The 6th instalment of Kite Flying Festival in Sipalay City was held last March 29, 2017 and I was lucky to have been part of the celebration being one of the judges along with other kite enthusiasts from all over the country. It was my first time in Western Visayas particularly in the province of Negros Occidental and I was impressed by the beauty of this place considered as the sugar capital of the Philippines because of its huge sugarcane plantations. The kite festival in Sipalay is its major tourism event and in fact it has received citation from Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines as Best Tourism Event in 2016. With that, I am extending my greetings and congratulations to the LGU of Sipalay and to Tourism Officer Miss Rhea Carbajosa.
For six years now the wide skies of Sipalay looks very intense and vivid because of the colourful kites occupying the horizon every last week of March. It has complimented very well with the festival venue made up of fine white sand, crystal clear waters and the warm people. By hosting the kite flying festival, the Sipalay City government is sending a strong message that kite flying is one of the fundamental components of the Filipino culture and a clear manifestation of Filipino creativity.
I was once into kite flying when I was a kid but I have not been able to sustain the urge of playing the game as my age progresses. I realized then that playing with kites could be a good venue to appreciate the simplicity of life. Another good thing about this stuff is the excitement and patience in continuously chasing for stronger winds to propel the kite way up to the skies. And with Sipalay now being home to kite flyers, there is no way for this city to go but up, up and away.
Meanwhile, I had at least two spare days in Negros Occidental which allowed me to discover the natural wonders and incredible tourist spots in the area. Along with my friend from Padada Czaldy Garrote and the members of Saranggolistang Pilipino (Kite Association of the Philippines), we were brought to some secluded islands in Sipalay. Some sites are really captivating and other spots there have semblance to Mindanao’s Bucas Grande Island. While cruising through the ocean several rock formations, islets, resorts and fisher folks graced us. At far north we saw the dominant mountain ranges of Negros Occidental.
I and Czaldy took a quick tour up northeast through a hired tricycle and visited Perth Resort, the famous site in Sipalay because of its infinity pool laid out opposite the Sulu Sea. What was surprising of the visit was the rainbow that appeared in the extreme western part that added another ingredient to the beautiful landscape of the place.
Just 2 kilometers from Perth Resort is the Tinagong Dagat Resort. Unlike Perth Resort, this one is pedicured with a little adrenalin theme by putting up foot trails in almost all slope portions of the resort for visitors to trek. Tinagong Dagat is literally patterned to the resort’s geographic feature where a lagoon was surrounded with the canopy of terrestrial borders and is being connected with wooden hanging bridge.
Another remarkable identity of Sipalay is the gorgeous sunset which serves as portal for the people to enjoy every single day. Young and old alike always flock to the beachfront and while we think of them being used to the scenery already, they do just the other way around. Their sunset is a stage to conclude the day. For tourists like me, the Sipalay sunset is always a source of good vibes.
Four days are practically not enough to complete a Western Visayas trip. With the abundance of wonderful sites I guess I have to go back to this place anytime soon to explore other towns in my bucket list like Dumaguete, Guimaras, Iloilo and Siquijor. I have no regrets spending my four days in Sipalay. This underrated destination is actually now making Negros Occidental appealing to tourists from all over the world.