More than just having a once-in-a-lifetime chance of getting educated of why San Carlos City is hailed the Hall of Famer of the coveted Galing Pook Awards and other award giving bodies recognizing good governance, going to Campuestohan was much more exciting and tough at the same time; (exciting) because I have been dreaming of going there for months, a bandwagon dropped by the social media of course, and (tough) because of the mid-term exam that awaited day after the trip.
‘Where Green is Go,’ the accredited iconic tagline of the green city, a strong microcosm of their driven spirit for development not compromising the finite resources of nature. With the help of our coolest professor, Dr. Barrera, we got the chance to meet and greet Mayor Gerardo P. Valmayor, Jr. and discussed about their ongoing program and projects that basically promote sustainable development.
A second-class component city of the Province of Negros Occidental, they have a Bio-Ethanol Plant, the first sugarcane to ethanol plant in Southeast Asia. The plant can crush 1,500 tons of sugarcane (per day) producing 8MW of power. Jen, our tour guide from their tourism office appeared to very eager to share the wonders of their city.
They also have a Solar Energy Farm . If you weigh 50 kilos, have a good tight grip on their viewing decks because of the strong wind. The 35-hectare solar farm is the largest commercial solar farm in the country generating 22MW of electricity. Studies say that ‘the presence of mountain ranges in the center of the island makes San Carlos City drier and exposed to more sunshine compared to the western and northern part of the island’ and ‘Negros Island is considered to be one of the best locations for a solar farm in the Philippines with average of 5.0-5.5 kwh/m2/day of power can be generated’.
I have made these photos smaller because you might not like looking at these while eating at the same time. So yeah, San Carlos City was also declared as model city under the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Model Cities Program funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund through their Sanitary Landfill where (I’m not really good comprehending their jargon) they have this vermi stuff (yup the worms), the Material Recovery, the leachate and composting facilities. And in 2014, their disposal facility cum eco-center has become a tourist attraction generating around P 2.57 million.
That kid on the left is Doc Kit by the way, then DILG king Rene, Snow White Civil Servant Michelle, Philhealth Advocate Doc Jen, Estancia businesswoman Joey, the handsomest in the middle Jaypee of course, followed by Tita Pilar and Tita Phoebe the smarties, photo bombed by Nang Sarina our puto queen and completed by Ma’am Barrera, the best-awesomest, and Pantawid Pamilya Regional head, Sir Jon my big brother.
Well-known for peanuts, we secured ourselves pasalubong and munches on our way to Campuestohan traversing Don Salvador Benedicto road which also led the city to winning another award for Best Practices. But this interesting fence signage caught most of our attention. Enjoy reading.
And after around two hours of travel, we arrived at the Campuestohan Highland Resort, located at a semi-plateau some distance away from the pinnacle of success of Mt. Mandalagan in the City of Talisay in Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Part of their Fun Rides are the Zipline (P200 per person), Rope Course (P200 per person) and Cable Hamster Wheel (P200 per person), Grand Carousel (P30 per person), Mini Train (P30 per person). Soon, they will have Chair Lift, Wave Pool, Wind Mill, Bungee Trampoline and Outdoor Gym.
We stayed at their Bonita Huts similar to those of the Hobbits’. Rate is P2, 500 good for four persons. They have the Kingkong Room for P6,000 good for 6 persons, Log Cabin with three choices (P3,000, P4,000, P5,000), and my favorite, the Indian Village or Teepee Hut Family Room for P5,000.
The food is delish. At a very reasonable price, the dinner that was served and was cooked to perfection. I am usually very particular with the taste of the food of the places I go to but their Pinakbet (mixed veggies cooked in coconut milk and shrimp paste) and Crispy Pata (deep fried pig trotters or knuckles) exploded. Gastronomic. Big time.
The place is a huge coffee shop full of Sagada feels. When we got out, there was a freezing fog but laughter enveloped us when one of my classmates proudly pointed at the light post thinking that it was the moon. How low is the moon by the way? Haha.
The next day, I woke up early to have a photo op with the heroes at the Heroes Hall.
Visit their website for more information and inquiries at http://campuestohanhighlandresort.com/
The Hamster Wheel is I think the toughest ride here. One person backed out and the other almost did and in like ten seconds it scared the shit out of me but reaching the middle part of the course is somehow fun and ambitious like, yeah, beat that!
Campuestohan is definitely a destination to behold. The adventure, the scenery, the food, the Sagada feels, a perfect summer getaway. Can’t think of any more words to describe this awesome place. But with the education I got from San Carlos City and adventure in Campuestohan, a quick blend of my love for travelling is again boosted.
See you in September for my next adventure!