I was invited by the Association of Rodeo Enthusiasts in VISCA (AREV) to visit the team, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Rodeo Masbateno Inc and of VROoM (Volunteer Rodeo officials of Masbate). There were four of us from VROoM, including the Rodeo Director. We were welcomed by officers of AREV and their adviser, a professor who is also the head of the Philippine Carabao Center in Leyte. VISCA is the old name of what is now Visayas State University.
I have never been inside such a beautiful campus. VSU has a lower campus on the mountain side, complete with a dam and the rodeo team’s rodeo arena. The lower campus doesn’t look like a school campus – – it looks like a beautiful beach resort.
We were hosted in a guest house with hotel amenities – – comfortable bed, aircon, and a nice bathroom. The lounge had sofas and a TV (even if there is TV in the room). Our meals were served, courtesy of our PCC host, at the Guest House that looks like a beautiful seaside restaurant.
Our VROoM member whom we call Bilog joined the local AREV rodeo players ride horses
In the evening, we were taken by the team to a local tourism destination still being developed, but already open to visitors. What a sight ogling 16,000 roses up on a hill. Do not hold your breath, these are not real roses. But the concept is so nice that even butterflies probably think the roses are real. The photo below is only half of the 16,000 roses as it is difficult to be walking on steps as I do a pano shot. A drone will be best.
From hill with 16,000 roses, we went with some rodeo players to a local bar with live music, and had beer and music – – – with some moved to dancing by the fun atmosphere. That was captured in a friend’s video which I shall not post here.
The next day, our host took us to a farm in Ormoc which is a public-private partnership. The students from VSU essentially use the MR Farm, owned by the Larrazabal family, for their study- – especially students of Animal Science. The grounds also serve as their practice grounds before competing in big rodeo competitions.
The second day was capped by bonding with the AREV team, all 60+ of them in a team building event at the nearby beach resort called Aqua Azul.
As I left VSU and Baybay, the beach campus lingered on my mind. Oh, what a campus !