Wednesday, November 16

One Lazy Afternoon in Kalibato Lake

Kalibato Lake is one of the seven lakes in this quaint southern tagalog city which is San Pablo, Laguna.  This particular lake is hidden beneath lush foliage and a sight to behold because of the serenity of its location. This one is actually much nearer to the vicinity of the next town which is Rizal, Laguna.
Going down the not-so-traditional path.  

It could be real slippery when the weather is crying.  So better gear up on your hiking boots.
While traversing downwards, Ate Chie and I happened to pose for some glam shots! :-)

Private fish pens are being kept here
There are many grown trees surrounding this body of water.  While lounging underneath one, we took one last just before dusk enveloped us. 

Locals say that the depth of this cold, body of water has not been measured yet. It is said that American divers and scientists have tried measuring this murky lake but they were unsuccessful.  It is also said that a someone has drowned (sadly) and the body turned in one of the seven lakes, proving that these are interconnected by yet-unseen underwater passages.

From San Pablo City, you can ride the jeepney with the San Pablo-Liliw signage and ask the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Antipolo, Rizal, just past the elementary school and the basketball court.  Then from here you can ask locals how to go down to the lake. Easy as A-B-C.

Nagcarlan, Laguna

Bunga Falls or also known as Twin Falls is located in the quiet town of Nagcarlan, Laguna.  You can reach this by taking a trike from the Nagcarlan town proper. If commuting, you will need to take the San Pablo-Liliw jeepney route and kindly ask the driver to drop you off at the area around the Nagcarlan public market.  When we went here, trike is fared at 60 php per ride.  The locals charge 5 php per head for maintenance fees, though that might have changed now.  
It is one of the secrets you can find in this sleepy locale. However, it is saddening to see different kinds of litter in the area. Fact that some people still neglect the importance of keeping this nature wonder at its pristine state.  I do hope when I get to visit this place next time around, it will be much tidier and tourist-friendly.  

Chie and I daring for a jump. 

Am I so glad to see this mother doing laundry the old way! Using palo-palo! :-)

Another famous tourist spot of Nagcarlan is the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.  A one-of-a-kind in our country, this has been made a historical landmark on June 11, 1978 by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.  Several years later, it was closed to public interment.  It is said that our forefathers who led the revolutions held their meetings here. Thus it's significance to our history.

Wonderfully-crafted architecture
With college friend Christy of National Historical Institute.  Another certified history buff , I had the privilege of acting as her tour guide to her very first visit at this remarkable landmark.
Photos courtesy of

Mystique Mt. Romelo

The sleepy little town of Famy, Laguna is bordered by the towns of Real, Quezon, Santa Maria, Mabitac and Siniloan in Laguna. Now I did not know this little town existed until I got a hold of Laguna province's map.  My first and last trip to this town is when I set foot on Mt. Romelo. My buddies then told me that this is a good starting point for aspiring and starting mountaineers like me.  They were referring to it more of a hill than a mountain (huh?!). 

It was more than three years when we climbed Mt. Romelo but I still remember vividly the hardships we encountered during that time.  It was only an overnight climb and we literally did not sleep just to accomplish our goal.

We started our climb at around 1 AM in the morning.  You see, it was right after a tropical storm and Southern Tagalog was still being bombarded by scattered rain showers that doubled our difficulties.  Water was gushing from the top and made the pathways slippery and way muddy. There were several instances that I was asking myself 'Hey Pau, what did you get yourself into?'
Curiosity took over the better part of my brain, inspired me to discover and well I can now say it was worth the 4 1/2 hour climb.:-)

Harping Around Hundred Islands

Friday, November 11

BACOLOD CITY and its surrounding area

Four years ago, me and good friend Chie decided to take a break from our hectic lives and planned an unplanned vacation.  We were thinking of going abroad, but then due to time constraints, we had to choose a much nearer destination. (Our need to go 'away' was quickly eating up our patience! hehehe :-D). To make our planning much easier, we both agreed to go to a place already familiar to us.  Or at least a place our friends have already been to.  Then Chie mentioned an old friend Mark who had just been to Bacolod City.  I immediately looked up the place on the Internet and immediately fell in love it.  Since I love old houses, I agreed that this the perfect place to start our travel.

Balay Negrense
Balay Negrense was actually not situated in Bacolod City. Several antique houses are nestled in the nearby town of Silay City. This particular abode is one of the bigger and more visited in the area. It is also called Negrense House and has now been turned into a Museum. It used to belong to a local wealthy sugar baron. The caretakers charge a minimal fee. Though by now I have already forgotten how it was. If my memory serves me right, I think it was about 40 PHP.

Ate Chie and I on the steps leading to the entrance

The Balay was spacious inside and out.  With high decorated ceilings and large windows. The house was designed to have its own natural ventilation system. The first floor was elevated. Looking underneath, the area was about 3 feet tall and could also serve as a storage area.  If you are a certified lover of everything antique, you would definitely love this place

Outside, you will find a century-old Balete tree. Unfortunately, we were unable to ask around of any local ghost stories which seemed fitting for Halloween parties. Good thing it was morning when I had this photo taken because just staring at it gives me the creeps! Yikes! :-D

In the heart of the city of Bacolod, you can have your photos taken at the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol.  You can also pay a visit at the Negros Museum.  If I remember correctly, students are not charged at the Negros Museum while regular visitors will pay but only at a cheap price.


   Facade of Negros Museum 
   (open during business hours)

The place which held our interest upon arriving at Silay City other than the Balay Negrense is the Bernardino-Ysabel Jalandoni Ancestral home.  Below are some of the photos of interior of this wonderfully preserved abode.

A portrait of the BERNARDINO-YSABEL JALANDONI family.
I had the privilege of having my photo taken with Gigi who is one of the grandchildren of the homeowner (now please do not blame me if she will give you a different name when you visit this place! It's been more than three years since I have gone here! hehehe!).

 It has been said that Silay City is our own version of Venice, Italy because of the beautifully-preserved ancestral homes. These are some of the homes along the streets of Silay you can stare at. 

Now this one caught our attention.  A local told us this house caught fire. It must have been one regal house by just looking at its concrete balcony.


Chie at one of the local landmarks
Me and ate Chie at the Panaad Sports Complex
Enduring Ties
Mambukal Resort

Without telling our families, Chie and I ventured on an adventure we both will not miss for the rest of our lives. Riding a big white ship for the first time on our way home, Well, that is another story for another time. Bye Bacolod!