Escalante City

Hey, ever heard of a place called Escalante City? It’s this super awesome spot in the Negros Occidental province of the Philippines. Now, you might be asking, what’s so special about it, right? Well, hold on to your sunglasses, because we’re about to take a virtual dive into this vibrant city!

Escalante City, ah, it’s this hidden gem tucked away in the sugar bowl of the Philippines – Negros Occidental. The moment you step foot in this city, you’ll notice the warmth that’s not just from the tropical sun, but also from the smiles of the friendly locals. It’s like they’ve taken the sunshine and tucked it right into their hearts!

And, oh boy, the sights to see! The city is a picturesque blend of stunning landscapes, from verdant sugar cane fields that seem to sway in rhythm with the wind, to sun-drenched beaches that sparkle under the Philippine sun. You’ve got your eyes on some nature, haven’t you? Well, Escalante has got you covered!

But it’s not just about the beautiful views. Ever wondered how it feels to walk through history? The city’s rich past is etched into every corner, from its Spanish-era architecture to the stories of courage during the Martial Law era. It’s like stepping into a time machine!

And remember, no place is complete without its food, right? Let’s not even get started on the amazing local cuisine! It’s like a party in your mouth with every bite. From the sweet delights of sugarcane products to fresh seafood dishes that will make your taste buds dance, Escalante City is a foodie’s dream.

Marino del Norte Resort, in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
By TheManFromVisayas – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

History of Escalante City

In the early days, before the arrival of the Spaniards, the land that would come to be known as Escalante was a wild and untouched paradise. Indigenous Ati and Negrito groups made their home here, living harmoniously with nature.

However, everything began to change in the 1860s, when the Spanish colonizers started to notice the potential of this area. They saw fertile soil perfect for sugar cane plantations and decided to bring in migrant farmers. Hence, the settlement that would eventually become Escalante City began.

The Spanish christened the settlement ‘Escalante’, in honor of a Spanish bishop named Fernando S. Escalante. The settlement became a town in 1871, and the sugar industry began to boom.

As the years passed, the town grew and prospered. The sugar industry brought wealth and increased population, but it also brought hardship and struggles. The inhabitants of Escalante had to toil under the harsh conditions of the sugar plantations.

World War II

Then, the 20th century dawned, bringing with it a wave of change. World War II arrived on Escalante’s doorstep and left its mark. The brave citizens of Escalante resisted the Japanese occupation fiercely, their courage and resilience etched in the history books.

After the war, the 1950s saw a resurgence in the sugar industry, but Escalante was ready for a change. It started to diversify its economy, focusing on other industries like fishing and agriculture. The town continued to grow and develop, transforming into a bustling hub of industry and culture.

Finally, on October 20, 2001, a major milestone was achieved when Escalante was officially declared a city. This was a proud moment for the inhabitants who had worked tirelessly to develop their homes.

Culture

This city is a melting pot of cultures, with a mix of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino influences. The city is home to several historical and cultural landmarks, including the Escalante City Hall, the San Juan Nepomuceno Church, and the Escalante City Museum.

This city is also known for its vibrant festivals, such as the Escalante City Fiesta and the Pintados Festival. The Escalante City Fiesta is held every year in honor of the city’s patron saint, San Juan Nepomuceno. The festival features a variety of events, including a religious procession, a street fair, and a carnival.

The Pintados Festival is held every year in honor of the city’s patron saint, Santo Niño. The festival features a variety of events, including a religious procession, a street fair, and a carnival. The festival also features a unique tradition called the “pintados,” in which people paint their bodies with colorful designs.

Activities

This city offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including:

Visiting the city’s historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Escalante City Hall, the San Juan Nepomuceno Church, and the Escalante City Museum. Visitors can learn about the city’s rich history and culture by visiting these landmarks.

Exploring the city’s natural attractions, such as the Escalante River and the Escalante Falls. Visitors can enjoy the city’s natural beauty by exploring these attractions.

Participating in the city’s festivals, such as the Escalante City Fiesta and the Pintados Festival. Visitors can experience the city’s vibrant culture by participating in these festivals.

Trying the city’s local cuisine, such as chicken inasal, lechon manok, kare-kare, sinigang, and adobo. Visitors can savor the city’s delicious local cuisine by trying these dishes.

Shopping at the city’s markets and malls. Visitors can find a variety of souvenirs and gifts to take home from the city’s markets and malls.

Enjoy the city’s nightlife, which includes a variety of bars and clubs. Visitors can enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife by visiting its bars and clubs.

Taking a boat trip to the nearby islands of Guimaras and Boracay. Visitors can explore the nearby islands of Guimaras and Boracay by taking a boat trip.

Playing golf at the Escalante Golf and Country Club. Visitors can enjoy a round of golf at the Escalante Golf and Country Club.

Visiting the nearby beaches of Punta Ballo and Sipalay. Visitors can relax and enjoy the sun at the nearby beaches of Punta Ballo and Sipalay.

Trekking to the top of Mount Kanlaon, which is the highest mountain in Negros. Visitors can challenge themselves by trekking to the top of Mount Kanlaon.

