DUYAN CAFE – A SOUL MOUNTAIN CAFE

High above the city is Duyan Cafe nestled in the peaceful mountains of Lantawan. Duyan Cafe is an escape from the big city grind, located along the road going to Sitio Lantawan Guimbalaon Silay City, Negros Occidental.

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Recently, Duyan Cafe is a favorite destination for locals, expats and tourists alike to come and enjoy, relax after stressful working days. The place would completely erase the hustle and bustle of the big city from your senses. Breathe in the fresh mountains air, admire the stunning views, feel the gentle breeze against your skin, as you savor the local delicacies  and relax.

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You can sit on the deck or you can settle in one of the many wooden tables and benches with an open atmosphere.

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The inside is small, but the interior is decorated in a simple, sweet country-style and the open atmosphere both the interior and exterior create a feeling of your personal secluded oasis especially if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Duyan (Hammock) strings on the ceiling.

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What nice in this place is the spacious outdoor deck filled with wooden tables and chairs which is very available for you to enjoy the scenery, beckoning you to stay for an hours or end.

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The surrounding rainforest, the views of the mountains and greenery are incredible. So if you feel like unwinding after a long day, pop into Duyan Cafe.

How to get there:

  • If you are from Bacolod, ride a Ceres bus from North Terminal or a jeepney going to Silay City. Ask the driver to drop you off at Silay public market.
  • At the back of Silay Public Market ride a jeepney going to Barangay Guimbalaon (Sitio Mansiginon).
  • From Sitio Mansiginon you can hire a Habal – Habal (Habal-Habal is a highly improvised two-wheeled single motorcycle usually ridden beyond its passenger capacity. Since it is used as public transportation especially in areas with narrow roads, and steeper, rougher terrain, it could possibly carry up to 6 passengers, at the least) going to Duyan Cafe.

Or if  you have a car, take the road going to the Bacolod-Silay Airport, turn right before the entrance of the airport take that road until you reach the place (approximately 21 km away from the airport or 25-30 minutes ride.

Duyan Cafe is open Wednesday 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The opening time may vary so please check their FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/Duyan-Café-1626701417423539/

 

 

 

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CHADA GID ANG NEGROS ( NEGROS IS BEAUTIFUL)

Negros is an Island in the Philippines which is the fourth largest in the country with a land area of 5,137.87 sqmi. Negros is one of the many islands that comprise the Visayas, which forms the central division of the nation ( source Wikipedia).

Negros is a beautiful island surrounded by rugged mountains, pristine beaches, beautiful underwater coral gardens that must be added to your bucket list on your next travel. Travelling and exploring the hidden gems of Negros is fun with friendly locals who are very accommodating and extremely welcoming. An added bonus, it is very cheap to travel in Negros, surely you will have a great value for your money 🙂

I am sharing this travel experience of a friend of mine “Pobreng Lagaan (The Poor Traveller)” around Negros. Check this out!

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. PUNCAK TAN-AWAN NEGROS ORIENTAL

This restless soul of mine was delighted after our two days of tremendous quest of some Negros’ hidden gems. Those picturesque scenarios at Puncak Tan-awan, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, Casaroro Falls and Forest Camp are just too few to showcase the real beauty of Negros Oriental but it already convince myself to say  “Chada gid ang Negros Bai” ( Negros is Beautiful My Friend).

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. TWIN LAKE BALINSAYAO SIBULAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL

Getting around Negros was actually one of the most incredible experienced I had so far.  It was Saturday when everyone was already set for our Negros adventure except me.  Having a second thoughts I decided to go after them. It was almost 12:00 noon when I boarded the bus from Tabunoc going to Liloan Port. After four hours of travel with massive commuters from Baruganay to Show and Tabunok to Oslob) finally I arrived at my destination. From the port I bought a ticket and sailed in a fast craft  going to Sibulan. It took me 45 minutes to arrive from Oslob port to Sibulan Port. It was very relaxing to feel the gentle sway of the boat but honestly I was a bit scared. I  was anxious a feeling of fear where an emotion that evolved to keep us safe from danger. Good thing the boat did not sink haha.

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Photo by Pobreng Lagaan. CASARORO FALLS VALENCIA< NEGROS ORIENTAL
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PHOTO BY POBRENG LAGAAN. THE RESORT CAMP, VALENCIA, NEGROS ORIENTAL.

I sighed in relief when finally I arrived at the drop-off point. I flag down a habal-habal ( a motorcycle modified to seat more than two persons. It is in use in provinces in the Philippines where jeepneys and tricycles cannot stand the rough, steep terrain and narrow roads) to bring me to Puncak Tan-awan. You need to register before you can get to the Peak. They offered to drive me going to the peak since it was already late.  It would take me an hour and thirty minutes to reach the top of the peak but I opted to not to. Trekking is a healthy physical exercise that creates a wonderful experience. It provides me an opportunity to slow down and disconnect into the chaotic world. Besides it was fun and I love the stillness and calm of an empty trail. The trek to the peak was easy. It took me an hour to trek the peak but going uphill needed an extra precautions to avoid slipping. 

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When I finally reached the camp where my friends are I was extremely happy. It was a great feeling.

 

 

MAJESTIC VIEW OF LANTAWAN PEAK AT LANTAWAN VIEW SILAY

There is no better way to explore Silay City, Negros Occidental  than our winding, curvy mountains road to Patag and to the majestic view of the Lantawan Peak.  The road going up to Lantawan Peak is clean and surrounded by mountains of green, tall trees and sugar cane plantations that can be seen along the side. Negros Occidental is the Philippines’ major sugar producer, contributing over half to the country’s total production. 

