{ Sole Diaries } Enjoying Iloilo

Iloilo City
May 2013

There’s something about Iloilo City that draws me to it. On my first visit we hopped from one old house, to a historic church, to the busy streets, and open spaced leisure area. I knew then that I would be going back to it some time in the future. And as I right this, the little bug in me that yearns to experience independence is tugging at my more adventurous side. So I pray that things will work out for a few months, to maybe a year, and will get to visit Iloilo again. Hopefully longer than just a week that I did when I was there.

Solo Travel But Not Really

Dear Reader,

If there is something more concrete as my words, I would still, share none of it so detailed. When something feels so good out from something so ordinary, you just let it be.

A book for a company, and a coffee for one is too cliche for someone trying to weave the tiny moments whole by herself.

I wish I could tell you of a guy I met this summer occupying the empty seat beside mine, and that I fell helplessly for a fleeting moment of what, might, felt like forever.

I wish I could tell you of a summer fling, some holding hands, and giggles during night fall.

But I haven’t, I didn’t, and there was none.


I did meet a guy. Scratch that. He found my carelessly written words nearly two years back, and I wish I could say the rest was history but it was not. It was more interesting than just that. And take it from my badly scribble travel journal I wrote during a solo trip to Biri Island, Northern Samar“If summer is for salty water swims, and sand covered feet; for midnight sounds, and strange adventures; and some sweet words, and rambling conversations — then I may have had plenty of it already. But I write this after spreading my scarf on very doubtful sheets, tugging the side table, and barring it against the door. The stillness of the night carried the masculine voices from the outside in. Even the lizard at the ceiling stopped at it’s track hearing them roar in laughter with obvious intoxication. Dinner for me is the unfinished pack of chips, biscuits, and a citrus fruit from the transit with the fear of getting unwanted attention while finding a decent meal this late. And then he called again, the third time today. 

… after nearly a year of this, his need to communicate has become consistent. When I tried sleeping, but could not, I wrote instead. Getting this sorry-for-an-excuse lodging at the dead of the night was a God-send but I was tortured by it’s conditions. With some occasional wake ups in betweens, I did get some sleep. It was not pure comfort, but it was better than nothing. Before the sun could peak over the horizon, he called again. His promised wake up call was accurate. And when I did say thank you, my thoughts really just wanted to ask — tell me, why are you so kind?” 


I went out an ear shot good distance from everyone when my phone rang. I paced on the even walkway at  the front yard looking up to see the sky looking down at me. My laughs of his jokes will reach both stars, and my sisters ears. Yes, one so familiar of this talk time, and one making it difficult for me. Sisters have a way to torture the youngest one when she’s home.

Tacloban was late, dark, and of fully booked hotels. After maybe more than ten blocks of going around in circles, I was close to tears. I took another turn and looked at the dark skyline for the familiar old building where I was first dropped off. I sent him a message saying that I was still walking around  looking for a place to stay, and ending it with, “I’m dying here”.

Traveling, and post travel stories is interesting when shared with someone who loves it equally, or even as much as one does. It was this summer, I learned to share my solo travels with someone. Even if it meant sharing it with someone who was +400 nautical miles, or so, or more away.

My dark mobile screams beside me.

Who calls at the middle of the night when you’re lying at the beach and rocked in lullaby of the waves crashing to the shores anyways? And for that, I write in ink so the universe will read. He owes me salt in the air, sand in my hair, a long talk at the beach one, or maybe more than a few of these nights.

Something good always comes out from feeding each other’s crazy. For now it is seeing solo travel differently. It need not always be lonely.
“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.” – Anonymous

Pinay Travelista shared her summer something for the
An entry to PTB January 2013 Blog Carnival 
on the topic “Summer Surprises”.

APO ISLAND | Transportation Guide | How Get There Directions

I already promised then bride-to-be friend that I will be attending her wedding at Dumaguete early 2013. When my guy friends wanted to travel in a group, I asked them that a condition of me traveling with them is the possibility of adding a side trip or two after the wedding event. Here is a helpful transportation guide, how you can get to Apo Island, and the directions you can take if you’re traveling from Dumaguete City to get to the eco-rich and diverse island.


