PHOTO DIARY : ILOILO, PHILIPPINES

by - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Quick disclaimer: This is going to be detailed so it might get boring. Sorry this is a super late post!!! 

Escaping the Manila-South life is the best thing that has ever happened to me after a couple of tough weeks with none other than school. Being a senior in college is no doubt deranged and a pain in the ass. I am somewhat all over the place the past first semester along with (already predicting it) the second semester because I can already sense its tension, so a vacation is definitely much needed. 

Anyhow, let's put the stressful school experience away from this post and just get on with my not-so-latest travel.  

Day 1
We arrived in Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 3 long past midnight. I guess I got the jitters the day before our flight because when we landed in Iloilo City it occurred to me that I was dead ass awake for 12 hours. 

From the airport we rented a shuttle en route to the seaport where we will ride a ferry to Bacolod City.   
Day 1 actually started when we arrived in our hotel called The Suites at Calle Nueva (15th Nueva-Locsin St. Bacolod City). It was a chic/posh place to stay at and the ratings are reasonable. The services and facilities were pure lavish!  Though the Wi-Fi service were a bit low from our room. 
In this area the Wi-Fi service is much more better so it was a bit of a hassle for us to go outside just to have better access. Although it's really serene here because you can here he fountain near the staircase that is beside me from my point of view whilst taking this photo. 
Oh hey that's my family name! 

We didn't get the chance to sleep for a few minutes right after arriving in our hotel -bummer!! After settling down and freshening up a bit we made our way to eat lunch in Manokan Country. It’s basically a long line of canteens that serves a variety of chicken meals. I wouldn't suggest the canteen we picked because damn for me it was a let-down. 
Our next stop was the Negros Museum (Gatuslao St. Bacolod City), a lot of artifacts that were spotted from decades ago where put here, I mean it is a museum after all. The museum obtained paintings/photographs of their Governor’s and surprisingly there were a few Lacson’s pinned up the wall. It got me thinking whether I’m related to them or not because my Grandfather‘s (Father’s side) family is from Bacolod. 
Honestly I am in love with this painting!

Since we barely enjoyed our so-called lunch we decided to eat our meryenda in Zark's. When we arrived back at the hotel, I for one was completely drained. All I wanted to do was sleep in my comfy bed and I made that happen. It was the best 3 hours of sleep I had so far in our trip. 4 o’clock in the afternoon we made a stopover to San Sebastian Cathedral (1755 Rizal Street, Bacolod City), it’s not far from where we are staying so we just walked. Some say that when you visit a church for the first time you should make a wish and as far as I can remember I did 4 or 5? So that happened and I’m still waiting for it to come true. 
The route to The Ruins (Sta. Maria, Don Mariano L. Lacson Highway Zone 15, Talisay City) is hard to get to when you don’t have a car (as per experience). Good thing there’s Grab to help us out. May I just say that it is definitely a must-see tourist attraction? I wonder how beautiful it looks when it’s daytime. It was built in the 1900’s by a man named Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in loving memory for his deceased wife, Maria Braga. I MEAN?? Wow. Great man. Anyway the structure looked like I am in another period of time. The lighting's they placed around the building are unreal even the ones outside looks amazing. It’s the perfect place to bring together a celebration. We didn’t really get that much time to roam around because we got too excited to eat in Calea (15th Lacson St. Bacolod City), a pastries and coffee bistro. I’m assuming my mom and her friends decided to order different types of cakes so we can taste one of each. I don’t know about you but after devouring their Triple Chocolate Mousse, Choco Crumble Cake and Black Forest I knew I needed Calea in Manila. Our first day ended with us basically drained from wandering around. Since we did not eat dinner (that’s why we went to Calea instead because we were still full from what we ate in Zark’s) my mom ordered food in McDonald’s for “midnight snack”.  

Day 2

Not entirely sure but I semi-hated it when I got woken up from my sweet slumber. The bed was too comfy to leave though I was also thrilled to start our second day. We went back to Iloilo City via Ocean Jet and once again, I fell asleep for a solid hour. Our next destination was Tagbak Seaport and from there we will take a boat ride going to Gigantes Island. I can barely feel my ass when hour 4 came on the road via Ceres bus. Unfortunately, it was raining hard and the wind got pretty intense by the time we arrived at the seaport. The coast guard advised all sailing boats to cancel all their trips even before we arrived so we didn’t really have a choice but to stay overnight at a cabin nearby. The thing is it messed up our plans and budget. Beverly Hills cabin is a very…daunting place to lodge at. I think it’s because not a single light bulb was turned on around the area + the room we slept at was disturbing or it’s just me scaring myself with menacing thoughts.

Day 3
Fortunately the weather was clearer the next day and immediately we traveled to Gigantes Island. The boat ride took an hour and forty-five minutes and it was quite terrifying due to the huge ass waves. The resort we stayed in is called Gigantes Hideaway Resort and apparently it’s one of the first resorts ever constructed there. We were not able to fully have a rest because we don't want to waste day light since we already lost so much time.
Cabugao Gamay Island, Carles
The other islands we visited were Tanke Island and Bantigue (Sand Bar) Island, I had to exclude the photos I took from both islands because of the low quality. We were encouraged to only bring our phone or underwater camera for safety reasons. 
Spanish Lighthouse, Gigantes Island
Shortly after wandering around the lighthouse my mom felt sick so we went back to the resort except her friends because they wanted to eat out. They came back later with a special Halo-Halo and boooiii it was mouthwatering! It's filled with loads of Nata De Coco (my favorite).   

Coming to Iloilo last year was a fun new experience. Honestly I miss Calea the most! I hope the next time we visit we could tour the city.  Click here so you can watch the travel video I made.


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