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As you approach the top you will be in awe by the beauty and simplicity of rural life. It was a quiet scenic ride all the way up to Lantawan View Silay. At the top, there is a campground and a distance away is the forest seedling of mahogany trees. The mahogany tree (Swietenia mahagoni) is a large tropical tree with a semievergreen growth habit.

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Towering Mahogany Trees
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Towering Mahogany Trees
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Camping Ground

Due to its popularity and known for its view that overlooks the Lantawan Peak, the owner decided to put up an accommodation offering a tent-style accommodations and a basic cottages.  The place has a bathroom for male and female where you can take a shower and a small store that offers small bites for snack.  They have a wide space to park your 4  or 2 wheels service as well.

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Dining Fly
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Camping Tent

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A Frame Cottage

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In preserving the beauty of the place, visitors and guests are not allowed to pick flowers and carving trees.

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The best part of our road trip was seeing the majestic mountains of Lantawan Peak surrounded by greenery and fresh air was truly amazing. The scenery is so beautiful, no words can describe how I felt that day. I felt I transported into a paradise realm where the Earth is still pure, fresh and nourishing. The view was just so amazing that I stood glued by the beauty of the mountains. I was totally captivated by its grandeur.

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Lantawan Peak is the northernmost peak of Mount Silay. The peak is largely uninhabited, especially its back country Southern side. Likely most of the peak of the mountain, Lantawan is largely covered by forest.  The first recorded climb of the peak done by Joseph Victor Magdato, Mark Anthony Maja and John Paul Salcedo who scaled it on October 3, 2005.

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Elevation (feet) is 3,442. Latitude: 10 49 58.44″. Longitude: 123 14’9.96″

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It was almost late in the afternoon when we headed back to the city, as we descend I saw beautiful flame trees (fire trees, Delonix regia) along the side of the road. It is a flowering tree that grows in many tropical parts of the world, like the Philippines. 

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The leaves of the tree look like Fire. It is red, yellow and orange. So beautiful to see. How the shade and the sun connect. It  makes me felt I was in a field of fire.

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The sky turned into orange, yellow, red and blue and imagine strolling through these trees with leaves the color of fire. I just wish everything just stop. It was amazing. Orange, yellow, red all different colors  really made me felt warm inside as I said goodbye to this beautiful country side of my home town.

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I am going back someday…..

THE RUINS – A SYMBOL OF UNDYING LOVE FOR HIS WIFE…

The Ruins or the The Taj Mahal of Negros, yes you heard it right the counterpart of the Taj Mahal of India. Too many people raise their eyebrows when they heard about it, me myself wonder why so. From the way you look at it is far different from the Taj Mahal of India.

It was time for our tour and our tour guide show us the place while telling us the love story of Don Mariano and Maria the couple who owned the mansion and the reason behind why the place was known as The Taj Mahal of Negros.

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The mansion is located between the borders of Talisay and Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. The mansion owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, who visited Hong Kong often along with his friends during his younger years. On his visit to Hong Kong, the  sugar baron, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson met a beautiful young Portuguese woman from Macau by the name of Maria Braga. He fell in love with this beautiful lass and eventually the two felt in love with each other and got married.

The couple lived in Talisay and started their own family, blessed with 10 children and two of them became government officials. However, when Maria was pregnant with their 11th child, she slipped in the bathroom and started to bleed. The transportation during those years was a horse-drawn carriage from Talisay to the town of Silay, where a doctor lived and it would take two days before the doctor could reached the mansion.

So by the time the doctor arrived at the Mansion on the fourth day, Maria and her baby were already dead. Don Mariano was so depressed during this time. Saddened by Maria’s death and his undying love for his wife, he then planned of building a mansion in honour of his wife and his unwavering love for her. He told his idea to his father-in law and he agreed  and even went as far as supporting him the best way that he could.

Don Mariano’s  father-in law was a captain of his ship during that time so many of the items in building the mansion was imported from Europe and China, ranging from machuca tiles, chandeliers and china wares carted to Talisay. His father in-law even brought construction workers from China to help build the mansion.

It took three years constructing the mansion. The finishing touches on the walls and posts were a mixture of pure concrete with egg whites, resulting in a marble-like finish which can be seen and felt even to this day.

In 1911, the mansion was the largest residential structure ever built in the area. Built on  a 440-hectare farm. When World War II broke out, Don Mariano and his unmarried children left the mansion leaving everything behind.

When the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines came to the area, there were some rumours that the Japanese forces might have used the mansion as it headquarters. To prevent it from becoming such, Don Mariano asked the Filipino guerrilla fighters in Negros to burn his mansion.

It took three days of burning of the mansion to consume all the  roof, ceiling, floors, doors and windows – all of which were made of hard wood. When the flames finally died down, only the following withstood the fire: the pillars of the mansion, the grand staircase and parts of the two-inch wooden floors on the second storey. For many years, the remains of the mansion were abandoned in the midst of sugar plantations. Until the owners decided to fix it and put a landscape around the ruins.

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Today The Ruins are a historical landmark, open to public  since January 2008.

Now, The Ruins has a  Mediterranean restaurant that operates from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Ruins has a souvenir shop and an 18-hole Mini-Golf course where you can have fun recreation activity with your friends and or family.

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A great love story with a not -so- happy ending and a mansion built by romance and love once filled with beautiful memories before it became into a ruins.

HOW TO GET THERE:

If you are coming from Bacolod-Silay Airport and plant to visit The Ruins, just tell the taxi to pass by The Ruins.  If you are from Bacolod or nearby town, you can ride in a tricycle at the North Ceres Terminal.  Fare  from the North Ceres Terminal to The Ruins is PHP50.00 per head.

The Ruins is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m from Monday through Sunday including holidays.

All of the photos were taken by myself.