Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Discovering Basay Negros Oriental

My Negros Oriental Tour: Basay
Have you heard about this town? Me neither hehe. Its Basay, pronounced ‘buh-sigh’, in the speed and stress as you would say ‘amend’, ‘demand’, ‘July’, ‘balay’, ‘aray’, ‘patay’, ‘poday’ ahhhehehe! Take note this is the southwestern tip of the province of Negros Oriental. Am not talking about Basey (pronounced buh-say) over at Samar, aight?! Though local folks in Samar call Basey, exactly the same name as above – Basay!

Ah am muddling your brains hehe! I went to Basay, not because of anything but just because it is part of Negros Oriental province! There was nothing I could get on the web worth visiting in Basay town proper. Everything worth a peep are down under the water (dives) or up in the hinters (caves, waterfalls). Almost everyone I asked did not even know about the place. Some at least said they have heard about it. But I promised myself I would roam the entire NegOr province… so I went to Basay!

After the short walk from Casa Rosario, I was at the Ceres Bus Terminal, standing in front of a bus for Hinobaan (Negros Occidental) therefore passing by Basay. Bus was passing by Bayawan for a tech-stop and to let off and get passengers. That trip came all the way from Dumaguete, thus, already almost full. Alas the conductor told me their scheduled departure from Bayawan was 10AM still, and it was just a few more seconds to 9AM as we spoke. I thought wasting an hour more of waiting was not a good idea. So I asked for options. He told me the best would be to take a pedicab (that’s a motorized tricycle, remember?) since Basay is just about 15kms away anyway. So I walked to the market area where those trike rides emanate from!

They’re organized! And real democratic capitalism is active here hehe. I mean the dispatching of tricycles, that is. When I approached the dispatcher, he pointed me to the trike that was due for departure. I hopped in, and a girl did too. I asked how much would be the fare. Dispatcher replied “twenty-five”. Seated front, I asked dispatcher if trike needs to be full to depart. He said no and further explained they follow a time schedule. If its time to go, then its time to go, with or without passengers. Though a driver can opt to go back to end of line if he does not wish to go without any passengers. True enough, less than 2 minutes of waiting and off we went. There were still two passengers – me and the girl.

Along the way though, trike was hailed many times and soon we were a full ride. Capacity: 10 passengers plus driver! Just where do these 10 passengers sit? Ah, just look at the numbers on the diagram above. Ganyan! And if there are more, there is an iron grill outside of the cab (beside front sea) where 1 person can sit and another iron grill at the rearmost part of the motorbike for another person. Children can sit at the roof – maximum 4 plus one child can also sit in front of the driver! Thus, exluding the top-load as many as 13 passengers can ride. Whoa! I had to transfer seats 3 times as passengers were picked or dropped off. Why? Because I offered my existing seat to a woman with a baby, then an elderly who was bringing some luggage, then a child traveling with her mom. Hah! Those are the green-shaded portions of the diagram - I went from 2 to 5 to 8 and finally 10. But this was a fun ride. Not so fast, so I was able to just consume the rural scenery. And the cool morning breeze was refreshing too!

The trip passed by Pagatban Bridge. It’s a normal bridge to me with steel frames on the side. But driver told me it was a tourist attraction in the area as it is the only steel bridge in the province of NegOr. Oh okay. We also passed by a beach resort. The entrance was enticing, nice fence, colorful flags waving atop fence posts, and I told myself I might drop by on my way back. Which did not happen because there was a light drizzle.

Reaching town, I was so intrigued by the peace and quiet. It was as if everyone left except elderly folks and their dogs. Very quiet morning. And them lolos and lolas followed me with their stares as I walked around hehehe. Well yes, children were off to school, farmers off to the fields and office workers off to their respective employers in the city. Hmm, one good retirement haven, Yes Rieko, tell the old folks to visit this place. They’ll love it! This is one of the few towns I have seen where trees still abound everywhere I look!

