HINOLAN’S HINOBA-AN TRIP: SO MANY SIGHTS, SO LITTLE TIME


Big family with big hearts taking the last groupie in Brazaville Beach Resort

We always look forward to summer because it is the best opportunity to spend precious time with family.  Being busy most of the time because of work and our own family, we rarely see each other; to update the little things happening on each other’s lives.  Going out of our homes and spending two to three days in other places is like a family reunion and bonding because we forget our chores back home and enjoying each other's company.  

  Usually, we plan our summer activities such as this Hinoba-an trip two to three months in advance so that we can anticipate our spending and allocate some for the planned trip.  We discuss our itinerary and the cost of each activity.  And after considering the expenses and work schedules of each one, we decide on the date and family members are given their tasks; to make the necessary preparations leading to the highly-anticipated event. 

I was appointed to book the hotel for us to stay in Hinoba-an.  Actually, I do not know much about this place nor tourist spots or hotels there, except for that one Facebook post, I came across that flaunted about Hinoba-an as a tourist destination. That newsfeed on my timeline and a visit of some friends in the same place made us decide to travel to Hinoba-an and experience for ourselves the beautiful and romantic sunset, nature view of lush green trees and amazing rock formations,  getting to know the way of life of the locals  and learning a bit of history of this town.

BEACH RESORT

           Based on the pictures from Facebook, it was a unanimous decision to stay in Brazaville Beach Resort and we did not regret it.  This DOT-accredited beachfront resort boasts of 6 family rooms, with very wide common living area, a big terrace and an open area extending a few meters to the beach area.  We got 3 family rooms, good for 4 persons for P2,900.00 each and another room good for 2persons for P2,200.00.  There is a queen-size bed, which can accommodate 3 persons and an extra bed for another person, a cable-installed modest-sized TV, and a decent WIFI connection.  Our overnight stay comes with a complimentary breakfast good for two persons for each room.  The area is equipped with a 24-hour CCTV system.   Please check out my review for Brazaville Beach Resort soon.

The wide beachfront of Brazaville Beach Resort is ideal for parties or teambuilding
 OBONG CAVE

           Thirty minutes away from the beach resort, this nature’s wonder can be accessed by car (if you are the adventurous type) but common means of transportation is motorcycle because there are portions of the road that were not concreted yet and steeped, so bringing of your car is quite risky.   There is a 15-minute walk from the loading/unloading area to the cave.  You may take a leisurely walk while enjoying the green scenery and upon reaching Obong Paradise, you will be greeted with an endless view of blue waters and lush vegetation with a high cliff for diving. 
          Obong Paradise is the take-off point for spelunkers.  You will be required to wear a hard hat, which is available for rent at P50.00 but we took it at P40.00 per piece and donation fee for the tourist guide, who made us believed that he is from the Tourism Department but did not have an ID or proper get-up that will tell you that he is indeed an authorized travel guide of the town.  For giving us a lot of information about Obong Cave and he seemed to be a nice guy, we gave him P500.00.  Kindly check my write-up about Obong Cave soon.

One of the biggest stalactites in Obong Cave,which took hundred of years to grow.
  SATORI CLIFF

          Located right after Hinoba-an and the first town of Negros Oriental, Basay town is home to  Satori Cliff, a Bali-inspired haven for those who are into extreme water sport adventures such as rock climbing and cave diving or those who want to be on the safe side such as snorkeling or skin diving.  If you do not want any of these water sports, you may just watch the sunset, feel the breeze of fresh air and appreciate the wonders of nature.  I am happy to share with you interesting pictures in a separate post soon.

One of the best spot for awesome pictures in Satori Cliff
 HOW DID WE VISIT THESE PLACES IN ONE DAY?

          We left Talisay City, Negros Occidental at around past 8 AM on Saturday.  It was a bit rainy and our plan to get the best summer outing is looming on the horizon. We made a side trip to Mila's in Hinigaran to buy some sweets and used its restroom.   Mila’s is the famous pasalubong center in the south and has the cleanest restroom.  After that, we had our lunch in Kabankalan; lingered a bit in the eatery because of some personal stuff.  We safely reached Brazaville Beach Resort at around 3 PM with sunny weather, exactly what we prayed for.    We traveled roughly around 7 hours, not bad because average travel time from Bacolod City to Hinoba-an is 5 hours.

