Before going there, I promised myself to only spend P1,000 or less in our 3-day and 2-night trip to Iloilo. The P1,000 already includes the terminal fee back and forth for P400, so I only got P600 left for the whole 3 days making it P200 per day. How did I survive?
Hostel? Motel? No no. Because if I did, how much money will be left in my pocket? Being an adaphobic.com reader, you know that I am a newbie traveler trying to explore more of what the world has to offer, until Marky introduced me to couch surfing. Marky is a good friend of mine who told me that we already have a place to stay in Iloilo, that friend of him will let us sleep at their house, they call them host. AND I couch surfed for the first time.
I arrived in Iloilo evening. I had the chance to meet with our host Joanne, and the other two travelers (a couple) Alina and Yani. We had dinner at Talabahan, a restaurant just opposite of Smallville. OH! Here in Talabahan has the best baked oysters I’ve ever tasted for only P70 per plate! We’ve ordered 3 plates which were baked, spicy, and the regular one. I consumed almost the whole plate of baked oysters LOL!
I’ve learned a lot from Alina during our dinner. Alina is fond of buying bargain items instead of buying the retail one, though second hand, it has the same quality. That night also, was the meeting of other couch surfers in Smallville but hesitated to come and doesn’t want to be one of those “pretentious” in an expensive restaurant. She got a point, why couch surf if you can afford your own room and eat an expensive restaurant. What’s the point that you couch surfed? From that, I already sense that Alina and Yani are hardcore backpackers who explore the world without spending too much.
Next morning is the main event of Dinagyang. We woke up early around 5:30 a.m. to hopefully avoid the crowd and at least watch the dance performance in a convenient spot, we found one but worst spot to take pictures. While we were there, there was this lady who’s offering me seat so that I can take good photos for P150. NO WAY. I can stand longer anyway! After an hour, we just decided to walk in the street and took photos during the parade instead of watching the dance competition.
I enjoyed watching Koreans having so much fun with the ati-atihan. It’s kind of new to them. I remember when I was a kid I’m afraid of them. They have this black body paint making their sclerae prominent enough to scare kids and kids will cry especially when ati-atihans get near and touch them.
After having lunch, I had the chance to meet with Marinelle, a budding travel blogger aspiring to travel the world too. She and her mom are so cool. I wish they have seen Guimaras too.
Spending time with our host, Joanna, and co-surfers, Alina and Yanni, made my second day a blast. The two taught us how to play a game called Shit head. Because every card has different functions, that game heck made me crazy trying to memorize each card’s use and probably the reason why I lost twice! I get used to it during the middle of them game and I find Marky too has bad memory trying to recall what’s the function of each.
Swimming in a massive crowd of people is one of the happenings I cannot forget! It was almost like a stampede! Mini concerts were everywhere which makes the street very crowded. I thought I was going to die from that stampede. I was trying to feel my cellphone from time to time if it’s still with me. It was like pushing there, pushing here, and pushing me. I feel fragile that time but I enjoyed it somehow.
We ate in the streets. We then again ordered oysters and lechon. After a while, we start finding for a karaoke bar. Joanne wants us to sing! I sang my favorite karaoke song What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes while Alina sang La Isla Bonita and gained many fans from singing it.
I really had a very nice stay with Joanne’s company. Her family is very delightful. I believe that this will be the start of my backpack traveling as well as couch surfing. It was my first time spending less, I really love it, and I look forward to traveling more like this.
Airport – P200 terminal fee
Van to city – P50
Jeepney – P14
Dinner – P100
Breakfast – P10 (fish balls) + P5 (iced drink) + P10 (scramble)
Lunch – P50 Shared with Marky
Dinner – P200
In this day, I did not spent anything for the food because it was kuya Fitz’s birthday! I have to grab this chance LOL. Wish I had chance to have dinner with Joanne and the two, but my flight is 7:55 p.m. and I have to be at the airport by 6 p.m.
Jeepney – P28
To Airport – P70
Airport – P200 terminal fee
Total money spent = P737 for 3D/2N in Iloilo City.
I still have P300 that time. I’m supposed to go to beautiful churches of Iloilo such as Miago-ao, Guimbal, and San Joaquin Church but I woke up late. It’s okay though I have seen them already last December 2010, it’s just that when I saw them, it was sunset and the lighting is not good taking photos of the churches. There’s still next time right?