Went for the municipal hall. Hmm, at 9:55AM, also very quiet. Aside from three dudes lazing under a tree, all I saw was another old lady walking towards the building. Ah, everyone was probably busy inside. Hey, something new! I did not see Rizal anywhere in the plaza fronting the municipal hall. Uncommon, right?! But hear this, there is a bust of a smiling (or is that grinning) Ninoy Aquino installed at a pedestal just in front of their agrarian reform office, outside but facing the plaza! That smile is engaging hehe, you look at it a minute more and you do tend to smile. Yes, a smile is contagious even if done by inanimate objects hehehe!

So, I went to the middle of the plaza for a snap of the municipal hall. Can only do it there as everywhere else trees and plants would get in the way. When I did so, something did not fit quite well. The timid bloke in me sensed it hehe. Pairs of eyes and heads started popping at those windows upstairs and even downstairs. A moment they were there, the next second they’d be gone. I knew they were curious at what I was doing in the middle of the big wide concrete that is their plaza hahaha! One dude even went out of the municipal hall’s main entrance, stood there and watched me tinker with my cam. Did he want to get caught by my lens? Well, I did not!

Moved on passing by a smaller building with an amusing signage. Just look at the picture. Are they short of the letter S? or is it really just like so? “Office of the Senior Citizen”… its catchy and opens up a debate in one’s mind hehe. Go on, stare at it and think where you should add an “S”. CitizenS? Or OfficeS? Ahh hehehe. What duty would septuagenarians do in those offices? Do they exercise a function? Aliw! In other places I have seen, I hope they mean the same, they would call it a “center” or other more terms. But I like this “office” thing – it evokes some kind of authority hehe! I like!

The big wide concrete that is the plaza is probably where they hold sporting events and other socio-civic activities. That certainly is not where the townsfolk go in the afternoons to rest or just hang around. Why? Because across the road is an equally big and really green garden surrounded by tall trees. Its beautiful! And, I saw a manang sweeping fallen leaves there. I even sat on one of the concrete benches just to enjoy the breeze under the big trees while I puffed a cig.

The Chapel. Okay, the Church. Ahh, its small, so it’s a chapel hehe! Well, their chapel (okay, church) is fairly new. It is circular much like the shape of the “UP Chapel” in Diliman or the “Della Strada” over at Loyola Heights, just smaller and a bit unkempt. This is one of the few churches I have seen where the entrance path is off tangent with the entrance door. On entering the compound, you walk diagonally towards the church - whether it is the main entrance or the side that you want to go to.

Grass in the outside garden needs some attention. The wooden doors have little rectangles fitted with glass. And alas, those are either broken or have shifted in their position. But lucky for me, even if the doors were closed, I was able to take pictures of the insides by inserting my camera via those holes hahaha! And inside the church is clean and orderly in contrast to the outside. It looks so serene. There are also chandeliers and that faddish “electric-fan-bearing-steel-tree”. Whosoever invented that, I hate him. Its an eyesore! Anyway…

After the visit to their church, I hailed a potpot and told manong driver to get me to the place where I could wait for a ride back to Bayawan. He brought me to the public market. Whah! So there they are the people of Basay hehe! That was the only place where I saw an admirable number of folks in one place doing about their daily lives. Vendors, buyers, drivers… this is not a ghost town after all hehe! My potpot driver delivered me to beside a jeep and told me that the “esride” was better than waiting for Ceres that does not come immediately. I was the only passenger to have climbed in and asked the driver if he will still wait for his jeep to get full. He answered that it was time for him to go even if I did not appear since they have to follow the cooperative’s schedule. So I sat front seat for the ‘easy ride’ back to Bayawan. Oh, fare is also P25 like the tricycle I took coming to this place. Ah during the ride to Bayawan, some folks hailed this jeep for a ride and when I looked at the back, it was already half full. And, a few kilometers before reaching Bayawan city proper… zoom, a Ceres bus overtook us hehe. Oh well!

Time to move on!

If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65


  1. Negros is actually one of the places I want to go to this year. But there are still some spots in Cagayan de Oro which I haven't visited so, postponed.

  2. Agi Mano I was laughing at your notes. ha ha. Your descriptions are detailed and sometimes uncensored. But I like them just the same. It's informative and entertaining. Please choose your words. he he ( Their are priests reading your blogs fyi)