         We savor the sunset of what remains of our time on Saturday.  Brazaville Beach Resort made a beautiful sunset dinner set-up in candlelight for us.  We almost occupied the whole beach by ourselves because there were only two guests checked-in for the night.  We have a good conversation and loud laughter over Red Horse and San Mig Light.  
        The following day, we got up early for the 7 AM trip to Obong Cave.  It was a bumpy ride with our trusty tricycle but we arrived in Obong Paradise unharmed.  After the registration and briefing, we explored the cave and followed the instructions of our tour guide to the letter, including his instruction to be a little noisy inside the cave.  He did not tell us why we have to do that.  I surmised, maybe it is one way of driving out the unseen creatures lurking inside or perhaps he wants us to drive the snakes out. So, I was a bit scared hearing this warning.
We marveled at the wonderful sights inside, including the growing stalactites and stalagmites, which take thousands of years to form and grow.  I feel sad and disappointed to observe the dead corrals and many writings on the wall, which indicates rampant vandalism. Overlooking the cave is the pristine clear ocean water which is ideal for swimming or snorkeling.  While the shoreline is stony, we still manage to swim.
We returned back to the resort at lunchtime; ready to go to our last stop.  We packed our belongings and paid our resort bills after takng our lunch.  Then, we travel 30 minutes from the resort to Satori Cliff.  There was nothing we did in Satori Cliff, except to take scenic shots of the surroundings.  We saw picnic sheds and high cliff with beautiful rock formations.  There were interesting and sometimes amusing statements made as signages placed in strategic locations.  
We arrived back in Bacolod City around 7:30 PM, after almost 5 hours travel.  Despite the gloomy weather forecast a few days before our scheduled trip, we are happy to spend the hottest and best summer ever in Hinoba-an.

Do you have the best every summer experience? Please share that with us in the comment section below.

THE SWEETEST TREATS FROM RIA G. CAKES AND PASTRIES









Facebook Group such as Kaon ta ‘Pre or Support Local Food Bacolod is helpful to us, food hunters because members are updated of the newly-opened dining places in Bacolod City.  When I read a post about the opening of a new restaurant or cafe, I usually save the post to reserve the new dining place for our next lunch or dinner.

RIA G. CAKES AND PASTRIES or simply, RIA G, as the front signage says, is one of those posts that I saved on my phone.  Recently, we (Arlyn, my wife, Ciara, the third and me) had found some reasons to visit the place and I would like to share this with you.

1.  Accessible Location
Locating the place is a breeze.  It has a black painted frontage with white background signage which is in contrast with the predominantly classic color.  The cafe is just within the highway, so if you are riding a public vehicle, as soon as you get off the jeep, you can immediately find this new cafe.

You will never miss this signage even while riding the jeepney
 2.  Interesting Wall Paintings
For first-timer, you will immediately direct your attention to the painting on the walls.  The four-wall of the cafe is painted coherently with that of a caricature of chinky-eyed lady staff ready to give the tray of cake to their customers.  Then the aroma of the cake goes around the walls with the images of the other food items alternately presented to project that concept saying that you have to taste our cakes first and you will surely enjoy our other food offerings later.

This playful rendition of images and colors are ideal for selfie and groupie pictures

The wall paintings from one corner to the other will really amaze you.
3.  Creamy and Moist Sweets and Desserts
I think the selling point of Ria G. is there wide selection of mouth-watering desserts.  I tried a bite-size of the Fudge Brownie ordered by Ciara.  The dark chocolate taste, which is just enough melted in my mouth.  It was peppered with tiny chocolate chips, which according to my daughter is not available from the brownies she tasted before.

I had the chance to talk to Ria.  She told me that she was in the cake business before, selling the sweets online or to friends and relatives.  With her experience plus the items go straight to the customer guarantee that the  sweet treats are not pricey. 


The homemade sweets spell heaven.
 4.  Best Pancakes in Town
If you are not a rice-eater because you are on a diet, then you should order their pancake varieties.  This round, flat cake prepared from a starch-based batter, has a distinct not-salty-but-a little-sweet flavor and is best when eaten as is.

There are three varieties,  but of course I ordered the biggest plate - Big American Breakfast.  Yes, it is a big serving of two pieces pancake, one medium-sized sausage, three long strips of crispy bacon (the best), a small container of pork and beans and two pieces of toasted bread.  This meal comes with a free brewed coffee.


We shared this Big American Breakfast, costing P195.00 with my pretty wife.
 5. Wifi
Bring your cellphone and camera when going to Ria G.  You will surely love to take pictures of yourself and your food, too.  You may flaunt them immediately to your social media accounts because they have a wifi connection available.

6. Personalized Service
You are lucky if you happen to visit the place when Ria is around.  She is an amiable and pleasant lady who answered all my queries.  I would love going to places with the owners around because I can immediately express my satisfaction or dissatisfaction to their products or services.

I am fond of supporting local and homegrown restos and cafes especially if I am impress with the food and services.  We will continue to visit Ria G. Cakes and Pastries and will try out their Signature Moist Chocolate Cake and Oreo Cheesecake on our next visit.  

