Travel

  • Mea in Bacolod - Iloilo Travel Guide
    2018 Iloilo Travel Guide On A Budget Of P1300
    Posted in: Featured, MNB Travel Guide

    The summertime is here! Well, not officially since April hasn’t arrived yet. But, the kids from school are already hanging up their back-packs and retiring their old black school shoes. It’s time to go on vacations, explore, and spend plenty of time with the family. Lucky us who are living on the Negros Islands because we have seemingly infinite places to make our next summer destination – one of the places is Iloilo, the City of Love. Use this 2018 Iloilo Travel Guide to know how I and my friends explored the city with just P1300 (a group of 4).



    2018 Iloilo Travel Guide: 8 Destinations For P1300

    First off, why would one travel to Iloilo from Bacolod? Well, personally, my dad was born in Iloilo so we have family there. My sister and I used to spend our summer vacations with my dad’s sisters when I was in elementary and high school. So, it’s a city close to my heart. It’s known for its hold houses, colonial churches, and, of course, Batchoy. Plus, it’s just an hour away and you have plenty of vessel options to get to the city cheap.

     

    Getting To The City

    Iloilo Travel Guide For P1300 - Mea in Bacolod

    When I and my friends went on our trip, we took the Fast Cat from Banago pier. It’s important to start the day early so that you can get the most out of your trip. Our meet up place was Mcdonald’s Lacson. The meetup time was 5 AM. Check out the Fast Cat schedules below:

    Fast Cat Schedules | Mea in Bacolod

    As soon as we got there, we went straight to the La Paz Market to have us a nice bowl of piping hot Original La Paz Batchoy. From the pier, we took a taxi which cost around P57 – it’s really near.

    Iloilo Travel Guide Tip #1: If you want to save money, you have to take a taxi outside of the pier (not inside). Taxis parked inside cost more.

     

    Destination #1: Netong’s Batchoy At The La Paz Public Market

    When at Netong’s, you can spend around P100+ for a bowl of Batchoy and a drink. You can also opt for extras to pair with your Batchoy. You can either have bread or puto. You actually have plenty of options since you are in a public market. Explore the stalls beside Netong’s to see other choices.

     

    Destination #2: Madge Cafe

    The Madge Cafe is also at the La Paz public market. You might as well have a grab a good cup of coffee before checking out the rest of the city. The coffee there is mean, strong, and under P50. It’s a must visit because it has been making coffee since 1940.

     




    Destination #3: JD’s Bakeshop

    FUNNY STORY! After the Batchoy and the coffee, I felt the call of mother nature. Unfortunately, the restroom at the public market was less than desirable so to JD’s Bakeshop which was just across the street. My friends did buy something, but I just used the restroom. Nonetheless, I had plenty of memories with this bakeshop because we used to buy our merienda here. I will never forget their Chicken Ala King – a must eat for me and my husband.

    Iloilo Travel Guide Tip #2: When in doubt about the restroom, go to the hotel or JD’s Bakeshop from the La Paz public market.

     

    Destination #4: Garin Farm

    Getting To San Joaquin

     

    Now, with all the restroom businesses dealt with, it was time for us to visit the Garin Farm in San Joaquin. From La Paz, we took a jeep to Super. We waited for the jeep to fill up (this took an hour). The travel time was the worst because the jeepney was stopping at every other corner to pick up passengers. I think it took about 2 hours to get to San Joaquin. We also had to take a tricycle from the main stop going to the farm itself.

    Iloilo Travel Guide Tip #3 (Better Option): Instead of taking the jeep from Super, it’s better if you take the van. It costs around P100 or less than that.
     

    Entrances

     

    The entrance fee P150 for each person. I think that this already includes swimming. To be sure, you can check out the Garin Farm Facebook Page (<<<click the link) for their contact number.

     

    What To See And Do At The Garin Farm

     

    It was hella hot! And we were really tired from sitting for 2 hours on the jeep. We decided to grab a snack at their restaurant. Honestly, the food was OK or miss, and the service, when we went there, was terrible because there were plenty of people eating at the restaurant. The staff was not very organized when we’re there. Despite this, the restaurant was a good place to rest and escape from the heat of the sun.

    The main reason why we went to the Garin Farm was to check out “Heaven” – a life-size representation of what it would be like to go through purgatory and into the gates of St Peter. Before going there, it is absolutely necessary for you to being sun-glasses, a hat, and a scarf. If you want to go blind and, maybe, feel a bit dizzy, forget these items at home.

    Iloilo Travel Guide Tip #4 (For Titas): For those who are of a certain age, it’s best that you buy a ticket for a cart ride to Heaven. It only cost P60, back and forth.

    Another attraction that you may want to see is the feeding of the pigeons. I’m not sure if they were pigeons or dove, but what the attendants will do is slap a small, hollow bamboo log to alert the birds. They would then get some feeds to sprinkle to an area where the birds would land.

     

    Going Back To Iloilo

     

    From the Garin Farm, we went back to Iloilo City via bus. Of course, we had to take the tricycle, first, going to the main stop. It took a bit of waiting for us to catch a bus. No vans nor jeeps were available. Yes, my group got a little bit worried, thinking we might have to spend the night. But, luckily, we took turns waving at passing buses. It cost around P58 for us to get back to the city.




     

    Destination #5: Molo Mansion

    From where the bus stopped, we took a taxi going to the Molo Mansion. The mansion is one of many old houses in Iloilo. This particular one has a gift shop filled with artisan items. On its side is an adorable little cafe called Cafe Panay. We went into the mansion and took a look around. Think of it as the Balay Negrense of Iloilo City.

    Iloilo Travel Guide Tip #5: Don’t expect a tour around the house. The area where you are allowed to roam is actually the gift shop itself. There weren’t any tours of the house. The main feature is the house itself.
     

    Technically Destination #6: Cafe Panay

    You cannot miss visiting Cafe Panay and drinking their coffee. From my personal opinion, it’s a must-try. We were hungry from sitting on the bus for almost 2 hours, so we decided to energize ourselves with some refreshments. But, why molo? Because one of my friends said that one of her goals is to take a photo with the caption “Mulo-molo sa Molo Mansion” which translates to “Leisurely eating molo at the Molo Mansion.”
     

    Destination #7: Roberto’s

    From the mansion, we took a taxi going to Roberto’s – a popular food place in the City of Love that serves, arguably, the best siopao. People were literally lining up to take home one or two siopaos. Roberto’s is located downtown. If you’re wondering what to bring home to your families, this is it!

    Destination #8: Samurai Restaurant

    When you go over budget, call a friend to treat you to dinner. From Roberto’s, we took a taxi going to the Samurai Resturant which is near Sm City. Iloilo is known for their seafood so when it comes to thinking about what to eat, it’s a no-brainer. If you want to include dinner in your budget, be sure to prepare around P1800.
     

    Going Back To Bacolod

    Again, we took the Fast Cat to Bacolod city. It would be best if you can check the schedules of the ferry ahead of time so you can estimate how long you’re going to stay in one place. Overall, our experience in Iloilo City was wonderful. We were so tired during the ferry-ride back to Bacolod, but that day, it was the memories made with friends that counted the most.




    Iloilo Travel Guide Budget Break Down Iloilo Travel Guide For P1300 - Mea in Bacolod - Total Budget

  • A Guide to Nature's Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod
    Nature’s Eye Resort Guimaras: Secluded Paradise for Lovers
    Posted in: Guides, Guimaras Guide 2017, Travel

    If you follow me on social media, and you definitely should, you’ll know that I went on a short trip with other bloggers to the island of Guimaras. It was my first visit, and thanks to Nature’s Eye Guimaras, a resort on the far side of the island, I got to see how beautiful Guimaras really is.