What To Eat in Escalante City?

Let’s kick things off with the star of the show, the scrumptious “Binakol na Manok”. This is a chicken soup that’s been simmered to perfection in coconut water, giving it a unique sweet and savory flavor. You’ll find locals slurping this up on a regular basis, and it’s almost a rite of passage for visitors.

Now, let’s zip over to the seafood scene. Escalante City is a coastal city, so it’s no surprise that they whip up some mean seafood dishes. One standout dish is “Sinugba na Isda”, a grilled fish marinated in vinegar, garlic, and spices. It’s cooked over an open grill, infusing it with a smoky flavor that’s just plain awesome. Pair it with a side of “Atsara”, a pickled papaya relish, and you’ve got a meal that can brighten any beach day.

But wait, there’s more! The dessert scene in Escalante City is equally exciting. “Kalamay-hati”, a sticky sweet treat made from glutinous rice, brown sugar, and coconut milk, is a must-try. It’s a delightful way to round off a meal or as a little afternoon pick-me-up.

And let’s not forget the drinks. “Tuba”, a locally fermented coconut wine, is the go-to drink for many Escalantehanons. It’s a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and definitely packs a punch. It’s the perfect way to toast to a day of great food and great company.

Tourist Spots in Escalante City

First off, let’s dive into the Old Spanish Lighthouse. This historical landmark stands tall as a testament to the city’s rich past. It’s like a beacon of history that transports you back in time. You’ll relish the panoramic view of the surrounding sea and the cityscape. So, if you’re a sucker for history and breathtaking vistas, this spot should top your list.

Next up, we’re popping over to the Malabiga Falls. Wowza! This spot is a paradise for nature lovers. You’ll be mesmerized by the cascading water falling into a crystal-clear pool. The lush greens around it make it a perfect picnic spot. And hey, pack your swimsuit, ’cause a dip in the cool water is a must!

After that refreshing halt, let’s head on to the Jomabo Island Paradise Beach Resort. A short boat ride from the mainland, and voila! You’re in a tropical paradise. Imagine lounging on golden sand, sipping on a fresh coconut, while the cool sea breeze kisses your face. Sounds dreamy, eh?

Now, ever been to a floating restaurant? If not, then the Palaypay Paniki Adventure is for you. It’s a unique dining experience on a bamboo raft, floating along the Palaypay River. The local dishes served here are a gastronomic delight and it’s a brilliant way to get a taste of the city—literally!

Lastly, we’ve got the Malatapay Market, a bustling marketplace that comes alive every Wednesday. This place is a shopper’s delight with a wide array of local produce, fresh seafood, and handmade crafts. And hey, don’t forget to haggle, it’s part of the fun!

Festivals and Events in Escalante City

First off, let’s chat about the most famous fiesta in the city – the Manlambus Festival. Every year, around the last week of May, the entire city comes alive in a burst of colors and music. Imagine this – people dancing in the streets, vibrant costumes, and traditional music echoing in every corner. It’s like the city itself is dancing along with them. What’s the reason for this grand spectacle, you ask? Well, the Manlambus Festival is a celebration of the city’s rich history, particularly giving a nod to its pirates, known as “Manlambus”. It’s a fun and exciting reminder of the city’s past, and let me tell you, it’s a sight to behold!

Now, let’s hop over to the next big event – the Charter Anniversary. Happening every 30th of August, this event marks the city’s independence. It’s like the city’s birthday party! And boy, do they know how to throw a party. The day is filled with activities from morning to night, including parades, street dances, and a whole lot of delicious food. It’s a day where you can feel the city’s pride and joy, and it’s absolutely infectious!

But wait, there’s more

Escalante City also hosts the Panaad sa Negros Festival. This festival is a week-long event that usually takes place in April. It’s a showcase of the best of Negros Occidental, from its arts and culture to its agriculture and tourism. Imagine a week filled with food fairs, trade expos, garden shows, and cultural presentations. It’s like a smorgasbord of all the best parts of the region, all in one place.

And last but definitely not least, let’s not forget about the Kawayan Festival in December. This one is a tribute to their bamboo industry. It’s amazing to see just how creative people can get with bamboo! From sculptures to furniture, the city transforms into a bamboo wonderland.

Getting There

Escalante City is accessible by air, land, and sea. The city is served by the Escalante Airport, which is located about 5 kilometers from the city center. Several airlines, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia, serve the airport. Visitors can also reach Escalante City by land, via the city’s bus terminal. Several bus companies, including Ceres Liner, Vallacar Transit, and Philtranco, serve the bus terminal. Visitors can also reach Escalante City by sea, via the city’s seaport. Several shipping companies, including 2GO Travel, SuperCat, and OceanJet, serve the seaport.

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Conclusion

To wrap it up, Escalante City is more than just a dot on the map of Negros Occidental. It’s a vibrant city that pulses with life and culture, offering a unique blend of experiences that leave you wanting more. It’s a city that invites you to explore, to discover, and to fall in love with its charm. So, are you ready to put on your explorer’s hat and dive into the heart of Escalante City? Because this city, my friend, is waiting to share its story with you.

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