It all started during one of our SMASH badminton sessions. We just wanted to visit our dearest friend Wesley in his hometown in Davao City, Mindanao. But when we checked the price of the ticket, it was almost Php7,000.00 for one-way only so we decided to meet halfway that’s why we came up with Cebu City, Visayas. After a week, Rodel booked our roundtrip ticket going to Cebu for only Php4,100.00 per person.
The Planning and Preparation
I took initiative in organizing our trip and Wesley helped me because he stayed in Cebu for five years and was familiar with some of the places. From planning up to the entire tour itself, we checked every important details. It was actually a group effort since everyone participated that’s why it was easily organized.
Day 0: Here We Come Cebu!
Around 10PM when we finally reached Mactan, Cebu. For our very first destination, we ate at Larsian BBQ Restaurant. This restaurant serves different variety of grilled foods. This was also my first time to try their “puso”, a rice wrapped and boiled in a triangular casing made of woven coconut leaves. Looking at my friend’s eye on how they enjoyed the food, it says everything – craving satisfied.
We checked-in at YMCA Hostel around 12 midnight then left around 7am for the City tour.
Day 1: The City Tour
Tops Lookout – First on our list was the Tops Lookout. For PHP100, we’re able to see the fascinating panoramic view of Cebu City and its neighboring islands – Mactan and Olango.
Temple of Leah – This is the temple that was built out of love and the newest attraction in Cebu City. Temple of Leah is similar to the ancient Rome architectural design. Admission fee is PHP50.
Taoist Temple – The temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi. The temple is open for worshippers and non-worshippers alike. They are also giving a free hot tea for all visitors. Taking photos inside the prayer hall is not allowed but you can take photos in other parts of the temple. Admission fee is free.
Magellan’s Cross – Cebu’s popular historical landmark and tourist attraction – the Magellan’s Cross. I was totally in awe while staring and standing on this historical ground where Magellan’s cross was planted.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño – Beside Magellan’s Cross Chapel is the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, the home of famous Santo Nino image paraded during Sinulog, Ati-Atihan, and Dinagyang festivals in Visayas region. During regular days, a long queue of devotees are still coming to get an opportunity to get up close and pray to Sto. Nino.
Since we were a group of Evangelical Christians, we didn’t spent much time inside the Church. We just took photos and studied the structure of Churches.
Around 12 noon when we left Cebu City and went to Carcar, Cebu. Carcar is best known for its famous Lechon Cebu. Before my visit to Cebu, my own perception of lechon was just an ordinary Filipino pork dish because of all the not-so-crunchy and not-so-tasty lechon that I have tasted in Manila. But the wrong perception changed when I tried Carcar’s lechon. It was the best lechon I have ever tasted. The crunchiness and tastefulness are just overwhelming. And lechon was now one of my top food on my list.
We travelled one and half hours from Cebu City to Carcar and one and half hours from Carcar to our next accommodation which is Badian, Cebu. We checked-in at Grandeur Beach Resort.
We had a short group devotion and played a reverse charades. It was a perfect way to end the day.
Day 2: The Unforgettable Canyoneering and Kawasan Falls Adventure
Around 8 AM when we had our breakfast for the preparation to the exciting day to come. We checked-out on our accommodation but we just left our things in the storage area then get back to it after our whole day activity.
Personal Top Pick: Canyoneering Adventure at Badian
It was around 9 AM when we started the journey to the starting point of the Canyoneering adventure. We were accompanied by the accommodating tour guides from Canyoneering Kawasan Travel and Tour Agency.
The starting point of Canyoneering Adventure was already a challenge for some us, we were all required to jump the 20-feet high. Once everyone was on the water already, we moved to the next station.
Challenging road at the starting point of canyoneering adventure.
We’ve got this jaw-dropping view when we reached the next station.
Everyone swam to get to the stone areas.
What a magnificent view at the middle of our journey.
There’s no other way but to jump.
After almost 5 hours of extreme adventure, we’ve finally come to the end Canyoneering.
But the fun wasn’t done yet because at the end of Canyoneering, the natural beauty of Kawasan Falls amazed all of us.
The Natural Beauty of Kawasan Falls
After half an hour of walking from the end of Canyoneering trail to the second-level of Kawasan Falls, these mouthwatering food satisfied our cravings.
As much as we wanted to try the 30-feet high jump, our tourist guide already collected our life vest and brought back to the owner.
This is the preview of some of the highlights from our canyoneering adventure:
As an adventure enthusiast, I haven’t tried this one of a kind activity. From jumping, trailing, swimming and sliding, that was totally entertaining. Five long hours might sounds too long but no single moment that we felt tired. It’s really full of enjoyment. Also, I was amazed by the clear water of Kawasan falls and its natural beauty. Definitely one of the highlights of my life!
Day 3: Swimming with the Gigantic Sea Creatures of Oslob
After the unforgettable experience at Canyoneering and Kawasan Falls Adventure, we went straight to our next destination which is in Oslob. And when you heard Oslob, one thing that will definitely comes first to your mind is the gigantic whale sharks.
Around 6am when we left our accommodation – the Luzmin Lodging House. We rode on a tricycle for 20 minutes when we reached Tan-Awan Beach. After 30 minutes of orientation and preparation, the long wait was over.
Meeting with whale sharks.
Fishermen told us that there were total of 16 whale sharks on Tan-awan Beach as of November 2016. I don’t personally like the idea that the municipality of Oslob allowed this kind of activity because it destroys the natural flow of nature. These whale sharks naturally stay for a maximum of sixty day. However, as fishermen import food from other regions to feed the whale sharks, they are now staying in Oslob for much longer instead of moving to other regions. As a matter of fact, the longest recorded stay for a whale shark in Oslob was Mr. Bean, who had stayed for 392 days.
Oslob Heritage Park
Fifteen minutes away from Tan-awan beach was the Oslob Heritage Park. In this park, we checked out some Spanish-era structures.
This unfinished barracks, which is made up of thick coral blocks, remained intact after enduring wards and withstanding earthquakes and frequent typhoons.
Parish Church of Immaculate Conception
This church has suffered and survived fire damages during the Japanese occupation in 1942, and two other incidents dated 1955 and 2008.
Baluarte – is one of the seven fortified watchtowers that were installed along the coastline of Oslob and serves as a defensive stratagem against Moro attacks. Today, Baluarte is now the historic centerpiece on a lovely bay side park in Oslob.
We checked-out at Luzmin Lodging House at twelve noon and then travelled back to Cebu City for four hours.
We bought dried seafood at Taboan Public Market for food souvenir. We checked-in at Park Hill Hotel in Mactan, Cebu and we watched movies.
Day 4: Our last Goodbye to Beautiful Cebu
Considering that the first three days of our Southern Cebu adventure has been full of activities, we just allotted our last day in the City for chill. We woke up late then we had our breakfast at Marina Mall, checked-out at twelve noon and then traveled back to the City, brought the famous Cebu’s lechon and watched movie at SM City Cebu.
Before our flight back to Manila, we tried the unlimited chicken wings of Burrow Lounge in Parkmall. For only PHP199.00, we experienced the best chicken wings in town. Around 11PM, we flew back to Manila.
It was truly a moment to remember. I personally enjoyed everything that has happened in Cebu. It’s really hard to pick the highlights of my 4-Day adventure in Southern Cebu because every moment was just priceless. One thing is for sure, Northern part of Cebu was now included on my bucket list to visit on my next travel. See you again Cebu!