Saturday, November 13, 2010

NOAH Shop & Forest Camp in Negros Oriental

There’s not much to see in Dumaguete City, although its a cool place with its seaside Rizal Boulevard, Silliman University, and many options for inexpensive food trip here. On our first day in Dumaguete, we spent the morning at Manjuyod sandbar, 54 km north of Dumaguete. We have also visited 2 old churches in Dumaguete and Bacong here.
Prior to visiting the Bacong church, our gracious and lovely host Ms. Pearl, took us to a stonecraft factory in Bacong. Its called Negros Oriental Arts & Heritage Shop or commonly referred to as NOAH.

NOAH’s main products are decorative and multi-use items made from rock material found in the province. The rocks are cut, carved, glued like mosaic patterns to their respective frames, before being glazed and polished. As we saw the painstaking efforts and fine craftmanship on each handmade product, I can say that their selling prices are worth each peso spent by their customers. Once these products reach the shops in Manila and abroad, they would cost much more.

Below is a globe on a marble stand. Note that each country on the map has a different color, representing an individual stone cut.

This large stone mosaic was ordered by a large auditing firm in Makati, at a price of more than Php 700k.

Our third stop that day was the Forest Camp located in the neighboring uphill town of Valencia. This town reminds me of Tagaytay due to its terrain, and of Makiling mountain due to its forest cover, streams, plus lanzones and rambutan trees with plenty of fruits as they are in season. Aside from these gifts of nature, the town's residents also enjoy free Php 800 worth of electricity charges each month, since their municipality host a geothermal power plant in the province.

Forest camp has a hanging bridge suspended above a small river. There are also many unfamiliar plants in the area, as well as a man-made shallow pond with tilapia fishes. Entrance fee is Php 100 for adults, and Php 80 for kids.

One of the coconut treehouses that can be rented for a fee, perfect for picnics.

Our next stop is the ACSAT farm where you could find the longkong variety of lanzones, the sweetest lanzones from Thailand retailing at Php 150/kg, about 6 times the price of their local lanzones. In Manila, that imported variety of lanzones below starts at retail price of Php 300/kg.

Last stop prior to lunch is the Silliman Anthropological Museum. Unfortunately, taking of photos inside the museum is not allowed. We had a brief tour of this popular university in the Visayas region, reminding me of UP campus but on a smaller scale. After lunch, we bought pasalubongs in the Buglasan kiosks, where each Negros Oriental town proudly show their products on this week-long province-wide Buglasan festival.

Many thanks to Ms. Pearl and her friend Mr. Willy, for pampering us from our arrival until our departure in the lovely and gentle city of Dumaguete.
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