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.
It's sad that children at the metropolis rarely have a chance to commune with nature. What they know about landscape, forest and natural environment all came from the textbook or seen on television. But nothing can compare the knowledge that they will get when they experience personal encounter with nature. As Eden Nature Park and Resort brochures says "Experience so Much more!", indeed we did.
We had 4 free fishing vouchers at Eden Nature Park and Resort. We decided that before checking-out, we will spend a few hours at the Fishing Village and have the children Jeshca, Cacai, Clyde and Ivan try pond fishing.
|(From L-R) Ivan, Jeshca, Clyde, Cacai with their catch while me and Kuya at the back of the kids|
It was our second day at Eden Nature Park and Resort. We woke up early the following day. Our accommodations includes free plate-in breakfast for 4 pax which were served at 6 o'clock to 8 o'clock in the morning. From our cottage we walked towards Vista Restaurant. It was called as such because on a clear day from where it stands you can see the scenic view of Davao City and Samal Islands.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Eden"?
The first thing that comes to our minds will always be a heavenly place, or arcadia or utopia even the word bliss and euphoria would pop up from our minds. And this place is something just like that. Eden Nature Park and Resort lies at the foot of Mt. Talomo at approximately 3000 feet above sea level. This place had become the most visited nature park in Davao City because of it's year round cool climate, verdant and lush forest and interesting flora and fauna collections.
Eden Nature Park and Resort is one we consider the best summer getaway place and tourist destination in Davao City. It is located at the foot of Mount Talomo, one of the two inactive volcano in Mindanao. The other one is Mount Apo the highest mountain in the Philippines.
After office I just felt the urge to eat my favorite food at Davao Dencias Restaurant and these were tokwa't baboy, goto and fried lumpia. I asked my friend Dave to meet me after he's done checking our shops. So we went there and made our usual order and additional squid with vegies in oyster sauce.
(Tofu and Pork with Dencias special sauce)
The alarm rang at 4:00 am, we have to get up immediately to prepare Bruno, my yellow labrador retriever, for the 3 km. fun run at Peoples Park (Davao) for the 4th National Davao Dog Summit. This was Bruno's 4th fun run. Since events like these were only held in Davao City twice a year, we see to it that we are able to join, so that Bruno can socialize with other dogs and us also will be able to interact with other dog owners and exchange ideas on how to better care our loyal friends.
It has been a while since I last passed by "The Brick Lane Square" and in this particular rainy evening I was upset about something, I thought that the best way when distressed was to eat. I asked my travel buddy Dave to accompany me, and being dining-out lovers like me he excitedly accepted my invitation.
(An Island Escapade Story with our Labrador Retrievers)
It was our friend Paul and Donna who sent an invitation on facebook to join them in an island hopping in Samal Islands with our labrador retrievers. They had visitors from Canada, who were also dog lovers like us, and wanted to bring them for a whole day escapade in Samal.