shielarcastillo

Biking on a budget

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At Ortis Jordan Port, Guimaras Island, a twenty-minute boat ride from Iloilo City.

I always think it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to enjoy what life has to offer. One can enjoy life simply, without the need for so much money or material things.

Our little family loves to go biking. And today, a holiday due to the birthday of Philippine National Hero Andres Bonifacio, is a perfect day to go biking to Guimaras, a neighboring island. 

We started out after a leisurely breakfast, knowing the sun would be shining fully. But we want the day to be relaxed, and not at all rushed. We had to bike more than an hour to get to the port, where a 20 minute boat ride with our bikes only cost Php144 (that’s coming and going to the island for three people and three bikes!).

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Toni and I braving an Iloilo street. It was hard going up the bridges, and there were many along the way.

When we arrived to the island, we had to bike for another thirty minutes. It was only about five kilometers more, but most of the way was going up. And in the heat of the mid-day sun, I had to go down and walk my bike some stretches of the way. Despite the sunblock, I was scorched, and parts of my skin now show a totally different hue.

We went to a friend’s bed and  breakfast place, commonly known as Balay na Bato (stone house). Our friend Mahesh and his wife Mayen are till developing the place into a vegetarian restaurant/resort.  Since it was our first family visit, he didn’t charge us for the lovely vegan lunch and afternoon snacks. Normally the charge would be about P250/pax for lunch, which is really cheap considering how delicious the food is, and all vegetarian, with lots of vegan choices. I would pay twice as much to eat the sentient food there and be in their awesome company!

After lunch, we had a very relaxing time over corn coffee. Toni slept for more than three hours on the bamboo sofa. We also caught a short nap and explored the place and the road deeper into Brgy. Daragan.

We left just as the sun was about to set. I marvelled at the city lights as we came near to the mainland. Biking back, we decided to stop for dinner at Veggie Delight along La Paz Plaza, a vegetarian restaurant being run by a family of Seventh Day Adventists. I politely requested for my mango shake to not have milk in it, but the sweet guy at the counter offerred to use soya milk (a house specialty) instead, and so I got to enjoy my fully vegan dinner. Cost of dinner for three, with fruit shakes to boot, Php 340.00!

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At dusk, just before boarding the boat back to Iloilo mainland.

We covered about 50 kilometers back and forth. We got home late, dead tired but happy.

It’s not the first time that we got to visit other towns in Iloilo, and even Bacolod, in the Island of Negros, without going broke. As a vegetarian family, we have very simple needs and simple enjoyments. And today is a really fun day.

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