La Libertad with Merevin

Published: 08/25/13 3:21 AM in Asia, Travel.

La Libertad is a municipality in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. It is also the hometown of Kevin’s father and extended family. During our month long stay in The Philippines we spent a week in La Libertad with Kevin’s family enjoying the water and traveling to near-by towns.

History of the Banogon Clan and La Libertad

La Libertad is a town about 105 kilometers north of Dumaguete city (one of the more major cities on the island of Negroes). The town stands along the coast of Tañon Strait in the wide fertile valley swept by the Hinobaan River and it bears the castellan name which connotes “freedom”.

The Banogon family was an important part of the development of La Libertad. At the time the head of the Banogon clan was Pio Banogon, who was magnetized by the richness of the farmland of Hinobaan and set about buying parcels of land where he resided with his family. It was Pio Banogon who suggested the name La Libertad for the area as a way to keep their posterity reminded of the freedom attained by the leader of the defenders of their lives and their property from the dissidents.

The Graveyard in La Libertad

While staying in La Libertad, we visited the graves of Kevin’s grandparents, uncle, and great-grandparents. The Filipino cemetery was very interesting and hauntingly beautiful. The graves were all above ground, but because of the lack of space, the graves are all stacked on top of each other. In order to visit the graves of Pio Banogon and Petra Sevilla Banogon we had to climb on top of graves to reach them.

This was slightly scary since it seemed wrong to climb over graves like they were regular stones. Also some of the graves had large cracks and holes which naturally can only mean zombies have risen in the area…





In the cemetery there was a really chill, free roaming cow milling about. We started calling her ‘Cemetery Cow’ and believe that she guards the graves of her deceased owners.



The older part of the cemetery was completely full of coffins and had either a very narrow walkway or no walkway at all. The overgrown textures throughout the graves were strikingly beautiful and although at night it would be creepy, during the day it made the place peaceful.




In order to stop spirits from following us from the cemetery, we let the white smoke from a fire wash over us, as is the custom in The Philippines. After my slight zombie scare, I was glad to partake in the smokey cleansing.






These are curious little plants that are extremely fun watch and experience. They are carnivores that eat bugs that land on their leaves. With the slightest touch, the fanned out leaves swiftly close in on themselves to trap their prey.





La Libertad is a very beautiful and peaceful town in The Philippines. The island seclusion can be felt throughout the area, but I never felt uncomfortable with the isolation. This is probably because the people there are incredibly friendly and accommodating.


Check out the video below to see a snippets from our entire trip to The Philippines!


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Banogon Family Reunion
Staying at the Lalimar Resort in La Libertad

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