Exploring South Cebu: A Backpacking Trip (Part 2 of 4)

Article, Photography

When we started planning our trip, this was the part that I was really excited about. We have visited old churches in Bohol before but we were only able to visit two churches in Cebu. This time we visited more!

We left Moalboal around 8AM. This was our itinerary for the day: from Moalboal we would go to Carcar to buy Chicharon and to eat their famous Lechon. Then we would go to Sibonga to visit the Simala church. After that we would go to Argao to visit their church and other old buildings. Proceed to another municipality, Dalaguete, to visit their church as well. Lastly, we would then take a bus to Oslob where we would stay for the night. We were not that busy, huh?

First Stop
CARCAR

Carcar is known for their Chicharon (Pork Cracklings) and of course the famous Lechon (Roasted Pig). But what I really wanted to see was their architecture. Carcar is the only heritage town in Cebu City with many of its old architecture, ranging from the Spanish to the American colonial periods intact. The bus stopped near the Rotunda and we asked for directions from there. We didn’t know the name of the church so we just asked the locals where their old church was. They said we can ride a tricycle but we decided to just walk since it was more exciting. After a couple of minutes we reached the place.

The Mercado Ancestral House. We passed this by on our way to the plaza.

The Mercado Ancestral House. We passed this by on our way to the plaza.

Center of the plaza

Center of the plaza

The Carcar City Museum- This building used to be the Carcar Dispensary. It has since been turned into a museum to highlight the city's culture and history.

The Carcar City Museum- This building used to be the Carcar Dispensary. It has since been turned into a museum to highlight the city’s culture and history.

Panorama shot from the museum's balcony.

Panorama shot from the museum’s balcony.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church

Parish Convent- It also has a museum but we were told that it was closed at the moment.

Parish Convent- It also has a museum but we were told that it was closed at the moment.

We stayed there for at least an hour then went to the public market to eat Lechon. Yum! After that sumptuous lunch we waited for a bus going to Sibonga.

Second Stop
SIBONGA

There were four of us from Moalboal, Eloise, Mark, Grace Kelly and I, but Eloise and Mark decided to go straight to Oslob after Carcar. Grace Kelly and I decided to stick to the original plan. Since another friend of ours, Joy, was already on her way to meet us we decided we would wait for her in Simala Church. Sibonga was only around 15 to 20 minutes bus ride from Carcar. We stopped by the bus stop then we rode a habal-habal (motorcycle) to the church since it was also a couple of minutes away from the highway. It was an unexplainable feeling once we reached the church. It was like we were in another country. See for yourself:

Simala Church in Sibonga, Cebu- The church literally looks like a castle.

Simala Church in Sibonga, Cebu- The church literally looks like a castle.

Construction is still on going on the right side. Will surely go back to this place once everything is done.

Construction is still on going on the right side. Will surely go back to this place once everything is done.

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Inside the curch

A view from one of the balconies at the top.

A view from one of the balconies at the top.

Me, Joy and Grace Kelly. Next Stop: Argao, Cebu

Me, Joy and Grace Kelly. Next Stop: Argao, Cebu

Third Stop
ARGAO

I was looking forward to go to Argao since it was my grandmother’s hometown. At least I would get to see some of the places that she saw as a kid. There were jeepneys from Sibonga to Argao but we chose to wait for another bus. Argao was only 10km away so it was just a very short bus ride. When we arrived there we immediately asked where their old church was and we were told it was just near and we can ride a tricycle. But for us “ride a tricycle” means “it’s just near so we might as well walk” hahaha. True enough it was just near. We reached the Cabecera de Argao (Center of the Town of Argao) and we mere mesmerized by the place. It was like stepping into another time in the past. The Municipal Hall was just in front of the church and to the right side of the church was the Hall of Justice and at the center was a park.

The center of the town where the church, hall of justice and municipal hall are all located.

The center of the town where the church, hall of justice and municipal hall are all located.

Panorama view of the church and the park

Panorama view of the church and the park

San Miguel Arcangel Parish Church- The church was constructed in 1734 and was completed in 1788.

San Miguel Arcangel Parish Church- The church was constructed in 1734 and was completed in 1788.

Hall of Justice- This is just to the right side of the church.

Hall of Justice- This is just to the right side of the church.

Balay Lungsod sa Argao, 1608

The church and it's bell tower.

The church and it’s bell tower.

Me, Joy and Kelly

Me, Joy and Kelly. Next stop: Dalaguete.

Fourth Stop
DALAGUETE

The took another bus from Argao to Dalaguete. It was an air-conditioned bus so we paid P30 but that was fine. The church in Dalaguete was called San Guillermo de Aquitania. It was also just a walking distance from the bus stop. It was starting to get dark when we reached Dalaguete. Their church was infront of the beach and there was also a park there. We took some photos while it was still not that dark and walked the church grounds for a couple of minutes.

