Negros, Dick and Susan’s home away from home


(2/11/2012-Readers, on Feb. 6, 2012, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit less than 10 miles from Dick and Susan’s house.  Luckily, no one in Bulado was seriously hurt and damage to their house was minimal.  Dick and Susan were in Dumaguete at the time.   Their return home had to go around by the west side of Negros as three bridges were down on the eastern coast highway.  Most of the deaths occurred south and inland from Bulado)

Praxy and I have been here 28 hours.  Right now I see the island of Cebu 25 miles away over the top of my computer.  Close in are one man fishing boats.  To my left is a playground with a covered cabana and table.  A group of a dozen adults and kids are playing Bingo for a peso a card, maybe 3 cents.

IMG_4726 (1024x683)Shake, shake, shake…siete cinco ,  shake, shake, shake,  cuatro dos, etc.   Same as yesterday afternoon.  To the right, a disco rap song is playing.  The same song for the 4th time.  Ah, they just shut it off.  I was about to go get my headset.  Flanking me is San Miguel Light beer and a nearly empty bottle (small one) of Tanduay Dark Rhum.  Crap, the song is back, off to get my noise canceling headset.  Grrr……..there, Don Henley with noise cancellation.    Behind me, the maid is cleaning up and everyone else is sleeping.  I got 10 1/2 hours of sleep last night and no nap for me.  Otherwise I’ll be up until all hours bored while the rest of the house sleeps.  A big day so far.

Yesterday, the trip up the coast was quite nice.  The noise, dirt, and crowds of Dumaguete melted gradually away into small barrios surrounded by sugar cane fields.

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With the occasional larger town that had a regular bus station, such as Bias City.

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Hawkers jumped on board and rode a ways, trying to sell things to me that I couldn’t identify.  I finally seem to be over the motion sickness that plagued me from a baby.  I enjoyed the ride and scenery for a change.   A lot less traffic here and the ride isn’t so intense and reckless as the trip down the Cebu coast.  The trip up the coast took about 3 hours and after a short wait at the Guihulngan bus station, Dick and Susan picked us up.  There house is about 7 kilometers further north up the coast at a little fishing village named Bulado.

We hung around and relaxed as the maid, and Susan cooked up a lunch.  I was hungry as I hadn’t eaten anything in Dumaguete out of fear of sickness.  After lunch we ran back to Guihulngan for a few things and makings for today’s picnic.  I was then free to walk around and check things out while Praxy and Susan chatted.  This is their house, right on a beautiful beach.

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Shot from the Bulado wharf.  This was once meant to be the Guihulngan ferry terminal, but the deal fell through.   Lucky for everyone involved here, it’s quiet.   The little fishing village was founded by Susan’s grandfather, everyone is related.   I wonder about the family dynamics…

Praxy and Dick got manicures and/or pedicures yesterday, Susan and my turns are tomorrow.  I have a bad big toe on my left foot and it is going to need some work.  I hurt it years ago, not painful but annoying.  Certainly not going to stop my vacation.

We turned in early last night.

Today started with another low key morning.  Pan-de-sal, then eggs, mangos, bread, and Philippine chorizo.  This chorizo is much better than the Mexican variety.  I burp the Mexican stuff for hours.  The Philippine chorizo is sweet and mellow, I love it.  Too bad I can’t take it home with me.  The US is very strict about importing uncooked pork.

The plan for today was a picnic and swimming at a local resort.  So we spent the morning cooking, washing, yacking, and generally goofing off.  Then Susan pointed out something I never knew lived here, let alone expected to see.  And here it is.

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I didn’t know if I would use my telephoto lens, but bringing here to the Philippines had just paid off big.  I was hoping for an interesting bird, bug, or person, but…this is a flying lizard, or more accurately, a gliding lizard about 10 inches long.  Yep, just like you could see on the Discovery channel back at home.  After blowing up this photo, I realized I have seen these on TV and I’d marveled at their cool defense against predators.  Something chases them and they launch out into the air and glide to safety on a nearby tree.  It was about 25 feet up in a palm tree and sidling around the trunk like a woodpecker looking for tasty bugs.  The way it fed made me think that ants were on the breakfast menu.  Everyone here takes things like this for granted.  I’ll bet that the locals think I’m some sort of nut.  I don’t care, Americans just don’t get to see things like this.  I felt lucky and honored.  (Two hours later, the Bingo game continues).

Then, time to load the pickup and head for the resort for lunch and a swim.  We drove two miles and arrived to this…

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An enchanting and clean resort under construction.  The detail is amazing.  The little eating cabanas are concrete, they only look like wood.  The guy that stuccos them is quite an artist.  We watched him for quite awhile, working away in sun and rain under a tarp.  The pool had a perfect temperature and we spent over an hour lounging and swimming before our picnic.

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Pancit, chicken stew, rice, fried chicken, and fruit salad; what a great lunch.  Afterwards we returned to the pool for another refreshing swim.  While we were there the second time, the heavens opened and it poured down rain.  No problem.  Until we got out.  Then we had to move everything back into the pickup for the trip back home.  Very wet.

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You cans see the water dripping as we survey the pool and the path to the pickup.  We got soaked getting things back, and had a wonderful time, full of jokes and laughter.  One of the employees brought us a big umbrella.  I didn’t care, I just got wet.  One thing about the rain here, it is warm.  Getting wet is no problem, unless it is raining too hard to see to walk.  Fifteen minutes ago as I wrote this, a good storm came through.  Probably about 1/4 inch of rain in 10 minutes.  The Bingo game continued, no one batted an eyebrow.

Getting too dark to type.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  I’m thrilled to be here.

12/7/2011  5:19pm local time

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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One Response to Negros, Dick and Susan’s home away from home

  1. i love this place, i was born here, and i even personally know some of the people in the 2nd photo and the photo 2nd to the last, even if its been 13 years already that i have not visited to bulado. i miss this place so much. i am glad to read some blogs about it.

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