There is a small town in Negros Oriental often overlooked by tourists who arrives in the port or airport of Dumaguete. I can’t blame these visitors as the capital city easily captures travelers and reel them in with its gentle, subtle charm. Going somewhere outside of the city may not be ideal too especially for those who are on short stay like 3D/2N trips. But if you are vacationing for a longer time period, please, I am urging you, go and check out the town of Valencia. It may be the one place that will stand-out for you on your Negros Oriental vacation.
I have been thinking of Valencia lately with the crazy summer heat being experience in Metro Cebu day in and day out. This town is one of the few places in Visayas with weather almost comparable to Baguio’s climate during night time. Summer day time may still be hot there but I am betting it is not as hot compared to what I am feeling right now in Mactan. Hello 34 degrees real feel!
This is the point when I should put forth a disclaimer. =)
I have roots in Valencia, lucky me. 🙂 My Lola Mancia is from there, and over the years as me and my cousins were growing up, visiting Valencia becomes a regular thing and something that always excites us. The moment our grandparents declare they are visiting Valencia soon, we’d all be begging each of our parents to let us come with Lolo and Lola. Our favorite trips are around fiesta time when the town’s climate is extra chilly as the rainy season is in full swing by then. Aside from the cool climate which is VERY different from our place in Mactan, the town is also a sight to behold around October when the town’s famous agricultural produce are ready for harvesting.
Valencia’s fiesta is October 12.
“Chada” means nice, beautiful, good in local dialect. There are only a few provinces that uses the ‘chada’ expression that I know of, Negros and CDO. There maybe more. =)
Almost all homes in Valencia have lanzones and rambutan trees planted in the backyards, the moment these trees bear fruit, the surrounding looks quite amazing with their riots of reds and yellows dangling from their branches or kissing the roofs of houses. I was in awe the first time I saw a blanket of lanzones covering almost an entire wall!
The town is laid back and the locals are kind, life is simple. The tilting accent of the locals are both endearing and charming ‘ka chada ana uy’, ‘ di bale lamang..’, ‘adto ko sa tiangge’ =)
Their plaza is huge with ancient looking Acacia trees lining up the perimeters of the field. The benches scattered across the plaza amidst blooming flowers invites you to sit down, while away the time. Allow it to, feel the serenity, the peace and calmness it offers. Little by little, the distant chaotic metropolis fades into the background, and you’d be more in the present, enjoying life’s simplicity.
Welcome to Valencia, Negros Or.!
The market wakes up early especially in rural towns like Valencia, if you can visit the market early morn, please do so. Have a ‘pan ug sikwate’ in one of the “painitan” inside the market, or a budbod kabog if you like! Buy pure tablea too, these are made from real cacao with no extender that you can bring home as pasalubong.
There is also one local delicacy, a bread that I always request anyone who visits Valencia to bring for me, this simple, unpretentious tinapay which locals call “torta”. This bread is so dense unlike pandesal, it also tastes unlike our normal bread from Julie’s or the neighborhood bakery. This is because instead of the regular baking powder, “tuba” is used as this bread’s shortening agent. This treat also comes cheap, usually cost just P10 per pack.
Tuba is liquor made from coconut sap.
Torta at Sikwate pampainit!
Another unique thing you’ll come face to face in Valencia is the set-up of their tricycles. There are seats that faced the road! Once I’ll get a decent pic of their tricycle,I’ll post it here.
Now if you are thinking that Valencia offers only what many other rural towns offers, simplicity of life, coller weather, gentle locals, you couldn’t be more wrong.
In the middle of this serene, laid back town is a secret hideaway, a treasure trove for adventure junkies. In Valencia’s lush surroundings Casaroro Falls roars. You can hike to get there, take a habal – habal to arrive faster or choose to go for a countryside joyride on-board an ATV from Tejero Highland Resort and zoom through the Casaroro Valley and Japanese Shrine. If you like ‘flying’, the zipline in Tierra Alta waits for you.
If you feel waterfalling adventure is beyond you right now, you can still enjoy cold, natural spring water as there are now mountain resorts with pools of free flowing waters sourced direct from Casaroro’s stream or the Banica River,you can even check out multiple streams in Valencia like this one below.
They are having an epic time!
Water is really cold as this comes from the heart of the mountains surrounding the town
Valencia is all these and more. This town is gearing up to become a prime eco-tourism hub in Negros and in the Visayas, get there ahead of everyone.
If you are reading this and ready for your next summer adventure, get to Valencia this May. This is an awesome time to go there as the local government launches it’s month-long eco-tourism festival and “Valencia Trade Fair and Exposition” which runs from May 4 to 30, 2014. You’ll get to know and immerse with the locals, learn about the produce of their lands, may even have discounted prices for pasalubong items and of course, have an epic adventures in the countryside. =)
Trade Fair 2014 🙂
I am going back to this favorite place real soon, hope to share more stories and pictures soon with you. ^_^
Have a fun-filled, exceptional summer! ^_^