XLR8 Ventures Inc. Goes to Negros Oriental

The supposedly ordinary weekend road trip became more fun and a great experience for XLR8 Ventures Inc. employees and friends when it became an official team building activity of the company. The plan was to take two cars and go on dolphin watching and visit Manjuyod White Sandbar in Bais City, take an overnight in Dumaguete and go up to Valencia to take a dip in The Forest Camp’s cold swimming pools before heading back to Cebu. But a week before the trip, the list of goers keep on adding up and ended with five cars and two bikes. To make it more interesting, Jari, one of the Big Bosses in XLR8 Ventures Inc., came and joined us along with his wife.

The call time was 4:00 AM so that we will arrive early in Bato Port to catch the 7:30 AM barge going to Amlan Port but thanks to me, we weren’t able to because I was late (I am not really a fan of waking up early, specially 4:00 AM). 😛

We arrived at the port quarter before 8:00 AM looking haggard, hungry and some even vomited due to long hours ride. We took the next barge going to Amlan at 8:00 AM and another 45 minute travel going to Dewey Island in Bais City where our boat waited for us.

Clyde requested to stop for awhile so he won't puke. :P
Clyde requested to stop for awhile so he won’t puke. 😛
At the port of Bato
At the port of Bato
Welcome aboard. Follow Cam and Jordan.
Welcome aboard. Follow Cam and Jordan.
The barge we missed because I was late. :P
The barge we missed because I was late. 😛
Father and daughter moment. (Jun and his daughter)
Father and daughter moment. (Jun and his daughter)
Because everybody was excited. Aldee and PJ.
Because everybody was excited. Aldee and PJ.
We arrived safe at the Port of Tandayag, Amalan.
We arrived safe at the Port of Tandayag, Amalan.

We met with our contact for the dolphin watching and Manjuyod White Sandbar trip at the wharf in Dewey Island. The boatman briefed us that we will go look for dolphins first before going to the sandbar but told us that the chance of spotting them is low because we were late. Again, because of me. 😛

We were looking for dolphins for almost 2 hours but haven’t found any. To make things more intense and feel the thrill of adventure, the boatman told us that we were lost. He didn’t know where we at due to the thick haze that morning. However, we managed to locate our way back to the island with the help of GPS.

Since we didn’t have any slightest chance of spotting dolphins, we decided to go to Manjuyod White Sandbar and do what we were eager to do: swimming, diving, backflipping and selfies.

The sandbar was not as white as seen on the internet but still worth the visit. There are cottages built on the island that visitors can rent for day use or overnight. But since we were not well-funded that time, we opted to stay on our boat. 🙂

Ready for the dolphins and sandbar. At the wharf in Dewey Island.
Ready for the dolphins and sandbar. At the wharf in Dewey Island.
Eating lunch. Putting on sun block. And playing card to kill the boredom. :D
Eating lunch. Putting on sun block. And playing card to kill the boredom. 😀
The ever trusted lechon manok and puso combination.
The ever trusted lechon manok and puso combination.
Fallen to sleep while waiting for the dolphins to show up. :D
Fallen to sleep while waiting for the dolphins to show up. 😀
Sven, that's not how to poker.
Sven, that’s not how to poker.
Look at that little cutie-cutie foreigner. #fabKevinIsFab
Look at that little cutie-cutie foreigner. #fabKevinIsFab
Let's go poker.
Let’s go poker.
Jari and Mina recreating the Titanic-ish scene. :3
Jari and Mina recreating the Titanic-ish scene. :3
The cottages at Manjuyod White Sandbar
The cottages at Manjuyod White Sandbar
Starfish(es) and the Cottage.
Starfish(es) and the Cottage.
Manjuyod White Sandbar
Manjuyod White Sandbar
Starfish. Starfish everywhere.
Starfish. Starfish everywhere.
Cottage for reconstruction.
Cottage for reconstruction.
Manjuyod White Sandbar
Manjuyod White Sandbar
Jech with V-dive. :D
Jech with V-dive. 😀
Dipping time. :3
Dipping time. :3
No. Don't do that Kevs.
No. Don’t do that Kevs.
One of the cottages for rent.
One of the cottages for rent.
Starfish.
Starfish.

We spent the night in Dumaguete, which was also celebrating their annual Buglasan Festival that night. It was a good timing so we took advantage of the festival to celebrate and enjoy with the locals.

After a good night sleep, we took our breakfast at the public market and tried the puto-sikwati where it was well-known for. Our next destination after our breakfast was The Forest Camp.

Going to the public market.
Going to the public market.
Busy puto-sikwati vendors
Busy puto-sikwati vendors
The legendary Barbar sipping on his sikwati.
The legendary Barbar sipping on his sikwati.
The expats trying out the dish.
The expats trying out the dish.
Jari enjoying his pandesal with egg. Or did he? :P
Jari enjoying his pandesal with egg. Or did he? 😛
Dumaguete public market
Dumaguete public market

The city’s road rerouting gave us a hard time going out to the Forest Camp and took us almost an hour just to find our way out to Valencia.

After a 45-minute drive, we arrived at the resort. It was my second time to visit The Forest Camp and the cold pools still amazes me, specially on how the river was diverted to supply the water on their pools. They even expanded recently and had new swimming pools with slides.

XLR8 Ventures Inc. and The Forest Camp
XLR8 Ventures Inc. and The Forest Camp
Three level pools at Forest Camp
Three level pools at Forest Camp
Sven and the tripod >.<
Sven and the tripod >.<
The taking off of Barbar
The taking off of Barbar
Maayo Shipping Inc. #masMaayo #masBarato
Maayo Shipping Inc. #masMaayo #masBarato
Showing how technology as a conversation stopper.
Showing how technology as a conversation stopper.
Starbucks. Nature's Spring. Bactidol. Cheez-It. Not sure how it taste like. :P
Starbucks. Nature’s Spring. Bactidol. Cheez-It. Not sure how it taste like. 😛
Sunset at Argao, Cebu
Sunset at Argao, Cebu

We arrived home tired and exhausted but the fun and road trip was totally worth it. Although there were schedules that were not followed and not a single dolphin showed up, I believe everybody can say that it was a weekend well spent. It is true that the beauty of adventure does not lie on the itinerary but within the unexpected things we encounter.

The author J-Boy Cagumbay

Full stack web developer at Batmaid. Native Boholano. Lives in Poland. Loves to Travel. Hobbyist Photographer.

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