Valencia Day

I've always loved Valencia, the little mountainside town just ten minutes from Dumaguete. Valencia is cool, a little town that goes uphill, with really beautiful and stylish houses lining the roads. Valencia is a place where you can see lanzones and rambutan trees everywhere, and waterfalls and natural pools are just a few minutes away from the town center. And of course, there's the amazing view of the city if you get high enough. Home to the Forest Camp, and a little further on, to Pulangbato, Valencia is one of the places where I really, really want to live in when I get the chance. But for now, I only get to visit the town on the weekends, and not even each weekend when the urge hits.

I managed to spare one Saturday for a trip to Valencia with John. He rented a motorbike, which was perfect since the weather was cool, not the usual harsh, hot weather that usually spreads over Dumaguete. There was no set plan, aside from going up to Valencia and spending the entire afternoon driving around. Driving around Valencia is one great way to unwind.The roads are well-paved, lined with trees, and they are all connected, so that even if you get lost, you eventually reach a dead end or find your way back to town without even realizing it. Kewl, eh? The houses around Valencia are also really pretty to look at. Unlike in other towns where you see a couple of well-kept houses and then a few eyesores in between, the homes in Valencia all seem to be well cared for, as if the homeowners have made this little pact to keep everything pretty for weekend visitors like me :D

We spent a few minutes at the park,where John showed me how you eat a sandwich when on the road and I munched on Fish crackers and Batibot.



Batibot brings out the nostalgic little girl in me...
John reminisced about his childhood while eating Chiz Curls.

Lunch at Estrella's, the little eatery where you can fnd one of the best halo-halos in Valencia. The place was packed with locals and a couple of foreigners. Business seems to be booming for Estrella's which is not surprising since the food tastes really good, in that homey kind of way that is just different from the food you get in the city. Plus, everything is really cheap so you can afford to order a little bit of everything without feeling any guilt for the all the starving orphans in Africa.



Whatta lunch!

It was only after lunch that we decided to go up the shrine. There's a Japanese Shrine located at the top of the mountain, and apparently there are two ways to get there. Unfortunately for us first-time-trekkers-up-the-Japanese-shrine, we didn't know that the road we were about to take was the harder one.



John (new favorite travel buddy) making his way up. Note the expression. :P
Kapoy, ey?

We spent roughly two hours making the trek up. I was a disheveled mess by the time we got to the top, but it was worth it. I was more than happy to see a sari-sari store right on the grounds. Yep, there's a sari-sari store all the way up there, with junk food and coke and even beer!!! We didn't bring any water on the way up, so naturally the thirst was unbearable.

Whoppeeee! C2 ikaw ba yan???
(pardon the disheveled-ness... that's what walking uphill for nearly two hours does to you)

The Shrine was peaceful and the view from the top was really spectacular. You can see the whole city and more sprawled out in front of you like a giant map. The Shrine marks the spot where American and Filipino troops and guerillas fought off the Japanese forces in WWII. I would have loved to bring my Lolo to this spot, since he also has quite a few WWII stories of his own.





Look at the pretty little flowers :)

The ride back down was easier. We got directions from friendly locals who were waiting by the waiting shed. People are really friendly up in the mountains.








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