Last May 2016, my friend Euri booked us a ticket to Cebu and it’s a yearlong wait. So how did we plan out our trip? To be honest, we didn’t plan out anything(!). Shame. But, a few weeks before our trip, we found a nice package through friends who’ve been to Cebu. That’s how we set everything.
First off, our contact at Cebu was Kuya Chichi and he was a very accommodating person. Contact him through this number 09774529400 and you’d have a nice trip around Cebu.
July 13, 2017 – First day – We arrived at Cebu around 8 am. Kuya Chichi got on the road right away but stopped at Jollibee along the way so we could have a breakfast (on the road). Yep.
We were scheduled to visit Moalboal first then canyoneering in Badian.
Moalboal offered some of the beautiful islands in the country namely Pescador Island and Sardines Island. If you’re a big fan of the underwater, you should totally invest in buying a good underwater cam because the corals were really beautiful. There were a lot of fishes of different colors and sizes that you’d never see somewhere else–that’s in Pescador Island (or maybe I hadn’t seen them anywhere but you might have. Anyway…). If you think you’d seen what a water with a lot of fish looked like, you’d be amazed when you dived in and saw the sardines in Sardines Island. You’d be literally swimming with fishes, in this particular thing, sardines. And you know what? They’re a gorgeous set of school of fish. They swam in unison and almost their bodies shone when certain light hit them. Although, I wished there was a certain group who’d maintain the cleanliness around the area. The surface was not that clean to be honest, and those fishes might be around there but if the garbage was too much, we’d never know what might happen in the future.
As we changed into dry clothes, Kuya Chichi informed us that Canyoneering was closed due to heavy rain the other night. So we had to reschedule that the next day, hoping that they’d open it again. When we’re all done, we headed to our first hostel in Oslob and enjoyed the rest of the day.
We stayed at Casa Solmar and you could book a room through bookings.com. Our room was reserved by Kuya Chichi so I wasn’t so sure if they actually entertained walk ins, but you could always contact them through their facebook page. Their rooms were nice and clean, though we had a little room changing that we ended up in two rooms instead of just one. Anyway, the staffs were nice and accommodating.
We found this barbeque area where they served all things grilled. And they had this rice covered in woven coconut leaves called puso.
July 14, 2017 – Second day – We’re on our way to Oslob’s famous whale watching. I was in doubt with this activity because, to be honest, underwater freaked me out (it’s those corals). But the experience might be good so I went with it. When we got to Aaron’s Resort, we paid for the entrance fee. There were two payments: Php 300 if you’re just going to be on the boat and Php 500 if you’re going to the water. Then we ordered breakfast so that after it, it’s already cooked. They had the common silog in the menus and some other Filipino dishes. When it’s all settled, their minicab drove us to the location where the boat were parked. Before getting to the boat, there was an orientation on do’s and don’t’s, so listen to that. It’s for your safety and the whale’s.
The time were nearing the watching area, it started to stink. Not that kind of stink, you know, fishy smell? Like that. If you had a poor appetite or your nose was really sensitive, you might puke.
Getting in the water was kind of scary at first since I had this thought in my head that the whale might swam somewhere near me. But then I found out that there were fishermen who kept them in the center by feeding them. One thought I had when I was watching them, they’re encased. They’re practically circling around the area without the freedom to swim anywhere they like. I thought whale watching was actually waiting for them to show up and you’d be amazed because they had this whole surrounding where they could freely swim, but it’s not like that. Not at all.
Whale watching only took 30 minutes, so after that, we returned to the shore and back to Aaron’s Resort. We had our breakfast, rested for a while and then we got back on the road. Wet. Because our next stop was in Badian–the canyoneering adventure.
If you’re big on adventure (just like me), you’d definitely look forward to this activity. Canyoneering is in Badian where it might take for more than 5 hours, depending on how many rests and stops you do. You better get some stamina and lots of courage for this one because there would be a lot of cliff jumping, a little bit of trekking and of course, swimming in deep waters.
Before actually getting to the canyons, we had life vest fitting, shoe fitting and helmet fitting. Then we secured our things with waterproof bag and rode the habal-habal. They said when you’re going upstream, you had to take the habal-habal. It was fun. The ride was smooth and our driver’s really good. We were the first one who arrived at the registration area. Our guides, Ryan and Kuya Efren (I hoped I got his name right) gave us water since we would be trekking for at least 30 minutes before arriving at the start of the canyon.
Ryan asked us if we would be jumping and I went for it because I already tried cliff jumping. I just never thought it’d be at the beginning. Like, right at the start, we could jump or choose to climb down the little rocks. Cath and I were the braved ones who did the cliff jumping. And that set my mood for the whole adventure. I was pumped up with energy that I wanted more. And we had more of it.
It’s a long adventure. From here and there, we had to jump, swim, walk a little, climb a little. It’s an adventure of a lifetime. Then there’s the 30-feet jump. When asked if I was going to jump, I asked Cath first if she’s going for it, she said yes so, I said yes too. I checked it our and I was okay, the height was almost the same as the one in Hundred Island so I could do this. I told Kuya Efren to made a countdown and when he reached 3, I just covered my nose and jumped out. It was… I don’t know anymore.
Then another walking and swimming. Then we’re told there’s the 40-feet jump. I was starting to get nervous. Cath, without any hesitation, went for it. So I did too. But I was hesitating at this point. Our friends went to the easy trail and waited for us down below. I think my mistake at this was, I looked down. My knees were trembling, my heart was beating too loud, my mind was telling me to go back. But I pushed it all. I’d go for it. It just took me at least a minute(?) before I finally had the courage to lift my feet, out of the safety of the edge of the mountain and jumped off in the water. That’s a check on my bucket list. It’s an exhilarating feeling that I knew I’d do it again. It was fulfilling and I was happy I did it.
Then came almost the end of the trail where the Kawasan falls was waiting for us. It’s the last jump as well– the 45-feet jump. Cath went for it. Did I go as well? After the last jump, I knew I reached my limit, so when asked if I was going to do it, I could no longer do it. I had doubts on the last one so I’d rather try that next time I visit again. So we just waited for Cath and cheered her as she conquered the eighth cliff of the canyon.
I had a separate blog about what I learned from Canyoneering here. The best part of this activity was the feast at the end of it. You’d think you’re exhausted, you’re drained and tired but once you get to the end part and see the foods they’re serving you, you’d be filled with a renewed energy. To eat. A lot.
Our canyoneering adventure took 5 hours but the good thing about it was that, we enjoyed every bit of it.
That same day, after changing, we drove all the way back to Cebu City for our last day.
I forgot the name of the hotel we stayed at at Cebu City (I’ll update this after I find out), but we had 2 rooms. We’re just too exhausted that after having dinner, we dosed off right away.
July 15, 2017 – Third day – The city tour. Kuya Chichi’s navigator and assistant for the day was his daughter, who was very sweet for guiding us through the whole tour. We also had a gloomy day for our last day.
The places we went to were:
Temple of Leah – entrance fee was Php 50
Taoist Temple – no entrance fee
Heritage of Cebu Monument
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (There was a wedding going on when we got there)
Basilica del Sto. Nino
After touring around, we bought some pasalubong.
After that, we went straight to the airport because our flight back to Manila was at 8:00 pm-something. Surprisingly, after arriving at the airport, we saw that our flight was delayed due to bad weather.
Regardless of the bad weather, the experience was great. I’d totally come back for Cebu. There’s still a lot to see and a lot to eat. Next time, I’d visit North Cebu.
This was, hands down, worth waiting for a year.