    A Guide to Nature’s Eye Guimaras

    Nature’s Eye Guimaras is a resort that offers tranquility and privacy. It’s located in Brgy. Tando, Nueva Valencia Guimaras. It’s not as accessible as other resorts but the seclusion of this hidden jewel is part of the package. From my experience, it’s a resort designed for adventurers, nature lovers and honeymooners.

     

    Should I Go to Natures Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod

     

    How to Get to Nature’s Eye Guimaras from Bacolod

    1. Take a fastcraft from Bacolod to Iloilo. Ticket prices vary depending on the fastcraft you are going to take.
    2. From Iloilo pier, you have to go to Ortiz Wharf. You can do this on foot or you can ride a taxi.
    3. Take a pump boat/passenger boat to Jordan, Guimaras.
    4. From the Jordan wharf, you can rent a tricycle or a multicab for you to get to Brgy Tando (where the resort is).
    Jordan Guimaras

    Don’t forget to take a picture here. Ask your driver! He will gladly stop and take a photo of you and your group.

     

    Brgy Tando to Nature’s Eye Resort

    Nope, you’re not done traveling to the resort yet. From Brgy Tando, you’re going to take a short hike to the beach shown above. From this beach, you will have two options (whichever is available):

    • If the boat is NOT available, you will continue your hike to get to the resort. The terrain is, I would say, somewhere between easy and medium.
    • If the boat is available, you’ll take it to the resort’s jetty.

     

     

    Arriving at Paradise

    Nature’s Eye Resort – Dining Area

    When you arrive at the gate or jetty of Nature’s Eye, you will be directed to the dining area where you can rest before going to your room. At this area, you will see the owner’s, Rowena Amancio, cottage, tables and benches, and her unique outdoor bathroom (which you have to see for yourself).

    Check-in Time: 2PM

    If you want to go straight to your room, you can as long as you arrived during the check-in time which is 2PM. No worries if you arrived early because that’s what the waiting area is for – sit yourself down, have something to drink, and take in the view. You can also explore the resort if you’re not tired.




     

    Food at Nature’s Eye Guimaras

    As you may have noticed, the resort is not easily accessible which means that you can’t really go out and then go to the nearest “tiangge” to buy something. But, you don’t have to worry about food because the packages the resort currently offers include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Click on the photo below to know more details about the packages.

    Me and my blogger friends stayed there overnight and we got to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort. The food is A+! Of course, it’s not gourmet but Manang Indang’s cooking may, very well, compete with the home-made dishes prepared by your mom or grandmom.




     

    Accommodation at Nature’s Eye Guimaras

    Nature’s Eye Guimaras currently has four (4) accommodations that you can enjoy. Each room is Instagram-worthy. The structures have been strategically built to cater to the majestic view from the resort. Staying in one of the rooms will make you feel closer to nature. The bathrooms are especially note-worthy and you will see why from the pictures.

    Where We Stayed: Ocean View Cottage – P3500 2D/1N

    A Guide to Nature's Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod

    Outside the Ocean View Cottage

    Ocean View Cottage Details

    • P3500 2D/1N
    • Min 2 Pax, Max 5 pax
    • P350 additional person
    • With AC
    Cliff Cottage - Inside | Mea in Bacolod

    Ocean View Cottage – Bedroom and Bathroom

    Shell Cottage – P2000 2D/1N

    Shell Cottage - Nature's Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod

    Shell Cottage – Bedroom

    Shell Cottage Details

    • P2000 2D/1N
    • Min 2 Pax, Max 5 pax
    • P300 additional person
    • No AC

    Shell Cottage – Outside and Bathroom




     

    Cliff Cottage – P3000 2D/1N

    Ocean View Cottage - Nature's Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod

    Cliff Cottage – Bedroom and Bathroom

    Cliff Cottage Details

    • P3000 2D/1N
    • Min 2 Pax, Max 5 pax
    • P350 additional person
    • With AC




     

    Sunset Cottage – P2200 2D/1N – For Honeymooners

    Sunset Cottage - Nature's Eye Guimaras | Mea in Bacolod

    Sunset Cottage Bedroom

    Sunset View Cottage Details

    • P2200 2D/1N
    • 2 pax ONLY
    • No AC

    Sunset Cottage Bathroom

     

    What to Do at Nature’s Eye

    What to do at Nature's Eye | Island Hoping

    There are a couple of things you can do when you are at the resort. You can go exploring, swimming or island hoping. I’d recommend island hoping so you can make the most out of your trip. The packages the resort offers currently have island hopping as an inclusion so, again, please do check the latest offers on their Facebook page by clicking on the photo below.

     

    What to Know Before Going to Nature’s Eye


    The resort is expanding so you can look forward to other amenities in the near future. It’s also important to remember that the owner, Rowena Amancio, is a nature lover herself, and this love of hers translated into how she built the resort. Please remember:

    • That the resort is a place to relax. Be courteous of other guests.
    • That one of the resort’s aim is to encourage guests to be close to nature. Do not liter nor pick flowers.
    • Manang Indang (the cook) is at your service. If you need extra rice, ask.
    • The signal isn’t going to be very good but if you stay at the dining area, you will get a bar or two.
    • To talk to Ms Rowena. She is very accommodating and she will gladly sit with you after you’ve eaten to tell you more about why she built Nature’s Eye.
    • Disclaimer: My stay was shouldered by Nature’s Eye, however all statements I have on this post have not been influenced in any way.

    Don’t Forget to Bring

    1. Bug Spray
    2. Sunblock
    3. A hat
    4. Reliable flip flops/shoes

    Contact Details

    • SMART – +639077579055
    • GLOBE – +639262791189
    • Look for Ms Rowena Amancio
    • Facebook Page Nature’s Eye Beach Resort
  • Great White Rafting Tour CDO Review | Mea in Bacolod
    CDO: Great White Water Rafting Tour Review
    Posted in: Cagayan De Oro Trip 2016, Travel

    When we went to Cagayan last year (2016), the white water rafting tour we went on was one of the most memorable activities I and my family did. It was my second time going on the same tour with the same company, and I have to say that the experience was as amazing as the first.

    Company: Great White Rafting Tour

    Great white Rafting | Mea in Bacolod

    CLICK ME to Visit Great White Rafting’s Website



    Rafters, White Water Rafting Outfits and FYI

    The Rafters | Mea in Bacolod

    Looking at the Cagayan de Oro river, anxious but excited.

    I went with my cousins and my sister on this tour. I and my sister had gone through the same tour with the same company a few years back, but for the rest of my cousins, it was their first time. So before we go into the review, let’s talk about what you need to know and bring as a first-timer:

    • When you go white water river rafting, you have to wear the right outfit:
      • Long-sleeved rashie to protect your skin from the sun.
      • Swim shorts or board shorts are the way to go. You can move easily.
      • Ladies, do bring a tie for your hair. You’re going to need it.
      • Slippers (they will get wet)
    • Do not forget your sunblock (SPF 30 or higher) and water.
    • Do bring towels and extra clothes for after.
    • You can bring your wallets and phones. The guides are going to keep them safe inside a bag back at HQ.




    Quick White Water Rafting FYI

    1. Yes, it’s safe.
    2. Yes, the guides are trained for rescue.
    3. Yes, your valuables will be safe. The white water rafting company we chose is very trust-worthy. They make sure that everything is sealed and untouched when you leave.




