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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

MAG-ASO FALLS IS A REAL RETREAT

MAG-ASO FALLS IS A REAL RETREAT
By: Gerlie M. Uy

            Found at about thirty (30) kilometres from the heart of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental,  Mag-aso falls is a real find for all-week-long-city-beaten picnickers.

            Once you take the first small step going down the falls, you will go through at least six hundred steps. But of course, the steps are all calculated while you go down and see through the greeneries and huts of different sizes. You will also pass by a mini San Francisco bridge, a pond down under and nearby, banana plants, birds of paradise, and a stream flowing and passing down a nature-designed pool.   

            As you progress to about three hundred steps, you can choose to pass by the ‘mother of the falls’ where the water falls and then again falls to the place where you can later dive in or just dip into. And while you pass by that place, you can see the forest trees and vines.

            If you decide to go farther down, at about four hundred steps, you will see the cottages basically designed with modern steel crust and cement but ornamented with ‘kogon’ ala Vietnamese hut.        

            It was such a respite also to open your ‘malong’ down the open space under the jackfruit trees. The warm summer air will easily be dispersed by the breezy coolness of the wind against the trees.

            But you should not sleep yet. You should still go down a hundred steps to use the comfort room and to have a cold bath or wash you dishes. In the same area, there are concrete picnic tables and you can even set up your picnic bounties under the trees nearby. While sitting at you tables, you can see a very old (more than a hundred, I bet) and very big (yes, perhaps to get its circumference, I have to give five long hugs) tree that fell down and now serves as a bridge for you to closely scan the nearby forest. But my words of warning: Watch out for the slimy moss!

            But the steps do not end there yet. You still have to go down more steps and walk a little on the clayish rocks to get to the falls and be able to finally take your much deserved plunge. Happy swimming.

            Ooops! That is not the end of the journey yet. Id you decide to stay dry, you can just linger inside the mini cave located under the steps, where you can surely get picture perfect poses.

            By the way, for your information, the falls got its name not because the water is steaming but because when the water falls in flowing rush, it creates an illusion that it is steaming. So see it for your self! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cebu and Bohol just over the weekend


This is what we did over the weekend in November 2009. Friday night, we rode the Ceres Bus going to Cebu at around 10:45 in the evening. The Ceres entered the barge at around past midnight in Escalante port. A jacket is highly recommended as the aircon is too strong inside the aircon passenger seats in the ferry. We arrived in Cebu in the wee hours of the morning and actually arrived in Cebu City at past 8 am. We ate breakfast at the terminal consisting of the staple corn meal masquerading as boiled rice with matching fish in clear hot soup. Cebuano's staple.


From there, we meet up with a friend who arranged our three-hour tour of Cebu (P1650/half day). We went to Lapu Lapu Shrine, Magellan's Cross and the church nearby, and we also passed by the Fort. By 1 pm we had lunch at SM Mall of Cebu City which is near the terminal of the vessel going to Dumaguete. At around 3PM, we rode Ocean Jet heading to Tacloban, the capital of Bohol. Weesam also have a trip to Bohol. We ate dinner onboard; they sell and serve meals.

After arriving at the port, we were fetched by the Van we pre-arranged and we headed to Panglao, the white sand beach of Bohol (An add on of P500 to the next whole day travel of P3,800). The cottages and hotels by Panglao are costly but we were lucky to have found a fun cottage which is actually a room for two. We got the two rooms left for P700 each.

From ages 3 to 83, we all went to Cebu and Bohol in just over the weekend...Here are some of our souvenir photos:

PHOTOS 1,2 AND 3 -- We first went to the Lapu-Lapu Shrine then the Magellan's Cross and the Church nearby. At this point, I ran out of battery. Sorry. But then, we went to many other places like the Fort and the Taoist Temple. All in half day roaming around.

PHOTOS 4 AND 5 -- The Magellan's cross is also the shrine where the first cross was buried in the Philippines by the Spaniards, the symbol of Christianity. There is a big old church nearby where everyone can say a prayer and burn candles.





PHOTO 6 -- After having a morning bathe at the Panglao beach, we headed to the first and farthest itinerary of the day: The chocolate Hills. Breathtaking numbers of hills are best appreciated from the viewpoint of the highest peak where the Boholanos placed a more than a hundred steps. No wonder why they call Bohol as next to heaven.

 
PHOTO 7 AND 8 -- The Butterfly garden (P20 entrance) is a nice stop. A Boholano or Boholana will escort your group to the rest of the garden after explaining the difference between a moth and a butterfly, showing the caterpillar and pointing out the bisexual butterfly as a result of genetic anomaly. They made us experience the tickle of the butterfly and take a photo of the insect kissing us!












 
PHOTO 9 -- We had lunch at the Loboc River Cruise (P300/pax buffet). It happens that it was our Lola's birthday and the musikero (musician) sang for her. We enjoyed the 30-45 minute cruise. On our way back, we passed by the Loboc community choir and my cousin sampled the Tinikling (bamboo dance.

PHOTO 10 AND 11 -- The long hanging bridge over the river is made of strong old dried bamboos and some heavy duty ropes(P10 entrance). It's thrill to pass by it.


 
PHOTO 12 AND 13 -- Baclayon Church is a big old Catholic Church in Bohol. The peeled off portion of the facade where the mold grows was specially photographed by me because the driver-tourist guide says, it etched the figure of Fr. Pio, the priest of the church. See for yourself.


PHOTO 14 -- The O in the mouth of the three-year-old says it all. The smallest monkey in the world is right in front of him with two big rounded eyees. Breathtaking, indeed.

PHOTO 15 -- The Blood Compact Site is by the highway so it's a convenient place to stop by on the way to the pier and look at the sunset by the sea.




PHOTOS 16 AND 17 -- At the end of the day, we rode the last trip to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. We arrived Sunday at past 7 pm. We planned to eat Inasal (grilled chicken) by the sea wall while there are live bands playing. But it did not materialize as there was a curfew and it's not happening on a Sunday night as there is a class the next day. So we headed further into the sea wall and was dropped off at the Hayahay bar where we had dinner and some cozy drinks. Hayahay has jazz music for Sunday, so we were lucky then. We love their pizza too. At 12 midnight, we headed to the Ceres terminal for our trip home at 2PM. We were bathing and resting at home by 8'oclock, Monday morning.