MY FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: THE ISLAND OF CEBU

Located at the heart of the Philippine archipelago, the Island of Cebu had successfully taken hold of my heart as well during my three-day trip there. I have always known that the Philippines is filled with so much beauty in nature, but seeing it first hand in the majestic land of Cebu is definitely something that made me proud to be a Filipino. Even though words are not enough to describe just how beautiful the places I’ve seen is, let me give it a try and share some of them with you.

BASDAKO BEACH, MOALBOAL

I’ve never been to Boracay or Subic or Palawan, but I am willing to bet a thousand bucks that Basdako Beach will throw those beaches on the bleachers. To get there, we (I was travelling with the love of my life) rode a bus going to Bato at the Southern Bus terminal and got off at Moalboal. We rented a tricycle to get to the beach ( it took us about twenty five minutes) to get there.

We had to pay an environmental fee and a hundred bucks to set up a tent but it was all worth it. There weren’t many tourists around and the sea is very calm. Each wave that hits the shore almost produces a very relaxing and serenading sound. The sand was very fine and it was the perfect place to sit or lie down as we watch the sun taint the sea from orange to red, giving us the most beautiful view nature has to offer.

You may bring your own food here, but there are also food houses which sells homemade dishes where you can eat. I don’t know how to swim, but the sea is just too inviting to refuse that I just had to jump in. There are paid shower areas so that you may cleanse off the sting off the sea after taking a swim.

TAN-AWAN, OSLOB

Whale Shark Encounter

Famous for its ‘Whale Shark Encounter’ experience and considered as a must-do in Cebu, this is one stop we don’t dare miss. We arrived at Oslob at around 6PM and stayed at ‘Ester’s’, a cheap homestay location for travelers. It’s the pink house just around the highway and just a short walk from the whale encounter area.

After a good night rest, we woke up early to get ready to dive into the ocean once again to meet the famous whale sharks in the area. We arrived at the site at 6:30AM and the numbers of tourists are already growing. After paying Php600.00 each to swim with the whale sharks, we were asked to attend the orientation. Next, we canoed far from shore, and jump down the vast ocean (don’t worry we have a guide and life vests).

To my amazement, not just one nor two nor three but more than twenty whale sharks are swimming around me.  They are the biggest sea creatures that I have ever seen. It’s really fun to see them coming near you and finding yourself scared that they might just swallow you, and then having a sigh of relief as they pass by you.

Tumanog Falls

Still located in Oslob and requires you to rent a vehicle to travel thirty minutes up a steep hill. After that, the vehicles are no longer allowed to go through, for which we had to hike for about twenty minutes more (down the hill). The hike was really tiring but upon reaching the falls, all the tiredness just disappeared for what appeared before us was the grandest fall we have ever encountered.

The water is very clean, clear and refreshing that I almost didn’t want to leave. We went under the waterfalls and let the water falling from above massage our sore muscles. Being there in that particular location, surrounded by healthy green trees, hearing the birds chirping, just made me said ‘Thanks’ to God Above for creating such splendor and allowing me to experience it.

By the way, there are picnic tables and benches you can use if you are planning a picnic, but there are no stores around so you better bring some dishes or even snacks as the journey going here and back will consume your energy.

Calle Aragones

Here’s a beauty that didn’t require me to wear a swimsuit and yet gave me a great view of the Pacific Ocean. Based on the inscription that I’ve read, it was built way back in 1879 and named after a Parish Priest. It served as reclamation of the marshland and extended to be connected to the highway.

The plaza in it is filled with ruins that were left behind during the Spanish era. The architecture is simply amazing and gives you an idea of just how talented the people were back then. My favorite one is what was left behind of a used-to-be watch tower to help monitor the coming of probable enemies from the other side of the ocean.

They also have a free museum showing artifacts from various times that depicts the lifestyle of the people then.

CEBU CITY

Last but not the least is the Queen City of the South, Cebu City. In just half a day, you can already visit the various museums, churches, and tourist attractions that the city has to offer. It looks a bit familiar to the cities in Metro Manila, with the number of establishments and the hustle bustle of the people. The site is just different from that of Moalboal and Oslob where even the famous Jollibee couldn’t be found. In Cebu, there are more than three Jollibee’s I’ve seen and lots of mall, but let’s talk about some of its attractions.

Among the places that I have visited are Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Museum, Magellan’s Cross, Casa Gorordo Museum Rajah Humabon Park, Basilica del Sto. Nino, and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

What I love most about this whole trip was that I was able to do it all in a budget. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of our spendings:

ACCOMMODATION:

1st Night:  Express Inn Mactan(bought via Agoda)……………….. Php 700 (Php350 per head)

2nd Night:  Ester’s Place………………………………………………………… Php 600 (Php 300 per head)

3rd Night:  Europa Mansionette (Metrodeal)……………………….. Php 700 (Php 350 per head)

TRANSPORTATION (PER HEAD)

Roundtrip Airfare………………………………………………………………. Php 1350

Taxi Fare (to Express Inn)…………………………………………………..  Php 110 (55per person)

Fare to Moalboal (Bus)………………………………………………………  Php 130

Tricycle (Basdako to and fro)…………………………………………….  Php 100 (50 per head)

Fare to Oslob (from Moalboal)………………………………………….  Php 55

Vehicle Rental to and fro (Falls)…………………………………….…… Php 130 (65 per head)

Fare to Mandue (3rd hotel)………………………………………………..  Php 250

Taxi Fare (airport)……………………………………………………………..  Php 130

 

MUSEUM ENTRANCES AND ATTRACTIONS

Hotel San Pedro…………………………………………………………….. Php 30

Cathedral Museum…………………………………………………………..Php 50

Casa Gorordo………………………………………………………………….Php 40

Yap-Sandiego…………………………………………………………………. Php 50

Tent Set-Up……………………………………………………………………  Php 100

Envi fee (moalboal)………………………………………………………. Php 10.00

Swimming with Whalesharks………………………………………. Php 500

As for the food for three days, our total expenditure is less than Php 1,500. Most of which were spent on the third day at the mall.  Hence, the total being less than Php 5,000 per head including pocket money and pasalubongs…J

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