Naturally Negros Oriental-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
MORE often than not, it is the company that makes a trip truly more fun. But when exploring a place that is endowed with natural grace, even four hours of sea travel by oneself would not make the experience less rewarding.
This is the realization from a four-day escapade to Negros Oriental. Traveling alone can still be beneficial in that it provides opportunities to make new friends and develop a personal sense of appreciation and open-mindedness.
Staying in Dumaguete city made adjusting seem simple as the place is known to be the home of gentle people. It was also where activities in line with the famed Buglasan Festival 2012 were centered around from Oct. 12 to 21.
The highlighted Buglasan Festival of Festivals Showdown took place at the Lamberto L. Macias Sports and Cultural Center on the 19th. Mounting anticipation filled the venue while performers danced with all smiles in colorful costumes and animated props.
Full of passion and enthusiasm, contingents had their fair share of the limelight. But as any competition goes, victors are to be crowned and the delegates of Pakol Festival of Sta. Catalina reigned supreme. Their concept with bananas and monkeys emerged most unique and engaging.
But the Buglasan Festival is only one of the numerous attractions of Negros Oriental.
More ventures await discovery, holding true to the province’s tourism slogan, “The fun starts naturally here.”
There was the exhilarating experience of dolphin and whale watching off the coast of Bais city, the package of which includes lunch on board. It took an hour to reach the Tañon Strait where sightings are easiest when the water is calm.
But even if rough waves greeted our party, finding spinner dolphins in the mood to swim and play around our tourist boat was not an impossible feat. Some even jumped out of the water as if to signal approval of picture and video taking, though feeding and touching them are off limits.
The next stop was at one of the top natural wonders to visit in Negros Oriental. The White Sand Bar in the town of Manjuyod boasts of several long-legged cottages spread out along a seven-kilometer stretch of natural white sand that appears and disappears according to the mood of the tide.
While it provides breathtaking scenery of the wide seascape in broad daylight, overnight stays may provide just as magnificent a view of a moonlit beach and starry night sky. The serene ambience of the place could also prove conducive for deep thinking and personal reflections.
Another spectacular destination was the Twin Lakes Natural Park in Sibulan. Crater lakes, Balinsasayao and Danao, are 90 and 110 meters deep respectively. The surrounding mountains – Mt. Guintabon and Mt. Guinsayawan – shelter 180 species of forest trees and 184 species of terrestrial vertebrates.
There are three ways to enjoy the place. First, simply behold the scenery from the restaurant balcony and listen to birds chirping. Second, follow the trail that leads down and decide whether to go fishing or boating. Lastly, cross the lake and reach the narrow ridge, where a breezy view deck is situated to get a more impressive glimpse of both lakes. Of course, there is no rule against doing all that.
Negros Oriental is not all doses of adventure, appetizing ideas also abound there.
This calls to mind our scrumptious experience at Lab-as Seafood Restaurant and Hayahay Treehouse Bar. Among the dishes that can easily win visitors’ hearts are the Camiguin Express, Baked Talaba, Maya-Maya in oyster sauce, Lumpia Bangus, Prawn ala Lab-as, Dumaguete Express, Sizzling Spicy Squid and Chili Garlic Crabs.
But these are only part of Negros Oriental’s awesomeness. A visit to a sort of compound called Sidlakang Negros Village will offer a picture that basically outlines all the wonders of the place. This is especially good for those who have not had all the time to experience everything so that the next time they come, they would know where else to go.
Strategically located off the National Highway of Dumaguete, it is a one-stop shop of reasonably priced souvenir items, which tourists should not miss if they want to take home some tangible reminders of their fun stay. It harbors 26 modules that afford each of Negros Oriental’s 19 municipalities and six cities to showcase their finest tourism assets.
Now, who would have thought that such a simple phrase as “the fun starts naturally here” could be translated into more than a couple of ways?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.