For other info, please visit their FB Page, Ria G. Cakes and Pastries

What restos or cafes you have visited recently?  Please share your dining experience to us in the Comment Section below.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a sponsored post.

WHERE TO CATCH THE BEST SUNSET IN BACOLOD CITY

Photo Credit:  Palawud Resto Grill FB Page

If you think you cannot get a good nice view of a sunset in a busy and progressive city with tall buildings all around the area like Bacolod City, then you are wrong.  The city of smiles has many restaurants that offer a scenic view of the sunset.

Last Monday, my wife and I were looking for some furniture for a project that we are planning to put up.  Our feet brought us to BUNZ Surplus Japan in North Bacolod, a warehouse full of used cabinets and other furniture from Japan - some are slightly used and others were quite new, along Banago Road in Bacolod City.

Banago area is generally notorious for being a haven of lawlessness.  Public jeepneys are stopping in the middle of the road to unload their passengers, shirtless men roaming the street, public market extending their store spaces up to the road and squatters making the road as their open living area.  So, there is not much to be excited about going to this area, wherein all you see are shanties, gasoline depots and gasoline stations, old or abandoned buildings and warehouses.

Since it was quite late for a merienda and too early for dinner, we decided to go to Palawud Resto Grill and Bar to get something for our stomach, just across the street from the surplus store.   This nondescript structure, save for a signage and flaking paint of the cemented perimeter wall opens to a long driveway until you reach the restaurant area.  For a first-time customer, you will not realize that there is a restaurant inside this enclosed area.

I cannot remember how many times I visited this place but I know for sure why we should visit this place more often if only to catch the sunset or feel the breeze of the ocean air.

1.  Best Sunset View
The open-air resto-bar, just a few steps to the shoreline allows us to catch the setting of the sun, with all the magical orange, the brown and grayish hues until the horizons become blue and dark.  For a nature lover like me, this is a very romantic view, especially because there were no daughters around so we made the best of our time together.
The scenic view of the sunset provides a backdrop for a romantic dinner.  Photo credit:  Palawud Resto Grill FB Page

 2.  Sea-Front Dining Area
The eating area allows the customers to appreciate the wide and clean shoreline and if you are there during high tide, you can hear the rushing of the waves or smell the salty misty air, which study shows have calming and therapeutic effects.   

 
The unique seating arrangement allows a free-flowing atmosphere.
3.  Ample and Secure Parking Spaces  
They have sufficient parking spaces in contrast to the many restaurants located within the downtown area, wherein you cannot immediately find an empty parking space and if you ever find one, you will risk your car to vandalism and thief.  Palawud’s parking spaces are also secured because the whole area is enclosed and you are sure that those coming in are only their customers.

4. Children’s Playground
Surprisingly, this is the only restaurant I know that is in a way, child-friendly.  They have a swing, slides and other play tools for the children.  When your child is bored waiting for the food to arrive or is extra active, you can let him play until he gets tired and is ready to eat.

Children or children at heart may while their time away by playing in this play area
5.  Best Angle for Instagram Pictures
If you are fond of sharing pictures of your food adventure, then you will find so many angles here that will surely make your Instagram posts get the most number of likes, especially if the sunset is very friendly with you. 
This is one of the many corners inside the restaurant that you can take your selfie or groupie.
 6.  Wide Selection of Food
The food choices are varied - from meat to seafood dishes and drinks.  They even have set meals or bundle meals for big groups.  Their bestsellers are properly labeled on their menu so that if you are still undecided, you will get an idea of what food to consider. 

One of the restaurant's bestsellers, the Mixed Seafood is best paired with rice or beer.  Price is P280.00

The Chicharon Bulaklak,costing P170.00, is crunchy enough and the vinegar that goes with it is perfect.
7. Live Singers
Live singers and bands are serenading the guests on regular schedules - Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  Listening to soft music while eating makes you eat more (I guess. . ha..ha..)  You may even request them to sing your favorite songs.  

8.  Masskara and Fire Dancers
If you missed the annual Masskara Festival of Bacolod City, then you should eat your dinner on a weekend and you will be entertained by the world-famous Maskara dancers and find out why it is popular in the other parts of the world.  While enjoying your smoothie or drinking beer, you will also be treated to a fire dance number.  It is thrilling to see how dancers manage to create patterns of different lights and dance at the same time to the beat of a jungle drum.
The customers get the taste of one Boracay major attractions - fire dancing.
There are many things to discover in Palawud Resto Grill and Bar.  The management is in constant hunt for ways to meet the unique needs of their guests.  It is a place for everyone, where you appreciate both the scenic beauty of nature and the gastronomic feast. 

Do you have a memorable or romantic dining experience?  Please share that with us in the Comment Section below. 

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.