Iloilo — Bacolod — Dumaguete [Jan. 27 — Feb. 7]
An all-too-brief trip of Muni PH events, travel, culture, agriculture, and diving
Earlier in January, my friend Noreen Bautista of Jacinto & Lirio told me she was going home to Iloilo for the Dinagyang Festival, and I forget if it was she or I who brought up the idea of doing a Muni event in Iloilo.
So anyway, although the tickets I could book at this point were more expensive than I was accustomed to spending on local flights (I’m really cheap), I booked the flight anyway, thinking that I may or may not have this chance again, rationalizing that the difference of several hundred to a thousand pesos on the flights might not necessarily be saved by opting to do the event at a later date anyway. And off I went.
Check out my whirlwind trip through Western Visayas and Negros 🙂
ILOILO: Dinagyang, 1st Muni PH HOHOL, Philippine Science High School talk & Hablon Weaving (with side trip to Aetas in Guimaras) [Jan. 27 — 31]
Okay, so technically NOT Dinagyang because I flew in on the last day and barely caught a good view of anything, but justifying that this was not the intention for my visit and that I’m really not one for crowds, I shrugged off missing the festival and resolved to catch it from a better viewing point next year. 😛
Nonetheless, the 1st Muni PH HOHOL was a huge success. And I was elated all the more by getting a somewhat surprise invitation to deliver a talk to the juniors at Philippine Science High School in Western Visayas.
When the official “Muni business” (read: events) were over and done with, the only other real agenda I had was visit the renowned Hablon weavers of Miagao, Iloilo (posting soon on Muni PH). 🙂
BACOLOD: Meetups & Surprise Visit To Rapha Valley [Jan. 31 — Feb. 2]
I had hoped to organize a Muni PH Bacolod HOHOL, but unfortunately, it didn’t push through, but I still managed to meet up with Ms. Tanya Lopez, museum director of the Negros Museum, along with some students of La Salle Bacolod.
Having been to Bacolod several times before, I had really just intended it as a quick stop for possible networking on my way down to Dumaguete from Iloilo. However, when I found out that my friend’s mom was headed Dr. Alberto Jo’s organic farm, Rapha Valley on Feb. 2, I decided to stay another night.
I couldn’t have been happier about the decision to put Dumaguete off and kind of just put my game face on to stay another night even if my friend was flying out on Feb. 1 (meaning I stayed one more night with just his parents hehe). Also blogging about Rapha Valley on Muni PH soon. 😉
DUMAGUETE: Clean-Up Dive / Sunday Funday, Advanced Open Water Diver Course & Lumago Designs [Feb. 2/3 (I arrived at practically midnight) — Feb. 7]
I’d long been looking forward to coming back to Liquid Dumaguete after taking my Open Water Diver course with them last October. I was doubly thrilled when I found out about their Sunday Funday initiative where they basically make taking care about one’s environment fun. 🙂 So I made sure to time my visit such that I’d be around on a Sunday Funday, and therefore be able to participate in a cleanup dive. 😀
On Sunday Funday, I also got to talk about Muni, and the importance of cutting the crap we produce so that less of it goes out to sea. Thanks for letting me share, Zoe!
When all the excitement from Sunday Funday was over, it was time for my Advanced Open Water Diver course! Read about the full experience here!
Apart from all the diving, I was also so happy to meet Whitney Fleming of Lumago Designs, a Dumaguete-based upcycled jewelry brand. Read up on them on Muni PH to find out about their great story. 🙂
Whew. So much had happened and I am extremely grateful to everyone who made each experience possible.
A lot of other exciting things were awaiting me in Manila too, and I’ll fill you in on that soon enough! 🙂