Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Visayan Trail

Traveling around the Philippines is indeed challenging. One reason for it is the country's geography. Unlike its Asian neighbors, where provinces and countries are only divided by an imaginary line that we fondly call borders, most provinces in the Philippines are divided by rough seas, stretching beyond what your mind can imagine.

Visayas Philippines

It's quite easy to navigate by land when you are in Luzon and Mindanao. But in Visayas, it's a different story - it is a combination of land, air and sea. Despite the geographical challenge, Visayas is the most diverse island group of the country. The three regions - Western, Central and Eastern Visayas (Region VI, VII and VIII respectively) - have their own share of language, culture and heritage and a myriad of adventures.

A good friend of mine asked one question that made me dumbfounded for several minutes. Her question was, "What's the best place that you've visited in Visayas?". I answered "every place in Visayas is beautiful!". Technically speaking, I am wrong. My grammar teacher in grade school would get furious if she heard my answer. Best pertains to a thing that literally stood out from the rest. The best among the rest. Screw technicalities, I am just telling the truth.

So far, I have visited and stayed in Iloilo, Boracay, Cebu, and Siquijor.

It's more fun to get lost in Iloilo, so get lost everyone!

got lost in Iloilo the first time I went there last year.

Basically, I just took a random jeepney and guess what? The jeepney took me to a random place too! Wow, I never thought that there's a place in Iloilo named Brgy. Random. Anyway, the last thing I remembered about this particular jeepney ride was this: I was still at the downtown area when all of the sudden, I saw big ships and a lot of people selling palengke goods along the street! Shoot!

What I did was, I got off the jeep after it made its way back to the downtown area and hailed a cab to SM. Sucks to be me.

It was rather a funny experience though. The following year, I came back here and even appreciated the city of Love more. If you love to eat, Iloilo is the best place to visit. One shouldn't leave Iloilo without trying their special La Paz Batchoy!

Iloilo La Paz Batchoy
Deco's Batchoy! Namit gid!

Chasing sunsets at Boracay

Last May, I had the chance to witness the famous sunset of Boracay. It was truly beautiful. Plus, the weather during that time was fair! And oh, don't forget to put your hands up in the air and party like a rockstar in Boracay! I am not a party-person (I'm actually a party pooper LOLJK) but I love Boracay's vibe!

Boracay Island

As I watch the sun slowly descend upon the world, I am always struck by a strange and timeless thinking that the world is still full of possibilities. I feel a connection to the grand, elusive scheme intertwining to all of humankind, and I am struck by something undefined. Even though I can't define that thing, it still compels me to do better with my life than what I have done so far.

From the Peru to Cebu

Now there goes the famous line of Enya's Orinoco Flow. Like any other metropolitan cities in the world, Metro Cebu is crowded, huge and cosmopolitan. But its real gems lie at the outskirts of the metro. Travel north and visit Bantayan and Malapascua Islands. Enjoy the pristine white sand beaches there with your family or friends!

Malapascua Island Cebu

Osmena Peak Cebu

If you're not a big fan of beaches, you can always try climbing Osmeña Peak, the province's highest peak, located at the middle of Cebu Island. It offers breathtaking views of Bohol Sea to the east and the coast of Moalboal to the west. It's not really a hard climb, I tell you! And oh, don't forget to swim with the tuki or whalesharks at Oslob!

Into the Mystical Island

I never expected that I'd visit Siquijor this year. It was never been part of my bucket-list. I don't know, I  thought that I'd never get out alive once I set foot on this island. But 'lo and behold, I made it! Siquijor is just one of the most underrated places here in the country. The island boasts a LOT of beautiful beaches (see also: Salagdoong Beach), waterfalls and old convents and churches. People in Siquijor were very polite and hospitable to us when we went there last March. I'd definitely go back there soon and explore more of the island!

Salagdoong Beach Siquijor
Salagdoong Beach of Siquijor Island

Future Plans and Everything Under the Sun

I still have a loooooooooong (repeated o's for emphasis) way before conquering the Visayas Region. I still have to experience MassKara Festival of Bacolod, visit my grandmother's hometown in Leyte, dive at the famous Apo Island, swim at the tranquil waters of Panglao, Bohol and the list goes on and on and on.

At this point, you'll probably understand why it is sooooo much difficult to point out the most beautiful place I've visited in Visayas.


This post is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for September 2012 with the theme "The Visayas Roundup". Ding Fuellos of The Pinoy Explorer hosts this edition of the blog carnival. 

Visit Estan Cabigas' Langyaw to see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival!


  1. wow inikot ko din yung somes tourist spots sa visayas .. last month lang

  2. Wow! Visayas is indeed amazing! Visit Leyte and the Eastern Visayas soon...

  3. I'd have to agree that foodies would really love Iloilo. I had a brief stay there and although I wasn't able to visit a lot of places, I was able to eat a lot of food! =)

    I didn't know about Brgy. Random until today. Lol!

