#LovePhilippines: A campaign to show love for the Filipinos

For the love of the Pearl of the Orient Seas, the Philippines  Google team  Philippines launches today its year-long social media campaign called #LovePhilippines in time for National Heroes Day to inspire Filipinos to discover more about the country and our culture and fuel their love for the Philippines.

Google Philippines will post #LovePhilippines content on their social media channels to put a spotlight on the heritage of the Filipinos. The posts will include, but are not limited to, moments of triumph in history, interesting stories behind acclaimed Filipinos and their achievements, trivia on uniquely Filipino norms, and a quick tour of hidden gems in the country using different Google products like Search, Street View, YouTube, and materials from Google Cultural Institute.

#LovePhilippines campaign. (c) Google
#LovePhilippines campaign. (c) Google

#LovePhilippines: A campaign to show love for the Filipinos

The campaign kicks off with a post featuring a unique pinoy dessert that was Jose Rizal’s favorite, minatamis na santol.  Apart from learning something new about our national hero, Filipinos will also get to prepare the treat by watching a YouTube video tutorial.

The campaign aims to show love for Fililipinos and share with pride the positive things about our country on social media and introduce the wonderful aspects of the Philippines and its people to non-Filipinos so they can appreciate the culture more.

Philippines National hero Jose Rizal's eating his favorite dessert minatamis na santol.
Philippines National hero Jose Rizal’s eating his favorite dessert minatamis na santol.

#LovePhilippines aims to inspire Filipinos

As part of Google’s commitment to equip Filipinos with information that are relevant to their lives, Google put together the campaign to show netizens that there are easily accessible materials online using #LovePhilippines that they can use to boost the morale of fellow Filipinos and inspire others to take pride on the many remarkable characteristics of the Philippines.

“We hear things said about the Philippines or the Filipinos, but there are plenty of beautiful facts about us that are easily searchable online. We want to bring out these information so that people will be inspired to show the world that the Philippines is a fast developing country with a rich history and colorful culture. Filipinos are innately inspiring, and we look forward to spreading more love for the Philippines in the days to come,” said Gail Tan, Google Philippines Head of Communications and Public Affairs.

You can follow Google Philippines on Google+, Facebook and Twitter to +1 or Like, reshare or retweet #LovePhilippines posts.

Befriended a Lumad (Native) in Davao. #LovePhilippines
Befriended a Lumad (Native) in Davao. #LovePhilippines

Disclaimer: This is a Press Release from Google Philippines

Splash of Perpetual Summer in Sipalay

Borders to borders, coast to coast the unwinding road going to the Jewel of the Sugar land is never that easy.With more than a hundred mile from the Queen city of the South , Cebu.

My adventurous and wonderous friends  together have to endure , kilometers of road trip, passing city to city just to get our way to the best kept treasure of Negros Island, Sipalay. It had long been in my radar given all the elements and the universe seems to conspire marked that humid Friday of the days of the dog  afternoon  that was.

We head off to Cebu South Bus terminal, the summer heat was sultry and oppressive that blends well with the noises and dirty in the bustling  crowd of that cramped bus station there not enough room to swing a cat, there were just a sea of people , sweating in long ques just to get on the bus. I bet luck was on our side. We are able to made it at 5PM bus trip going to Dumaguete.

Splashes of perpetual Summer in Sipalay

Surprisingly, Sipalay can be reached by either side of the Negros island be it on the Oriental side or the Occidental which I used the former. Taking the Dumaguete en route,  I have witness the Southern charms get dusky as the sun sets in its horizon, leaving a beautiful tainted sky during our travel towards the tip of Cebu island.

The southern dusk scene going to Dumaguete!
The southern dusk scene going to Dumaguete!

After that 5 hrs road trip considering it was a Friday,  we have reached the town of Santander past 10 in the evening  then we went aboard for another 30mins cruise to get to Sibulan, Negros Oriental. Time  flies fast and we can reached Sibulan island and immediately head off to Dumaguete city, the capital city of Negros Oriental.

At the city of the gentle people, Dumaguete!
At the city of the gentle people, Dumaguete!

