I’d had a tough last few days; I had failed in my expedition to get to Iloilo in one day, having to settle in a tiny village called Roxas for a night (which was actually a pleasant surprise, it was a nice little place) then I got to Iloilo the next night and found out that every hotel was either full or had doubled their prices for some obscure convention that was happening, so I took the hint and I decided to get out of there the next day. I had been told there was nothing to do or see in Bacolod and to get my cute but small pert ass to Dumaguete. But in the end I was glad I ignored these people…
The main reason for this was because I had joined a dating site a few months previously, for two reasons; one genuine and the other far more sinister, The genuine reason was to meet real people who could show me around their hometown, and maybe if I was lucky have a sofa to sleep on and gain some friends for life (and possibly return the favour wherever I was in the world and they came to see me) the evil reason was to promote my books. I felt that I could mention that I was an author and these people would tell their friends, they wouldn’t actually buy anything but word of mouth would get out that I actually exist, and a few months down the line I could come up in a conversation and when someone has a look they may buy my book(s) if they like them, and in turn tell their friends that I’m a good writer.
Point being in Bacalod was the first girl I had met on my travels from this site. I must admit I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that she was very intelligent from the Skype conversations we had (which is normal because we both want to know that we are real people, and not 55 year old fat bald men sitting behind a computer saying that they are Nigerian princesses and willing to make us millionaires if we give them our bank details…)
We met outside Jolibee, which is the generic fast food restaurant here, after much ‘to’ing and ‘fro’ing due to my phone not working in this country for some reason. I went to the shopping mall where we had agreed to meet and couldn’t find her, then after conceding life and going back to the hotel, the hotel manager was nice enough to let me use his phone, so I called her and told her where I’d be. Half an hour later we found each other and got chatting. We hit it off straight away. She’s a nurse and clearly knew what she was talking about, so I must admit I was attracted by her intelligence. After we watched TV for a while we both agreed to go to a resort together for the day, and then I would leave for Dumaguete the next day.
The resort was amazing! We went for a swim and walked up to see some waterfalls. After that we got back home and chilled. She looked exhausted so I let her sleep on my bed in the air conditioning for a few hours while I devoted a few hours to try and fix my laptop (I didn’t win…) Then a friend of mine who I met at Heathrow airport about a year ago (and nearly lost contact with her) sent me a message on Facebook asking if I was going to the ruins, She sent me a link and I said I would go early the next day before heading off to Dumaguete. Then I thought to myself that I was in no rush, and could spend another day in Bacolod rather than rush and stress myself out.
After me and Hazel had dinner she went back home and I got talking to the owners of the guest house. We began talking about pool and they loved the fact I was interested in the game. They must have thought I qualified because they then invited me out for a drink with them. It was a great night with friendly people, they even refused to let me pay!
The next day I woke up refreshed thanking my lucky stars that I had decided to not avoid this city, and got ready to go to the ruins with the girl I had met, as we were getting on really well. The ruins were pretty cool. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t want to ruin it for my friend who is waiting on a postcard describing the atmosphere there, but it was definitely worth seeing.
So the next day I said goodbye with a heavy heart and headed off to Dumaguete. I was happy that I had met some great people there and I know for a fact that I will be back. The city wasn’t much to look at but it had a vibrant atmosphere that filled you with energy. Ignore what everybody says; give this place a visit, you won’t regret it.
As for Hazel? We had an amazing time together. There was a spark there I must admit and we’ll see what happens in the future. She is planning on moving to Europe next year to work as a nurse there, so I will continue to Skype her every so often to give her IELTS tips (since I used to be an IELTS teacher) and we’ll play it from there. If nothing does happen though I know that we will stay friends at the very least. Finally I’d like to personally thank hazel on here for showing me around the best places in Bacolod, and I know that I will see her again one day, whether it is in Europe or back in The Philippines.