    1. Woot! Now I'm craving for La Paz Batchoy!!! Namit gid!

  4. Cebu at Bohol pa lang nararating ko. Nakaka-excite naman libutin lahat! :)

  5. Awwts. Awwtss. Can't join :(
    Wa pa ko maka adto sa Visayas! Dumaan lang papuntang Davao noon via Super Ferry! Oh hA! Hahaha.

  6. Cris: Hahaha! You should visit Siquijor!!! Ganda talaga roon!

    @Edmaration: Hahaha! Go go go visit Visayas na!

  7. Amazing photos! Love the story about Brgy. Random - how random indeed! :))

  8. I love Visayas too. It's definitely more fun in Visayas! Namit guid talaga ang Deco's La Paz Batchoy, from Iloilo to Bacolod, Deco's pa din ang hinahanahanap ko!

  9. Wow! Visit Canigao Island Beach Resort in Southern Leyte too. Super nice place.

  10. Been to Cebu for three weeks. Hay, di ko man lang naikot. But bet you Bohol is great.

  11. Agree with you, you cannot really answer which is the place in the Visayas, one thing is each place have a unique thing to offer and experience. I've been to Iloilo, Boracay and Cebu, and these 3 places already here different thing to offer...

  12. Visayas is truly amazing with its rich heritage and fine beaches and breathtaking attractions.

  13. Hey Renz! From all of the places that you've been to in Visayas, I've yet to visit Siquijor pa. :) I've been to both Cebu (the metro area), Bohol and Aklan (Boracay). But I've yet to explore more of its neighboring towns! :) As for Iloilo, I'm going there this October.. so I'll try to check out Deco's for their famous La Paz Batchoy! :)

    1. Hey Mai! You should visit Siquijor!!! ANG GANDA ROON! And oh, Deco's Batchoy is the bessssssttttttt. God I miss Iloilo. :(

  14. I totally agree with you, RM. It's hard to tell which is the best province/city/attraction to visit in the Visayas. I have a personal bias in favor of Bantayan and Samar but that's because I have some place to call home there. You mentioned this is an entry to a contest of some sort? I hope you win!

    1. Nope, not a contest. This is just a blog carnival of Pinoy Travel Bloggers. :D

  15. There's still so many places that I haven't been in Visayas. But I promised myself to travel there every year. You should go to Bohol/Panglao and do Dolphin Watching early in the morning =)

  16. You are amazing. Wish to hear more from you and your recent trips :)
    I totally agree with you..visit Panglao and be amazed :)

  17. Been to Boracay last Nov. best beach talaga. Cebu, sawa na ako riyan since my pdad is from Liloan, Leyte half an hour boat ride lang from Cebu. Bohol, siguro sa summer na lang, para talagang Chocolate Hills ang makita ko not the green ones kapag rainy season.

  18. I've been to Iloilo and Cebu I wish I can travel to other parts of the Visayas soon.. thanks for this tips :)

  19. Ang ganda ng shots mo ah! Good job!

  20. I been to Cebu, Bohol, Dumagete and Siquijor only. I would love to go to more places in Visayas. Ganda talaga ng Visayas!

  21. Been only to Cebu and Bohol which are some of the most visited places in the Visayas. I hope I could do my own Visayan Train someday. ^_^

  22. Wow! di pako tapos with my Visayas round up.
    Na pressure much ako sa write up mo.
    I have to watch my grammar, I'm often careless with it.
    You got lost in Iloilo? hehehe!
    you probably missed the drop off point.
    No worries really, the jeepneys in Iloilo go around in circles.
    So you'll always end up where you started,
    medyo malayo nga lang.

  23. I would love to take a sip of the seemingly hot soup of Ilo-Ilo's La Paz Batchoy... Hmmmm!

  24. indeed a lot of places to visit and see in philippines and batchoy is the next thing to crave for! xx

  25. Ikaw na umikot ng Visayas teh! :D Malapascua pic rocks!

  26. Come to Bacolod! mas fun man sa Bacolod :)

  27. Great, great blog. Just stumbled upon it yesterday. More travel features, please! Love them. =)

  28. Your article seems really interesting to read and Philippines an amazing place for a travel destination. And I visited over there before 3 months ago for a business purpose and I really enjoyed the delicious foods.

  29. Hello! Thanks for sharing. I learned a lot of things from this blog before we went to Siquijor. It is very helpful.

    I also want to do a favor to our very kind driver and tour guide when we went to Siquijor.
    He took care of our valuable belongings while we were walking around, he is very kind and did not complain even if we ended the tour very late, he is a very careful driver and knowledgeable about the island. You can try to haggle with him. Make sure to contact him before going to the island. Other drivers would give you very high prices and they will follow you like bees.

    His rates are very cheap!!!

    Joseph's contact number: 0906-953-4204

  30. I love Siquijor! Sobrang ganda ng beaches mas lalo na siguro pag summer time. Too bad we were not able to swim because the current was too strong on August.


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