A real Filipino breakfast is never wrong!
What can be better than salty bangus (fish) fried to crispy perfection, scrambled eggs, rice together with spicy sawsawan sauce? Did I hear crispy bacon and eggs?? Well, I guess nothing excludes the other, right?
Why are mangroves so important?
Fully loaded with protein, good healthy omega 3 fats, carbohydrates and caffeine we headed for Oboob Mangrove Garden. Maybe you have heard that mangroves are important...? So why are mangrove habitats so important? Basically Shoreline protection. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land.
Oboob Mangrove Garden/Eco Park
It was easy peasy for us to go there with our beloved scooter. We paid the entrance and then attended a short lecture about the Eco park. In my opinion they are doing a great job preserving this sensitive habitat. We were assigned a guide who told us more about the Eco park and of course she even helped us to take some pictures according to Danica's directives.
Tropical storm Basyang
This morning at breakfast it had been quite windy. So later when we came back to our resort we heard about the tropical storm Basyang. There were rumors that the ferry would be cancelled for going back to Cebu Island. So of course we became a little bit worried. It was not the first time we had been stranded on an island. We had already been away for two weeks and it was time to go back to Dumaguete. In the evening we clearly noticed that the wind gained strength. Me: What's the problem it's romantic to be stranded on an island, right? But Danica: I am longing for my daughter huhu...
The typhoon luckily became degraded to a tropical storm but still with hard winds and lot's of rain. The result was that the ferry going back to Cebu island was cancelled. We decided to move from the somewhat remote Bantayan Nature Park and Resort in to the more central located Adelaida Pensionne. We were lucky, we got the last room! There were many other guests with the same strategy, staying near the ferry terminal and wait for the ferry to resume.
The ferry was resumed
After a couple of days the ferry was resumed. That day we had a quick breakfast at the Boulangerie Francaise and off we went. We reached Cebu Island at lunch time and then we had roughly 300 km to travel from north to south to our second ferry over to Negros. We had our dinner break at McDonalds in Toledo. I was beginning to be stressed. Time was already 5 pm and in one hour it would be dark.
The driving went awkward
Around Barili the the driving really went awkward. The tricky road crosses the mountains and the traffic was horrendous. Big trucks and buses speeding and overtaking each others and not to mention it was pitch black! We took a short break at a little sari sari store and I swept two Coca Colas to regain some energy. We still had roughly 60 km to Alegria where we had booked a room at Lucci Pension House for the night. Slowly I realized my mistake, 60 km is very far when driving in the Philippines specially when it's dark and you are drop dead tired. Lesson learned, be sure to plan ahead so you can avoid to drive long stretches in the dark.
Back to Dumaguete
From our lunch stop at Dulot we just had a couple of hours more to go before we came to the ferry over to Negros and back home. We had been away for roughly 2 weeks. We drove 600 km back and forth and maybe at least 200 km on Bantayan Island.
Road trips are fantastic!
Making a road trip is really a fantastic way to experience the true Philippines. You see a lot and have full flexibility to go and stay wherever you want. But beware of that the traffic might be very different from what you are used to from back home. In my experience you need to adjust yourself to the Filipino way of driving otherwise it might be difficult. Always bear in mind that there are many accidents daily in the traffic so driving a scooter in the Philippines is certainly a high risk activity. Use your common sense and follow some basic guidelines and you will be less likely to get in serious trouble.
1) Be sure you rent a scooter in good condition and with all paper works in order
2) Don't drink and drive and always wear helmet
3) Don't drive fast and furious, better to be safe than sorry
3) Avoid driving in the dark. You don't want to collide with a stray dog...
4) Plan ahead, out in the province it can be far between the nice places you want to stay at
5) Don't bring too much stuff, travel light and easy is part of the freedom!
A day at the beach
Get the girls on the motor, don't forget the snorkel and the mask. Leave the bustling city and drive for 30 minutes. Once there, rent a table and buy some snacks and then enjoy the day.
Below the surface
The beach might look a little bit dull with its brownish sand. But wait until you plunge in the sea fully equipped with a mask and snorkel.
Marine Sanctuary in Dauin, is about 15-30 minutes travel from Dumaguete City. For those taking the public transport, you can find jeepneys to Dauin at the bell tower in Dumaguete City or near the Robinson's Mall. Fare is PHP 13.00. Inform the driver you are getting off at the corner leading to the Marine Sanctuary. It’s a couple of blocks away or a good 4-5 minutes brisk walk. The entrance fee for the sanctuary is PHP 150 with a table included. Without table it will be less.
Review of Allegre Bar and Restaurant
Red Rock Hot Spring, Valencia Dumaguete
Going to La Verna with the girls
Happy birthday Jas
The Japanese Shrine
Apo island the pearl of the Visayas
Outing with the girls
Baslay Hot Spring in Dauin
Road trip to Sipalay
A day of exercise
The fine art of eating an ice cream
Review of GK Coffee shop in Dumaguete
Review of The Tres Bistro in Dumaguete
Review of Chapters Café in Dumaguete
The Christmas House in Dumaguete
Tarbush, a story of love
The boulevard in Dumaguete
Review of 2Story kitchen in Dumaguete, Negros
Review of Gabby's Bistro (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of Fish 153 Korean Restaurant (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of Mooon Café Robinsons Place (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of Café Mafioso (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of Atong Kamalig Restaurant (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of San Rival Bistro (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Review of Sta Teresa Restaurant (Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines)
Tierra Alta Residential Resort, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Madridejos, Bantayan Island
One beautiful morning we decided to explore the north side of the island. We were heading for the very north tip, the Kota Park in Madridejos. So off we went with our scooter. As usual I kept one eye on the road and the other eye on Google maps. There were basically two main roads going north so that shouldn't be complicated, right? But crazy as it sounds we ended up going south instead of north... oh my gosh! Anyway after a big roundabout I got the bearings right.
Old Kota Fort
Finally we reached our destination, the Kota Park. We found a parking spot just near the Old Kota Fort. Obviously there had been some kind of meeting among the big guys equipped leather vests, tattoos and bigger bikes than our cute little scooter! But they left at the same time we arrived.
The Kota Fort is just adjacent to the parking. When we reached there and read the signage outside the Fort you could really feel that this was a historical ground. I could lively imagine the dramatic scenes which have been taken place here over the years.
Where there is a sea there is a beach or at least a shoreline. So we went down to the pier and walked along the beach. The water was really seductive, clean and clear. Farther down they were playing music as loud as they only can do in the Philippines. Though it was my kind of music I can only hope that the neighbors in the hood liked it too, otherwise it would be impossible for them to live there...
We made lot's of friends
As always in the Philippines the kids are very curious. They came and asked us where we came from, what we were doing there etc etc and Danica did her best to keep up with all their questions. We saw some kids playing in the water and they had such a nice model of a fishing boat.
The two fishermen
We also met two fishermen which just had come back from the sea. They had a really nice catch of big squids. If it hadn't been for our poor cooking facilities at our place I had bought one squid. Mmm... super fresh squid directly from the ocean cooked in it's own ink, so yummylicious!
The buko stand
I use to say, buko juice is the travelers best friend, at least in the Philippines where it's available almost everywhere. With that being said, so just before we started our trip back to our hotel we refueled ourselves with fresh healthy buko juice (coconut juice). Danica was hungry as usual so she even scraped the coconut meat out from the shell and ate it.
Bantayan road trip part 1
Bantayan road trip part 2
Bantayan road trip part 3
Bantayan road trip part 4
Paradise beach Bantayan