Monday, May 07, 2007

Bais Bay Dumaguete Adventure

The next series of travelogues that I will be sharing with you consist of three weeks worth of vacation, touring parts of Visayas and Mindanao two summers ago. This was the time when both of us were able to scrimp the P40,000 we saved up for this adventure and learned the art of backpacking by experience. I've already posted the first leg of our trip (Cebu). Now, let's check out Dumaguete. Come, join us on our journey and explore the beauty of our country. Maybe next time, we can do a backpack tour of Asia and Europe as well. *crossing our fingers now*
Waiting to board our Ocean Ferry ride to Dumaguete...

It was due to pure luck that Dumaguete became part of our vacation itinerary. Have you ever been invited to one of those seminars for time sharing? That was how we got to be members of Club Panoly Boracay by the way. Anyway, one day, Vacation Club , Inc. (VCI) called us saying we have won a free accommodation. But in order to get the prize, we need to come to their office and witness a 90 minute presentation about their product and services, emphasizing that there was no obligation to buy on our part and that we'd get to pick up a free vacation after the show. So that's what we did.

We just arrived at Dumaguete. We then explored Rizal Blvd. nearby...

One evening after work, we went to their office and listened to them talk and market their time sharing scheme. They did a hard sell on us but since we already spent tons on our 10-year membership at Club Panoly, we no longer have budget for this. Nevertheless, after 2 hours of their sales pitch, they let us pick from a fish bowl a free accommodation at one of their resorts and we picked up Bahia de Bais at Dumaguete. I immediately rearranged our schedule and before we knew it, we were already on our way there.
Simple and cozy Bahia de Bais all to ourselves...
Bahia de Bais is located on top of a hill overlooking the Bais Bay...

From Cebu, we bought Ocean Ferry tickets one way to Dumaguete. The ride was around 3 hours if I remember correctly. Before 12 noon, we reached Dumaguete pier and explored a bit of their famous Rizal Boulevard and we saw Silliman University just across the street. We had lunch at a nearby Mc Donald's before we hailed a van (and a tricycle later on) that will take us to Bahia de Bais.
We were looking for the lighthouse around the area to no avail...

Finally, after around an hour of travel, we reached our destination. Bahia de Bais is a mini resort designed like an old house on top of a hill, overlooking the Bais Bay. It has a number of rooms for visitors, a restaurant, a bar and a garden in the middle. It's architectural design is actually similar to that of Casa Linda in Puerto Princesa where we recently stayed. When we arrived there, we were the only visitors. We felt very special since all the staff fussed over us and catered to our every whim. Even the food they served were always in humongous proportions, as if the chef was very excited to cook for us. We were so touched. To think we were staying there for free but of course, we paid for our food and drinks.

Being the only visitors at that time, the whole house seemed to be ours...

After settling down that afternoon, we took a walk around the hill. They say that there's a lighthouse nearby so we tried to look for it. Unfortunately, we got lost amidst all the bamboos and shrubbery so just before the sun went down, we went back to Bahia and called it a day.
Excited for the dolphin watching adventure!

Bais Bay is known for its mangroves and dolphins. Having had no reserved package tours, we took our chances the following day. We woke up very early since we figured we would have to take a walk going downhill before seeing any rides to the city. Fortunately, halfway downhill, we saw a tricycle and hailed it. We asked to be brought to the pier where small bangkas are rented for a day trip. We waited there very early in the morning, just after sunrise. And the moment we saw some people milling about, Peter immediately asked around if we could book a small bangka for us. It turned out, everything was booked and the only way we can do the dolphin watching activity is if those people who booked earlier would agree to take us in. It was a blessing that the next group of people Peter asked obliged, probably because the person Peter asked was a priest. It was a blessing, indeed!

After a few minutes of clapping and calling for the dolphins to come, they suddenly appeared out of nowhere!

And off we went yo enjoy the rest of the day dolphin watching, buying freshly caught giant squids in the middle of the white sand bar in Bais Bay (Manjuyod island) and exploring the 400 hectares of their Mangrove forest. Weeeeeee!

To our amazement, there was a white sandbar in the middle of the deep blue sea! Wow!

We bought this giant, newly caught squid for only P100!

We were finished around 4pm and went back to our resort via tricycle and on foot. We enjoyed the last night of our stay there watching local TV and simply lounging around. We slept soundly that night, looking forward to the next leg of our VisMin trip.

The Mangrove Forest...
During the rainy season, the entire mangrove forest would've been sumerged in seawater.
Time to go back to our resort...

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