Category: Philippines

The Ruins – Talisay

The Ruins - Talisay
The Ruins – Talisay

RunAway Prop had the opportunity to spend last Monday afternoon and early evening at The Ruins – Talisay, and what a fantastic time we had there.  I must say, it was such a relaxing atmosphere there, and I found it so enjoyable.

Some history about The Ruins – Talisay, ” The wealthy sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson built the mansion in 1900’s for Maria Braga, his portuguese wife.  He made sure the mansion was furnished with imported luxurious items.  The Mansion’s structure resembles that of the Italian architecture with neoclassical columns.  The facades of the mansion is comparable to the ones in Carnegie Hall. The belvedere facing west enables one to view the beautiful sunset through the bay window.  The garden of the mansion was tended by Don Mariano’s daughter Angelina.  Imported lilies filled the garden and around the fountain.  A Japanese gardner was hired to maintain the gardens until he disappeared just before the war.  It was found out later on that the gardner they hired was an informant to the Japanese Military.  When World War 2 broke out, the guerrillas burned down the mansion to prevent the Japanese from occupying the area.  The mansion burned down leaving behind the concrete structure that still stands to this day.  There is no current plans of getting the ruins restored back to its glorious

THe Gardens at The Ruins
THe Gardens at The Ruins

form.”

The Ruins – Talisay is easy to get to, if you take the Bata Jeepney from downtown Bacolod, and get off in Bata, there is a Bike waiting to take you out to The Ruins – Talisay.  Cost to enter is PhP 95.00, and there is a restaurant there for you to have something to eat.  I would recommend going later in the day so you can enjoy the beauty of the area in the early evening as the lights are turned on and the the skies slowly darken!!  Great time!!

 

 

Visa Extension

ACR-I Card
ACR-I Card

I have to say I am so pleasantly surprised how easy it was to do a visa extension here in The Philippines.  We decided on Monday I best look into doing the Visa Extension as my first 59 days will be up on the 20th of Jan.  So, off to the BI office here in Bacolod to ask some questions.

When we first arrived there at about 11:30 am, we quickly discovered though there is a small number of Expats here in the Bacolod, the office is equally as small and we were going to be awhile.  We spoke to a very helpful BI official who gave me the appropriate forms to complete and off we went back on our days journey.  Deciding since the office opens at 7:00 am, the plan will be to be there at that time.  Well, we ended up being an hour late, and I think I was number 7 out of what I think is a possible 15 numbers.  The BI official, called my number, looked at my form, and headed back and told me to see the teller.  Which I went to directly and she informed me of the initial visa extension the cost would PhP7537.00, and I paid that.  About 15 minutes later she hand me my change and my stamped passport with the visa extension.

Canadian Passport
Canadian Passport

From there, I had to meet with the BI Official who was doing the Alien Registration Program so I could apply for my ACR-I card which from what I understand is good for one year and I will need to renew it.  I am able to do visa extension this way for 36 months with all subsequent visa extensions will cost me PhP2800.00 wow crazy easy! I can only imagine the BS one needs to go through in Canada.  Plus the extension would most likely be denied, or take you 6 months to a year for it to be processed because all of the red tape and post 911 BS we put into something that should be so simple.

My ACR-I card will be ready in a month and there for me to pick up when I pass by.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  If you have any questions about visa extensions here in Bacolod let me know.

 

Villarosa Resort

Villarosa Resort
Villarosa Resort

New Years day was spent at the Villarosa Resort in Punta Taytay.  This is my first time being in the this area and I was very much impressed with the number of people whom were out and enjoying the sun and the beach.  Enroute there were a number of viewing decks that one could sit back and enjoy the mangroves, something that I have only seen on TV in documentaries, so this will be a place I will need to go with my camera and get some new photos.

Villarosa Resort
Villarosa Resort

I did a search on the internet, and found some pictures of the beach area.  I was slightly shocked with the amount of garbage on the beach and in the water, though the beach is close to Bacolod, I did not think there would be so much.  The water was a muddy brown, but that is because of the shallow un protected area from the waves and winds.  With a little effort, I think this would be a fantastic place to enjoy a day in the sun, with family and friends.  If you are in the area don’t miss out on a visit to Villarosa Resort as it is well worth the visit.

