When in San Carlos City

May 10, 2011 Travel

I've always wanted to write a blog entry with this title. So, here goes my first ...

1) visit the Center Mall

Way before the football craze, thanks to the Azkals, San Carlos City has always been a football loving people. Here at Center Mall, there are several football fields, which host a lot of local tournaments. I can spend one whole afternoon here just watching the kids play football.

Center Mall also has the best, unobstructed view of the mountain range that bounds San Carlos. It provides the perfect backdrop for families enjoying the park and for friends enjoying a few rounds of beer. 

At night, Center Mall turns to a watering hole, or sort of a meet-up place for friends.

2) snorkel at Sipaway Island

A boat ride to Sipaway Island is only Php 10.00. Habal2 rides are from Php 5.00 to Php 10.00.

This is a must for me, no matter how short my stay here. Sipaway got fine, white sand beaches and is teeming with colorful corals and marine life. It is truly unspoiled. There are not a lot of tourists and only a few resorts to stay in.

During my most recent visit, I noticed a lot of grown mangrove trees, which added more color to the place.

3) Take the 70 million highway

San Carlos City can be reached via Dumaguete and Bacolod City (also Cebu if you take the boat). From Bacolod, there are options. Either take the coastal road or the road that passes through what they call the 70 million highway, which is the amount they spent constructing the highway, which cuts through a mountain range.

The road is breathtaking. It passes through roads lined with pine trees and then it enters the zigzagging road where you are completely surrounded by mountains. 

From the mountains, you can also see San Carlos' rice terraces and chocolate hills. Then it descends with a splendid view of San Carlos City, the sea and Sipaway Island.

4) Visit the Mercado

or the market for the fresh catch of the day. Here, you can find a variety of shell fishes, which is a staple in our dinner table. Of course, there are the fishes that are good for grilling or frying and the crustaceans. 

There are a lot of another family favorite, seaweeds, which is yummy soaked in vinegar with onions and garlic. This market is clean and the vendors are nice and friendly.

On Thursdays and Sundays, fresh produce from Kan-laon are marketed at the Ceres Bus Terminal for the market day.

5) Say a prayer at the Cathedral

Of course, it is always nice to thank God for your adventures. The San Carlos Borromeo Cathedral can be reached via rented tricycles or padyak. They have an adoration chapel too, perfect for contemplation and uniting with the Divine.

Another place to visit in San Carlos City is the People's Park, another good place for family picnics. They have a replica here of famous San Carlos City landmarks.

See also the Alinsyawan Falls, the Cave Lapus, Mainit Hot Springs and the La Fortuna Wildlife Lagoon. Every November, the city blooms with the Pintaflores Festival, which fills the streets with colorful dancers.

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