The Halloween Road Trip – Dapitan City
After a very exhausting, jam packed semester with my master subjects, work and lecture units I thought I need a break. I invited some of my coworkers for a getaway to unwind and relax. Unfortunately after some follow ups, few backed out. Eager to push through with the plan, my friend Coach Hennie was also game with the thought of traveling so the two of us decided to go no matter what. The trip Dapitan city is unknown for both of us because it would be our first time to go to the city. Nevertheless the adventure drawn us.
Early morning on the first day of November, we went to the bus terminal. Little did we know that many people were also traveling back to their home town that dawn. Five buses already pass still the people were so many. We had to fight for seats on the deluxe rural bus bound for mucas, good thing a fellow man helped us sat down. The bus was filled to standing position.
Arriving at the barge, trucks buses and cars lined up. We were able to catch the second trip to Ozamis port and arrived around 6.30 am. We had breakfast at Jollibee then headed to the bus terminal to catch another bus bound for Dipolog. The trip was long and I get to watch the beautiful scenery of nature along the way but most of the time a dozed off to get the sleep that I need.
We drop at the bus stop called the Polo round ball which was the diverging road between Dipolog and Dapitan. It was 11:30 when we arrived, 2 hours earlier than expected. My companion, Hennie, and I rode a tricycle to the inn that we booked the night before.
Travel Bee Heritage Inn
We checked in at the Heritage Inn and rested for a while. Impressed with the cheap price, they offer basic necessities with economy and standard rooms. Bath has hot shower which works fine with me.
Bike around the city
After lunch, we started our adventure. It was already three in the afternoon and we rented the inn’s bike to ride around the city. It only cost 50 pesos for a whole day. We had our travel bee tour guide map from the folks at the counter and headed out.
St. James Church
After getting used to the bike, our first stop was at the St. James Church. It was the 1st of November. Streets where not yet busy and the sky was cloudy. We took some pictures (of course). Looking at the church, and some old lamp post, you can clearly see the deep connection of the town from it historical roots.
Plaza de Dapitan
In front of the church is the plaza of Dapitan land mark. There you can see the Relief Map of Mindanao on the ground. I didn’t notice it first but after a few minutes you can picture out the outlines of mindanao in grass roots.
JR Maritime State University
I never knew there was a state university in the city so when passing by we just had to stop and have a look around. Amazed that they had a tracking field, their university had a big sports arena with basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, and swimming pool. I wish MSU-IIT had the same facilities.
Rizal’s Disembarkation site and Sunset Boulevard
Returning back to the road with our mighty japanese style yellow-and-red-colored bicycles, we headed to the disembarkation site where Jose Rizal supposedly first set foot in the city. From there you can see miles of strech sand, not white sand though, which the locals call the sunset boulevard. Indeed you can watch the sun set, feel amd smell the rush of sea air. A peaceful place and a beautiful scenery to look forward to.
Continuing our route down west (facing the statues), we drove by a straight road. The beach side of the road has many food stalls and the left side has pension houses in inns. Little did we know that we already reached Gloria de Dapitan around 6 in the evening. It was starting to get dark and knowing that our bikes don’t have lights we headed back to Travel Bee Heritage Inn following map. By then some streets were already dark with no street lights and either everyone seems to be inside their houses or at Fantasy Land because you could only see a few people around.
Gloria de Dapitan
We took a short rest at our room and watch Lifestyle networks Master Chef segment. The food was so mouth watering that we were enticed to eat pasta for dinner. Rain was pouring as we arrived at the gates of Gloria de Dapitan. We then look for a food joint that served pasta and pizza. Good thing we found Barracks food house of pizza, pasta and burgers. Their best seller and people’s choice pizza was the delicious. I recommend that you must try it. Their spaghetti was also one of a kind, in both dishes you can taste the herbs and fresh tomatoes. Yummy indeed!
First time to enter the amusement park, the place offers a lot of rides and they have promos to accommodate the needs of customers. For Hennie and I, since we were not really sure if we can ride all of the cool rides, we bought the 300 ticket for sightseeing but it covers the Horror house so we’re good. If we want to try on other rides, we will have to pay on spot.