    Package: White Water Rafting Basic Course

    The Cagayan de Oro | River

    • MAMBUAYA (start point) to CABULA (end point) 
    • Takes 2-3hrs actual river run
    • With snack & meal = ₱ 1,400.00 as of Feb 2017 (prices may change depending on the comapny)
    • Inclusions:
      • Transfers from Hotel/Coffee Works-Divisoria to Rafting Put-in Area and Vice Versa
      • 2 River Rafting guides
      • Gears and equipment

    Check Great White Rafting’s Other Packages Here

    Getting There And Prepping

    Because the package we went for included transportation, we didn’t have to drive anywhere. We just waited at the hotel for the jeep to pick us up. Our time of departure: 8:00am I think.We rode the jeep to Great White Water’s HQ along with other rafters.

    READY - White Water Rafting CDO Review | Mea in Bacolod

    Once we arrived, they loaded our rafts on top of the jeep as we signed waivers and put our valuables inside a bag (which they then sealed and kept). What they allowed us to bring along were our sunblock and water. The drive to the starting point took about an hour or more. Once we arrived at the spot, they prepped us with safety our gears and instructions.

    • Your slippers will be tied together in a ball. The guide will take care of the ball of slippers.
    • You can give your water bottles to the guides too.
    • Your sunblock, on the other hand, you can put inside a pocket on your vest.




    Rapids And Pictures

    I forgot how many minor and major rapids we went through, but the course run for about two and a half hours. The minor rapids were manageable. They even had our team do tricks like standing up as the raft was moving over small rapids.

    Minor Rapids | White Water Rafting at CDO

    Every rapid we conquered deserved a team cheer. I forgot what ours was but it was most likely the Spartan “Awoo” sound from the movie 300.

    Managing The Heat

    It got pretty hot while we were white water rafting because there was no shade for the boat to go under, so to cool you off, the guide will take off his helmet, scoop water from the river, and then pour it on you. You can do it yourself too with your helmet. Don’t forget to reapply your sunblock.

    Managing The Heat With A Shower Of Cold Water From The CDO River

    Down Time

    Throughout the course, you will have a bit of downtime. This is when you’re just cruising along the Cagayan de Oro river, admiring the sights. Don’t worry because your guides will entertain you with interesting trivia and unlimited jokes. The jokes aren’t corny too so you’ll definitely enjoy even the downtime.

    Nature watching is another bonus you get when you go white river rafting.

    You’re also going to have your snacks during a down time. They served Cagayan’s infamous pastel and mineral water. You have to keep your energy up and that’s why they chose an iconic snack that’s sweet.

    “AMBAK” (Meaning: Bisaya for Jump)

    Jumping off the boat is definitely OK if the guides say so. At some point, the guides’ going to tell you that it is ok to jump off and swim for a while, or just lay back and let the current move you.

    They’re going to let you know when to come up. You don’t need to worry how you’re going to do it because the guides will do all the work for you. They’re going to hoist you up by grabbing on your life-vest. Or, you can climb up if you have the upper body strength to do so.

    A Variety Of Views

    White water rafting along the Cagayan de Oro river is a chance for you to appreciate nature. We saw caves, tiny waterfalls, locals fishing, a few animals and more. So, it’s not just trees and mountains. For example, we passed a bridge that was destroyed by the typhoon Yolanda. It was being rebuilt, but the locals, temporarily, built another one out of ropes so they can get across.

    Major Rapids on The Basic Course

    The guides telling you to get ready for a major rapid kind of makes you feel anxious, but you shouldn’t be because even the major ones are manageable. They are a bit scary because of the sound of water rushing, but you will survive it. We did.

    Great White Rafting Tour CDO Review | Mea in Bacolod




    Check Our Video

    Overall Experience With Great White Rafting (9/10)

    • I would love to do it again, but the next time around, I’m going for the advanced course. Once you conquer the basic, you’re going to want to experience something more extreme.
    • The guides were amazing. I think any guide you get from Great White Rafting will be as funny as heck.
    • We had lunch back at HQ. We also changed our clothes there.
    • The price is affordable for the experience you get, trust me.
    • FYI this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely loved my experience with the guys from Great White Rafting.

    I want to give a shout out to my team: (L-R) Lizette, we miss you already. To manong Jun-Jun and manang PJ, thank you for the company. Iloilo soon! And to my sister, Trixie, I dare you to go with me on the advanced course.



    Mea in Bacolod

    Great White Rafting Contact Information

  • Mea in Bacolod | Plan A Vacation To The Manjuyod Sandbar
    Plan A Vacation: Join The Bacolod Travel Club For FREE
    Posted in: Travel





    I know how difficult it is to plan a vacation. Trust me, I’ve attempted to plan trips within the Philippines to get my family started on taking yearly family vacations, but with the cost of the hotels and inns, plus the fares, plus not knowing what to do upon arriving, it proved to be too much for me. I thought that the only way I and my family could go is if someone was to do this for me, plus somehow lower the rates of fares, food and accommodation. Now, I have no excuse because I am part of the Bacolod Travel Club.



    Mea in Bacolod | Siquijor Vacation

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    The Bacolod Travel Club Has Planned Your Vacation For You

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    A Facebook friend of mine shared the Bacolod Travel Club group on his wall and I was immediately interested. To clue you in, the Bacolod Travel Club is a Facebook group managed by one person, Jhanz Gimotea. What she does is organize trips for groups of people interested in travelling to different parts of the Philippines. She’s been doing this for years and it stemmed from her love of travelling. I don’t tink she can count the places in the Philippines she’s been to because she’s been to so many. She even takes visitors to campsites where they can enjoy nature at its rawest and sleep under the stars.

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club/ Ms. Jhanz Gimotea swimming her worries away at Manjuyod.




    Why Should You Join The Group On Fb And Plan A Vacation?




    Mea in Bacolod | Famous Tree in Siquijor

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    As soon as you join in, you’ll know why it’s easier to let the travel club do your vacation planning for you. But, here are the reasons why I think it’s a good idea:

    1. You don’t have to worry if you want to travel on your own because the travel club arranges trips with groups so you will be travelling and meeting new people if you go for it.
    2. Rates are cheaper because they are arranged in groups. The more people, the cheaper the rates for fuel and accommodation compared to when you are travelling on your own.
    3. No stress which is the best part! All you have to do is show up with packed bags and with your wanderlust.
    4. Trips are safer, I think. I also feel like you’re gaining to new friends along the way.
    5. Trips can be family-friendly. If you’re just like me, you want trips that can suit your family. That can be arranged with the Bacolod Travel Club.
    6. You can go as a team! The Travel Club arranges trips for company outings or team outings.

    There are so many other reasons why you need to join this Facebook Group today. But mainly, if you don’t have enough time to plan out your vacation, this is your best bet.



    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club

    If you want to know what available trips The Bacolod Travel Club has, CLICK HERE.

    Don’t forget to LIKE Mea in Bacolod on Facebook for more updates and interesting stories about Bacolod City!

    Mea in Bacolod | Tawhai Floating Bar Lakawon

    Source: Bacolod Travel Club




  • Danjugan Island | Mea in Bacolod
    A Hidden Paradise: Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental
    Posted in: Travel

    Danjugan Island – you’ve probably already heard of it and seen it in pictures like I have. I haven’t been to the place, but friends say it’s a piece of heaven on earth. FYI, if your idea of paradise is a commercialized island with a booming nightlife, this is not for you. But, if you want to be closer to wildlife, breathe in the freshest sea air, and immerse yourself in mother nature’s bosom, you might not want to leave.



    Is Danjugan Island Your Kind of Paradise?


    An interesting fact that you may want to know is that this island is not touristy at all. It’s a 43-hectare island and marine sanctuary. Danjugan island is managed by Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc (PPRCFI). According to The Poor Traveler, guests have to attend a short briefing, educating them about some island facts and giving them info on preservation.