On the itinerary, we have to catch a 2:30 AM Bus since the night is young we met a Negrenese friend , Alvin who offered his humble adobe for our short sojourn at the city of gentle people before that series of bus stops. From Dumaguete, the bus took us to Bayawan city, the gateway to the Occidental side after 2hrs that shares a boundary with Kabankalan City of Negros Occidental on the northwest our next destination and eventually to Sipalay City and have that splashes of perpetual summer feel.

 

Our Sipalay moments , a sudden quick change of plan

“It sounds funny, but my biggest fear is that I’m not perfect. I’m a perfectionist, and I get upset when things go wrong or when I don’t do well. ” – Nick Jonas

The sun was at its brightest as we reached the jeweled city in the Southern Negros , it was almost high noon. We dropped off the city’s Ceres bus station and took a trike to head off to Perth resort for our lunch. To our surprise the resort was holding a private party and had it reserved, it was like there was miscommunication in both ends. It almost ruined , 9hrs of travel.

A perfect weather to go island hopping in Sipalay!
A perfect weather to go island hopping in Sipalay!

Taking the bright side,  as suggested by our trike driver we should visit the near by resort of Tinagong dagat  translated as “hidden sea” . The resort known for its bamboo bridges, connecting islands and lush vegetation. Personally, I thought this is can be a good and decent accommodation.  Excitedly, we asked the occupancy rate for our plan for an overnight stay in Sipalay. But to no avail, it went vain in all resorts in the city that one weekend.

Saving the day for us, the Tiganong Dagat resort formely know as Isla Bonita of Sipalay!
Saving the day for us, the Tiganong Dagat resort formely know as Isla Bonita of Sipalay!

So, we opted to have an island hopping in Sipalay instead and laid our Plan B which is to go to Negros Occidental Capital city, Bacolod is a long drive away.

 

Exploring the gems of Sipalay in one perfect island hopping

DSCF8564
A striking sight leading to the islets of Sipalay!

With a time to catch,  in wink the island hopping begun. Pegged at Php 1,500 a half-day trip , the serene beauty of Sipalay is priceless.Sailed from the Tinagong dagat makeshift bamboo port, the excitement is contentious. As we cruise more,  reveals a breath-taking sight, the islets that resembles the Hundred of islands of  Alaminos, Pangasinan is magical. The water was  calm state even in high noon, surprisingly.  The sea is sparkling in blue and green glitters like diamond in the middle of the sea.

A glimpse of the island with a cave, breath-taking!
A glimpse of the island with a cave, breath-taking!

The opening salvo of our island hopping of the 3 island was Campomanes. A white sand island with relatively short shoreline but the water is crystal clear. The water is tempting me being a son of the beach ,  resistance seem hard.  I basked  in Campomanes’ crystal clear waters.It has a port for medium size vessels and our guide told us that there is a snorkeling area with a sunken ship if we do scuba diving which we failed to do. Going to the next island, our guide gave a brief introduction for this, he said it’s an island with a cave in it. I think it was an understatement, I find the island beautiful and picturesque. It reminds me of a place I’ve been to but I choose not to remember and just enjoy the serene beauty.

The son of the beach basking in the jewel of the sugarland.
The son of the beach basking in the jewel of the sugarland.

Our last stop was supposed to be an island but we traded it with a resort instead since our time is running out. So head off to a resort named C View Haven Resort since Perth is unavailable.  The staff welcomed us with the warmest Ilonggo smile and lead us to its roof deck, to me it gives a better vantage view of the islets, the birds eyes view up in the roof top is surreal.

Looking at these marvelous Nature masterpieces.
Looking at these marvelous Nature masterpieces.

As much as we have wanted to extend and bask in to the Sipalay clear waters, we can not afford to miss a bus trip or van going to the City of Smiles, Bacolod. Thus, we had to bid our goodbyes with our guide and his son and thank them for that perfect island hopping even in rush of time.

Now another adventure awaits in Bacolod catch it soon.

