Here’s for everyone to understand better and more clearly why I have to do the challenge.
Purpose: I want to prove to myself and to others as well, especially to Filipinos, that traveling is not that expensive (or reserved only for the rich) thereby encourage fellow Filipinos to travel and explore their own country.
Duration: July 6-21, 2010 (14 days + 1)
Route/Itinerary: West Visayas except Antique, Region 6 (get a Philippine map to better understand)
- Manila – Negros Occidental (Silay City, Bacolod City, Murcia, La Carlota City, Kabankalan City, Hinigaran, Valladolid)
- Negros Occidental – Guimaras (Nueva Valencia, Jordan)
- Guimaras – Iloilo (Iloilo City, San JOaquin, Miag-ao, Guimbal, Oton)
- Iloilo – Capiz (Capiz City, Pan-ay)
- Capiz – Aklan (Caticlan, Boracay)
- Boracay – Oriental Mindoro (Roxas, Calapan City)
- Oriental Mindoro – Batangas (Batangas City, Lipa City)
The Challenge: Spend only Php250/day (all-in) starting from Silay-Bacolod Airport
Learned some Ilonggo Words and More Ilonggo Words to Remember and did some nice landmark snapshots along the way- using the camera’s 10-sec timer to get Negros Occidental Capitol, enjoying Batchoy while marveling the Miag-ao Church and the underrated San Joaquin Church in southern Iloilo.
Then I was able to have an overnight stay on a captivating, simple and unexplored island that has never been mentioned in the internet or blog before. I also got the chance to update my blog while in Boracay on Day 12. Finally, I finished the challenge successfully giving me time tosleep all day.
Here’s some interesting things:
Most expensive meal: Php99.00 at Mang Inasal Boracay (Day 13)
Cheapest meal: Php45.00 which includes 1 Pork steak, 1 Ceviche at Rocare Eatery, Kabankalan City (Day4)
Most expensive drink: Php35.00 (Gatorade at Boracay)
Cheapest drink: Php5.00 (500ml Water Water bottle refill)
Most expensive fare (by sea): Php294.00 (Caticlan to Roxas, Mindoro)
Most expensive fare (by land): Php139.00 Regular Bus (Iloilo City to Roxas City, Capiz)
Coolest mode of transportation: Double-tire (topload from Mambukal to Bacolod City)
Cheapest fare: Jeepney fares, Php7.00 only
Most Expensive Day(s): Php423.00 on Day 11 and Php336 on Day 14
Cheapest Day(s): Php99.00 on Day 12 and Php65.00 on Day 15
Most important gadget: DSLR Camera (thanks to Mitch)
Most useful stuff: Samsonite mailman bag (carried everywhere)
Most stunning view: Puka Beach, Boracay
Number of beers drank: 12 (11 are for free, 1 I bought at Mambukal during Day 2)
Number of beaches tested: 4 (Guisi Beach at Guimaras; Oton Beach at Iloilo; Station 3 and Puka Beach at Boracay )
Old Churches visited: 12
Number of Old Houses saw: Too many but I love the Lopez Mansion at Jaro, Iloilo
Number of runs: 4 (Mambukal, La Carlota City, Roxas City, Boracay)
Number of cities visited: 9- Silay City, Bacolod City, La Carlota City, Kabankalan City (Negros Occidental), Iloilo City, Roxas City, Calapan City, Batangas City and Lipa City.
Provinces visited: Negros Occ, Guimaras, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Mindoro Oriental and Batangas.
