A Backpacker's Open Secret

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Picturesque Volcano
After a cloudy New Year's eve which more or less obscured the peak of Mt Kanlaon, I had the luck of a clear sky this morning. I rode out to the higher plains nearer the base of Mt Kanlaon with a hired motorbike driver for 50 php. In less than 10 minutes, scenes of the town's shophouses opened up to vast fields of crops and unhindered views of gorgeous volcano. I was in awe, stopping various times looking for the perfect composition to capture on photo but mostly to just enjoy the moments of watching fluffy clouds skirt by the peak of Mt Kanlaon. Further up the road around the river bend, we stubbled onto a patch of farmland beautifully sculpted under a ravine, alongside a winding stream, forming a picturesque postcard. I was reluctant to leave but I had to catch my bus to Dumaguete at 12 pm.
Scenic Roads to Dumaguete
Ceres bus terminal (just 5 minutes away on motorbike from town) has buses departing for Dumaguete every half hour. I missed the 1230 pm service as it pulled away when I arrived. The journey took 5 hours with varying stages of passenger capacity from a fully seated bus to just myself and the driver with bus conductor to a cattle class bus of passengers hanging for their dear lives at the door. Although non-air conditioned, this bus route is truly scenic, taking in all the views of winding mountainous roads to breezy seaside cruise. Nevetheless, it was a long trip as I found myself getting a few shut-eyes, only to be woken by overcrowding passengers.
Vintage Inn
So I arrived in Dumaguete around 6 pm at the market just as the colour of setting sun had the city smothering like a vintage photograph. Fittingly, I checked in at Vintage Inn opposite the market for 400 php a night with fan room and ensuite. The promenade fronting the sea is close by. Families were already out in tow, strolling or simply just enjoying the views out to Cebu and Siquijor in the distance. Some say Negros was named after the black sands at Dumaguete. I will take that with a grain of salt but the sands here are indeed black in colour. Or rather blackish.
Cause & Effect
What was going to happen to me in the next few days, could come down to what I ate this evening. Most local food stalls and restos were closed for the holiday with the exception of McDonalds and Jollibee (both open 24 hours) and a handful of international cuisine restos along Rizal Boulevard. I had an expensive mexican burrito and juice for dinner and later went to McDonalds for supper. In the middle of the night, my stomach rumbled awkwardly and diarrhea kicked in. Or rather, out. Boo...
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