Asia’s Number 1 Horror House
The Horror House was definitely big. By the time we got there a lot of people were already lining up. Some were talking, laughing, some where anxious and excited. I was a bit amused. Before entering, we were group into seven and oriented to leave our belongings along with some rules when inside the house. Of course, we were the only adults in our group’s turn to go inside. I am not going to talk about what happened inside, it was really fun shouting, as you go deep inside the house. I suggest you try it for yourself 😉
Along the way, 3 kids gave up and were escorted out so there were only 4 of us left. I got a bit of bumps after finally getting out of the building and both of us laughed at the experience.
A mini roller coaster that will surely spin your head and guts. The ride only lasts for a minute or so but definitely the best ride I’ve taken so far. And we took the ride twice because of our tickets, so imagine that. It was worth it though. It really got my hands shaky and my body sweating. My mouth was dry from too much belting and laughing along with your body driven against the gravity and your soul seems to jump out of your body every time the coaster went to a dive. Unbelievable!
The Show and some fireworks
After the crazy ride, we stop to rehydrate ourselves with water. I felt my skin sticky as the air that night was damp. We waited for the show that the Fantasy land showcases. Here we sat down to enjoy performing arts people jumping, turning, flying, summersaulting to the music and supposedly told a story of magic, love and life. Right then it sank into me, as I watch, how much I really appreciate how these people enjoy what they do. They deserve an applause. After the show, the sky lights up with some cute fireworks to end the night. Didn’t have time to take snapshots of the show.
Finding our way to the exit, outside, Gloria de Dapitan was having a foam party with a guest DJ but Hennie and I were tired so we headed to our Inn. We bought some red sparkling wine, partnered it with the left over pizza we had for dinner for some midnight snack, watched master chef on lifestyle network on our room and dozed off to sleep at around 3 in the morning.
On our second day of our road trip, I still don’t want get up from bed. I still want to sleep but I had to get up because it’s already past 8 and breakfast serves untill 9 only. We took our breakfast and continued to watched Lifestyle network. Those food on the television really gets into us. Around 10, we decided to go to Jose Rizal’s Shrine. The day was again cloudy perfect for our spree. Little did we know what we were up to.
Jose Rizal’s Shrine
We rode a tricycle to the shrine. There a tour guide accommodated us. His name was Mr. Salvador. Honestly, I learned a lot from Mr. Salvador. He seems to know the history of the place as if he were alive back then. His knowledge regarding the exile place of Rizal is amazing. I wish history class where like this. I really enjoy the stories he told us and I learned a lot compared to reading from the books.
The Ancestral house was huge. As you can see in the picture, it’s really reminiscent of the houses during the hispanic era. Good thing we met Mr. Salvador, we wouldn’t have known there was an ancestral house as tourist spot if it hadn’t been for him.
City Public Library
Located at the old building, the library temporarily held the original things that Rizal once owned. Inside where pictures of Jose Rizal, his girlfriends, his wife, his genealogy, his old clothes, his work of arts and books.
Finally, we rush to the hill which has 200 steps. It was nearly noon time and the air was so damp and hot. I can feel my sweat already but this is the last stop for our adventure so I had to pull this off. We drank some water and headed uphill. I can feel myself catching my breath as the climb was a bit steep. It slowed me down and I had to pause for a couple of times but it didn’t stop me from reaching the top. Eventually we reached the top and saw the beautiful view of the city.
The trip downhill was the easy part and not for long we arrived at the entrance of the hill. Mr. Salvador offered to drive us to our inn and bid good bye.
For two days, the road trip to Dapitan was worth it. Unplanned and spontaneous, it was fun. We checked out of the Travel bee Heritage Inn. Traveling back to Iligan, I can’t help but look forward to my next escapade.
Been to Dapitan too? Share your adventure at the comment section below. Where do you think I should go? Post link to your blogs too! 🙂