The Complete Guide to 14 Days of Backpacking Series + Tweets and Facebook status updates along with those:
The day before: KM.0 to KM.475, Bacolod here in come! Excited to fly PAL, walk on the streets of Visayas, run on different places, swim sa secret coves, ride the habal-habal and climb some mountains. Day 1 kicks-off tomorrow! follow me on twitter for real time updates @journeyingjames (Mon, 05 Jul 2010 09:03:22 GMT)
Day 2: greetings from the City of Smiles, Bacolod. shout out a smiley when you read this. Later I will go to Mambukal, nature-tripping. so far im doing good, for real-time updates you can follow me on twitter @journeyingjames (Wed, 07 Jul 2010 04:58:23 GMT)
Day3: Negros Occidental
5:30am- Ran at Mambukal Resort, Murcia then hike to the waterfalls
8:30am- Swam at the falls (naked)
12nn- Hot spring dipping
6:30pm- Arrived at La Carlota City
Money spent: P223 (I still have excess of 27) (Thu, 08 Jul 2010 11:14:37 GMT)
Day4: La Carlota City – Kabankalan City – Hinigaran – La Carlota, Negros Occ
6:30am- Ran 7K
10:00am- Off to Kabankalan, nothing too see there except ‘gwapa’ friends
5:00pm- Photo shoot at Hinigaran Catholic Church
5:30pm- Ate ‘namit’ bibingka
8:00am- Chicken Inasal ‘pecho’ rice all you can
total expenses: P220
Tomorrow: Guimaras, Iloilo to taste the sweetest mango (Fri, 09 Jul 2010 12:59:49 GMT)
Days 5-7: Slept on Yato Island, lived in the community
Bought my 11-year old tour guide his new slippers (not Havs)
Went to Guisi Beach, nag-sugba ng fish
Photoshoot Guisi Lighthouse
Swam on the virgin white beach, I feel like I own it
Ate 2 sweet mangoes from Guimaras
Later I will go to Iloilo, 1 week to go.
I’m excited to share my snapshots! (Mon, 12 Jul 2010 06:11:26 GMT)
Day8: Woke up on a foggy Oton Beach. After sipping coffee i swam in the beach! will visit Miag=Ao Church (UNESCO site) now #travel (Tue, 13 Jul 2010 00:19:20 GMT)
Day 9: Had a nice DIY Iloilo City Walking tour yesterday. Then had some photos of the Old Jaro Belfry while eating special bibingka. Went to Roxas City afternoon (Thu, 15 Jul 2010 07:23:52 GMT)
Day 10: Went to Pan-ay church this AM (the biggest church
bell in Asia), the kampanero was not kuba, he knows a lot about the
history of the church and the bell! Lunch was a seafood feast!
Kayaking in the PM then waited for the sun to set while at the Roxas City bay. Thanks to Wilson Guntang & Flora Mae Oquendo Guntang for the 1st class accommodation.
Tomorrow tugs tugs tugs at Bora (Thu, 15 Jul 2010 13:24:26 GMT)
Day 11: Arrived in the Korean Island a.k.a. Boracay! tugs-tugs-tugs (Fri, 16 Jul 2010 11:36:09 GMT)
Day 12: What a day! Started with music and dancing at midnight till am. Beach bumming the whole day and feasted on eat-all-you-can. Day 13 tomorrow at Carabao Island. I hope I can find my way (Sat, 17 Jul 2010 13:48:54 GMT)
Day 13: James im still in boracay. im loving this party island as days pass by. puka beach then beach run kanina. tomorrow nalang ako punta sa carabao island then uwi na laguna. last day na tomorrow! (Sun, 18 Jul 2010 10:31:44 GMT)
Day 15: I survived the 14 days challenge! Now I want a full body massage from the feet up (Tue, 20 Jul 2010 04:22:21 GMT)
I forgot to tell you about Day14: Final Challenge, I only got PhP430 in my pocket when I left Boracay. I arrived at Roxas, Mindoro with less than P100. A time to hitchhike, I waited 12 long hours until someone allowed me to hitch, a 10-wheeler truck full of goats and cows. The last day was definitely the hardest but I SURVIVED! (Tue, 20 Jul 2010 11:45:11 GMT)
Here’s my Accommodation, Daily Expenses, Must-See, Must-Taste & Must-Experience:
Total Expenses:Php3,528.50 (or US$81.11 or €58.49)
Daily Average:P235.25 (or US$5.41 or €3.90) = CHALLENGE SUCCESSFUL
Now, the question is what’s next?
For now, I planning to follow this up with another 16-day extreme backpacking challenge in Mindanao, route will be Gen.Santos City to Butuan this June 2010. I already have my plane tickets. Budget, still undecided.