My week in the Visayas

On the ferry to Dumaguete 

Talk about hitting the ground running! Ever since coming home from my short adventure in Bacolod, Cebu, and (a surprise sidetrip!) Dumaguete, I've been living an active/hectic/full life towards the pursuit of my LEAP goals. It's scary and exhilarating and overwhelming all at the same time. But before that, here's what happened during my trip--or, what I've come to call...

My Amazing Race

  I left Manila via Cebu Pacific on April 30 at 8.30am.

Bacolod Leg

1. Arrived at the airport 7.30am for my 8.30am flight. Long lines. Labor day weekend. Made it. :)
2. I arrived in Bacolod 9.45am; my friends (Ana, Mich, Louie) picked me up shortly.
3. Checked-in and had lunch at the Sunburst Resort in Silay, owned by Ana's uncle.
4. Visited the almost-hundred-year-old Bernardino-Jalandoni House. It was closed but we begged the guy cleaning it to let us in.
5. Rode bus to Victorias Milling Company to see the church with the The Church of Saint Joseph, The Worker (otherwise known as the Church of the Angry Christ). The mural's really beautiful, and Jesus doesn't look angry, just stern.
6. Had dinner with Ana's dad, uncle and aunt. Had chicken inasal, as planned, and Silay's famous and super-delicious lumpia ubod, buko pie, and an amazingly easy-to-make and delicious fruit punch.
7. Swam in the resort pool.
8. Slept way past midnight. (Snored.)

Day 2
1. Had breakfast with Mich, Ana, and Louie.
2. Left for the airport the next day for my 9am Cebu-bound flight.
3. Bought piyaya outside the airport--for Jonathan, who was already waiting for me in Cebu with Heizel.

Cebu Leg

Day 1
1. Arrived past 11am. My flight had been delayed. (I saw Christian "Suportahan Taka" Vasquez in the Bacolod airport!)
2. Arrive at the Jasmine Pension house around 11.30am, only to be whisked away to the cheaper pension house next door, Verbena Pension House, by Heizel, who was wearing skimpy shorts and sporting a tan from her trip to Bohol. Hehe.
3. Had lunch with Jonathan, whom I hadn't seen since December last year, and Heizel at the Verbena canteen.
4. Went to the Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Mactan Island, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Magellan's Cross, that short stretch of road with cheap but pretty borloloys, and the Cebu Cathedral, where Nathalie met up with us!
5. Took a taxi to the CNT Lechon restaurant in Guadalupe--only to find out that there was no more lechon. :(
6. Ate at AA Barbeque instead. :D
7. Had a few beers and sang videoke (for the first time!) at the place across our pension house.
8. Slept early. (Snored in a duet with Heizel, according to Jonathan!)

Day 2
1. Woke up with lechon in mind.
2. Had breakfast in Verbena. Checked out, but left our stuff.
3. Original plan was to go to the beach, but Heizel and I had some work to do, so we hung out for a while in my favorite internet cafe in Cebu, the name of which I can't recall.
4. Went to Ayala Mall (of all places, haha)
5. Ate at the Food Choices branch of CNT! Finally, we got our lechon. :)
6. Heizel and I waited for Jonathan in Starbucks (again, of all places!) while he met up with a friend.
7. Went back to the Capitol area to have a one-hour massage, because it was cheap. (I fell asleep, for the first time ever during a massage. And snored.)
8. Met Nat again; she treated us to this nice, homey place for dinner. I wish I could type the name here, but I can't because it's in Cebuano and I can't remember. In Filipino, it's like Kainan ni Kuya Jay. (Nat, help!)
9. Had coffee at Bo's. Got stood up by an Air Force guy who was supposed to meet Heizel.
10. Picked up our stuff, and went to Nat's house to sleep.

Dumaguete Leg

Day 1
1. Woke up around 5am, got ready. Nat's dad took us to the bus station for our Dumaguete-bound bus. Which was already full.
2. Took the Liloan-bound bus, which left at 6.30am.
3. Arrived in Liloan around 11am. Boarded ferry to Dumaguete.
4. Arrived in Dumaguete around noon. Nat's friend Mark picked us up and brought us to the Silliman Alumni Center, where we were staying for the night.
5. Had lunch at the canteen. Toured Silliman. Had sansrival and silvanas at Sansrival. Watched a cultural presentation. Dinner at Jo's Chicken Inato by the Sea (upon which overlooked a huge statue of Mother Mary that looks like an apparition at night).
6. Coffee at San Antonio Cafe, perhaps the most beautiful coffeeshop I've ever been to.
7. Had oysters, pizza and beer at Hayahay Tree House Bar & View Deck.
8. Slept. (Nobody told me if I snored.)

Day 2
1. Woke up really early, like 4am, for breakfast before Heizel and Jonathan's early bus back to Cebu. Ate at Qyosko, a 24-hour restaurant. Had arroz balao, which I loved-loved-loved. It's like fried rice with bits of dried fish. Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water.
2. Went to the market to have sticky rice and hot chocolate at Loreta's Painitan, and bought budbud kabog from this nice old lady selling it there.
3. Went back to the room, sans Jonathan and Heizel. Freshened up. Because...
4. Nat and I were Mark's radio show guests for a whole hour! It was my first time on radio, and I had a great time after getting over my initial nervousness. The show was aired on Killerbee 95.1 (DYSR), heard in some parts of the Visayas, including the part of Cebu where Jonathan and Heizel's bus was at that time. We talked about being writers for the entertainment industry, and we answered questions from a lot of people who texted in.
5. Mark brought us to one last stop, the Negros Oriental Arts and Heritage (NOAH) store. Bought a nice ethnic necklace.
6. Took the 12.30pm ferry back to Cebu, this time just with Nat.
7. Arrived in the city around 4pm; visited The Freeman office.
8. Left for the airport to catch my 9.30pm flight. (I was in the same plane as Bits, a friend from UP, but we had different seats, and I didn't see him again after we landed in Manila.)
9. Got to the final pit stop, my home, before midnight.

This trip was more than just travel for me. It was an exercise in openness and surrendering to the spirit of adventure--as part of my "Yes Experiment," where instead of deflecting the opportunities that come my way as I used to do, I embrace everything that's in line with my highest good.

What's really amazing about this trip is that I experienced so much and yet I didn't even have to spend much because a lot of the things we did (and the food we ate) were courtesy of the generosity of people--Ana's folks, Nat, and Silliman University through Mark. The power of one simple word: YES. :)

You can read my piece on the show we watched in SU here.