    Why Do People Want To Visit Danjugan Island?


    You could say that traveling to this place is “off the beaten path”. It is not a resort, but people come here for a special kind of experience.

    Diver’s Paradise

    Marine and wildlife are teeming, and the water is as clear as the light of day! It’s safe to say that this is probably the best dive site in Negros Occidental. Personally, I’m scared to dive because I watched one too many Jaws movies when I was 10 years old. But, those who are far more adventurous than I am will be glad to know that there are three companies that can arrange dive tours:

    Adult Marine and Wildlife Camp

    Another reason people visit this magical island is the camps. On November 25-27, 2016, the next Adult Marine and Wildlife Camp will take place. Guest speakers Anna Oposa of Save Philippine Seas and AA Yaptinchay of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines will be present.

    Adult Marine And Wildlife Camp at Danjugan Island

    For 3 days and 2 nights, we will live in this island of rich biodiversity, explore and learn from it, with our team of scientists, conservationists and artists. – Danjugan’s Facebook Page

    If you’re fed up with having the same vacations over and over again, this Adult Camp is for you – Danjugan Island is for you. I hope to visit one of these days. You can get more information on the island on their official website: www.danjuganisland.ph. On the site, you’ll find:

    • Things To Do
    • Rates & Accommodation
    • Facilities

    How To Book A Trip


    Send an email to experience@danjuganisland.ph. In your email, please include the dates of your visit as well as the duration. For faster replies, you may contact:

    • +63 915 234-7145
    • +63 908 525-4108
    • +63 34 441-6010




    Danjugan Island

    Don’t forget to LIKE Mea in Bacolod for more great posts about Bacolod City and Negros Occidental!

  • Sneak Peek of Jomax Peak, Don Salvador Benedicto
    Posted in: Travel

    When you think of Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB), you think about fresh air, mountains, long roads and the lion statue that overlooks the municipality. If you’re planning a trip to Don Salvador Benedicto anytime soon, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not just the fresh air, the mountains and the lion that you’ll be experiencing. There’s a new place you can visit called Jomax Peak.




    jomax-peak-travel-destination

     

    Jomax Peak Sneak Peek

    travel-destination-negros-occidental-jomax-peak




    Jomax Peak recently got some attention on social media last week because photos taken from the peak reveal a picturesque view of the mountains, a foggy atmosphere, a quaint little cottage sitting on top of the peak, and a deck where you can lounge on.

    What to Know About the New Negros Travel Destination at Don Salvador Benedicto

    The Quaint Cottage at Jomax Peak Don Salvador Benedicto

    The fog and the view will make one heck of an Instagram picture. But, before you gas up for a road trip to Don Salvador Benedicto, you need to know the following things about Jomax Peak:




    Location

    don-salvador-benedicto-travel-destination-in-negros-occidental

    • Approximately 100meters after the 48km post
    • About 200meters before the Malatan-og waterfalls viewing deck.
    • Left side of the National Highway
    • If you’re riding the Ceres bus, you may instruct the driver or conductor to drop you at “Brgy Kumaliskis, resthouse of Atty Ortiz”




    Fees (UPDATED 2017)

    It Fogs at Jomax Peak Don Salvador Benedicto

    • P150 per head inclusive of unlimited coffee and use of pool.
    • To rent the sun shade you need a minimum of 5 people (P750).
    • To rent the veranda shade you need a minimum of 10 people (P1500).
    • To rent the pavillion you need a minimum of 15 people (P2250).
    • To rent out Jomax Peak for the whole day, 40 people (P6000).




    Activities

    The Small Pool at Jomax Peak

    • There’s a small pool that everyone can enjoy.
    • Trekking to Malatan-og Waterfalls is possible. A guide can accompany you for a fee of P200.

    Other Details to Know About Jomax Peak at Don Salvador Benedicto (UPDATED 2017)

    Travel to Don Salvador Benedicto to See Jomax Peak

    • RESERVATION basis. Jomax Peak doesn’t cater to walk-in guests. Reserve at least a week or two before your trip.
    • Jomax Peak does not serve food. Bring your own. Cook your own.
    • There’s a grill that you can rent. It’s P150 with charcoal.
    • There’s also a butane stove for rent at P100.
    • Plus, a rice cooker is available for use at P50.
    • A helper is available if you need help with the cooking. The helper can cook all your food for P150.

    I’m going to update this post right after I visit the place. Don’t forget to LIKE Mea in Bacolod on Facebook to the latest about Jomax Peak.




    Jomax Peak

  • 7 Things a Road Trip to Cadiz Negros Occidental Made me Realize
    Posted in: Diary, Travel

    When you live in Negros Occidental, all you have to do is go on a road trip to somewhere fairly far to see its beauty. Personally, I wouldn’t dare to go on a road trip by myself because I’m very bad with directions and I’m not too confident with my car fixing skills when an emergency happens. Luckily, I have a man who’s great with directions, interested in motocross racing (he mostly goes out of town for these) and has decent car maneuvering and fixing skills.

    Brgy Burgos Somewhere in Negros Occidental

    A random sign of a random Brgy on our way to Cadiz.

    We went on a road trip to Cadiz about late last year to visit the Bayona family and to check on Jingol’s (the husband) motorcycle. And, it was during this trip that I realized a few things about the province I am living in:

    1. An adventure awaits around every corner.

    A path leading to adventure.

    A path leading to adventure.

    You won’t understand this if you don’t leave Bacolod City every once in a while. I’m talking about new experiences as adventures! I and fellow blogger Claire Algarme of First Time Travels talked about cultural experiences (like rice planting and cooking) that visitors can have while in Negros Occidental. The problem is we don’t see the value in it and we can’t really share what he haven’t gone through ourselves.

    2. Negros Occidental is green.

    Solar panels in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.

    Solar panels in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.

    Aside from the fact that you can see green in almost every direction when on a road trip, the province of Negros Occidental is also doing its best to be eco-friendly. Ordinances have been passed to regulate the use of plastic cellophane and new facilities outside Bacolod have been built to promote the use of solar energy.

    3. It’s the simple things in life that count.

    A tractor at Negros Occidental

    I know that I make it sound like going on this road trip was a life changing experience. No it wasn’t. It, however, gave me a fresher perspective on life. It’s amazing what a few hours of sun and fresh air can do, right? Anyway, seeing how people in small towns live their lives made me want to focus on what is essential and simple. Ultimately, I realized that true happiness doesn’t come from having a big house, the latest gadget or a fancy car.

    4. Negros Occidental is a great place to be in when you’re a freelancer who likes adventures.

    Bahay Kubo in Negros Occidental

    If you’ve followed me ever since my blog started, you’ll know that I freelance online for a living. For me, this means that I could just take my laptop anywhere and work. I, mostly, write articles so as soon as we arrived at the Bayona family’s home, I whipped out my laptop and wrote. I rested inside this “payag-payag” when my eyes grew tired. The best thing is, I had an unlimited supply of inspiration through mother earth.

    Sunsets and Colors Negros Occidental

    After I finished with my work and the boys were done with their bikes, we went for a ride. This photo was taken (by me) while riding the back of my husband’s motorcycle. The scenery was beautiful and it was a first for me.

    5. Outside the city, life is good and slow.

    Late afternoon at Negros Occidental

    The picture I took looks like it’s part of the next campaign for Tide. But, joking aside, people like to take their time with whatever they’re doing during the day. Siesta time (resting or napping post-lunch) is also almost inevitable in small towns outside Bacolod. People here definitely know how to slow down and we city-folk could learn a thing or two from this. When was the last time you slowed down?

