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A tourist in my own country. Yes, I am! Who is not? Kidding aside, I can count on my fingers ( hands and feet ) the cities and provinces that I have visited in The Philippines. I may have lived there 26 years of my life, I’m still not familiar for some of our customs, traditions and local sites.I’m still in awe with the things that I read and watch from famous bloggers/vloggers who published/broadcast anything about The Philippines.
It is my goal to visit one city/province I haven’t been to before. This time, I chose to visit the ‘Queen City of the South’ which is known as Cebu. Highly urbanized but laid back Cebu, offers not only their awesome scenic views but also their adrenaline pumping, breathtaking and fun entertainment. Their trip is suitable for locals, group tours and soloist like me.
FYI – My province is in Benguet, Philippines so my travel time is 3x – 4x farther than anyone visiting Cebu with in the country.
Travel Time Baguio - Clark is 3 - 4 hours by Bus ( add 1 hour if using NAIA) Airport waiting time - 1 - 2 hours Clark - Cebu by Plane - 1 hour and 30 minutes Cebu - Moalboal - 2 hours private Car
I booked my 4 days itinerary with a local guide in Moalboal. He offers a complete package from my accommodation, transportation and adventure. The best thing is that they cater to Solo Travellers.
Itinerary - Day 1 0800H - Arrival in Mactan International Airport 0801H - 1200H - Travel Time to Moalboal Cebu with breaks.etc 1201H - 1600H - Pescador Island, Sardines Run and Finding Turtles ( lols ) - PHP 2500/-inclusive of Boat, Guide, Snorkel Set, Tourism fee 1601H - back to my guest house then deads.
I arrive at my guesthouse before lunch after a long hour of driving, flying and waiting. My host/ guide let me rest for an hour or so then we started my journey to adventure.
Our first stop was Pescador Island, before hopping on a boat we first drop by Moalboal’s tourism office for registration. My host has three guides along with him mainly because of me. I know how to swim but I’m not that confident swimming in deep-sea waters.
They give me a life vest and snorkel set. Then let me dive in the water. After which they throw the lifebuoy with a 1-meter rope connected to it. Much to my surprise, one of the guides dive in the water then ask me to hold on to the lifebuoy while he was swimming and pulled it around the island.
I was flustered at first but for my safety, I followed their instructions. Surely enough, I enjoyed snorkelling around the Island.
The Island is also known for Free Divers ( my host/guide itself is a license freediver) and Scuba Divers because of its rich marine sanctuaries, the abundance of coral reef and living fish of different kinds. I guarantee a whole new experience when you visit the place.
On our way back, there were food stalls around the area. We grab some Banana Cue (deep-fried banana in a caramelized brown sugar on a skewer ).
Freshen up, rest and prepare for dinner ( that was the plan) however, right after I showered I laid on my bed and drift off to a faraway land. I didn’t even have the chance to eat my dinner that night though my host has been calling. I was overly exhausted and dead tired.
Itinerary - Day 2 0500H - 0700H - Drive to Oslob 0701H - 0730H - Registration 0730H - 0900H - Breakfast and Waiting time 0901H - 0930H - Oslob Whale Watching Registration Fee 500.00 - Filipinos 1000.00 - Other Nationalities 0930H - 1130H - Sumilon Island including travel time Registration Fee - 2000.00 - Environmental fee + Boat 1130H - 1230H - Lunch at your own expense 1230H - 0230H -Binalayan falls including travel time Registration Fee - 200.00 pesos 0230H - 0430H - Inambakan Falls including travel time Registration Fee - 50.00 + parking fee 0430H - 0600H - Drive Back to Guest House
We started early on the second day, woke up around 0430H and then left to Oslob Cebu. The journey was smooth as it was early and no heavy traffic. We arrived in Oslob around 0700H or earlier. I thought were early but when we arrived, the queue was already long. Our number was at 90+ and each batch on the boat for watching consists of 7 – 8 person for every 30 minutes.
We had breakfast near the area while waiting. After breakfast and coffee, our number was called, we hopped on the boat and sailed near these gentle giants underwater.
The whales were approximately 50 – 100 meters or less away from the shore. You will not miss them out. Always maintain a safe distance so as not to be hit by them. The whole experience and encounter were pretty short but sweet and extraordinary, it was daebak!
Next stop was Sumilon Island. I meet a couple earlier this day and we went together to Sumilon Island with our guide. We took a ride for a few minutes then hop in a big boat. The sand bar was knee-deep when we arrived and the location changes depending on the tide. We enjoyed the stunning scenery and the clear blue water for an hour or two and headed back to the main island.
Right after our lunch, our “Chasing WaterFalls Journey Started”.
We drive to our next stop Binalayan Waterfalls – its hidden waterfalls in Samboan, Cebu. It’s a short walk to and from the main road. Around 15-20 minutes depending on your pace. A dirt trail lined with coconut palm trees. The trail was a view itself while walking due to its green and calming environment.
We arrived at the falls after 20 minutes. The sound of the waterfalls was relaxing and pleasing to the ears. You can enjoy the pool for a few hours as it’s not so touristy or you can opt to dive from the spots allotted for diving. Our local guide and one of the couples I met earlier in Sumilon was with me during the trip and tried jumping.
We then proceed to Inambakan Falls in Ginatilan, Cebu. You can hire a motor ride all the way to this falls as it was far from the main road.
Inambakan falls – it’s a majestic waterfall overshadowed by one of the famous waterfalls ( Kawasan Falls) in South Cebu. Its 100 feet high towering a few smaller falls just a few steps away.
Though its off the beaten path, the clear blue water from the falls crashing through stones into the pool was welcoming. Inambakan is a 5 level falls flowing from one to another but we only stayed on the main waterfall. And yet again, we were the only in the area. We swam and enjoyed the cold water here for a few hours jumping and diving and pictorials.
My itinerary for this day was a bit tiring, there was a lot of walking, swimming and walking. Again.
Ended our day on a bar in the main street of Moalboal, dinner with a bottle of beer together with our guides and the couple that I meet that day.
1st Half – Free
2nd Half – Badian Canyoneering Adventure + Kawasan Falls ( wear a comfortable shoe ideal for walking and swimming) – 1500.00 pesos with tourism fee/environmental fee, gears, guide and lunch.
The next morning I woke up late with a sore body. ? We had a healthy breakfast at a local restaurant then back to my guesthouse for a nap while waiting for my guide.
As I always say, saved the best for last. Few minutes after lunch, my guide picked me up together with a family he guided in freediving in the morning. Had some lunch and we headed to Badian for the canyoneering adventure. Upon arrival, they let us wear/carry our gear, orientation and we had to walk for approximately 30 minutes to the starting point.
Here are complete Video Clips from my IG Account.
Ended my day with a grateful heart. The adventure was fun and overwhelming. I highly recommend this day’s itinerary if you are looking for a heart-pumping activity that will ignite your adventurous side. It’s a safe and extreme adventure you will never forget.
Next day, woke up late.
Eat my breakfast and prepared for my trip back to Cebu City. I left my guest house pass 1100H then bought some Cebu Chicharon along the way.
I checked in at my hotel in Cebu City at 1400H same day. Had a quick nap then went out for some shopping.
Next day was my flight back to Manila then to Baguio.
The underwater Photos was taken by Niccolo Stevens of Niccolo Stevens Photos.