For a Quiet and Deep Vacation in the South

Sipalay is not a byword in Philippine tourism. Not many Filipinos know about this tourist spot except, maybe, the Sipalayans themselves—and a few but growing number of foreign tourists. That’s why it’s a perfect tourist spot for the poet who seeks a far away shelter to meditate life in the recesses of hills and mountains and the deep blue ocean.

It is just about three hours road travel south of Bacolod. And pay particular attention to the last stretch of road, the last hour of travel, because the elusive deep, quiet break is about to start.

The area is defined by hilly coastlines—marvelous glimpses of the sea when the view is not blocked by green, hilly forests.

Except for the long snorkeling and diving sessions through the day, the stay in this tourist spot will prove very settling. The evenings are peaceful, with no evidence of any nightlife, whatsoever. Cell phone signals come rare, so no sudden urgent calls from the office back in the city disturbing the reflecting vacationers. Though some tourist resorts offer Internet services.

The seclusion will ensure the focused appreciation of nature. The gorgeous sunsets of this tourist spot calm the spirit, and most specially the excellent and accessible diving and snorkeling alcoves, and the white sand beaches interspersing dramatic cliffs and coastal hills.

Banca rides are available to other superb diving spots and tourist resorts around the place—short meditations in motion traversing shifting scenes of sea and landscapes. The minute trips bring one to another sea world yet not far from one’s inn. A special feature in these short trips is a house reef of rich corals shallow enough for easy snorkeling—a snorkeling spot banca drivers will not fail pointing out to new comers.

Resorts in Sipalay offer impressive mouth-watering cuisines, mostly native seafood and vegetable dishes, with sprinklings of pork or beef choices palatable even to foreign taste buds. As one hops from one diving spot to another the choice of restaurants widens. Some are a stone’s throw away from each other.

There is also a range of very comfortable bungalows sheltered in hillsides amid coconut tree patches near the sea.

A special word on the sunsets of this tourist spot: there’s nothing like them anywhere else in the country. They’re awe-inspiring and dream-like. Like a scene from a nostalgic painting—more so with occasional intrusions from a few passing boats.

The coastline north and south is worth traveling by boat, and from here one can see distant luxury mansions on remote cliffs—hideaways of sugar magnates.

Sipalay is for the restless spirit or reflective soul who needs a long quiet time away from city fuss. Only the meditative would bother to venture out here in the country of deep sea, sunsets, tasty dishes, and lots of peace and quiet.

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