San Guillermo de Aquitania Church

San Guillermo de Aquitania Church

The church and it's bell tower.

The church and it’s bell tower.

Fourth and Final Stop
OSLOB

Waiting for the bus to Oslob

Waiting for the bus to Oslob

We didn’t wait long at the bus stop for the bus to Oslob. We rode a non-airconditioned bus since the air was already cold. It was another 20 to 30 minutes ride to Oslob. It was already dark outside so we were not able to see much of the view. We reached Oslob around 7 in the evening and had barbecue and rice for dinner along the highway.

Dinner time.

Dinner time.

We just walked our way to Oslob New Village where Eloise and Mark were waiting. We retired for the night and recharged our energy for our next adventure.

Oslob New Village- Where we stayed for the night. Up next: Swimming with the Whale Sharks

Oslob New Village- Where we stayed for the night.
Up next: Swimming with the Whale Sharks

Here’s a link to a video compilation of this day’s adventure:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ASCXcTcGUPw

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Exploring South Cebu: A Backpacking Trip (Part 1 of 4)

Article, Photography

Cebu is an island province in the Philippines that is rich in history and a lot of great places to go to. I had the opportunity to travel to Cebu twice in the past but it was mostly just around the city. Visited sites like the Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro and museums around Colon street–the oldest street in the country. Before, I was like, “Yeah, I’ve been to Cebu. I’ve seen the places.” only to find out that I was wrong. Cebu has a lot… and I mean A LOT… to offer and I have never even scratched the surface yet.

The moment my friends and I booked our plane ticket a couple of months back I was already very excited. I was already imagining what we would do once we get there. I’m a sucker for everything historical–old churches, old municipal halls, museums with historical artifacts–so this was the perfect time to go to those places. My friends also wanted to do adventurous things so we had to meet halfway. Grace Kelly, one of my closest friends, came up with a detailed itinerary that had everything that we wanted. We agreed that it will be a backpacking trip and just for the fun of it we called ourselves “The Backpackers”. Great huh? hahaha

We were on different flight schedules going to Cebu. On November 29, Saturday, Eloise and Mark departed 3 hours earlier. Kelly and I were on the same flight but we were delayed for an hour. Another friend of ours, Joy, followed on December 1st. And another one, Ms. Ricah, who was also on a different flight, met with us during our last night in Cebu. However, due to an airline schedule change we were on the same flight back to Davao. Yeah!

Here are the details of our trip that I want to share to everyone based on our itinerary.

OFF TO THE QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH
Cebu City to Moalboal

Since it was backpacking trip we decided that riding a Taxi was not an option. It was not hard to ask for directions from the locals since we spoke the same language. Eloise and Mark provided the instructions on what route to take and what jeepney to ride from the airport going to the South Bus Terminal. It was more or less a 2-hour bus ride from Cebu City to Moalboal (a municipality) where we stayed for two nights.

Moalboal is a diving spot so there were a lot of foreigners there. We stayed at Moalboal Backpacker Lodge which we booked ahead of time and we were able to get a discount. There were a lot inns and lodging houses there but I suggest you book in advance because it’s packed with people from all over the place. It’s a great place and it’s just a couple of steps away from the ocean. It doesn’t have a shoreline unlike places like Boracay, but it’s a perfect place for snorkeling. You would immediately see corals and fishes are all around like they don’t care at all.

View of the ocean. You can just use a snorkeling mask or rent it there from the locals for only P150 and you can snorkel the whole day if you want. You might even get to see Sea Turtles if you are on the right spot.

View of the ocean. You can just use a snorkeling mask or rent it there from the locals for only P150 and you can snorkel the whole day if you want. You might even get to see Sea Turtles if you are on the right spot.

 

WE CHASED WATERFALLS
Off to Kawasan Falls

The morning after our first night stay in Moalboal was our schedule to go to Kawasan Falls. It was in Badian, another municipality which was just a few minutes away from Moalboal. You can ride a bus going there but we chose to ride a tricycle. When we got there we were informed by the local officials that the falls was closed because it flooded around three days ago due to bad weather condition. There were also a lot of people from Manila who were there only to find out that it was closed. But after a couple of minutes waiting there they finally allowed everyone to enter as long as they get a guide–for a fee. Usually they would charge P300 but we haggled and only paid P150. It was a 10 to 15-minute walk to the falls and we could really see the damage as a result of the flood along the way. But we forgot all those when we got there.

The Kawasan Falls in Badian.

The Kawasan Falls in Badian.


The falls has three layers and where we were was the lowest part. We were not allowed to go the second and first layer since it was not safe. Rocks and other debris blocked the way up. Better safe than sorry. We spent more than an hour there swimming and taking pictures. We noticed that people were starting to arrive and it got crowded already to we decided to head back to Moalboal for lunch. Went to the beach for a moment then went back to to the lodge. We spent our second night there and prepared for the adventure the following day.