    6. You see the beauty in the common.

    Love Birds a Plenty in Negros Occidental

    I don’t know if I am overly romanticizing this road trip but what the hey! I found beauty in almost the smallest and most common of things. Maybe it was the hype of going to a new town or the hype of taking great pictures. Whatever it was, everything, even love birds which I usually see in my father’s mini-garden, was, all of a sudden, interesting and beautiful.

    7. There’s still so much more to see and experience.

    Pepe guarding the Island - Statue of a hero in Negros Occidental

    I actually don’t know who this is but we passed by this statue of a hero on our way to Cadiz.

    We didn’t really do much while we were at Cadiz. I just worked a little, walked around the farm a little, took photos, watched while the boys fixed their bikes, and rode the fixed bikes to a nearby town. The trip, however, made me curious as to what other places I can experience in Negros Occidental.

    Taken while riding the back of a motorcycle in Brgy Sicaba Negros Occidental

    Taken during sunset while riding at the back of my husband’s motor bike.

    Has this little trip to Cadiz sparked a light in me? You could say so, my friends. I didn’t see the entire Negros Occidental but I sure did get a taste of its beauty and charm. I highly recommend you doing the same when the weekend hits. If a short road trip did this for me, who knows what it can do for you?

  • The Close-to-Ultimate Guide to the Campuestohan Highland Resort (Part 2)
    Posted in: Guides, Travel

    Campuestohan Rides – the resort doesn’t just have sites to see, it also has rides to experience, about 5 of them. This is now Part 2 of my close-to-ultimate guide to Campuestohan which will focus on just that. You can check out Part 1 over here.

     

    Hamster Wheel

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Hamster Wheel 1

    Ticket Cost: P100/ person

    Details:

    • Starts at Tower A located at the back of the Kin Kong statue.
    • End in Tower B which is near a parking area.
    • The ride can accommodate 4 hamster wheels simultaneously.
    • Length is 150m

    Safety:

    Walking on the inside of a giant wheel suspended several feet off the ground can be nerve wrecking, but there’s no need to be worried when it comes to safety. You will be equipped with a harness which will be fastened on both sides of the wheel as seen on the pictures. The safety personnel will also give you a helmet which is mandatory for your safety. Hold the sides of the sides of your harness while walking across and try not to get over zealous about your walking speed.

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Hamster Wheel 2

    The Hanging Bridge

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Hanging Bridge 1

    Ticket Cost: P—

    Details:

    • From Tower D to Tower E. Tower E is near the restaurant while tower D is near a playground.
    • Please check cost with Campuestohan office or Facebook page.

    Safety:

    All you have to do is walk from one end to the other but unfortunately the hanging bridge was closed when I went there so I wasn’t able to go on it. I presume, however, that if you follow your own common sense – no running, no jumping, no swinging and so on – you’ll have no problems with the safety.

    Rope Course

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Rope Course 1

    Ticket Cost: P200/ person

    Details:

    • About 200m
    • Can be cleared at 1 hour to 45mins for beginners.
    • Rescuers were able to clear it at 20mins. If you’re fit, you can probably to it at around the same amount of time.

    Safety:

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Safety Rope Course

    A pair of gloves and a helmet will be provided. A harness will be fitted on you which will then be fastened to a safety cord right above your head. This cord goes throughout the course and you’ve to move the belt they fastned as you move through the course.

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Rope Course 2

    Do not attempt to go on this Campuestohan ride or attraction when you have heart problems or if you have a medical condition. For those who are out of shape but would really like to try out this course, go ahead. The rope course has platform stops that you can rest on. If you feel like you cannot go on anymore, ladders will be attached to which ever stop you’re on and rescuers (2 of them) will come and assists you.

     

    Sky Bike

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Sky Bike 1

    Ticket Cost: P100/ one way trip

    Details:

    • One way trip.
    • Runs from Tower D to E. Starting point is at D which near a playground and near the Mickey Mouse statue.
    • You can get your own copy the video of your ride at the Sky Bike end point. The video will be captured by the camera attached to the fron of the bike.

    Safety:

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Sky Bike 2

    You will have to wear a helmet as with all the other Campuestohan ride rules. A safety harness will be fitted on you and it will be connected to a rope right above your head. Balance is important when doing the sky bike so in order for you to find your balance, you need to have a level head. Just relax when riding on the bike, take in the scenery and focus on getting to the other end without panicking.

    The Most Exhilarating Among all the Campuestohan Rides – Zipline

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Zipline Hairnet and Helmet 2

    Kk from Bacolod and Arlene from New Zealand getting ready for the ride of their life.

    This has to be the resort’s scariest ride to go on, from my point of view at least. The climb alone to the top of the tower where the zipline starts was exhausting so you know for sure that you are way, way, way up.

    Ticket Cost: P200/ person

     

    Details:

    • Runs from Tower A to D. Starting point is at A which is right behind King Kong. Tower D is near the entrance of the resort.
    • You can clear this ride at around 32 second but it might be faster if you are heavier.
    • The ride is 320m long.

    Safety:

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Zipline Weigh In 1

    Going on the other Campuestohan rides, your weight doesn’t need to be measured. With this one, however, your weight will greatly affect your speed and your impact when stopping so it’s a must for you to get weighed in before going on this ride. You will do this at the ticket booth that’s right behind the rope course. A waiver will then be given to you to be signed by an adult (18 years old above).

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Zipline Hairnet and Helmet and Harness 3

    Proper checks of the safety gears are done and I almost forgot to mention that you have to wear tennis shoes or sneakers when going on this ride. Hindi po pwede naka tsinelas lang.The standard helmets are given.

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Zipline Ready 4

    From L-R: Ja Gargallano (Bcd), Kk Villanueva (Bcd), Arlene Pagunsan (NZ), Mercy Todaro (NY), Toni Merida (Bcd), Christian Diolina (NC)

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Zipline 6

    Safety instructions include:

    1. Lay back
    2. Feet up
    3. Firm grip on the handles

    It’s great because the safety personnel actually asks you if you’re ready or not. This give you a chance to back out of the ride if you feel like you cannot handle it.

     

     

    Other details about the Campuestohan rides:

    1. Tickets are sold at the ticket booth, right behind the rope course.
    2. You will be given hair nets to wear before putting on the helmet. This is for sanitary purposes.
    3. Waivers will be given to be signed by an adult.
    4. Make sure you read the safety rules which you can see on boards located on specific start points.
    5. Listen to the safety personnel’s instructions.
    6. Rides close at around 5pm.
    7. To save time and energy, make sure you plan out what t ride first.  Check where the start points and end points are so you don’t have to walk back and forth to go on rides.

     

    What to Look Forward to

    The Windmill

    Campuestohan Highlands Resort Upcoming

    Upon interviewing Mr. “Cano” Tan, the Windmill is meant to be a hotel. There was no mention of the exact date of when this project is going to be finished but it will be soon.

    The Wave Pool

    Mea in Bacolod - Sneak Peek of the Campuestohan Wave Pool

    The wave pool is the same with regards to the opening date. What I do know, however is that the Campuestohan wave pool will be like a mini theme park, inside a bigger one, with an ocean theme.

    • Bouncy trampoline
    • Cable cars
    • Safari tour

    Part 1 Here

    I’d like to thank Mr. Richard Tan, Mr. Ricardo Tan and Mr.s Nenita Tan for the hospitality and the invitation of Mea in Bacolod.

    Mr Tan with my family

    This post wouldn’t have been possible without the invitation of Mr. Richard Tan as well as the hospitality of Mr. Cano Tan and Mrs. Nenita Tan. Thank you.