Directions, and How to Get To Details DUMAGUETE CITY – DAUIN – APO ISLAND
*** Fares may change depending on approved rates
**POST DATE : May 2013
Dumaguete City – Dauin Public Market – Malatapay Public Market
1] Hotel Nicanor – Bellfry Tower
::: Travel Duration: 3-5mins.
::: Fare: 8PhP Pax
2] At the side of Bellfry Tower – Dauin Public Market
::: Travel Duration: 20-30 minutes, Multicab
::: Fare: 13PhP Pax
3] Dauin Public Market – Malatapay Public Market
::: Travel Duration: 10-15 minutes
::: Fare: 15 PhP Pax, Pedicab
8 PhP Pax, Jeepney

Dumaguete – Malatapay Public Market
1] Hotel Nicanor – Bus Terminal
::: Travel Duration: 3-5mins.
::: Fare: 16PhP Pax ( two jeepney rides)
2] Dumaguete City – Malatapay Public Market
::: Travel Duration: 30-45 mins. – 1H
::: Fare: 50Php

III.] Malatapay Public Market – Tourism & Information Office, Malatapay
::: Walk
::: 3-5 mins

IV] Tourism & Information Office, Malatapay – Apo Island
::: Travel Time: 1H
::: Outrigger/ Banca Fare: 2,000PhP / 4Pax (Medium boat)
3,000PhP / 8Pax (Big boat)

V] Apo Island
::: Environmental Fee: 100PhP/Pax, ask for a reciept

+ You can either take the bus, or multicab heading to Zamboangita, Negros Oriental. You can save a few peso when you take the multicab, and then jeepney, but it would take a bit longer than the bus ride.
+ If you decide to take a pedicab or habal-habal/single (motorcycle) at Dauin Public Market to Malatapay, Zamboangita, expect that you will be dropped off at the Tourism & Information Office. You do not have to take the walk from the national highway to the jump-off.
+ Start with your travel early if you can. The waves from the mainland to Apo Island can be harsh when the wind is strong.
+ Outrigger boat / banca fare is for a back and forth or a round trip service. Should one, or a few of you leave earlier than the rest of the group, they will be asking additional 200-300/pax for “special travel”.
+ The outrigger boat operator/s resides in the little village at Apo Island. They will be waiting when you’ve decided to leave the island. I suggest you talk to them, and ask them how the weather fairs on your intended time to leave. For itinerary’s sake, do not plan an activity after lunch on your last day on the island. Expect that the weather will go bad, or the winds will be strong in the afternoon making it difficult to make the trip. But should the weather be nice to you, by all means enjoy the island, and it’s waters more!
+ No boat are allowed to to take passenger back and forth to Apo Island after 4PM with the strong current, and wind, as well to make sure they get back to Zamboangita before dark.
+ I wished I was a already a brave freediver or PADI certified when we got there but plans, and dreams are on timelines too. That means I’m definitely be going back there!

Love On The Road With Goodnight Tweetheart

It was pretty early to call it a night, as I snuggled under the sheets on the upper bunk of the a cabin style accommodation shared with four other passenger on that ferry. “Day #XXX”, I lost count already and was too tired to retrace my very extended travel days on my first travel for 2013. “And home.” — I was thinking too much of home already.

Who would have thought that in the month that precedes the love month February, I would find that familiar feeling tugging up my sleeves where my heart used to be displayed. I thought I was quirkyalone at the moment. You know, being single and being okay with it than be in a relationship for the sake of just. being. in. one.  A mindset that I thought a not-really-normal-and-sane-person has but not at all knew — uncompromising romantics. Goodnight Tweetheart was “Hello there love” printed words on pages, a light read was both entertaining, and interesting.

Goodnight Tweetheart | Teresa Medeiros

Book Genre: Chic Lit

First Lines:
In her darker moments Abby Donovan had often fantasized that her career of choice might lead her to become intimately acquainted with the phrase, “Would you like fries to go with that?” But she’d never guessed she’d end up embracing that traditional uniform of working women the world over — the bunny costume.

About The Book:
Bestselling author Abigail Donovan almost won the Pulitzer Prize and did win Oprah’s stamp of approval. So why is she spending her days–and nights–hiding in her expensive New York City condo with only her two cats for company? When her publicist drags her into the world of social media, Abby figures she’ll meet some 14-year-old living in his mom’s basement. But instead she finds Mark Baynard, a sexy and quick-witted English professor traveling the world in search of adventure. Although she tries to resist his charms, Mark begins to shatter Abby’s writer’s block one wickedly funny encounter at a time.
But just when she begins to write–and live–again, Abby discovers Mark is hiding a secret that could change both of their lives forever.
2 Cent Thoughts:
A fascinating  and emotional read that I had to draw the curtains, and face the wall when reading it. I giggled, sheepishly smiled by myself, fought back tears, and let out subdued sighs. I never allowed myself to get so engrossed with a book in public like that. But who the hell cares! Definitely not the gentleman from below the lower bunk snoring himself to dreamland. Maybe because I could relate, that I did allowed myself to relate to the story. Ack! I fell for the total chic lit! It was because it was written so playfully that you can’t put it down, and before you know it, you find a grinning you.

