Unanticipated Attractions in Cebu, Philippines

 

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“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage”. -Paolo Coelho-

Stressful week? Want to unwind and escape away from City life? I bet we’re on the same shoes or maybe not. Some love to go to work because work is work and we need it to sustain our daily needs. Some go to work because they have to in order to survive. And some work not because of their self but because some members of the family depends on them. And what keeps me driving to go to work despite the fact that I love traveling and adventures? Right! I need to go to work because my family needs me and nature’s waiting for me to discover them.

I intend to write my thoughts about my unanticipated wonderful experiences together with different people, student, etc. Throughout my journey for this year “2018”, I’ve met different people and amazing experiences which made my year wonderful and memorable.

 

Let’s start from my hometown in Tabuelan, Cebu. Located in the northern part of Cebu, you’ll found a wonderful white sand beach. Two years ago Maravilla White Sand beach was not very popular until a resort called “Tree Sunset Beach Resort” meters away from Maravilla went viral online for its unique concept that was very suitable for young adults to hangout with and have fun away from the city. After that resort became popular the public beach of Maravilla became a spot for those whose on their budget or a group of people having their team building or just chilling along the beach.

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And this was my favorite in Maravilla White Sand beach, the sunset. The place very much comparable to Boracay because in Maravilla the sunset’s so wonderful and Instagram worthy to those who love photography.

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If you love to beach as your prenup or pre-wedding photos, Maravila’s the best location. It’s not too crowded and it has a long shoreline and wonderful spots for your partner. Take note no need for you pay just to do photo shoot in the whole place. 🙂

So how to go to Maravilla? That’s a good question. All you need to do is to go to Northbus terminal. You have options depends on your comfort zone.

  • You can take “Inday Meme Bus” that will go directly to Maravilla public white sand beach. But this bus is not like “Ceres bus liner if your familiar”. This is an ordinary bus and the seat’s not really spacious. Mostly the bus is crowded over the weekend because most of the local’s from Tabuelan will go home.
  • Take a V-hire if you want to save time. However; there’s no guarantee that the V-hire will go directly to Maravilla. Some V-hire’s will pass by the beach and some will just have their stationary at the public Market. Because the other V-Hire’s will be heading to Tuburan. So you need to take a motorcycle that would take you to Maravilla.
  • The third option is most likely the same with the V-Hire. Take a bus “Ceres bus liner.” Going to Tabuelan-Tuburan, and once you reach Tabuelan public market take a motorcycle to Maravilla.
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So the choice is yours and Maravilla’s waiting for you guys. 🙂

 

Next stop, let’s have the latest viral instagramable destination within your reach in Cebu City, @Neri’s Ville Selfie Corner. Expected expenses are the following:

  • P100 per way by motorcycle or (habal-habal) and that’s per person. The motorcycle can accommodate 2 people. Before it was only P80 per way, however due to its popular in demand they’ve increase the fare because of the waiting fee. But if you have car then your good to go.
  • P50 for the entrance,parking fee at Neri’s Ville when we went there if you have your own car was for free.
  • Jeepney fare if your from Ayala or Colon in Cebu City take a Jeepney that will go directly to “Pit-os” Talamban or 62B & 62C jeepney code. Fare was less than P20 each.
  • Operating hours; From Mondays-Sundays 8AM-& 7PM.
  • And always be a responsible visitor, follow the Leave no Trace policy guys.

 

During our visit, the owner herself was painting some inspirational travel line’s along the stairs and in the entrance part there was a constructions on going. The place was really cute and don’t expect that they have an expansive place once you enter Neri’s Ville selfie Corner.

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We had our first stop at their mini hobbit house. We couldn’t ask someone to take us this photo so we set our small tripod and use the small Bluetooth remote in taking the photo.

Even though we reach the place around 9 o’clock in the morning, group of people were already there mostly occupying the hobbit house. And we we’re not given the chance to take some photos because they’ve stayed longer like no plans of going out so that other guess will have the chance to take photos.

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So what we did, was just took a selfie together with my pretty student “Yoyo” her English name at the back the yellow mini hobbit house.

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This was one of my favorite spot, in front of this was a spider swing.

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And of course the most popular one, the Bali inspiration of everyone this spot was considered the most popular online.

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Probably our number spot, since the scenic view’s like a painting and it was pretty amazing when we check the photo after the criminology student took this for us. “Thanks to them”.

