cuyoloop_negros03

A short detour in Negros


A typical jeepney in Bacolod City

The Cuyo Loop In October of 2006, I visited the remote islands of Cuyo and Culion in Palawan for a photography assignment and passed Negros and Iloilo in transit. This is my account of that journey.

2nd post of a series The reason I made a detour in Negros was to check out the Masskara. Of course, I was able to get an access pass so that I can enter the dance grounds as well as see it for myself. It was really fun, very colorful but after a few hours, the constant loop of one music used by the performers was just driving me crazy! I was able to take around 4 gigabytes of photos in RAW but unfortunately, a few days later, a technical glitch I made with my Epson P-2000 erased it totally! Unrecoverable! Darn! It was one of my major blunders as a photographer. But fortunately, it was not an assignment. Anyway, I still was able to save some of what I have.


A fisherman trawling the shore in Valladolid, Negros Occidental.

Other than the Masskara (that f*&*ing…) I didn’t have any particular places to go but I decided to just take a bus to the south in Kabangkalan and to Victorias in the north the next day. Just see the countryside, churches and whatever that can take my fancy. Shoot. Photograph. And eat.

Late afternoons at the shore in Valladolid are really beautiful with the sunset, fishermen and the tranquility of the sea. What else should I do besides taking photos but just sitting on the cement walls and gazing into the horizon.


A common sight: sugar plantations, harvests and sacadas.

Even at the western route, extensive sugarcane fields are dominant features of the Negros countryside just like what one can see when taking the northern route to San Carlos City.


A huge kumbento converted into a Catholic school in Hinigaran.

I stopped for a while in Hinigaran since I was curious with its colonial era church. For about an hour, I was just roaming around. Snacked on some empanada at a store and marveled at a very huge former casa paroquial now a school just by the roadside.


Marks of development? Mobile McDonald’s stores in Bago City.

There are so many things that this province has to offer but a very brief trip would not give justice to it. I still have to visit Patag and the colonial houses of Silay and savor the delicacies of El Ideal Bakery. Perhaps some other time, I should visit back the waterfalls and springs of Murcia and their Mud Festival. Cross the northern part via Benedicto. Or…


A good view of an Iloilo street at Ted’s Batchoy.

After a very short trip in Negros, I was back in Iloilo where I spent the night before my trip to Cuyo. And what is travel in this city without a stop at one of the batchoyan? Ted’s Old Timer was just convenient and tasty for that hot and sating noodle dish, batchoy.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

5 Comments

  1. romel
    May 21, 2008 @ 3:17

    i love your Hinigaran picture (the adaptive re-use of that building into a school). I passed by northern Negros years ago when I went to Cebu to take the CGFNS exam. I especially enjoyed the market scene in Escalante but was disappointed with San Carlos City (that was years ago by the way). Next year’s vacation, I’m planning to visit Mindanao for the first time. I will try the RoRo
    system (my plan is to go to Dumaguete via southern Negros and connect to Dapitan). Any tips, Estan?
    By the way, I’m from Iloilo and currently here in
    the U.S. I’ve been visiting your travel blog for
    a while now and I’m a fan of yours.
    I’m also interested in having that Pedro Galende
    book on Philippine church facades. By the way, if
    you’re interested in Iloilo’s history and culture,
    I suggest the book, ‘ILOILO: A rich and noble land’. I got my copy from National Bookstore last
    year.

  2. End of the Cuyo Loop | langyaw
    October 2, 2008 @ 11:12

    […] help but be nostalgic about the whole journey. I have finally watched the Masskara in Bacolod after I made a detour but all my photos were unfortunately lost. Visited several colonial era churches and cemeteries in […]

  3. G
    April 21, 2009 @ 13:25

    wow…the first picture’s so awesome…thanks again for featuring Valladolid……

  4. Rugged but beautiful South Cebu | langyaw
    May 25, 2009 @ 17:07

    […] island is not as fertile as Negros which has been blessed with soil enriched by a millenia of volcanic eruptions. It is a sliver of […]

  5. paolo
    June 8, 2009 @ 6:12

    hi! when you get a chance to go back to bacolod,
    try the batchoy at 21restuarant or bar21 and compare it to the ones
    you are familiar with.
    its located at 21st lacson street, bacolod.

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