Monday, September 1, 2008

Negros trip, day 1 - Back to Bacolod

The last time i was in bacolod, it was during a stopover on a Superferry trip to Cagayan de Oro enroute to Camiguin, around 3-4 years ago. I told myself then that i would probably devote a day or so to this city in the future and now, here we are. After landing in the nice, relatively new airport in Silay, we rode a taxi to Bacolod (approx. 45 min., php450 or 10 dollars) and promptly found our way to Bacolod Pension Plaza, many thanks to our efficient and friendly driver, Bebot.

As we took the earliest CebPac flight at 4.55am, we were in Bacolod by 7am and really needing some sleep. So breakfast waited until some shut-eye til 8.30. Not a lot of eating places were open before 9 so we had to content ourselves with Chinky's, a popular fastfood. By lunch, we ventured to Mambukal Resort, which lies at the base of the towering Mt. Kanlaon. (The trip via mini bus from the palengke took an hour, P35 pesos, meandering through rice and sugar fields). As one can expect, we had a food trip of chicken inasal, the popular local fare, eaten kamotan (or kamayan) style.

With the heavy meal, it was tempting to just laze around the rather nice resort and see the boating lagoon, camping grounds, sulphur vents and butterfly farm. But we wouldn't want to waste our precious vacation time so we went, with Rene, a local guide, to see the beautiful 7th falls of Mambukal.T he hike took almost an hour, crossing through several other falls as well as terraced and boulder-strewn fields, reminding us of our similar hike in Miag-ao's Bugsukan falls several months ago. we were rewarded by the beauty of the cascade as pictured above.

We were able to come back to the city proper by nightfall for a dinner of what else, but more chicken inasal, this time at the popular Lion's Park. with not much to night shoot and craving for ice cream at past 9pm (most of the establishments were closed at 8), we called an early lights-off. 

Tourist tips: If you're traveling with a group, it may be a better option to rent the entire taxi-van as you can have more room for your luggage, traveling from the Silay airport to downtown Bacolod. Taxi shuttles charge php150/person. Taxi-vans can be hired for P450-500; 45 minute - 1 hour travel time • Jeeps plying the downtown area charge P8 • mini-buses going to Mambukal charge P35/person, last trip going back to bacolod is at 5pmContact info: Mambukal Mountain Resort, Brgy. Minoyan, Murcia (034) 7100800
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