I had a short conversation with the owner and she told me how there mini garden went viral suddenly. She said “someone visited their place, took some photos then that person posted their photos in Social Media account, Boom! It became suddenly a hit, especially millennial babies love posting photos that has a nice and interesting ambiance. To their surprised, they suddenly open their place to the public and tried their best to upgrade and do a lot of stuffs to make it more interesting. One thing that made this all worth it, was motorcycle drivers was able to have extra income because people from time to time visit the place especially to those who don’t have their private transportation. And I really adore the owner because she’s very open for suggestions and improvement of their place though it was not that really a huge place. Keep it up!

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After Neri’s Ville we went to Balaman to chase the sunset. And this iconic color hanging bridge was located in JVR’s Island in the Sky Resort.

Before we had our visit at JVR we head first in Manunggal Peak to had a short hike however, they wont allow us to do so unless we have a guide. We reached the place almost 4pm and we tried our best to haggle not to have a guide instead we will pay an entrance fee that they have before for P80. But they insisted that it was not okay, we need to have a guide for them to allow us to reach the peak. It was disappointing because the motorcycle was already a total of P300 back and fort then we will pay another P400 even though it was already late. So what we did, we gave up and head directly @JVR Island in the Sky Resort.

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For only P50 you’ll have a great sunset view from this resort. There was a new resort nearby calles Florentino and their sunset view was very awesome too.However; I wanted to be more unique and capture nice nature view with my Yoyo.

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Yoyo’s smile while we chase the sunset was so precious. I’m glad that she liked this resort to forget the unfortunate experienced when we went in Manunggal.

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Thank you so much Yoyo for trusting me in taking a great adventure with you on your stay here in Cebu.

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As the sun sets let the peace and harmony be with you Yoyo to ease the pain and burden you carried after your Mom passed away. I hope that you’ll remember all the good things that you had together with her and strive for happiness in life. Fighting!

 

 

 

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Best of Top of Cebu Restaurant.

Before we end our journey on that day, we need to fill in our hungry stomach. From JVR Island in the Sky Resort, we went to Sirao Peak for a short hike even though it was already dark and called my friend nearby to fetch us and take us to Top of Cebu.

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My apologies for the quality of the photo. Meet Juan or John one of my hiking buddy who lives nearby and we ask a favor since we were lucky on that night that he’s available to fetch us from Sirao Peak after our short hike.

We waited for around 20-25 minutes before our dinner was served. We ordered, Busay express as I remember, sisig rice and fiesta rice and for our main course was chicken adobo sa gata and grilled pork belly. While waiting for our food, our three San Mig Light was served first so we had time talking with one another.  For more details please visit their Facebook Page.

For your reference you can check out their menu. I did not personally took the photo for this menu. I’ve search through google’s image and it was the same menu as what I have in my phone.

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One of my light room preset was responsible for this awesome photo. Thanks a lot Yoyo for the wonderful dinner we had together with Juan.

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Give your best smile after dinner 🙂 It was so funny that our outfit was too sporty during our visit. But who cares right? We’re here to eat and enjoy the wonder city lights view on top.

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This is #CEBU a must photo you ought to take once you dine and visit Top Of Cebu.

As for my personal thoughts about the food? Guys, it was superb! I gave it two thumbs up! Top of Cebu’s a sister restaurant of Lantaw but my honest opinion will go to Top of Cebu. Their food was really tasty, of course Lantaw’s food was tasty as well but Top of Cebu was for me ahead 2 points when it comes to serving and variety of cuisine and its taste. Both have a reasonable price, and serving time was completely the same. But the food was really different and interesting, plus its wonderful ambiance.

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Somewhere in Malubog Lake in Toledo, Cebu.

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Our next destination for our second day was a hiking morning @Mt.Tagaytay in Toledo, Cebu.

Mt. Tagaytay in Toledo, Cebu was pretty amazing and was really good for beginner hikers.

However; we were not lucky enough as we arrived because the weather was not good and it was already raining. We had our stop at a local house and we can’t afford to hit the trail on that rainy day. We were so lucky that the owner of the house invited us over and she gave us another option where we should go since the weather’s not with us.

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Our guide kuya Nilo took us to the mini falls and we hike along the stream.

But unfortunate event happened after we took this photo together with my student. The water suddenly went up and there’s no way for us to cross that river going back.

