When I got back home from my Negros trip, I was amazed with the diversity of the experiences I had. I've been to quite a number of organic farms so far (the most this year thanks to the ATI-DAR, Agricultural Training Institute of the Philippine Department of Agriculture) and you would think that I'd get tired of all of it already. I learned something new though each time and got to see a different side of having or visiting a farm per location... A very good example below is our visit to the Rapha Valley Organic Farm of Dr. Albert Jo. I tasted the best asparagus of all time and started to think about the things I put in my mouth all these years. I think this was a turning point for me - that there could be another alternative to eating beef and steak only every day and it may be about time already. Haha.
Here, you'll find some samples of Guiltless Getaways. This is where my love for travel, adventure, culture, language, music, food, arts and having fun come together.
I am inviting you to see the world and its people in a different light. I am not the expert but the people I come across are. My goal is to share my experience and what I saw. Soon, you'll get to know the beauty of Manila, the Philippines and the World.
Mastermind of Guiltless Getaways =)
I've seen the praises, photos and posts about Bacolod's infamous The Ruins before (it's not really in Bacolod too...). It's just a little overhyped, I initially thought, and I had no plans of flying to Bacolod just for that. I went to Negros to see organic farms, on assignment, and not the usual spots. It was so interesting to not succumb to the chicken inasals and pastries that this place is so known for and take a journey towards healthy living on my first ever trip there. Who knew that this little last-minute side-trip would bring about a little spark? I was completely enamoured at first sight with none other than Talisay's The Ruins within minutes of getting there. I was quickly absorbed with the tales of history with our very animated guide and was super glad that we had time for me to explore it on my own in silence. I had one too many speechless and daydreaming moments while we were there. Haha. I'm committing this to memory and listing this down as one of my most memorable experiences that travel blogging has taken me so far.
I have 3 inspiring things to share with you today and like the last time, there's a common theme. This post is about human connection. It made me think about all that traveling I make and the numerous opportunities to really get a moment to share your true self or have a heart to heart talk with someone. I hope this post inspires you today =)
Fresh Start Organic Farm near Bacolod and Organic Market Cafe at Central Citywalk Robinsons Place Bacolod
We made a brief stopover at the Fresh Start Organic Farm in Silay City near Bacolod. I spent this time just going around and playing with my camera while expanding my plant knowledge =) After that, we headed over to the Fresh Start Organic & Natural Store at the Central Citywalk in Robinsons Bacolod for some organic Artisan Piaya and bruschetta. Fresh Start is owned by Mr. Uy's family (second generation) - check out our stay at May's Organic Garden and our RU Foundry intro ;)
Mt. Batulao Peak - Reaching the Summit, Overnight Camp, Hike Going Down, Sidetrip to Calaruega Church in Nasugbu, Batangas
Hike! Oooh... Hike! Wow... Hike! Wait... Hike! Crawl! Sit! Go Up That Rope! Legs Shaking! Wind Howling! Mind Blowing! Breathe! I Made It!!! Great! Now, how do I go down? Hahaha.
I was tired yet I kept on going. I was scared but I found the will to move forward. This had got to be one of the most dangerous stunts I pulled and it's only the start of 2014! Haha. I'm claiming Mt. Batulao as my first ever summit (my first attempt at Mt. Pulag was just a warmup haha)! It took us first-timers 1.5 hours to reach the peak from our campsite. We left the rest of our stuff in our tents. This is Part 3 of 3 of my Mt. Batulao series. Read about the trip from Manila to the Old Trail and New Trail Fork here. Read about the Old Trail to Camp 1 here.
This is Part 2 of 3 of my Mount Batulao Trek (read Part 1 here). We spent 1.5 hours from the Mt. Batulao jump-off point to the fork that leads to the old and new trails. The next 30 minutes that followed from the Old Trail to Camp 1 for our overnight weekend camping escapade was equally challenging and overwhelming (but doable with a little mind conditioning haha) for a newbie like me. I was so relieved when we got to camp. The view of the peaks was wonderful while trekking but with all the obstructions gone at the campsite (and with the temptation to sleep already inside the tent), it was even more beautiful for me (totally not what I expected). Hehe. We could point to the summit from here and the New Trail route... Setting up our tents here was the best decision we made - especially since it's the only one with the CR (toilet) for our girly needs (and not as windy here)! Hehehe. The road below is the way up the other Old Trail stops or camps (#2 to #9) and the summit (more of this and the next day on Post 3).
Do you have pages or people in your Facebook Notifications list? I cleaned out mine last year and just left out pages / people who I want to hear more from with their every post =) The 2 new recent ones I added are: Manong Unyol and IBARRA Photography. Manong Unyol posted about a National Park in the Philippines (first time I heard about it) thereby inspiring me to climb a mountain again and then he made me laugh so hard with his other posts on Facebook. Haha. IBARRA Photography, on the other hand, made me want to go back to Mt. Pulag and improve on my photography... I like laughing, being inspired to travel and hearing about new things. I hope you do too and read on =D