    For your reservations, please contact the following numbers:

    Landline: (034) 702-0964; (034) 433-3335
    Mobile: 0915-211-1406; 0917-300-5007; 0925-600-8088

    Office Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

    Office Address: Bacolod TP Truckers, Gonzaga St., Bacolod City
    Resort Address: Sitio Campuestohan Brgy. Cabatangan/ alternate route via brgy. Granada and Alangilan Talisay City 6100 Philippines

  • The Close-to-Ultimate Guide to the Campuestohan Highland Resort (Part 1)
    Posted in: Guides, Travel

    Campuestohan Highland Resort is a destination that needs no introduction. Bacolod locals are either familiar with it or they’ve actually been there once or twice already. It’s so notable that locals recommend it to guests when guests ask which places to visit in Negros. It’s one of a kind  here in the island of Neg Occ and, the great news is, it’s not that far from the City of Smiles.

     

    Resort Profile

    A view Campuestohan From the Zipline Tower - 1

    The view from the Zipline Tower

    • Location – The resort is located somewhere in the boundaries of Talisay City and Bacolod City.
    • Type – It’s a nature park and a theme water park and resort combined.
    • Area Measurement – I don’t have an accurate measurement but all I can say is it’s massive.
    • Opening and Closing – 7am to 6pm, Monday-Sunday.
    • Amenities you might want to know about:
      • Pools
      • Rides and Attractions
      • Spa
      • Bathhouse and Public restrooms
      • Playgrounds
      • Resort Restaurant
      • Several accommodation options
      • and more…

     

    How to Get There

    You have 3 options: private/rental cars, resort shuttles and the off the beaten path type of transportation option.

    Private/Rental Cars

    If you have one, all you have to do is drive up to Campuestohan. From Lopues East or Mcdonald’s East, take the road that goes up to the mountains. Go straight. There are actually signs that tell you where to turn when you reach Granada, a small barangay that you’ll pass through. When in doubt, ask for directions.

    Resort Shuttles

    There are different options for resort shuttles:

    • 30-seater Sarao with A/C. Costs P100 per head and travels during the weekend. You will see this parked at the Villa Angela Arcade, right across Lopues East or, more specifically, right across Jollibee East. The Sarao can also be rented for private groups. It is a 2-way service costing P3000. You can choose the pick-up and drop-off point as long as it is within the city of Bacolod.
    • Nissan Urvan. You can rent the van for the day with a maximum of 15 persons, costing P1500, or you can rent the van for an overnight stay. The same maximum capacity applies, costing P2500.

    Off the Beaten Path

    From the Burgos Market, look for the Alangilan jeep stop. Wait for the jeep to be full. Tell the driver that you are going to Campuestohan. He’s going to drop you off a tricycle terminal. Rent a tricycle and tell the driver that you’re going to the resort. I’m not sure how much this option would cost you, but I don’t recommend that you go for this one. It’s a bit of a hassle especially if you have kids with you.

     

     

    Entrance Fees and Other Fees

    As soon as you arrive at the resort, you would need to pay the entrance fee. It’s P150 per head. Kids who are below 2 years old can go in for FREE, but the ones over 2 years need to pay the same fee as the adults. Parking is, of course, free and you’ll find that you have plenty of space to park your private or rented vehicle(s) in.

    Parking Area Inside the Resort Near the Second Pool - Campuestohan Highland Resort - 2

    Parking Area Inside the Resort Near the Second Pool

    In fact, they were working on a bigger parking lot (I think parking lot B) so visitors have more space to park their cars in. This parking lot wasn’t open when we visited but when it does, it’ll be more convenient as there will be 2 entrances to the resort. I saw a ticket booth on the closed parking area which will make getting into the resort easier.

     

     

    Cottages and Accommodation Options

    For day trips, you have 3 types of cottages to choose from:

    • Big Cottages – good for 20 people – P1000
    • Small Cottages – good for 12-15 people – P600
    • Umbrella Hut – good for 10 people – P500

    Cottages - Campuestohan Highland Resort - 3

    You can double check where you can pay the fee. I think you can pay at the entrance booth or at the restaurant.

    Cottages have an open and close cover - Campuestohan Highland Resort - 4

    Here’s what I like about the cottages. They have covers that, I assume, you can use when it rains. The bigger ones also have the same covers. It’s a very nifty feature as Campuestohan makes it easier for its visitors  to take shelter when it’s raining.

    As for accommodation, either for overnight or for a few days, you have several options to choose from:

    Bonita Huts

    Bonita Hut - Campuestohan Highland Resort - 5

    Inside

    6 - Inside Bonita Hut - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    Diane Diolina from North Carolina

    • Good for 4 people; maximum of 6
    • P2500 for an overnight stay
    • The 4 people already get free entrance passes
    • Excess of 4 people is P300 per head
    • No A/C but with restroom

    You might be worried that it doesn’t have an A/C. On the contrary, it’s pretty cool inside and when night time comes, it’s not an A/C that you will need but blankets.

    Indian TeePees

    7 - TeePee Indian Village - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    Inside + View of Other TeePees

    8 - Inside TeePee Indian Village - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    • Good for 6 people
    • P5000 for an overnight stay
    • The 6 people already get free entrance passes and free breakfast
    • With A/C and restroom
    • Choose: family room or suite room

    In case you were wondering, the toilet and the bath are separated. If you’re facing the mirror, the toilet is on the right and the bath is on the left.

    9 - The Indian Village - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    It may not feel like it when you’re in the inside, but it’s going to be like you’re living in an Indian village. The TeePees are closer together compared to the Bonita Huts. If you like having neighbors, definitely go for this accommodation option but if you like your privacy, go for a Bonita Hut.

    The Log Cabin

    This is probably the closest Negrosanons can get to living like a pioneer. Well, not exactly but the log cabin factor is there.

    10 - The Log Cabin - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    This building is more elevated thus, you get to experience a really nice view every time you step out of your room.

    12 - Log Cabin Better View - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    A view from the Log Cabin

    Inside + Outside the Rooms

    14 - Inside the Log Cabin and Furniture Outside - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    • The Cabins can be good for 3, 4, or 5 people
    • P3000 for 3 people, P4000 for 4 people and P5000 for 5 people (overnight stay)
    • When you book a cabin, it already includes breakfast and entrance passes.
    • With A/C and restroom
    • With WIFI but the signal is not that strong

    11 - Log Cabin View - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    If you noticed, the veranda of the cabin has several tables and chairs which you can use for eating. There’s also wooden furniture for lounging around.

    13 - Log Cabin with Wooden Furniture - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    The picture is a little dark, but this wooden furniture is very comfy to nap in. Melinde Merida from Monaco

    When I visited the Log Cabin, there was a group of people that looked like they were having a mini-seminar. That’s actually a great idea for people in an office or company. You have room for presentations, meetings and so on. Your rooms will be close together so it’s more convenient to be in touch with members of your group.

    King Kong

    15 - King Kong - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    The King Kong statue is like the pièce de résistance of the resort. It’s the centerpiece, so to speak. The fun thing is that you can actually spend the night inside the king of the apes.

    16 - Crash Landing King Kong - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    The surrounding is meant to look like a plane crash so don’t be put off by its unkempt appearance. Have you ever seen a plane crash site that’s kept and tidy? I don’t think so.

