The Sweetest Things That Negros Occidental in Negros Island Region Can Offer

Known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines,” the province of Negros Occidental in the Negros Island Region is famous for its rolling hills of sugarcane fields and everything that has sugar in it.

In the hope to also enjoy the sweetest treats that this province offers those who are enticed by its natural charm, we packed our bags (and took an official leave from work as well) and started our 3D2N wanderings on the island of Negros, which is only a 45-minute boat ride away from our home province, Iloilo.

The sun was just starting to ascend over the horizon when we started our journey. The four of us met at Dumangas Ro-Ro Port (Dumangas is one of the municipalities of the province of Iloilo), and took the first ferry trip going to the city of Bacolod, the capital of Negros Occidental. If you want to know the daily schedule of Ro-Ro trips from Dumangas to Bacolod, check out this blog.

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The stunning sunrise over the Guimaras Strait lights up the beginning of our journey towards Negros Occidental in Negros Island Region.

When we arrived at Bacolod Port, we took a tricycle and headed off straight to Ceres South Terminal. Travel time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When we found the right bus en route to the city of Sipalay (south of Bacolod City), we chose the seats at the very back, settled ourselves comfortably, and prepared for the 6-hour drive to our destination.

Sipalay City, Negros Occidental- An Unexpected Beauty

In all honesty, we did not have high expectations about the city of Sipalay before we set foot in it. We thought that it’s one of the many, if not all, the same places in the province covered by fields and fields of sugarcane.

Until we saw it.

Our mouths gaped open and we our eyes didn’t blink for several seconds.

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The sugar-like sand along the coast of Sipalay City proper offers a sweet treat for weary travelers.

We called the owner of Bermuda Beach Resort to let him know that we have already arrived in the city of Sipalay and asked for our point of rendezvous.

After several minutes, the boat from the resort took shape from the horizon maneuvered by a friendly boatmen. We introduced ourselves and he welcomed us to his boat. After a minute or two, we were on the way to a paradise not-lost, but paradise-found, Sugar Beach.

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Sugar Beach, Sipalay City. This kilometer-long stretch of sugar-like sand can give you toothaches just from stepping and rolling on it.

We stayed at Bermuda Beach Resort, which is one of the many foreigner-owned resorts in Sugar Beach.

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Owned by a Swiss-national and his Filipina wife, Bermuda Beach Resort is a perfect place to enjoy the solitude and unspoiled beauty of Sugar Beach.
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Grab a book or enjoy the magnificent sunset in one of the resort’s natively crafted lounge chairs.
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Have intimate moments with those you love in one of the hammocks hung under the tropical palms while watching the ebbs and flows of the tides.
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Pick the perfect place to relax and abandon all your cares in one of these chairs scattered around the resort’s premises.
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It is not hard to find peace and solitude in this piece of heaven here on earth, Sugar Beach in Sipalay City.

One of the highlights of our stay in Bermuda Beach Resort is the island hopping.

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“The day we owned the world.” We say so because of the way we were treated by the resort’s owner and boatmen; we were treated like VIPs the whole time of our stay.
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Anhawan Turtle Island. In the past, locals were allowed to keep turtles in their huts but it was later prohibited by the local government.
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The crystal-clear water surrounding the sandbar in Anhawan Turtle Island will make you forget your sunscreen application, for you’ll just can’t resist diving into it right away.
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With this in front of you, to ask “To swim or not to swim?” is outright irrelevant.
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A selfie-worthy backdrop is abundant in Anhanwan Turtle Island sandbar.
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Pose for a greater cause. One of the things that the locals of this island reminds every visitor is to help them save the turtles (whatever kind they may be) whenever we can be.
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A shipwreck located a couple of miles off the coast of Sugar Beach is something that inspires awe and wonder for us. But, honestly, fear as well. Who knows what’s lurking in there. Don’t worry, the shipwreck has always been declared safe by both local fishermen and professional scuba divers to explore.

After a day of exploration and relaxation, treat yourself to a lovely dinner with your family, friends, and loved ones in the resort’s cozy and warm restaurant.

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Bermuda Beach Resort offers all types of cuisines. Just name it. American, German, Continental, Filipino. They all have that in your table in just a matter of minutes.

After our overnight stay at the resort, we bid goodbye to Sipalay and went back to the City of Smiles, Bacolod City.

Bacolod City-The City of Smiles

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The city of Bacolod earned its moniker The City of Smiles for obvious reason: the city is home to the friendliest people in the country, even in the world. It is also home to the world-class festival, Masskara.

After we checked in at Circle Inn- Bacolod, we then met one of our friends living in Bacolod City. And because he had a car, he drove us around and invited us to visit one of the increasingly popular spots near the Bacolod City, The Ruins in the neighboring city of Talisay.

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As night slowly falls on the ruins of a once illustrious mansion, its charm and beauty begins to reveal as well.
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If walls could talk. What stories could they tell us if they can only talk?
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Well, a visit to this historical building wouldn’t be complete without a, you know, #groupselfie.
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By putting your phone on top of a glass table, you could create a perfect illusion. What’s not an illusion, however, is the grandeur of The Ruins at the back.
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Stepping through history. We couldn’t help but wonder how many people had this stair led to the interior of the mansion back in its heyday.

After a short trip to memory lane, we had coffee at a nearby shop, The Ruins Cafe.

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Sip a cup of steaming coffee while enjoying the view of Ruins outside the window.

As the night wore on, we went back to the hotel and jumped into the pool to refresh ourselves. Dinner came and a night of drinking session and laughter followed.

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It doesn’t hurt to have some drinks with your friends once in a while.

The next morning, we got up early and readied ourselves to the last leg of our trip. A visit to the already popular Mambukal Mountain Resort.

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Together is better. An exploration of someplace familiar or unfamiliar is always better when shared with your best friends. Well, that’s precisely what friends are for.
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#selfie before we hit the road less traveled up to the waterfalls.
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One of the seven waterfalls that you can trek and swim on in Mambukal Mountain Resort.

If there’s one thing that our trip to the province of Negros Occidental had taught us, it’s this: Paradise, islands, epic festivals, wild parties…they don’t mean much if you’re not connected and you’re not sharing with the right people. (Can’t remember the speaker, but this is a summary of a talk given by a traveler in Ted Talk.)

Check out this talk delivered by Rick Steves if you wish to understand the value of travel.

It’s absolutely true. Whether you are in the most beautiful place in the universe (if there such a place) but if you are not connected and you’re not sharing it with the right people, you’d still feel alone and restless. To quote Brett McKay in one of his articles in The Art of Manliness, “His passport is filled with stamps, but he doesn’t feel any happier than when he left home to travel the world.”

Hence, this calls for an examination of our current travel buddies or party. We do not claim that our group of friends are the best group there is in the planet. What we want to say is that the people we choose to travel with have a very significant role to play in the success of our explorations and most importantly in finding meaning why we travel in the first place.

Agree or disagree? Share your comments below.

 

 

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