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Yoyo  with the country’s national animal. 🙂

Before we reach this part of the river, check out my first photo. We need to hike up to the mountains and find our own trail so that we can go back. Our supposed destination was the mini falls because of its rock formation, the tunnel and also going to the lake after this mini falls. But we were not lucky enough to achieve our plan. We gave up and went back for our safety. Good thing that our guide was part of the barangay official so he was very kind and also worried a lot since I am with a foreigner. Hopefully next time we will be able to achieve our goal. Total budget that we spent for this trip was the following:

  • P80 each for the habal-habal or motorcycle ride. Before it was P60 each but a sudden increase was expected as Mt. Tagaytay became popular online.
  • P100 V-hire Express, from Cebu to Toledo. But you need to tell the driver to drop you at Brgy. Magdugo. Landmark was Julies bakeshop and motorcycles are already lining once you reach the place.
  • The total experience was priceless though we were not lucky enough to reach our destination. Well there’ll be a next time, hope to make it happen soon.
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    How come the water suddenly went up after I took this photo.

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Just keep smiling and going, it’s not the end of the day. Tomorrow will be a better day for us.

 

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Disconnect to connect, together with Mr. Bacalla at Bacalla woods and campsite in San Fernando, Cebu.

After our unfortunate yet memorable experience in Toledo, we directly went to Bacalla woods to stay for overnight. Best thing to do if you want to have a reservation is to contact them directly through this number 09238256945. They’re more active if you contact them directly, compare through Facebook and Instagram.

  • FYI: BASIC OVERNIGHT camping fee is P200 including breakfast on the next day, maintenance of the campsite and for the usage of cr, electricity, drinking water and kitchen.
  • For DAY USE its P100 per person, 1-7 years old is for free, 8-12 years old will be 50% off.
  • You can bring/cook your own food for the rest of the meals w/no extra charge.
  • Please bring your own tents, hammocks, sleeping bags if you only wanted to pay the basic camping fee.
  • THE FF: ARE THE RENTAL RATES: Hammock P150 each, Tent for two pax P300, Tent for four pax P600 and Tent for ten pax P1000. Payag Igloo for 4 pax is P800 and Room, P1300.
  • Just to give you an idea of what we can do here, please click this link.
  • For Final booking transaction, please deposit 50% down payment to BDO checking account name: Ian Vicent Bacalla, account number will be given to you through text confirmation. Or send the downpayment thru Palawan Express Pera Padala to Ian Vincent Bacalla, mobile number: 09238256945.Then send them the tracking number.
  • First DP first serve basis, they need to book your activities ahead of time. Strictly Leave no Trace Policy. LET’S HAVE A PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE WITH NATURE AND IT’S INHABITANTS. CHILL DOWN AFTER 10PM. DRINK MODERATELY.
  • Here’s how to get there: From South Bus Terminal ride a ceres bus going to San Fernando. When you reach Pitalo Church a few meters aways you will be approaching a bridge near Pulchra Resort. The first street on your right is “Eskina Ilaya, get a motorbike for P90 each. The campsite is 7Km away from the National Highway Main Road.

Quite long right? This was the exact message we received after we sent our down payment through Palawan Express. We arrive the place around 9pm.

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After we settled our things in our Igloo accommodation I boiled some water for our noodles.

It was indeed a nice night to reflect for our adventures as we sat down eating our cup of ramyeon. For our night at Bacalla we considered ourselves lucky enough because we own the whole place. No other guest so we really felt at home in the woods. No signal? Not a problem, you really need to get disconnected to get a proper connection with people thru real communication.

We had a wonderful sleep and was able to wake up early because of the awesome morning breeze. Our breakfast was served ready as we head to the table and sat down. Played at the hammock a bit to relax and feel the morning breeze. Everything’s pretty refreshing and great.

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Our wonderful Payag Igloo accommodation. Credits to Yoyo for this photo.

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Indeed, life’s better at the mountain.

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Yoyo was very happy that she saw her favorite quote “LIVE LAUGH LOVE”.

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So here we go, the most iconic and popular spot in Bacalla, their Bali inspiration infinity swing.

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Leaving Bacalla Woods with a big smile. Thanks a lot Yoyo. 🙂

Everything went well, we had an awesome experiences and memories that we can treasure as Yoyo’s heading back to Taiwan very soon. Please check this link.

The link on top was our last adventure in the south of Cebu. We did the full course canyoneering in Badian, Cebu. And chase the sunset in Basdaku, white sand beach in Moalboal before they go back in Taiwan.

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Meet Yoyo, she’s my best buddy student. We had a lot in common, and shared wonderful adventures together. See you in Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Unanticipated Attractions in Cebu, Philippines

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