Adventure. That's the word to describe this trip. No room reservations, no package tours, just vivid ideas and hopeful hearts. It was an exhausting trip. We literally could not get up for work the next day but it's the most fun we've had in a long time.
We went to Cebu just after summer, fully aware that there's a big possibility of a storm. We took the risk anyway, and oh boy, it was damn worth it.
In Cebu, you can go to any town easily by means of public buses. Buses usually come in intervals of 1-2 hours. We went to four towns in South Cebu, changing towns every day. The first night was in Moalboal, or as foreigners call it, mole bowl.
Coming to Moalboal, we had no accommodations reserved. So we had to look for available inns within Panagsama beach. There were a lot but most of them didn't feel right for us. Nene read somewhere about a nice place called Il Sogno. It was an obscure inn and it had this beautifully hand painted entrance that we actually missed while searching for the place.
When travelling, always ask. Not only it makes a good conversation starter, but it also saves you from spending a lot of time and cash.
The house, to the locals, was better known as Franco's instead of Il Sogno. Franco is the very warm Italian host. After introductions, he gave us a quick tour of the house. We had the whole house to ourselves but we loved it most because it felt like home. Finding our temporary home was definitely a good start to our adventure.
That same day we went snorkeling. It wasn't a fine day so the waves were really strong and the skies were covered with clouds. Nevertheless, the water was still clear and the view below was amazing. It was our first time to see a school of sardines and huge pawikans swimming beneath us. We weren't able to take pictures but we have videos which will have a separate post. :)
On our second day, we went to a nearby town called Badian. That day, we whole heartedly accepted the bucket list-worthy challenge of canyoning (canyoneering).
With our helmets, life vests, and trekking shoes on, we rode habal-habals together to the jump-off point and started the adventure! The whole trek took around four hours. Four hours of nonstop adrenaline, amazing sights, and pure fun.
We had to plunge into several waterfalls, swim through strong current, cross thin bamboo bridges and trek different terrains. Once you start the trek, there's no going back. It was definitely nerve-wracking knowing that you could endanger yourself. We even signed waivers! But taking that big leap of faith was all worth it! It was truly an experience we'll always remember.
The night after canyoning, we left Moalboal for Oslob. We left around 7pm not knowing if we'll make it in time for the last trip for Oslob. Everything was so spontaneous.
We got a room at Lagnason's Place last minute before leaving Moalboal. Then with lady luck's kiss, we arrived at Bato bus terminal, 9pm -- just in-time for the last trip!
I'm growing fond of travelling like this -- a dash of spontaneity and just enough planning. It makes things more interesting and fulfilling.
We arrived at around 10:30pm. Before sleeping, we decided to take a dip in the pool to relax and unwind.
We woke up 6am to start the tour in Oslob.
We first accompanied Keyt to swim with the whalesharks. Nene and I decided not to do it because we believe that this tourist activity is destroying the sharks' natural hunting and migratory patterns. Although I truly understand that this brings in a lot of job opportunities in Oslob and I respect that. I just hope these sharks will truly be cared for, at the least.
Then, we bargained our way to Sumilon Island to swim around the sandbar. I took photos while Nene and Keyt spent time in the water.
After Sumilon, we ate lunch then left for our last destination in Oslob, the mystical Tumalog Falls. There was no trek involved for this one because habal-habals are available to drive you to the entrance of the falls. I felt awestruck the moment I saw it. It almost felt like a fairy will come out at any moment. It's that magical.
Right after Tumalog, we packed our bags again and left for Dalaguete to spend our last night.
Our last day was in the Vegetable Basket of Cebu. All along we thought it was pronounced like Dumaguete. But we were corrected by the locals with hints of amusement on their faces. It's actually pronounced as Dalaget.
We stayed in a small room in Blue Pot Family Resort. Throughout our stay in South Cebu, all our accommodations had us as their only guests--benefit of off peak trips.
We spent a night in Dalaguete because we wanted to hike Osmeña Peak. We asked for the help of the resort to contact a guide/driver to take us there at dawn the next day.
Like we've learned in all our trips, in our opinion, dawns are best spent on mountains while sunsets are best watched from the beach.
In Osmeña Peak, you get the best of both worlds because the sun rises behind the multiple jagged hills with the clouds right beside you and sets behind the sea horizon between Cebu and Negros. It's just that our flight was that same day so we had to hike during dawn.
We woke up at 4am then went straight to the jump-off site. The travel from Poblacion to the jump-off in Mantalongon takes around 40 minutes. The hike was sweet and short. It took us around 10-20 minutes. We could've been faster but we were all too tired from canyoneering the day before.
It was one of the best sunrises I've experienced so far. Although I haven't been to Mt. Pulag yet, but this one was a sight to behold. It started off very foggy. The sky was full of dark clouds. I was beginning to doubt that the sun will show up.
Then the magic happened. The gust blew all the dark clouds and fog away. Osmeña Peak finally revealed its wonder.
Remarkably, after a couple of minutes, the sky went dark again and it began drizzling. It was almost like we were deliberately given a chance to experience that breathtaking moment. A feeling of pure joy just poured that little while.
We left the peak and Cebu with smiles on our faces.
Every place has its charm and every trip gives us memories we can daydream about until the next trip comes. We'll never forget that first 20 ft. jump in Badian, swimming with sardines and pawikans, the majestic Tumalog and most specially that short but epic view of Osmena Peak.