That was day 1 of our backpacking trip. Will continue with day 2 until day 4 on the next blogs. Hope you will follow our adventure. 🙂

Up next: Travel through history.

Up next: Travel through history.

A Very Early Christmas

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Christmas has been and will always be my favorite holiday. There’s even a song that goes like this, “When Christmas day is here–the most wonderful day of the year.” I don’t know how to explain it but there’s really something with Christmas that makes everyone happy inside. Maybe it’s the decorations? the lights? the cold air? who knows? All I know is that I love it and I always get excited whenever it is already fast approaching.

Christmas will not be complete for me without the decorations. I grew up in a house that was filled with Christmas ornaments and other Christmas decorations. We did not have those expensive decorations and trees that would reach 6 feet tall. We experienced using twigs as Christmas trees. We used yarns, foil, crepe papers then added lights to make it glow. For us that was already OK and we were satisfied.

Fast forward a couple of years… new address, new house, already have a job.. still nothing has changed. My family and I still love Christmas same as we loved Christmas before. Most importantly, we still love to decorate our house and it has become a yearly tradition already. We don’t do it in December and certainly not in November–we do it as early as October!

We always decide to have a theme and a color scheme every time we decorate so that we can plan ahead of time. This year it’s “Winter Wonderland.” We chose blue, white and silver to be the main colors of the decorations and we wanted to have this snowy feel. It doesn’t snow in the Philippines and it certainly doesn’t get too cold compared to countries that has four seasons so this is the closest thing we can have to a “winter wonderland.”

Our house is not big–it’s on a 95 sq. meter lot so it wasn’t hard to decorate it. hahaha. Our decorations are not all brand new. We love to recycle and “redecorate” the decorations if you know what I mean. We add some new ones if we see something really interesting at the mall if there is an on-going sale. But pretty much we make the most of what we have.

Here are some pictures of our house after we decorated it. Would like to share these and maybe you can get ideas and do it your houses too. Enjoy and advance Merry Christmas!

This was out tree last year. I was all green so I decided to spray paint it with white to make it look flocked. My mom was hesitant at first but she had no choice in the end but to go with it. :-)

This was out tree last year. It was all green so I decided to spray paint it with white to make it look flocked. My mom was hesitant at first but she had no choice in the end but to go with it. 🙂

Our tree (finished version). So we stayed true to our theme and the color scheme that we had in mind. Decided to use blue LED lights as my niece said it looked like Frozen (the movie).

Our tree (finished version). So we stayed true to our theme and the color scheme that we had in mind. Decided to use blue LED lights as my niece said the tree looked like it’s from Frozen (the movie).

I did not have any idea in mind when I made this. I purchased the twigs from a local store then brought it at home. It took me a couple of hours and a blistered hand (used a very rough twine to tie everything to place) finish it. Happy with the result though.

I did not have any idea in mind when I made this. I purchased the twigs from a local store then brought it at home. It took me a couple of hours and a blistered hand (used a very rough twine to tie everything to place) finishing it. Happy with the result though.

A closer look at the tree.

A closer look at the tree.

Christmas Candles

Christmas Candles -These candles were on sale (buy1-take1). I looked up some ideas on Google then decorated the candles using flowers and ornaments that we used last year.

My sister purchased this and it just fit right in with the theme.

My sister purchased this and it just fit right in with the theme.

I saw these ornament when I passed by the department store section in one of the malls in the city. Winter Wonderland will not be complete without the ice. I hanged it using a very thin nylon chord to make it look like it's just floating.

I saw these ornament when I passed by the department store section in one of the malls in the city. Winter Wonderland will not be complete without the ice. I hanged it using a very thin nylon chord to make it look like it’s just floating.

Here you can see the cornice we decorated on top of the TV (don't know what we were watching. hehe). I has changed since I took this picture since my mom added some ribbons on the side and I added icicle ornaments as well.

Here you can see the cornice we decorated on top of the TV (don’t know what we were watching. hehe). It has changed since I took this picture since my mom added some ribbons on the side and I added icicle ornaments as well.

These were also ornament from last year that fit right it with the theme.

These were also ornament from last year that fit right it with the theme.

My mom bought this plain wreath and didn't know what to do with it. I decorated it using new ornaments I bought that were on sale.

My mom bought this plain wreath and didn’t know what to do with it. I decorated it using new ornaments I bought that were on sale.

Here you can see the main tree and the twig tree that  I did. You can also see the decoration on the cornice going to the dining room.

Here you can see the main tree and the twig tree that I did. You can also see the decoration on the cornice going to the dining room.

These were some balls that we used last year. They were just plain so I decided to add a snowy effect on top of it.

These were some balls that we used last year. They were just plain so I decided to add a snowy effect on top of it.