Some days I get excited at the prospect of discovering new stories, I think about finding my way to new destinations, imagine the beauty of nature, taste local delicacies i.e. some days, I wake-up really excited about traveling. Rightfully so because traveling takes us places as beautiful as the province of Negros Oriental.
Who wouldn’t want to be a witness to this? A common sight in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. A rural community on the mountainside located just beside the capital city of Dumaguete.
Us, Burburs, took a Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Dumaguete City, we booked a promo ticket online last April. Upon our arrival at Sibulan airport (popularly known as Dumaguete airport), we rode the local transport – a tricycle for PhP40.00. We asked kuya (aka driver) to take us to the motorbike rental. Another kuya (in-charge of the motorbike rental) asked for an ID deposit + PhP300 for 24 hours rental. After dropping by the gas station, we used the motorbike to look for a hostel. The search led us to a backpacker’s hostel that cost PhP800 per night for an airconditioned room with double bed. We took a quick shower and went out for dinner:
We devoured our dinner at Lab-as restaurant located on the other end of Rizal boulevard. Lab-as is bisaya for “fresh,” and bisaya is a Filipino language widely spoken in Negros Oriental (Visayas & Mindanao at large).
Now, imagine a live band serenades you as you eat your fresh seafood while you look at the moon by the seaside. That was our Friday night in Dumaguete. Before going about how even more brilliant the day that followed, we could never let our first night in the “City of Gentle People” end without trying these famous Dumaguete delicacies:
Sans Rival. Did you know that this pastry name is French? The term translates as “without rival” (sans /sah/ is without, rival /reeval/ has the same meaning as the English word rival). According to one story, the recipe of Sans Rival was taken to the Philippines by some students who came back from France. Sans Rival’s origin can be traced to the French pastry called daquoise.
Silvanas. The object of everyone’s craving, or at least of my friends who couldn’t resist asking for this as their “pasalubong”.
The next day, the Burburs woke up with a few more pounds and extra determination to explore the province. On the (non-food) itinerary was Balinsasayao Twin Lakes in Sibulan. The sights going to our main destination didn’t disappoint.
The Philippine’s national animal: carabao (kalabaw, karabaw) seen here taking a well-deserved siesta during early afternoon. A rice farmer’s bestfriend, the carabao plows the field for rice planting that starts at the rainy season, then and now.
Acacia trees, one of the many beautiful trees that line up the roads leading to the Twin Lakes.
And some more colorful wild flowers.
The Burburs at the entrance of the Balinsasayao Lake. Fee is 100 pesos for foreigners (the Bur at the back riding the motorcycle) and 10 pesos for locals (the big-faced Bur infront). Motorcycle is always our preferred means of transportation in exploring the countryside.
Our Negros adventures shall continue…