 Bayawan Ceres terminal, the gateway to the Occidental side
Bayawan Ceres terminal, the gateway to the Occidental side

Suggested itinerary for Sipalay via Dumaguete route

Sipalay via Dumaguete vice versa
Entry point via Dumaguete  Exit point via Dumaguete

Day 0
3:30 Head off to South Bus
4PM Catch a trip bound for Dumaguete
11 Arrived in Dumaguete
12 Go night out in Dumaguete or stay in a coffee shop

Day 1
2AM Prepare for departure
3AM First Trip for Bayawan via VHIRE
5 AM First trip going to Hinubaan ( Trip is every 45 mins)
7AM Reached Sipalay city
7:30AM Bfast in Sipalay
8 :00 Hire a trike to Perth resort or find an acoomodation
9 AM Check in Perth
10AM Island hopping
12NOON Lunch at the boat
1 – 5 PM Explore Sipalay
6PM Enjoy sunset at Perth
7PM Dinner
8PM Chill at the beach front
9PM Lights Off

Day 2

6AM Wake up / Sunrise photo at the pool
7AM Breakfast ( Breakfast is not part of the room accommodation)
8AM Explore Sipalays other beaches and resort
11AM Prepare for check out
12NOON Lunch and check out
1PM Take a tricycle from Pert Resort to Sipalay Bus Terminal
1:30PM Take a Ceres Bus from Sipalay Terminal to Hinuba-an Terminal
3PM Hop a bus from Hinuba-an Terminal to Bayawan
5PM Ride on a bus from Bayawan Terminal to Dumaguete City
9PM Take a Ceres Bus from Dumaguete Terminal
10PM Ride on a Bus going to Cebu from Dumaguete Terminal
2AM Arrival in Cebu Bus terminal

The tranquil Langub island. (Cave island)
The tranquil Langub island. (Cave island)

*Estimated budget for Sipalay via Dumaguete route

A.  Transportation : PHP 1339.00 or USD 28.92

Going to
Cebu to Sibulan : PHP 250.00 (aircon Ceres with terminal fee and barge fare)
Sibulan to Dumaguete : PHP 13 .00 via Jeepney
Dumaguete to Bayawan : PHP 125.00 (Aircon) / PHP 100.oo (Non aircon)
Bayawan to Hinuba an : PHP 80.00
Hinuba an to Sipalay: PHP 36.00
Sipalay Ceres bus stop to Tinagong Dagat: PHP 100.00 via tricke

Going back
Tinagong Dagat to Sipalay Ceres bus stop : PHP 100.00 via tricke
Sipalay Ceres bus stop to Hinubaan going to Dumaguete: PHP 130.00
Option : Go to Bacolod
Sipalay Ceres bus stop to Bacolod : PHP 200
Hinubaan to Bawayawan : PHP 80.00
Bayawan to Dumaguete : PHP 125.00 (Aircon) / PHP 100.oo (Non aircon)
Dumaguete to Cebu : PHP 300 including the ferry
Option:
Dumaguete to Sibulan : PHP 11.00
Fast craft : PHP 62.00

B. Tour Package:  PHP 400.00 or USD 8.64

Tinagong dagat island hopping package : PHP 1,500.00 shared by 4

Tip : PHP 25.00

C. Food: PHP 300.00 or USD 6.47

Breakfast: PHP 100.00

Lunch: PHP 100.00

TOTAL :  PHP 2039 .00 / per person  or USD 44.04 

Note:

*Prices are subject to change

* The total expenses are shared by a group of 4 people

*USD dollar is qouted as of this writting, it may differ.

What a view of scattered with a dozen of islets of Sipalay!
What a view of scattered with a dozen of islets of Sipalay!

How to get to Sipalay from Manila and Cebu routes

From Manila

There is a daily flight from Manila to Bacolod–Silay International Airport via major airline companies.From the airport, it’s around 30 mins travel via taxi or van head off to the city of Bacolods Bus terminal.Once in Bacolod look for a Ceres bus heading to Sipalay.Or if you can rent a van or car it would be a little better and faster too to get you Sipalay city which is 4- 5hrs drive away from Bacolod via private transportation.

From Cebu

From Cebu South Bus Terminal, get the Liloan trip. Fastcraft ticket from Liloan Port to Sibulan Port.Jeepney ride from Sibulan Port to Dumaguete Ceres Bus Terminal.Take a Ceres Bus to  Bayawan -Hinobaan.Ceres Bus from Bayawan -Hinobaan to Sipalay Bus Terminal. Hire a trike to take you to your resort.

Note:

Buses to Sipalay leave Dumaguete every hour from Ceres Bus Terminal to Kabankalan (mountains route ).
It´s takes around 6 hours trip and costs approx. 200 pesos. Also  there is a direct trip from Dumaguete to Sipalay only serve once a day (1:00PM).

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