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Bacolod City and Guimaras Island
Duration: 3 Days

Day 1:

I arrived at GoHotels Bacolod at 8am.  To my surprise my reservation was nowhere near as thereservation was booked at GoHotels Mandaluyong.  Since the online reservation of GoHotels is not functioning as it should, the payment was made directly at the Mandaluyong office.  Too late to know that the cashier mistakenly tagged the payment under the Mandaluyong branch. What’s worst was that they cannot transfer the booking to Bacolod and previous payment cannot be applied to a new reservation… Before my day went dismal, I left for Mambukal Resort.  I badly needed a breather and it was up to the branch manager to figure out a solution.
With fuming heart, I boarded a jeepney bound to Libertad Terminal for my Murcia ride.  An hour thereafter, Mambukal Resort welcomed me.  After paying the registration fee, I arranged for my guide and habalhabal ride.  With only a few hours to spare, I opted to visit the 7th falls first then trek downwards to the rest of the waterfalls.
After the 1st waterfalls, I wandered around the resort to check what it offers.  It has cottages, villas of different sizes and yes, camping is allowed.  They also offer rock climbing, canopy walk, slide for life, swimming pools and the famous sulfur spring. 
As I boarded the jeepney to Bacolod, I silently prayed for wisdom.  I knew somehow that the hotel will not grant my earlier request.  True enough sorry was the welcome greetings.  The most they provided was a daily local rate but the previous payment, well, gone with the wind. With still a long day ahead and to totally ease all upset air, I opted for a quick nap.  Despite the countless yawns, this huge soft bed yearned for someone to cuddle along.
Day 2:
The shy sunrise of yesterday grew to a low pressure area.  The whole day was showered by the skies that held me from going anywhere… Well at least it kept me focused on the convention.  I mean, on the food served served by L'Fisher. Just before the closing plenary at the Provincial Capitol, we were given a two-hour break, a perfect timing to meet folks near the Cathedral. 
Day 3:

I barely slept as hubby kept calling from time to time.  We need to ensure that he makes it to his flight.

I left my hotel at 5: 30 am for my 6 am trip to Iloilo.  I was greeted by gloomy skies and ruggedly looking seas as I toddle towards the ferry.  Memories of my late father reminded me to trust the seas… trust the waves… as they  will not cause you harm.

Originally published here.

It was drizzling when we arrived at the jump-off of the 7th falls. I thought the falls was just nearby but we trekked for nearly 15 minutes crossing shallow rivers and streams before reaching the falls. Thanks to the gorgeous flowers along the way for mending my earlier frustration. I have a great love for flowers and even the drizzle can’t hold me from capturing this beauty. The 7th falls was said to be the highest among the Mambukal waterfalls but according to my guide, there are other falls upstream and the 12th being the grandest but requires about 3-4 hours trek. Wow! something to look forward to on my next visit. The trail in between falls is pretty much established. There are areas of pure rocky path and some of cemented steps carved on huge rocks. Railings are in place to keep visitors safe. In as much as I wanted to chase all seven falls, the landslide between the 3rd and 4th waterfalls prevented me from seeing the 4th one. Well, there’s always a next time. The flower loving me was induced by the plants offered by the locals. Since a full-grown plant is impossible to bring along, they gave me instead sprouts of 5 variants which should bloom. I thought that was all for Mambukal but on my way towards the exit, the echoing bats above resonated a farewell chant. I was amazed of its number and size, indeed another beauty unexpected.
Photos of Mambukal Mountain Resort, Murcia, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/3 by mountains&beyond
Photos of Mambukal Mountain Resort, Murcia, Western Visayas, Philippines 2/3 by mountains&beyond
Photos of Mambukal Mountain Resort, Murcia, Western Visayas, Philippines 3/3 by mountains&beyond
I passed by Rizal Park and San Sebastian Cathedral. The rain regained its might on my way to the Capitol and what should have been a garden ceremony became an indoor event. Imagine fitting about 3000 delegates inside the Capitol . In the end, others were downstairs on tents, some in alleys, in stairs and anywhere we could possibly fit. Lucky for me, I found a place in one of the verandas. Then while hailing a cab as I retire for the night, the sight of BC00 marker concluded my short Bacolod trip.
Photos of Bacolod City, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/1 by mountains&beyond
Photos of Guimaras Island, Guimaras, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/1 by mountains&beyond
True enough, after two hours of a rocky-ferry ride, we sailed slowly unto Iloilo River. I was amazed as that was my first time to see a port inside a river. Slowly, the rough seas changed to a friendly glide and sun started to shine. Then there was hubby waving his hand. As if we’ve been apart that long. At Guimaras port, a tourism officer graciously assisted our tour. She briefed us about what Guimaras can offer and assigned us a tricycle. We were able to negotiate for P1000 for the half-day tour including a visit to Guisi Lighthouse.
Photos of Iloilo River, Iloilo City, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/1 by mountains&beyond
First off was Smallest Plaza with Rizal Monument at the center, then Guimaras Provincial Capitol, then Museo de Guimaras, the mango plantation and Trappist Abbey.
Photos of Smallest Plaza, Jordan, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/1 by mountains&beyond
On our way to Nueva Valencia, I saw a Macopo Falls marker. The adventurous me jolted with glee and without qualms, I inquired with Kuya Roque, our driver guide. Instead of Mocopo, he offered Sad Sad Falls, which according to him is far taller than Macopo except that we need to trek for about 10 minutes. Excited and all, we entered a narrow road leading to the jump-off. In less than 10 minutes, Sad Sad’s might completed my Guimaras stance.
Photos of Nueva Valencia, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/2 by mountains&beyond
Photos of Nueva Valencia, Western Visayas, Philippines 2/2 by mountains&beyond
It was 11am when we left the waterfalls for the lighthouse at Nueva Valencia. It was a long one-hour drive from the city proper and the waves visible from above are far from the term “raging” and closer to “terror” at sight. But then again, there goes the Guisi Lighthouse or the Faro de Punta Luzaran. Said to be the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines that was first lit in 1894. A beauty that stood the test of time.. history at its best. After Guisi, we stopped for our late lunch in a batchoyan by the road. There are more tourist sites and activites that Kuya Roque offered from island hopping, to old churches even savouring a mango pizza. How I wished we had more time but for now, we were thankful that we were given calm seas for our return voyage.
Photos of Guisi Lighthouse, Nueva Valencia, Western Visayas, Philippines 1/2 by mountains&beyond
Photos of Guisi Lighthouse, Nueva Valencia, Western Visayas, Philippines 2/2 by mountains&beyond

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