New Years 2015

New Years 2015 Bacolod
New Years 2015 Bacolod

Happy New Years 2015 to Everyone from RunAwayProp Dot Com.  This was our first year in Bacolod for New Years Celebration and what a crazy fun evening it was!  The streets were alive with people playing with Fireworks.  There was not a spot free on the road we live on, where people were setting off fireworks celebrating and ringing in the New Years.  I was amazed with the number of fireworks going off!  Very cool, great time!!

Once again, Happy New Years 2015…Be safe and prosper!!

Scent of the Orient

The start of a small pile
The start of a small pile

The Scent of the Orient, after a three year separation from the areas I most love on earth, I have been lucky enough to return too.  A little over three years ago I was convinced between family and friends to remain in Canada and give it an honest go, and see if I can find the happiness that I do when I live in Southeast Asia.  Well after an honest try, I find myself back in Southeast Asia, specifically the Philippines, and I am loving it.

It has taken me a while to realize that though all decisions are ones you learn from, I learned this time, I should have not stayed, and returned to my work in Cambodia, and just enjoy the time I have with close friends and colleagues.  What marks a return to a place that you love.  That is such a tough question to answer.  I remember back in 2010, I was on a Korean Airlines jet headed to Cambodia, and I remember the feeling of being at home surrounded by everyone on the plane.  The kindness, of strangers, something that is not all the often any longer in Canada, and if you call Vancouver home, it would not be something you would ever ever think of being.

It was not until recently I realised that one of the things that I love is what I call the Scent of the Orient.  Walking down the road, I could smell the odour of burning leaves, and trash on the side of the road.  Here, never sure where to deposit that candy wrapper or, chip bag, and then I realized the piles of debris on the side of the road is the trash collection effort, and then it is lit on fire.  There is not huge landfill per say nor is there often of scheduled pick up, it is taken care of each day, in the same spot and in the same manner.  I know there will be some Westerner that would condemn this as wrong or bad for the environment, but what about our huge landfills, that keep growing and growing, so much so, now we need to or are trying to discover a way to ship our garbage to neighboring towns and cities.

It does not matter to me really, but I do know one of the things I love about this part of the world, is the Scent of the Orient, which is as unique as the Sounds of the Orient…which will be something I else I may write about in the future.

Easy Diving and Beach Resort

Easy Divings Dive Center
Easy Divings Dive Center

We spent a fabulous time  at Easy Diving and Beach Resort from the 18th – 21 Dec, and what a fantastic time we had. This was a last minute booking for us as I thought we only had one day available since our week was pretty busy with Christmas agenda issues and we were expected back to work the next day, but we were able to swing a couple of days. Sadly I forget the name of the Filipina that we spoke to for the booking but she was very very helpful, and she was able to set things up for us and she was even more helpful when we decided to extend for a day, ensuring we were able to keep the same room.

We took a bus from Bacolod, and it easily took us about 5 – 6 hours to arrive in Sipalay. We were to be met at a drop off point by a Trike driver named Denmark but there was some confusion and we ended up taking one of the other Trikes that are there awaiting customers, and the price was the same as what it would have been if it was arranged by Easy Diving.

Local Boat at Sunset
Local Boat at Sunset

After an additional 30 minute trike ride we finally arrived at the gates of Easy Diving and Beach Resort and as with everything else things happened like clock work. One of the security guards assisted us with the bags, and delivered them directly to our room, and we actually made it in time for a late bite to eat. We got a quick tour of how to make it to our room, and we retired for a restful evening as it had been a long day.

We chose a Deluxe Room, so we could have a queen sized bed, the rates where PhP 2700 per night, and that came with Aircon and a mini bar, and I have to say it is half the price of the other Resort we looked at and after doing a little beach walk the rooms and the resort look a lot nicer. So I think we scored a big victory there.

Easy Diving's Boats
Easy Diving’s Boats

The first morning I spoke with one of the dive instructors named I do believe Carl, about taking my friend on a Discover Scuba Diving, as I am a PADI Course Director. I was very impressed, as I know what a hassle it can be for outside instructors to want to run things, he simply said he would ask the owner and let me know. Excellent, and he actually did exactly that. Christian, the owner of Easy Diving and Beach Resort, approached me later in the day and introduced himself and welcomed us to the resort which I felt was a nice warm touch. I can not say enough about the staff, especially the Filipina’s and Filipino’s which were very very helpful!!

If you are on Negros Occidental, and want a nice place to stay, don’t miss out on a chance for a little part of paradise!! I will be going back for another visit for sure!!