It started the way it always does—with a perfectly timed seat sale. After reading about Kalanggaman Island and seeing pictures of a friend's hostel that opened in the city, my boyfriend, Julian and I decided to book our one-way tickets to Tacloban. After determining how much time we could take off work, we booked our return tickets from Negros Occidental (where his family's from) to Manila. We had 18 days in between, and we decided to fill it up with as many destinations as as we could.

We formed a route that allowed us to explore specific places we wanted to visit, and took accessiblity and affordability into consideration. Most of our hotel rooms ranged from P1,000-2,000 per night, and we spent about P100-300 per bus/roro trip. Here were our stops along the way:

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Leyte (3 Days)

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Cebu (2 Days)

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From Leyte, we took the roro to Cebu and headed straight to Bantayan Island, home of some of the most gorgeous beaches ever. We had a short stopover in Cebu City, and our one meal was Cebu lechon (Yay!).

Try: CouCou Hotel and Resort

Siquijor (3 Days)


We went straight to Siquijor (via Dumaguete City) and met up with a couple of friends. We had three nights to spare, and we were able to easily explore the island by renting a tricycle for P1,000/day, which fit us four.

Try: Cantabon Cave

Dumaguete (2 Days)

With only 36 hours in Dumaguete, we were able to jog along the Rizal Boulevard, witness the Santa Cruzan, and get massages before hopping on the luxurious bus to Pontevedra, Negros Occidental.


Try: Hayahay Treehouse Bar and View Deck

Negros Occidental (8 Days)

While we stayed (and ate) in Bacolod a lot, we spent a lot of time exploring (and eating in) nearby areas like Pontevedra, Lakawon Island, Mambukal, and Kabankalan.

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Try: Mambukal Mountain Resort

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