Pandelicious

Travel Stories

To Ilo-ilo and Beyooond

We do not wait for things to happen, rather we should make them. As it should be with anything written under the cosmic stars.

So do i feel bad about ditching my friends back in Bora?? No!!!!!!!

Because as you saw in the video i had a lot more traveling to do and i wanted an Amazing Race pace to cover more ground.

Because this became a sponsored trip after a well timed phone call by my Mom, and in a rare feat of openness i shared the fact that i am in an island miles away from home… and i am broke….

After an unexpected reaction that—- i didn’t expect. yes! unexpected! i found my trip metamorphisizing, cause you see a promise of an extra padding in my wallet is all the push i needed so i could go wild all over the Visayas.

On my first night in Ilo-ilo i was even treated to free stay in Riverside Inn because my Mom paid for my room using Agoda. Although my fellow travel blogger Marcus offered his place to crash in, we just had dinner instead at this Thai restaurant near SM Ilo-ilo. Had an uneventful first night filled with cartoons on the telly, i chalked it up to the headache i acquired. I’m prone to migraines and i absolutely hate it.

Had i not slept early the day before, then i couldn’t possibly trust myself enough to wake up early the next morning, missing out on Madge’s Coffee is an impossibility and it’s the perfect way to start my jam-packed day.

It’s a kooky nook right smack at the center of the La Paz market a short ride from Riverside Inn. It’s a third generation coffee shop where the matriarch of the family, the namesake of the coffee shop passed it on to her grandchildren. Amazing locally sourced coffee processed the same way it was years ago and pastries not only delicious but affordable as well.

It’s so good too because i can’t remember the last time i’ve had Star Margarine, a newspaper and delicious coffee all in a low-key, no pretensions setting.

Talked to the third generation owner and made him list down the prices so i wont forget: Coffee: 22Pesos, Fresh Fried Egg: 15Pesos, Bread: 10Pesos, Suman: 8Pesos.

Such dedication to great customer relationships is rare nowadays, but this quaint and unassuming coffee shop found in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the morning market beats the ambiance of any Starbucks for me. I thanked the coffee lady and the owner and Visayan, happy to have a great start for my day.

Left promptly after that to catch a taxi that can take me to the Super Terminal, 50 Pesos and 1hr later i found myself right in the gate of Miag-ao Church

Arriving in Miag-ao Church, armed with my tote bag, with nothing holding me back was the first time i realized that i’m on an epic solo trip around Panay. That’s so awesome i just managed to beat Barney from HIMYM on the polls. I feel like i’m in my potato element, out on the open road. By the way, Miag-ao is the Capital of Onions, hence the proprietary emo drift.

I’m not making any sense am i? It’s late and i need to pack for my next trip. So let’s just move along to the thing i did after Miag-ao Church which is to catch a jeepney to San Joaquin, 4kms from where i was at, this trip should only cost 15Pesos and will take approximately 15mins, the jeep will pass through the old (because there is a newly built cemetery, so make sure to ask for the old one) cemetery.

Nagcarlan Cemetery, where i decided that it is poetically beautiful rather than creepy. The view is breathtaking as the sea peeks a shade of blue when you ascend to the top of the stairs. A peek of the back tombs too is what i’ll dare you to do. Unkempt grass and wild flowers growing out of the stones adds to the mystery of the cemetery. Boo! that was the crypt keeper scaring me at midday.

I still remember laughing every time i get asked about mystical creatures, i have an over active imagination and the scariest night i’ve had was being alone in a 2-bedroom apartment that i rented for 200 pesos a night in Baguio. But apart from that and a little goosebumps in the hostels i stay in i’m not really the one to talk to if you want ghost stories.

Wow. Such a paradox so early on in my long post. That’s what i get for writing in the middle of the night with no sleep. On to the trip! I rode a pedicab/sikad (7 pesos) from Nagcarlan to San Joaquin Church which is right beside the City hall and Plaza.

Here in this quiet Church, nestled in the middle of a beautiful coastal town, I preach to thy good people the virtue of good deeds, truthful spirit and fondness for strong, smooth booze.

I’ll never get tired of visiting sleepy towns. The provinces that surround my country.

And in a sleepy town where everyone knows everyone i just had to ask how to get to Antique. Yes, a mere mention of a place is enough to get my feet itchy and if i can get there- bet your booze i will.

And in the most unlikely place where i thought i could get help (that was a dig at the government office) i found help in the FX station while waiting for a ride back to Ilo-ilo. All was not lost because the only thing that stood between my foot stepping on Antique and abject failure was a 300-pesos habal-habal ride for 2 hours in the piping hot and sweltering sun. I would not deserve my URL if i didn’t say yes!

Let me just say that hands down, the Ilo-ilo- Anini-y Antique Coastal Road is by far the most beautiful stretch of pavement i’ve ever had the privilege of riding on a single motorcycle ever. This. is. what. i. came. here. for.

Stopped by for a quick look in the Anini-y Hot Springs which is alongside the road.

Just so my 2hour trip wouldn’t feel like a joyride, i hung out in this cool kubo, literally cool as it was on top of the rocks and needed a bit of a hike to get to. And here i got a view of an island Marcos wanted me to visit but decided to pass cause i’m not really looking for a swim or an UBBE.. Ultimate Beach Bumming Experience, i’m saving that for Palawan this summer.

And going back to Ilo-ilo after a bit of down time lemme say again that the Ilo-ilo – Antique Coastal Road is the best. road. ever! Whenever i’m stuck in traffic on the way to school or if i need to run errands in Makati i’ll just think of the scenic sea and the mountain to the side and it prevents my blood pressure from shooting back up again.

A couple of hours in a fresh Aircontinuous van and i’m back in Ilo-ilo for a steaming hot bowl of Molo Church.

Hands down my favorite Church in Ilo-ilo. The interiors are reminiscent of an elegant Gothic design and the outside looks aged and romantic. Plus points too for the Park across it.

As you may have noticed FOOD is missing from my IT, because i was too busy to think that i was a human being with a digestive system and i thought about that as i rode my cab to the Muelle Loney port to get a last minute ticket to Bacolod. And Marcos just texted informing me of a meet-up and donation drive in Madge’s Coffee shop, but the Ilo-ilo traffic is too much to let me risk a trip there and possibly miss my ferry… Sad and hungry at the port i looked up to the ray of sunshine and like angels coming out from the clouds i saw..

i saw… THE ELUSIVE QUEEN SIOPAO FROM ROBERTO’s!!!!!!!! Ohhh… and there’s Ambot-ah and Flavors of Ilo-ilo too….. But yummmm the Queen siopao is so super rare that the mere fact that i got it- for free and delivered too– got me the fury of fellow travelers. But this Queen Siopao is the perfect appetizer for the Bacolod food trip i was about to have. YAY i had the Queen Siopao!! And with that- it’s a true blue ilo-ilo tour like no other.

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