were adventurous so, they immediately planned & made preparations for the trip since we will be doing it that weekend after office.