    Inside + Outside seating

    17 - Inside King Kong - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    The doorway inside the great Kong can be found at the back, on its hip. The outside has a stone seating and a few chairs but no shade. Once inside, you’ll see the ground floor which is mostly seating. Going upstairs, you will see the bedroom which, I think, is King Kong’s rib cage. The bone design on the walls also gives the room a ribcage feel. It’s fun for pictures and it also makes a fun memory to tell folks back home. You can also tell them that King Kong roars sporadically. A speaker strategically hidden from plain sight plays a loop of roaring sounds every once in a while.

    • Good for 6 people
    • Loft-type
    • P6000 for overnight stay
    • The 6 people already have free breakfast and free entrance passes.
    • With A/C, restroom and seating
    • Excess persons can pay P300 per head minus the free breakfast

    Bathhouse

    This is probably not on the website. So, the resort has 2 pools (we’ll go into more details about these later). The older one, which is the one that’s NOT shaped like a foot, has several cottages that surround it. It also has bathhouses for both males and females. The upstairs of those bathhouses can be rented out as accommodation.

    20 - BathHouse and Upstairs Accomodation - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    • Good for 4 people
    • P2500 for overnight stay
    • The 4 people already get free entrance passes.
    • Excess persons can pay P300 per head
    • Only common restroom

    The great thing about staying in a bathhouse is that you get to be really close to the pool. The downside is that you won’t have your own restroom.

    Camping Grounds

    Are you planning to rough it up? No worries. Bring your tent and set it up on the resort’s camping ground. You’ll have access to all of the common restrooms. The camping ground is near Kung Fu Panda. You can also ask if there are other areas where you can set your tent up on because the resort has a lot of open grounds.

    19 - Camping Grounds - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    • Bring your own tent
    • P300 per head for overnight stay
    • From 5pm to 6am
    • Only common restroom

    Other details about accommodations:

    • Check-in time: 2PM, Check-out time: 12noon
    • You can check in as early as 7am if you already have a room reservation
    • Log Cabin rooms have 32″ LED TV
    • All rooms have a hot and cold shower
    • It’s always a good idea to check and book way ahead of your scheduled trip
    • To confirm your booking, a 50% down payment is required
    • Visa and Mastercard accepted

    For bookings and further inquiries, please contact:

    • Landline: (034) 702-0964; (034) 433-3335
    • Mobile: 0915-211-1406; 0917-300-5007; 0925-600-8088
    • Contact the numbers fr0m 9am to 6pm.

    Amenities, Safety, and Tips

    Swimming Pools

    22 - Mosaic on Pool 2 - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    Take a look at how beautiful the bottom of Pool 2 is. I digress but, it’s what makes Pool 2 all the more enjoyable to swim in. It makes you feel like you’re really vacationing!

    21 - Two Resort Pools - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    L-R: Pool 1, closer to the entrance; Pool 2, closer to parking space; Jaja Gargallano and Amiel Gargallano having fun under the sun

    Anyway, I think I already mentioned the resort having 2 pools, right? Pool 1 is the older pool. It’s supposed to be bigger. Pool 2 is shaped like a foot. Both pools have cottages that surround them as well as common restrooms that visitors can use for bathing, changing and bathroom breaks. For safety, rest assured that they always have 2 lifeguards that roam around each pool.

    23 - Common Restrooms Near the Pools - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    L-R: Shoe Restroom for Pool 2; Bathhouse Restroom for Pool 1

    Bonus Accommodation Tip

    Remember the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe? Well, you can now see how the old woman felt while living inside a shoe. The upstairs of the shoe can also be rented out as accommodation. See for yourself. Check the back of the shoe. You’ll see a ladder there that leads up to the room. Go for this one if you want to be near to Pool 2 as well as a parking area.

    • Good for 4 people
    • P2800 for overnight stay
    • The 4 people already get free entrance passes.
    • Excess persons can pay P300 per head
    • Only common restroom

    Pool Schedule Tip

    Take note that the resort only opens both pools during peak seasons. When I went there, only Pool 2 was open. They alternate the opening of the pools. Let’s say today, Pool 1 is open, tomorrow it’s going to be Pool 2.

    Spots for Kids

    24 - Playgrounds - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    L-R: Playground 2 near the Zip Line Tower; Playground 1 near Pool 1

    This I am not sure of, but I’m going to say that the resort has 2 playgrounds for kids. One is near the tower for the zip line and the other one is near Pool 1.

    25 - Playgrounds and Rides - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    Kids’ Spots Near the Zip Line Tower

    You’ll also find rides for smaller kids: the train and the carousel. The fare is only P30 or P50 per head. Operators are on standby in the area. It’s also around here that you can go horseback riding, P100 for 15mins.

    Hero’s Hall and Other Statues

    25 - Statues and Figures - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    These are very popular resort features. These life-size action figures are a hit with both kids and adults. The most famous would have to be Hero’s Hall where you get to take pictures with Superman, the Green Lantern, Batman and other comic book super stars. You’ll also see Mickey Mouse, Po from Kung Fu Panda, and a giant Islander slipper. Take as many pictures as you want with your favorite character!

    Spa

    27 - Resort Spa - Campuestohan Highland Resort

    Here’s a treat for you! How about you let the kids go and play and you spend an entire day at the spa? Campuestohan now has a branch of Chair Spa within the premises. The services are various but when we went there, one of my cousins got her nails done at an affordable price.

    Ice Cream, Photos,and Coffee

    Here's the photo stand where you can purchase photo souvenirs.

    Here’s the photo stand where you can purchase photo souvenirs.

    Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo of most of these but you should know that the resort has carts for food scattered throughout the walking areas. It’s not that many but you will see some while you’re walking around. Fior Gelato has a big shop located at the side of a playground and a small stand or cart somewhere near the lodge, I think. Smaller carts are also parked in a certain area for selling photos and concessions. When I went there, most of these shops were closed.

     

     

    The Restaurant

    The Outside

    27 - The Outside of the Restaurant - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    You’ll definitely know that you’ve arrived in the restaurant’s area when you see Mr. Ricardo “Cano” Tan’s signature – “Cano Gwapo”. Who knew that Mr. Tan had a fun side?

    Inside + The Food

    30 - Inside the Restaurant - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    The inside has tons of seating, mostly, if not all, wood furniture. You’ll also see a lot of stuffed-looking animals as well as trophy heads on the walls of the restaurant. Dear PETA, they are not real. They’re merely there for display and are made of non-living materials, I checked. The restaurant is also where you can find souvenirs.

    31 - Souvenirs - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    There might be other types of souvenirs available so it’s better to visit the restaurant if you really want one. As for the food, well I haven’t tasted any of the restaurant’s food yet but they sure do look appetizing. We brought our own as most groups and families do while visiting the resort.

    29 - Restaurant Menu - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    A sneak peek of the menu and the prices

    Food recommendations by the kitchen:

    • Black Pata – P420
    • Gising-gising – P125
    • Binukad-kad na Plapla – P 220
    • KanKong stem with Gata and shrimp

    28 - Food Restaurant - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    Clara’s food pasalubong item’s can also be found on display at the resto. In the city, Clara’s can be found near Pendy’s.

    Bonus Restaurant Tip

    Here’s another thing that’s not on the website. Did you know that you can actualy do events such as family reunions, weddings, birthday parties and the like upstairs? The resort’s restaurant has a function room upstairs which is good for 100 people. Tables and chairs are already step-up, plus you get to use the karaoke for free when you rent the venue.

    32 - Function Room - Campuestohan Highlnd Resort

    • P8000 for 4 hours
    • Catering Menu  worth P300 – P500 is available
    • Minimum of 50 people, additional of P50/head if in excess
    • Choice of soup or vegetable dish, main course, rice, dessert (this will vary depending on the cost per head) 
    • Free use of facilities and pool (entrance fee waived)
    • In charge of functions: Mr. Gerard Dela Cruz
    • Best for receptions, birthdays and seminars

    Let’s take a breather for now! That was a lot to take in for one post so I’m breaking this guide down into two parts. Only the rides remain and you have to admit, the rides are a whole other story on their own. Stay tuned for Part 2 if you want to know more about the fantastic Campuestohan Highland Resort.