Travel With or Travel Without:
This is a pocket-size. You probably get it done in 3-5 hours straight. It would be a nice company during long transit time, or in between connecting flights or what. This is a romantic chic lit book in contemporary set-up. Most of you might have been saving these book genre during your “Me-Time” routine. This one though would be a nice fitting read should you be doing short travel by yourself. I apologized a few times having to wave off my travel buddies for this. A delightful read — whether on the road, or at home.

DUMAGUETE CITY | | Transportation Guide | How Get There Directions

Your gateway to Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City is accessible via land, air, and sea. Flights are available from Manila, and Cebu City, ferries available from Manila City in Luzon, Cebu, Siquijor, Tagbilaran in Visayas; Dapitan, and Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao. I got an email asking directions to Dumaguete City other than the route we did. So here is a (hopefully) complete transportation guide to help you plan your route to Dumaguete City.

Directions, and How to Get There Details for Dumaguete City:
***Fares may change depending on approved rates
***Helpful for you to plan your route
Post Date: May 2013

Via Manila:
::: Manila – Dumaguete City
   Flights are available
::: Manila – Cebu – Dumaguete City
Or you can do a road trip with these routes
West | Manila – Batangas – Aklan – Iloilo – Bacolod – Dumaguete
East  | Manila – Naga – Legazpi – Sorsogon – Northern Samar – Tagbilaran, Leyte – Ormoc, Leyte – Cebu City – Lilo-an, Santander, Cebu – Sibulan, Negros Oriental – Dumaguete
* Though you could skip Leyte from Northern Samar to Cebu City, there’s a ferry boat from Calbayog, Northern Samar to Cebu City.

Via Cebu City:
::: Cebu City – Dumaguete City
   Flights are avialable
        Time Duration: 45 mins
   Fast Crafts are available
     * Do check it out first, you can check it out at the ticketing office at the pier, or at SM Travel Lounge in SM Cebu, or at ticketing offices you can find in the travel booking wing at the malls.
     * I was informed that there’s a Cebu – Tagbilaran – Dumaguete route, though I do not know how long that will take you to get to Dumaguete City
::: Cebu City – Lilo-an, Santander, Cebu – Sibulan, Negros Oriental – Dumaguete City
   1] Cebu  City to Santander, Cebu (By Bus)
      Take the van/bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal
      Travel Duration: 4-5 H
      Fare: 165PhP Bus non-AC
               200PhP Bus AC
               160-180 PhP Vans
    2] Lilo-an, Santander, Cebu – Sibulan, Negros Oriental
      Travel Time: 45 mins – 1H
      Fare: Quadro Alas Shipping Lines
                        62PhP Regular
                        52PhP Student or Senior Citizen
                  First Trip: From Liloan: 4:30 AM
                                         Sibulan: 5:00 AM
                  Last Trip: From Liloan: 7:30 PM
                                         Sibulan: 8:00 PM
                        45PhP Regular
                        40PhP Student
                        38PhP Senior Citizens
                  First Trip: From Liloan: 6:00 AM
                                         Sibulan: 6:30 AM
                  Last Trip: From Liloan: 5:00 PM
                                         Sibulan: 5:30 PM
* I suggest that you take the fast craft if the weather is bad, and the water is rough. Then again, if you’re up for some adventure, don’t let my fair warning stop you.
   3] Sibulan – Dumaguete City
* Instead of taking the bus, we asked for a trike to take us, and paid him 20PhP each, there were 4 of us.
Via Dapitan City:
1] From Iligan City – Ozamis City – Oroquieta City – Dapitan City
—– Check out the updated Iligan – Dipolog route HERE
—– Check out the updated Iligan – Ozamis – Dapitan route HERE

Via Cagayan de Oro City
1] From Cagayan de Oro City – Cebu City – Dumaguete City
* There used to be a direct overnight ferry for CDO – Dumaguete but I checked out some of the ferry sites that used to travel directly there, it was either it’s not updated or that they have stopped transit.
—- Check out Cebu City – South Cebu – Dumaguete City route above

Pedicabs. The pedicabs are the efficient way to go around the city if you’re doing a short tour. You can hire the pedicab for the day if you’re not the type to walk around the city. You, and the driver have to agree with the price though. Since we did not do that, you can ask the front desk of the hotel that you’re staying on the possible rates.
Jeepneys. There are jeepneys available but we have not tried them since we were doing mostly some walking around for our tour. There are jeepneys available for some destinations that are located at the outskirts of the town.
Taxi. Metered taxi is available. If you’re staying at a hotel, you can ask the front desk to get you one if they do not offer shuttle transfer to the airport.
+ Do visit the Tourism Office if you have time. They do not have any visible Tourism Information Desk at the Port upon our arrival. Good thing we already kinda knew what we wanted to see, and check out. To help you maximize your trip, and tour. I suggest you visit them, so they can help you plan your tour better.

You might like to read DUMAGUETE CITY posts!