    Part 2 Here

    Mr Tan with my family

    This post wouldn’t have been possible without the invitation of Mr. Richard Tan as well as the hospitality of Mr. Cano Tan and Mrs. Nenita Tan. Thank you.

    For your reservations, please contact the following numbers:

    Landline: (034) 702-0964; (034) 433-3335
    Mobile: 0915-211-1406; 0917-300-5007; 0925-600-8088

    Office Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

    Office Address: Bacolod TP Truckers, Gonzaga St., Bacolod City
    Resort Address: Sitio Campuestohan Brgy. Cabatangan/ alternate route via brgy. Granada and Alangilan Talisay City 6100 Philippines

     

     

  • El Tzino Beach Resort: Plan to Slow Down Every Once in a While
    Posted in: Travel
    Life in the city is slow enough as it is, but it’s not stopping us from diving head first, making ourselves busy especially with work. Have you ever thought about slowing down to appreciate life? – Mea 🙂

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 7

    Being close to nature does your soul and your spirit good.

    My family and I were fortunate enough to have been invited to the El Tzino Beach Resort in Cauayan/ Sipalay by Ar. Simon Guevarra for a few days of R and R, although I wasn’t really planning on resting and relaxing. I was still aiming to get some work done so before we left, I already prepared my phone for the data that I will be using during the stay.

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 2

    My left view of the El Tzino Beach Resort

    Life at the beach, however, was contradicting the little “work-ation” I was cooking up. Because the El Tzino Beach Resort was hours away from the city of Bacolod, as well as minutes away from Sipalay’s town proper, the internet wasn’t that reliable. I did a few attempts at getting my data to go faster but I ended up catching tiny crabs with my son and my hubs.

    El Tzino Beach Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 9

    Meet Thunder. We let him go right before we left.

    This mini-vacation made me think about a few things:

    • The best way to slow down and to reflect on life is to be far away from the noise of the city.

    • Sometimes, you just have to let things happen by learning to let go.

    • Purge your soul from social media and the internet even if it’s just for a few days.

    • Having genuine fun with your children awakens the child in you.

    • It’s ok to NOT do anything. Give yourself permission to just stop, sit and appreciate every good thing in your life.

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 3

    Sitting areas at El Tzino

    With that said, I am making my list of things I am thankful for

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 1

    My right view of the El Tzino Beach Resort

    I am thankful for the people I have in my life: my family, my husband’s family, my son, my hubs, our friends and even the haters in my life because they help me aspire to be better and they help me remain grounded.

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 5

    He’s Gionne to most people but to us, and for people close to him, he’s our little Bud2.

    I am thankful for life’s little surprises. They are the lemons that allow me to make a refreshing pitcher of lemonade.

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 6

    Hubs chillin’ like a villain

    I am thankful for the career I have now. I’ve been writing for years and doing all sorts of stuff online. Doing so grants me more ME and family time. The list will go on if I really sit down and think about it but my turn’s up!

    Cauayan Resort El Tzino - Mea in Bacolod - 8

    This day is the only thing standing between you and the long weekend (for the Philippines). I suggest you get a bit of Rand R of your own and make your own list of things that you are thankful for. On top of that, remember to slow down, breath and really take in LIFE.

    El Tzino Resort Cauayan - Mea in Bacolod - 4


    For more info on El Tzino Beach Resort, click here.


     

  • Bantug Lake Ranch Bacolod
    7 Activities To Do in Bantug Lake Ranch
    Posted in: Travel

    One of the best things of living in a province is you get to be close to nature. If you were born or if you grew up in a big city in the Philippines (or outside of the Philippines) that may not be your thing because life is slow, mostly quiet and mostly peaceful. This kind of life suits us Bacolodnons very well.

    In Bacolod, city life is not as fast-paced as life in the Capital but its on a level that the Bacolod-city-folk can handle. If we want to slow down even more, and believe me when I say that the desire to do so really does come up, we go to the outskirts. I and my family did just that when my dad turned (secret age).

    We went to the Bantug Lake Ranch and we did 7 things which you can also do with your family when visiting the place.

    What can you do in bantug lake ranch?

    #1: Picnic

    Picnic at Bantug Lake Ranch

    It wouldn’t be much of an outing without food, right? So bring lots! The Bantug Lake Ranch has their own designated areas where you can set-up and barbecue. Some spots have tables and chairs under shades (tents or trees) but you can also do it the old fashion way: take out the picnic blanket.

    Recommended food to bring: watermelon, the yellow kind

    #2: Fly a kite

    Fly a kite in Bantug Lake Ranch

    Ask yourself this: when was the last time you flew a kite? 2 years ago? 10 years ago? Can’t remember? Well, the perfect time for you to do this again is when you visit the ranch. Your kids or the kids in your family will love  it! It’s also a chance for you to play with them. When we visited, there wasn’t much of a breeze but my son was able to run around to get the kite to fly. The ranch has enough space so I joined in on the running.

    #3: Fish

    Things to do in Bantug (4)

    In a park, ranch or resort where fishing is allowed, you can bet that my dad and my son will spend most of their time catching fish. As soon as we arrive at a place, they’ll go straight to the fishing area and ask for rods and bait. This trip to the Bantug Lake Ranch was not exempt from their fisherman instincts.

    Fishing recommendation: if you want to bring your own gear, make sure your hook is smaller (for tilapia).

    #4: Watch animals

    Things to do in Bantug (7)

    In the area we were in, there were random birds roaming about – a couple of chickens, a goose (or maybe duck) and a peacock. This peacock didn’t seem to mind that we were taking pictures. At the other picnic areas, I think kids will love it there better because you’ll see horses grazing freely.

    #5: Canoe

    Things to do in Bantug (3)

    Ranch + Lake + Canoe = Super fun time – this equation worked for my son. My dad already turned (still a secret) but my son was still able to convince him to go canoeing. He was exhausted afterwards. The power of a grandson over his grandfather proved to be too great!

    Canoeing recommendation: the lake is huge so you might want to take it easy when paddling. get your arms ready, ladies and gents, because your kids will most likely “ingus” [pronounced ee-ngus, our term for whining], wanting to go on the canoe.

    #6: Walk

    Things to do in Bantug (5)

    My sister and I enjoyed a good talk while walking around the ranch grounds. We were actually following my father and my son to see where they were headed. Walking clears your head but walking around Bantug Lake Ranch will wipe the entire slate clean. Can you imagine how serene and peaceful walking around this place will be?

    Walking recommendation: bring a hat, an umbrella and water when you go exploring.

    #7: Horse Back Riding

    Things to do in Bantug (6)

    I am not about to let my son have all the fun. We went horse back riding which was fun for me too but I have never realized how tall a horse is until this moment. It felt like I was so high up! Don’t laugh…

    Things to do in Bantug (6a)

    My nephew also wants to get in on the fun.

    We didn’t want to ride that long so we just paid, I think, 50php for a few rounds around the bullpen.

    It’s not what you think

    The Restrooms at Bantug Lake Ranch

    A toilet???

    It’s not what you think! This is not part of my things to do anymore but, as a bonus, I wanted to show you their restrooms. I’m all for an establishment with fabulously clean lavatories being a hands-on mom and all. I’m glad to see that the Bantug Lake Ranch is such.

    disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post

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